Richard Chisholm

Professor Richard Chisholm

Richard Chisholm grew up in Sydney and began his journey in law completing an undergraduate degree at the University of Sydney (BA, LLB, 1968).

He then finished his post graduate degree at Oxford (BCL, 1970), after which he was an academic at the University of New South Wales Law School, specialising in family law.

In the 1970s he was a founding member of the Aboriginal Legal Service, and the founding President of the children’s rights group Action for Children.

Richard was appointed as a Judge of the Family Court of Australia in 1993. On his retirement in 2004, he resumed academic work, and was appointed Honorary Professor of Law at the University of Sydney.

After his move to Canberra in 2006, he became Adjunct Professor at the ANU College of Law.

He was awarded the AM in 2009 for ‘service to the judiciary, to the law and to legal education, particularly in the field of family law and the welfare and rights of children and young people’.

Richard has worked with a variety of organisations, including the Family Law Council, the Australian Law Reform Commission, the New South Wales Law Reform Commission, and the NSW Child Protection Council.

Since leaving the bench he has continued to research and publish on family law.

His recent work includes collaborative projects with the Attorney-General’s Department, Professor Patrick Parkinson, Professor Bruce Smyth, Dr Jenn McIntosh and the Australian Institute of Family Studies (he was appointed a member of its Advisory Council in 2012).

His report, the Family Courts Violence Review, was released by the Commonwealth Attorney-General in 2010.

As well as family law, he is currently interested in what lawyers and legal scholars might learn from current understandings about cognition and heuristics, as illustrated by such publications as Daniel Kahneman’s ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ (2011).

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