Lecturer, University of Sydney, 01/01/1933 - 31/12/1942
Judge of the Supreme Court of NSW, 05/05/1952 - 12/09/1952
Justice of the High Court of Australia, 03/09/1952 - 03/08/1969
Sir Alan Russell Taylor was born on 25 November 1901 at Newcastle, New South Wales, the son of Walter Durham Taylor and his wife Lilias Martha nee Hewitt. He was educated at Fort Street Boys High School and the University of Sydney (LLB 1926). On 26 November 1917 he joined the Commonwealth Public Service as a clerk in the Postmaster General's Department, Sydney. He worked in the Commonwealth Crown Solicitor's Office while studying at the University of Sydney until January 1924. At University, he was runner-up for the Pitt Cobbett Prize (No.2) in Public International Law in 1923. (1)
Taylor was admitted to the NSW Bar on 2 June 1926. He practised mainly in common law, company law, and Admiralty. While conducting his practice he was also a lecturer at the University of Sydney. He was Acting Challis Lecturer in Equity from 1933 to 1934, and Challis Lecturer in Legal Interpretation from 1935 to 1942, although he was on leave in 1941 and 1942. He was a Council member of the NSW Bar Association from 1938/39 to 1942/43 and from 1946/47 to 1950/51. He was president in 1948/49. He was a member of the Solicitors Admission Board of NSW in 1943-1944. Taylor often appeared as a junior for the Crown in the High Court of Australia in constitutional cases, such as the Uniform Tax Case (1942). He was appointed a King's Counsel in October 1943. In 1950 he represented the Commonwealth in three cases in London before the Privy Council. (2)
Taylor was elevated to the Supreme Court of New South Wales as a Puisne Judge on 5 May 1952. He resigned on 12 September 1952 after he was appointed to the High Court of Australia on 2 September 1952. He was a Justice of the High Court from 3 September 1952 till his death on 3 August 1969. He was made a Knight Commander (Civil) of the Order of the British Empire on 9 June 1955 for his role as a judge of the High Court. On 19 February 1963 he was sworn in as a Privy Councillor by Queen Elizabeth II at Canberra. He sat on the Council's judicial committee in 1967 for three months, for the hearing of appeals. (3)
Taylor died on 3 August 1969 at his Vaucluse home, survived by his wife, Ceinwen Gertrude nee Williams, whom he married on 25 July 1933, and their son and daughter. (4)
1. Martha Rutledge, 'Taylor, Sir Alan Russell (1901 - 1969)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A160436b.htm cited 11 January 2008; Who's Who in Australia, Melbourne, Herald and Weekly Times, 1944, p.780; 1947, p.802; 1950, p.692; 1955, p.742; 1959, p.778; 1962, p.832; 1965, p.829; 1968, p.827; Martha Rutledge, 'Taylor, Alan Russell', in Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia, South Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 2001, pp.661-3; Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No.88, 18 October 1920, p.1566, entry 37; University of Sydney Calendar, 1922, p.500; 1923, pp.417, 524; 1926, p.545, 649; 1927, p.825, http://calendararchive.usyd.edu.au/index.php (cited 12 May 2008).
2. Barristers Admission Board; NRS 13665, Roll of Barristers, 1876-1926; Reel 2147, p.28; ADB, op.cit.; University of Sydney Calendar, op.cit., 1934, p.850; 1936, pp.637, 937; 1940, p.445; 1941, pp.43, 407; 1942, p.42, cited 27 May 2008; New South Wales Law Almanac, Sydney, NSW Government Printer, 1939, p.58; 1940, p.60; 1941, p.60; 1942, pp.60-61; 1943, pp.60-61; 1947, p.55; 1949, p.55; 1950, p.55; 1951, p.57.
3. ADB, op.cit.; The State Reports New South Wales 1952, Sydney, Law Book Company of Australasia Pty Ltd, Vol.52, memorandum; New South Wales Law Almanac, Sydney, NSW Government Printer, 1965, p.53; p.1970, p.45; It's an honour website http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au (cited 23 January 2008).
4. ADB, op.cit..