David Bennett (barrister)

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David Michael John Bennett

Solicitor-General of Australia
In office
Appointed by John Howard
Preceded by Henry Burmester (acting)
Succeeded by Stephen Gageler
Personal details
David Michael John bennett

(1941-12-22) 22 December 1941 (age 78)
Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom
Spouse(s) Annabelle Bennett
Children Lyria, Tala, Paul
Alma mater University of Sydney
University of Harvard
Occupation Barrister,
Solicitor-General of Australia

David Michael John Bennett AC, QC (born 22 December 1941) is an Australian barrister and former Solicitor-General of Australia.[1]

Early years

Bennett was born in Amersham, Buckinghamshire to Louis Bennett and Lily Bennett (née Black). He was educated at the Hall School in Hampstead, then moved with his family to Australia in 1951 and attended the Scots College, Sydney.[1] He subsequently attained degrees in Arts and Law (with honours) from the University of Sydney and an LLM and SJD from Harvard University.[1] His father, Louis Bennett, was a distinguished solicitor in Sydney, and as a Provost Major was in charge of the escort that took the Nazi Oberkommando der Wehrmacht to Nuremberg for trial. Bennet's Aunt Major Jane Bennett [1] served at the GCCS at Bletchley Park where the British broke several Nazi codes.


Bennett was a solicitor from 1964 to 1967. He was called to the New South Wales bar in 1967, and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1979.[1]

He was president of the Australian Bar Association from 1995–96 and of the New South Wales Bar Association from 1995–97. Bennett was president of the Association of Lawyer Arbitrators and Mediates in 1998 and President of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences from 1999–2001. He was Solicitor-General of Australia from 1998–2008. Bennett was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003.[1]

He is married to Annabelle Bennett, a former judge of the Federal Court of Australia.[1]

In a September 2011 Sydney Morning Herald article he addressed international agreement-making by writing that: "A non-binding promise by Australia or the US is worth more than a binding undertaking by Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia."[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Who's Who in Australia: David Bennett
  2. ^ Bennett, David (12 September 2011). "Offshore processing still possible despite High Court decision". Fairfax Media. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
Government offices
Preceded by
Gavan Griffith
Solicitor-General of Australia
Succeeded by
Stephen Gageler
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