Acting Justice Graham Hiley RFD
Graham Eric Hiley was appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory in March 2013. At the time of his appointment, he was a member of the Northern Territory Bar Association and the Bar Association of Queensland. He had practised as a barrister since 1978.
He grew up and lived in Sydney until early 1976 when he moved to Darwin with his wife. In 1994 they moved to Brisbane with their four children. His Honour and his wife returned to live in Darwin in 2013.
His Honour went to school at Epping Public School and Epping Boys High School and completed his Leaving Certificate in 1965. He attended Sydney University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1969 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1972. He was admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales in March 1972. He underwent National Service in 1972 - 1973 during which time he graduated from the Officer Training Unit, Scheyville, NSW, and became a Legal Officer in the Australian Army. After completing his National Service he practised as a solicitor in Sydney until 1975 (with Stephen, Jacques & Stephen), then in Darwin from 1976 until January 1978 (with Cridland & Bauer).
His Honour joined the fledgling Northern Territory independent bar in February 1978 and was a founding member of the Northern Territory Bar Association in 1981. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in the Northern Territory in 1987, and in Victoria and Queensland in 1993.
His work as a barrister covered most areas of the law. During his time in the Northern Territory his work included: torts such as industrial accidents, motor vehicle accidents, public liability and professional negligence; workers compensation; commercial and contractual disputes; insolvency; administrative law; Aboriginal land claims; planning; mining; land acquisition; criminal law and statutory interpretation. After he moved to Brisbane in 1994 most of his work involved native title.
During his earlier time in Darwin, His Honour held various offices within the Northern Territory Law Society including as its President in 1987 – 1988, and also within the Northern Territory Bar Association including as its President from 1990 – 1993. He held numerous other positions including Deputy Chair of the Lands Acquisition Tribunal (1983 – 1995), Chair of the Planning Appeals Committee (1984 – 1994), Lecturer at the then Northern Territory University (1985 – 1992), Member of the Legal Practitioners Complaints Committee (1990 – 1993) and Chair of the Community Living Areas Tribunal (1990 – 1998).
After graduating as an Army officer in late 1972 he was an active member of the Australian Army Legal Corps until his compulsory retirement in 2014. He attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1990 when he was also awarded the Reserve Forces Decoration. He was one of the 5 judicial members of the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal from 2015 to 2019.
His Honour has been an active teacher of advocacy in Darwin and Brisbane, and has been involved in running the annual advocacy course sponsored by the NT Law Society. He became an accredited mediator in 2005. He was Chair of the Northern Territory Council of Law Reporting between 2014 and 2020.
He has edited publications on workers compensation, native title and commercial arbitration. He has presented and published papers on topics including Aboriginal land rights, native title, Crown liability for unlawful conduct, fishing, pastoral leases, legal ethics and etiquette, and trial by jury.