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Tom Hughes AO QC

b. 1923

Hon Thomas Hughes AO QC (b. 1923), lawyer and former politician, was born in Sydney and educated at Riverview before serving in the RAAF during World War 2. He studied law at the University of Sydney and was called to the NSW bar in 1949. Between 1963 and 1972 he served as Liberal member for Parkes and then Berowra. In 1969 he became Commonwealth Attorney General, a position he held until 1971. A photograph of Hughes brandishing a cricket bat at anti-Vietnam demonstrators outside his home became one of the telling images of the turbulent period, after which he became well known as a stylish man-about-Sydney. A specialist in defamation cases, from the 1950s until 1993 he appeared regularly on behalf of Australian Consolidated Press, but throughout his career he has upheld the impartial tradition of the Bar by appearing on behalf of a wide variety of clients. In 1985 he led the much-publicised challenge to charges laid against Labor High Court judge Lionel Murphy; he appeared for footballer Andrew Ettinghausen against HQ magazine; and has appeared both for and against the Fairfax organisation.

Updated 2018