Bob Ellicott

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Bob Ellicott

Member of the Australian Parliament
for Wentworth
In office
18 May 1974 – 17 February 1981
Preceded by Les Bury
Succeeded by Peter Coleman
24th Attorney-General for Australia
In office
22 December 1975 – 6 September 1977
Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser
Preceded by Kep Enderby
Succeeded by Peter Durack
Personal details
Born (1927-04-15) 15 April 1927 (age 92)
Moree, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Occupation Barrister

Robert James Ellicott AC, QC (born 15 April 1927) is an Australian lawyer, politician and judge.[1] Ellicott is one of only six politicians to have served in both the Parliament of Australia and the Federal Court of Australia, along with Nigel Bowen, Merv Everett, Tony Whitlam, John Reeves and Duncan Kerr. From 1975 to 1977, Ellicott was the 24th Attorney-General for Australia during the Malcolm Fraser ministry.


Ellicott was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1950 and was Solicitor-General of Australia from 1969 to 1973.[2]

He was elected as the Liberal member for the Division of Wentworth in the 1974 election. He was Attorney-General in the Fraser Ministry from 1975 to 1977. Ellicott resigned as Attorney-General as a result of a dispute with Malcolm Fraser over the payment of costs in the Sankey v Whitlam case,[3] where he believed that the Commonwealth should have paid the costs of the private individual, Danny Sankey, as well as those of the politicians, Gough Whitlam, Rex Connor, Jim Cairns and Lionel Murphy, but Fraser disagreed.[4] Ellicott was reappointed in the third Fraser Ministry (1977 to 1980) as Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Capital Territory. He was Minister for Home Affairs and the Environment from November 1980 until his resignation on 17 February 1981 to become a judge on the Federal Court of Australia.

Ellicott resigned from the court in February 1983.[5] He is currently an arbitrator on the Court of Arbitration for Sport.[6] On 20 November 2007, he was named as chair of the tribunal to investigate allegations of misbehaviour against the suspended Chief Justice of Fiji, Daniel Fatiaki.[7]


In May 2006, the Australian Olympic Committee awarded him the Olympic Order of Merit, particularly in his role of establishing the Australian Institute of Sport when Minister for Home Affairs.[8] In October 2016, he was inducted as a General Member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.[9] In 2017 Ellicott was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the Parliament of Australia, particularly as Attorney-General, to legal practice and innovative policy development, to advancements in global trade law, and to the international arbitration of sporting disputes.[10]

Personal life

He is the double cousin of Sir Garfield Barwick, also an Attorney-General, and later Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.[11]


  1. ^ "Members of the House of Representatives since 1901". Parliamentary Handbook. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 1 September 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  2. ^ "Board of Directors". Life Education Australia. Archived from the original on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  3. ^ Sankey v Whitlam [1978] HCA 43, (1978) 142 CLR 1 (9 November 1978), High Court.
  4. ^ Leigh, Andrew (1999). "The successful Attorney General – an oxymoron?" (PDF). Australian Law Journal. 73 (2). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 May 2005. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  5. ^ "Alphabetical list of former judges". Federal Court of Australia. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  6. ^ "Arbitrators". Court of Arbitration for Sport. Archived from the original on 26 August 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  7. ^ "Fatiaki tribunal named". Fiji Times. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  8. ^ "Kemp and Ellicott awarded Olympic Order of Merit". Australian Olympic Committee News. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  9. ^ "King Wally becomes a Legend as Michelle Payne rides off with the 'The [sic] Don'". Sport Australia Hall of Fame website. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia" (PDF). Australia Day 2017 Honours List. Governor-General of Australia. 26 January 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 January 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  11. ^
Political offices
Preceded by
Ivor Greenwood
Attorney General of Australia
Succeeded by
Peter Durack
Preceded by
Tony Staley
Minister for the Capital Territory
Succeeded by
Michael Hodgman
New title Minister for Home Affairs
Succeeded by
Michael MacKellar
Minister for Home Affairs and the Environment
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Les Bury
Member for Division of Wentworth
Succeeded by
Peter Coleman
Government offices
Preceded by
Anthony Mason
Solicitor-General of Australia
Succeeded by
Maurice Byers
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