Australian Institute of Criminology

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Hon Justice James Muirhead, AC, QC

Media Release

20 July 1999

It is with deep regret that the Institute records the death of the Honourable Justice James Muirhead, AC, QC, the founding Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology.

Justice Muirhead was born and educated in Adelaide, South Australia. He served in the AIF in World War II and later graduated in law from the University of Adelaide. He was appointed a judge of the South Australian Local and District Court in 1970 and his judicial career included service on the Supreme Courts of Papua New Guinea and the Northern Territory. He also served for three years as Administrator of the Northern Territory. In 1987 he was appointed as the first Commissioner of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

In the latter part of 1972 Justice Muirhead was appointed by the then Commonwealth Attorney-General Senator Ivor Greenwood to establish the Australian Institute of Criminology in Canberra. He held the position until May 1974. The current Director of the Institute, Dr Adam Graycar, said today that Jim Muirhead would always be remembered as a man of integrity, energy and vision who served with distinction in a number of key roles. Dr Graycar noted that as recently as November last year, Justice Muirhead entertained staff and friends of the Institute at the AIC's 25th Anniversary dinner, speaking about the early days of the Institute in Canberra.