The Honourable Russell W Skerman BA

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Judge, Supreme Court of Queensland

Date of Birth

24 September 1903

Schooling

  • Warwick High School

University Education

  • BA, University of Queensland (1926)

Judicial Career

  • Judge, Supreme Court of Queensland (1969-1973)
  • Judge, Supreme Court of Queensland (1962-1969)
  • Acting Judge, Supreme Court of Queensland (1953)

Pre-judicial Career

  • Private Practice, Townsville (1945-1962)
  • War Service A.I.F. (1941-1945)
  • Private Practice, Townsville (1932-1940)
  • Teacher, Townsville (1926-1929)
  • Admitted as a Barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland (1932)
  • Associate to Justice R.J.Douglas (1930)

Extra Judicial Positions

  • Member of the Council of James Cook University (1970)

Biographical Notes

Russell Wigton Skerman was born on 24 September 1903 in Caboolture, Queensland, son of John Hope Skerman, business manager, and his wife, Mary Morrison (née Strain). He attended Willowvale State School, Warwick High School and the University of Queensland, graduating Bachelor of Arts (1926). After working briefly as a teacher, Skerman studied for admission to the bar while working as associate to Douglas J in Townsville (1930).

On 7 June 1932, Skerman was admitted as a barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland and commenced private practice at the bar in Townsville. He married Leila Harris on 24 August 1935. They had two daughters, Clare and Rosemary. In August 1941, Skerman enlisted for war service. He served principally as a staff officer, and served in Hollandia and Moratai Island. During the Second World War, Skerman rose to the rank of major. In 1946, he returned to practice at the Townsville bar, serving for a brief period as an acting judge of the court (1953).

On 26 July 1962, Skerman was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court. He served as the Northern Judge based in Townsville until November 1969, when he was transferred to Brisbane. During his tenure in judicial office, he served as a member of the advisory council of University College, Townsville (1961–70) and James Cook University (1970–71). Skerman retired on 1 September 1973. He died on 24 February 1983.