Master, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 01/07/1972 - 05/06/1975
Judge, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 06/06/1975 - 02/06/1986
Henry Laurence Cantor (known as Bill) was born on 20 April 1919 at Lindfield, Sydney, New South Wales, the son of Maurice Emanuel Cantor, later a Justice and Member of the Industrial Commission of New South Wales, and his wife Beatrice Ida nee Langley, who died when Henry was a child. He was educated at Barker College, Hornsby and at the University of Sydney (LLB 1948). Matriculating in February 1938, Cantor entered the first year of the Faculty of Law in 1938 but left University in 1940 to enlist. (1)
Cantor served in World War II in both the Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force. He enlisted on 22 May 1940 at Paddington and upon discharge on 29 June 1943 was a Gunner with the 2/1 Australian Medium Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery. A day later on 30 June 1943 he enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) at Woolloomooloo. When discharged on 12 August 1947 he was a Flight Sergeant with 11 Elementary Flying Training School at Benalla. (2)
Cantor recommenced his law studies at the University of Sydney while still in the RAAF, passing exams in December 1945, March and December 1946 and March 1947. Admitted to the New South Wales Bar on 4 March 1949, he practised out of 167 Phillip Street, Sydney, and from July 1957 Wentworth Chambers, 180 Phillip Street. He was a Council Member of the New South Wales Bar Association from 1951/1952 to 1954/1955 and from 1958/1959 to 1965/1966. He was made a Queen's Counsel in 1971. (3)
Cantor was created a Master of the Supreme Court of New South Wales under the Supreme Court Act 1970 (Act No.52, 1970) which came into force on 1 July 1972. He was assigned to the Court of Appeal and to the Common Law Division. The main duties of Masters in the Common Law involved the trial, without jury, of personal injury and possession cases or of other cases referred by a Judge or the Court of Appeals, and also the hearing of appeals from local courts and from costs assessors. Masters also dealt with matters that could not be dealt with by a Registrar, including reviews of Registrar's decisions. Under the Courts Legislation Amendment Act 2005 (Act No.31, 2005), Masters became Associate Judges. (4)
On 6 June 1975, Cantor was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. He retired on 2 June 1986 due to ill health. In 1985 he presided at the trial of Justice Lionel Murphy of the High Court of Australia on two charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice. Murphy was convicted of one charge but appealed the conviction. He was also acquitted of that charge after a second trial before Justice David Anthony Hunt. (5)
Cantor died on 18 September 1986, survived by his wife Margaret nee McNiven whom he married on 17 June 1948, and one son and two daughters. (6)
1. Who's Who in Australia, Melbourne, The Herald and Weekly Times, 1935, p.104; 1974, p.190; 1977, p.197; 1980, p.172; 1983, p.164; 1985, p.161; Australian Law Journal, Sydney, Law Book Company Ltd, Vol.60, p.652 (November 1986); University of Sydney Calendar, 1938, pp.431, 708; 1939, pp.481-2; 1940, p.256, http://calendararchive.usyd.edu.au/index.php (cited 27 May 2008).
2. 'Cantor, Henry Laurence', Department of Veterans Affairs World War 2 Nominal Roll http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/script/veteran.asp?ServiceID=A&VeteranID=135309 (cited 22 October 2008); 'Cantor, Henry Laurence', Department of Veterans Affairs World War 2 Nominal Roll http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/script/veteran.asp?ServiceID=R&VeteranID=1030065 (cited 22 October 2008).
3. University of Sydney Calendar, op.cit., 1943-1947 Exam Results pp.162, 256-9; 374, 376-7; 1952 Supplement p.366, (cited 27 May and 19 June 2008); Barrister and Solicitors Admission Boards; NRS 13665, Roll of Barristers, 17 February 1927 - 10 June 1955; Reel 2147, p.27; New South Wales Law Almanac, Sydney, NSW Government Printer, 1950, p.64; 1952, p.57; 1953, p.61; 1954, p.65; 1955, p.67; 1958, p.80; 1959, p.68; 1960, p.69; 1961, p.71; 1962, p.75; 1963, p.73; 1964, p.75; 1965, p.78; 1966, p.80; 1972, p.97; 'History - Tenth Floor Chambers', http://www.tenthfloor.org/default.asp?menuid=8 (cited 22 October 2008).
4. Who's Who in Australia, op.cit.; Australian Law Journal, op.cit.; New South Wales Law Almanac, op.cit., 1973, p.55; 1974, p.55; 1975, p.55; 'Supreme Court of NSW, Annual Review 2002 - The Judges, Masters and Registrars of the Court ...', http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/supreme_court/ll_sc.nsf/pages/SCO_annualrevjudges (cited 22 October 2008).
5. Australian Law Journal, Vol. 49, p.504 (August 1975); Vol.60, p.652 (November 1986); New South Wales Law Reports 1975, Sydney, Law Book Company Ltd, 1976, Vol.1; New South Wales Law Almanac for 1995, Sydney, Supreme Court of NSW, 1995, p.xlv.
6. Sydney Morning Herald, 20 September 1986, p.156; Who's Who in Australia, op.cit.; Australian Law Journal, op.cit., Vol.60, p.652, (November 1986).