Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, 10/2/1941 - 24/10/1962
Acting Chief Justice of Supreme Court, 12/3/1962 - 24/10/1962
Chief Justice of Supreme Court, 25/10/1962 - 22/ 5/1972 (retired)
Governor of New South Wales, 11/04/1973 - 03/05/1973
Sir Leslie James Herron was born on 22 May 1902 at Mosman, Sydney. He was educated at the Church of England Preparatory School, Mosman, Sydney Grammar School and the University of Sydney where he obtained second-class honours in law. Leslie Herron was admitted to the Bar on 28 August 1925 and maintained a practice in Sydney. (1)
His first judicial appointment was on 1 February 1939 when he was appointed acting Judge of the District Court. (2) In the same year he was appointed King's Counsel on 20 December. (3)
Herron was appointed Judge of the Supreme Court on 10 February 1941 until 24 October 1962. (4) In 1958, he served as a Royal Commissioner inquiring into the auditor-general’s statements concerning Abram Landa, the Minister for Housing. (5)
As a senior puisne judge, during the illness of H.V. Evatt, Herron became Acting Chief Justice between 12 March 1962 and 24 October 1962. (6) On 25 October 1962, he was appointed Chief Justice of New South Wales, a position he held until his resignation on 22 May 1972. (7) During his retirement Herron worked on a scheme for free legal aid. (8)
The Judge was active in a range of professional, philanthropic and sporting activities away from the bench. From 1961 he became chairman of the Law Reform Committee and headed appeals for St Vincent’s and Mater Misericordiae hospitals, the National Heart Foundation, the Freedom from Hunger Campaign, the Central Methodist Mission, the Salvation Army and the Bush Children’s Hostels Foundation of New South Wales. As president of the St John Ambulance Association, he was appointed a Knight of the Order of St John in 1964. Herron was also appointed C.M.G. in 1964 and K.B.E in 1966. In 1972 he received an honorary LL.D. from the University of New South Wales. (9).
On 11 April 1973, Herron was appointed Governor of New South Wales replacing Sir Roden Cutler during his visit to the United Kingdom. He held this position until his death on 3 May 1973 in St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst, New South Wales. (10)
1. Ritchie, J (ed) Australian Dictionary of Biography Vol 14, 1940-1980, Di-Kel, p.441.
2. New South Wales Government Gazette 3 February, 1939, p.565.
3. Ritchie, J op.cit. p.441.
4. Law Almanac 1974, p49.
5. Ritchie, J loc.cit.
6. Law Almanac 1973, p.45.
7. Lawlink website http://www.cjc.nsw.giv.au
8. Ritchie, J op.cit. p.442.
9. Ritchie, J ibid.
10. Ritchie, J ibid.