The TC Beirne School of Law was saddened to hear of the passing of The Honourable David Ross Hall.
He was a law lecturer at the school and, in his distinguished career, served as a Deputy President of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, Chief Industrial Commissioner of the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission and President of the Industrial Relations Court of Queensland.
David was called to the Bar in 1973.
He served as a Deputy President of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission between 1992 and 1993, relinquishing the role to become the Chief Industrial Commissioner of the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, a position he held until his appointment as President of the Industrial Court in 1999.
He was one of the longest-serving Industrial Court Presidents (1999 to 2013) and was known for his exemplary performance in delivering succinct decisions not long after the date of hearing.
Colleague and UQ alumni Ken Watson described him as courteous, ensuring “those who appeared before him, particularly litigants in person, could leave his courtroom knowing they had been given a fair hearing”.
During his academic career he wrote articles for the University of Queensland Law Journal and the Australian Law Journal.
In the early ’80s he co-authored the book Industrial Laws of Queensland with Ken Watson. It was an annotation of the then Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1961 and the Wages Act 1918.
In a piece published in Hearsay, the Journal of the Bar Association of Queensland it was observed that this was at a time when lawyers rarely set foot in the Queensland Industrial Commission (then known as The Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Commission) and appearances were mainly confined to the Industrial Court of Queensland. There was no readily identifiable industrial bar in Queensland and David was regarded as the ‘go to’ lawyer for industrial issues.
David served as junior counsel for the Commonwealth of Australia in cases in the High Court of Australia which arose out of the notorious mid-1980s SEQEB industrial dispute.
The school extends its sincere condolences to his family.