The Honourable Justice Sarah Derrington AM

BA, LLB(Hons), LLM, PhD
At St Margaret’s 1983-1984

The Honourable Justice Sarah Derrington (nee Johnstone) is the President of the Australian Law Reform Commission.

Prior to her appointment to the Federal Court of Australia, Justice Derrington was the Dean of Law at The University of Queensland and a barrister specialised in maritime and shipping law, general commercial law and arbitration. Appointed in 2013, Justice Derrington was the first female Dean of the School.

A graduate of The University of Queensland, Justice Derrington commenced legal practice in 1990 when she was admitted to the Queensland Bar. She was an associate to The Honourable Desmond Derrington QC, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland, and the inaugural associate to The Honourable Tony Fitzgerald AC QC, former President of the Queensland Court of Appeal. At the Bar, Professor Derrington practiced in the areas of shipping & maritime law, commercial law, insurance and insolvency law. She is a leader in international arbitration and maritime law, and her research interests lie in the areas of admiralty jurisdiction and practice, the carriage of goods by sea, and marine insurance.

Justice Derrington was appointed a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law in 2009 and of the Nautical Institute in 2013. She is a Past President of the Maritime Law Association of Australia and continues to represent Australia and New Zealand in various international working groups of the Comité Maritime International (CMI), of which she was appointed a Titular Member in 2016. Between 2012 and 2017, she served on the board of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. She has been a member of the Admiralty Rules Committee since 2006, and continues to serve on the Councils of the Australian Maritime College and the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Justice Derrington was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2022 Queen's Birthday Honours for significant service to the judiciary and to the law, and to legal education.

She attended St Margaret's in her senior years after previously attending St Anne's School in Townsville, Mentone Girls’ Grammar in Melbourne and St Hilda’s, Southport. She particularly enjoyed German and Ancient History subjects and appreciated the direction given by those teachers and her long association with Sister Chaseley-Anne who had been headmistress at St Anne’s.

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