The Honourable Justice James S Douglas

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Date of Birth

09 February 1950


  • Villanova College, Coorparoo (1967)

University Education

  • Diploma of Legal Studies, Cambridge University (1979)
  • Bachelor of Laws, Cambridge University (1976)
  • Bachelor of Laws, University of Queensland (1973)
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Queensland (1971)


  • The Comparative Law Prize, University of Queensland (1973)

Judicial Career

  • Judge, Supreme Court of Queensland (2003-)

Pre-judicial Career

  • Grade 1 Arbitrator, Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia (2001-2003)
  • President, Bar Association of Queensland (1999-2001)
  • Committee Member, Bar Association of Queensland (1994-2001)
  • Member, Legal Committee of the Companies and Securities Advisory Committee (1992-1994)
  • Chairman, Queensland Theatre Company (1990-1996)
  • Chairman, Queensland Symphony Orchestra Advisory Board (1989-1996)
  • Editor, Queensland Reports (1986-1991)
  • Committee Member, Bar Association of Queensland (1978-1991)
  • Associate to the Right Honourable Sir Harry Gibbs, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia (1973-1974)
  • Appointed Queen's Counsel (1989)
  • Admitted as a Barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland (1973)
  • Associate to the Honourable Mr Justice JA Douglas, Supreme Court of Queensland (1972)

Extra Judicial Positions

  • Member, Australian Catholic University Senate (2013-)
  • Member, International Academy of Comparative Law (2006-)
  • President, Alliance Francaise de Brisbane Inc (2005-2010)
  • Member, American Law Institute (2001-)
  • Member, Anti-Discrimination Tribunal (2003)

Biographical Notes

James Sholto Douglas was born on 9 February 1950 in Brisbane, Queensland, to James Archibald Douglas (who later became the 48th judge of the court) and his wife, Marjorie Mary (née Ramsay). He is the younger brother of Robert Ramsay Douglas, who became the 91st judge of the court. Douglas was educated at Villanova College, Coorparoo (1967), and the University of Queensland, graduating Bachelor of Arts (1971) and Bachelor of Laws (1973) and winning the Comparative Law Prize. Douglas served as associate to his father (1972) and to Gibbs J on the High Court of Australia (1973–74).

On 20 December 1973, he was admitted as a barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland. After completing his work as an associate, Douglas undertook postgraduate study at Emmanuel College Cambridge, graduating Bachelor of Laws (1976) and Diploma in Legal Studies (1979). He married Margaret Anne Kennedy on 22 December 1980. They had a son, Francis, and a daughter, Hannah. From 1977, Douglas commenced a period of almost 26 years in practice at the bar in Brisbane, taking silk in 1989. Douglas served as a member of the committee (1978–81, 1994–99) and then president (1999–2001) of the Bar Association of Queensland, editor of the Queensland Reports (1986–91), chairperson of the advisory board of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (1989–96), chairperson of the Queensland Theatre Company (1990–96) and as a part-time member of the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal (2003).

On 27 November 2003, Douglas was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland. He has also served as president of Alliance Française de Brisbane Inc. (2005–10).

Further biographical details are available on request.

Judicial Papers

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