Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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  • Australian Women Lawyers as Active Citizens

Warren, Marilyn

The Honourable Chief Justice, AC QC

Barrister, Chief Justice, Government lawyer, Judge, Lawyer, Lieutenant-Governor and Public servant


Marilyn Warren (BJuris 1973, LLB 1974, LLM 1983, HonLLD 2004) was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria in November 2003. She is the first woman to be appointed to this office in an Australian Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Warren, who holds the degrees of Bachelor of Jurisprudence, Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws from Monash, commenced her legal career in the Victorian Public Service and was admitted to practice in 1975.

She was employed in various government legal offices including as a senior legal policy adviser to three Attorneys-General: Haddon Storey, John Cain and Jim Kennan. She was later appointed an assistant chief parliamentary counsel. Chief Justice Warren signed the Roll of the Victorian Bar in 1985 and practised predominantly in the areas of administrative law, commercial law and town planning. She served as a member of the Bar Council's Law Reform Committee for eight years from 1986 to 1994. In 1997 she took silk.

In 1998 she was appointed to the Supreme Court of Victoria and presided in all jurisdictions, in particular the Corporations List and the Commercial List, of which she was the judge in charge for three and a half years. She has sat in a number of significant trials and appeals and continues to sit in all jurisdictions in her capacity as Chief Justice.

In 2004 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws in recognition of her service to the law and the community. In 2005 she was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for service to the judiciary and to the legal profession particularly the delivery and administration of law in Victoria, to the community in areas affecting the social and economic conditions of women and to forensic medicine internationally. In 2006, she was appointed as Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria.

In 2014 Chief Justice Warren was named the Monash University Faculty of Law Distinguished Alumni of the Year and the overall Monash University Distinguished Alumni of the Year.

The Chief Justice is also the Chair of a number of Victoria legal bodies including the Courts Council, the Judicial College of Victoria, and the Judicial Commission of Victoria.

Sources used to compile this entry: Green, Shane, 'Chief Justice of the Chief Justice Marilyn Warren leads Supreme Court into 21st century', The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 December 2013,; (viewed 30 August 2016).

Larissa Halonkin

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