Vale the Hon. D. F. Jackson AM KC

15 May 2023

It is with deep regret I announce to the national Bar that David Jackson AM KC died peacefully this morning in Sydney. David had recently celebrated his 82nd birthday.

Today is a significant day in the life of the Australian Bar, marking as it does the passing of a pre-eminent silk of nearly half a century, and the finest constitutional and High Court barrister of a generation, indeed arguably since Federation.

David was an extraordinary advocate. The many who had the privilege of working directly with, or against, him are better judges and barristers for it. The many more who did not have the occasion of dealing directly with David will nonetheless have had their professional lives touched for the better because of the impact of his advocacy across the gamut of legal controversies before courts in their constitutional or appellate jurisdictions.

David leaves an enduring legacy on the development of the law in Australia and the craft of barrister by his lived example that the finest advocacy is the product of skill, industry, propriety and courtesy in equal measure.

David was encouraging to barristers young and old, a loyal friend to many, extraordinarily generous and had a fine sense of humour.

David lived as he worked. He was a loving and devoted husband to Monica, his wife of more than fifty years, father to their three daughters, Catherine, Dominique and Louise, and grandfather to their four grandchildren. On behalf of the Australian Bar Association, I express my deepest sympathy to them on this sad day.

David was an unsurpassed exemplar of a barrister, an inspiration to all of us, and we salute his service today. May he rest in peace.

Peter Dunning KC

President of the Australian Bar

15 May 2023

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