Crown Prosecutor, Mudgee, 24/09/1901
Puisne Judge, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 10/02/1925 - 16/11/1940
Judge in Bankruptcy, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 10/02/1925 - 31/07/1928
Chief Judge in Equity, Supreme Court of New South Wales, 01/02/1935 - 17/11/1939
Judge, Federal Court of Bankruptcy, New South Wales Bankruptcy District, 01/08/1928 - 05/10/1939
Chairman, Commonwealth Aliens Tribunal, New South Wales, No.1 Tribunal, 12/12/1940 - 31/12/1946
Chairman, Commonwealth Aliens Advisory Committee, New South Wales, No.2 Committee, 1943
Reginald Heath Long Innes was born at Double Bay, Sydney, on 17 November 1869, the son of (Sir) Joseph George Long Innes and his wife Emily Janet nee Smith. He was educated at Malvern College, Worcestershire, England, and at New College, University of Oxford (BA 1891, BCL 1893). (1)
Innes was called to the Bar of Lincoln's Inn, London, on 26 January 1893. After returning to Australia he was called to the New South Wales Bar on 21 September 1893. He was appointed on 20 September 1893 as Associate and Clerk of Arraigns to his father, Justice Sir Joseph George Long Innes, Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. From 19 July 1895, while his father was on leave in England, Reginald was Associate for his replacement Acting Justice Henry Emanuel Cohen. From 21 November 1896 to the end of 1899 Reginald was Associate to Justice Archibald Henry Simpson, Judge in Bankruptcy and Probate Judge. (2)
Innes established his practice in 1900 and operated out of Denman Chambers in Phillip Street, Sydney, and on the Western Circuit, specialising in Equity and Bankruptcy. He acted as Crown Prosecutor on at least one occasion, on 24 September 1901 at Mudgee. Made a King's Counsel on 8 March 1916, he was a member of the Council of the Bar Association of New South Wales from 1921/22 to 1924/25. He was appointed by the Bar Council as foundation Honorary Secretary and Treasurer of the Barristers' Benevolent Association of New South Wales in 1921, a post he held until he resigned on 20 February 1925 following his appointment to the Supreme Court. (3)
Innes was appointed a Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales on 10 February 1925, acting primarily in the Equity jurisdiction. He was also appointed Judge in Bankruptcy on the same day. The Bankruptcy Act 1924-27 (Commonwealth of Australia Act) transferred responsibility for bankruptcy from the states to the Federal Government. The Act came into effect on 1 August 1928 and New South Wales was proclaimed as a single 'Bankruptcy District'. The Supreme Court of New South Wales was authorised to exercise jurisdiction in bankruptcy and insolvency for the Commonwealth through a Federal Court of Bankruptcy. Although Innes continued to be described as Judge in Bankruptcy and continued to hear cases, they were now heard under Commonwealth jurisdiction. According to the Australian Law Journal, Innes also was an Acting Judge in Bankruptcy at the High Court of Australia, during the absence on leave of Justice Lionel Lukin. (4)
On 1 February 1935, Innes was appointed Chief Judge in Equity. When Sir John Musgrave Harvey went on retiring leave from 19 December 1934, Innes became the Senior Puisne Judge. Innes resigned as Chief Judge in Equity on 17 November 1939 when he went on leave prior to his own retirement. He officially retired on 16 November 1940. (5)
During World War II, Innes was chairman of two Commonwealth organisations. He was appointed Chairman on 12 December 1940 of the Aliens Tribunal, New South Wales, No.1 Tribunal. Set up under the National Security (Aliens Control) Regulations, the tribunal allowed detained aliens to appeal their detention. The tribunal was abolished on 31 December 1946. He was also chairman of the Aliens Advisory Committee, New South Wales, No.2 Committee, established in 1943 by General Regulation No.26 of the National Security Act, 1939-1943, to hear objections to detention or restriction orders. (6)
Reginald Heath Long Innes died at 'Woodlands', Medlow Bath in the Blue Mountains on 26 May 1947, survived by his wife, Mary Louise nee McCartie, whom he married on 18 December 1905 at Sydney, and their three daughters. His son died during World War II. (7)
1. Fred Johns, Who's Who in the Commonwealth of Australia, various, 1922, p.138; 1927-8, p.155; Who's Who in Australia, Melbourne, Herald Press, 1933-34, p.199; 1935, p.292; 1938, p.315; 1941, pp.422-3; 1944, p.524; 1947, p.527; Australian Law Journal, Vol.21, p.45 (13 June 1947); Peter Hohnen, 'Innes, Reginald Heath Long (1869-1947)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A090427b.htm (cited 11 January 2008).
2. Barristers Admission Board; NRS 13665, Roll of Barristers, 15 June 1876 - 1 December 1926; Reel 2147, p.8; New South Wales Public Service List (Blue Books), Sydney, NSW Government Printer, 1894, p.157; 1897, p.43; 1899, p.45; New South Wales Law Almanac, Sydney, NSW Government Printer, 1894, p.25; 1897, p.25; 1899, p.25; New South Wales Government Gazette, No.487, 20 July 1895, p.4735; No.495, 26 July 1895, p.4790; New South Wales Law Reports, Sydney, Hayes Brothers, Vol.XVI, 1895; Vol.XVII, 1896, pp.v-viii.
3. New South Wales Law Almanac, op.cit., 1900, p.37; 1904, p.45; 1907, p.51; 1912, p.56; 1922, p.53; 1924, p.50; 1925, pp.50, 64; 1926, p.40; NSW Government Gazette, No.784, 20 September 1901, p.7249; 'Bar Councillors 1920-1930', New South Wales Bar Association, http://www.nswbar.asn.au/docs/about/history/bclist1920_1930.php (cited 1 April 2009); Attorney General's Department [III]; NRS 333, Letters received - Special Bundles, 1874-1984; [10/42918] Correspondence re appointment of King's Counsels, 1898-1941; JM Bennett (ed.), A History of the New South Wales Bar, Sydney, Law Book Company Ltd and NSW Bar Association, 1969, pp.190-191.
4. NSW Government Gazette, No.22, 13 February 1925, p.908; State Reports New South Wales, Sydney, Law Book Company of Australasia Ltd, Vol.25, 1925, pp.ii-iii; New South Wales Law Almanac for 1941, op.cit., p.44; JM Bennett (ed.), A History of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Sydney, Law Book Company Ltd, 1974, pp.122-4; 'National Archives of Australia - Agency notes for Agency CA 9116' [Federal Court of Bankruptcy], http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/AgencyDetail.asp?M=3&B=CA+9116 (cited 1 April 2009).
5. NSW Government Gazette, No.36, 15 February 1935, p.640; Australian Law Journal, Vol.13, pp.369-70 (15 December 1939); State Reports New South Wales, op.cit., Vol.35, 1935; Vol.39, 1939.
6. 'National Archives of Australia - Agency notes for Agency CA 413' [Aliens Advisory Committee, New South Wales], http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/AgencyDetail.asp?M=3&B=CA+413 (cited 31 March 2009); 'National Archives of Australia - Agency notes for Agency CA 674' [Aliens Tribunal, New South Wales, No 1 Tribunal], http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/AgencyDetail.asp?M=3&B=CA+674 (cited 31 March 2009).
7. Peter Hohnen, 'Innes, Reginald Heath Long (1869-1947)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, op.cit.; State Reports New South Wales, Vol.47, 1947.