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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 7 Hansard (28 June) . . Page.. 2099 ..

Wednesday, 28 June 2000


The Assembly met at 10.30 am.

(Quorum formed.)


(Mr Cornwell) took the chair and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.



(Chief Minister): I move:

That this Assembly expresses its deep regret at the death of Professor Lindsay Curtis AM, who made a significant contribution to the ACT legal system, and tenders its profound sympathy to his family in their bereavement.

Mr Speaker, the ACT community was fortunate to have had the benefit of the knowledge, experience and energy of Professor Curtis. He came to us at an important point in the development of the ACT legal system when he was appointed by the ACT government to be the first President of the ACT Administrative Appeals Tribunal. With his vast experience in administrative law, his excellent legal skills, his energy and commitment, he guided the development of the tribunal from its inception to become the well-established and respected review body it is today. This was, of course, only one of his many achievements.

Born in 1928, Lindsay Curtis came from a rural background. After obtaining a degree in science from Melbourne University, he came to Canberra in 1950. He obtained an honours law degree in 1960 while he was working for the Department of Territories. Of course, at that time the ACT was administered through that department.

In 1963 he went to work for the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department, where he stayed for 26 years, rising to deputy secretary and playing an important role in the implementation of the administrative law policies which resulted in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, the Ombudsman Act 1976, the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 and the Freedom of Information Act 1982. In 1986 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia.

On his retirement from the Commonwealth Public Service in 1989, Lindsay Curtis entered a new but no less productive stage. He became an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Wollongong, working with the Centre for Court Policy and Administration. His academic work continued after he was appointed to the ACT Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Through his teaching, he was able to pass on his great legal and practical knowledge of judicial administration and court management. At the same time, he was putting it into practice in the development of the ACT tribunal.

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