Kenneth Hamilton Bailey

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This collection provides access to a law school notebook of Sir Kenneth Hamilton Bailey, the fourth dean of Melbourne University Law Faculty who commenced his studies The University of Melbourne in 1917 and who as a Rhodes Scholar for Victoria completed his degrees at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. (B.A. 1922; B.C.L. 1923; M.A. 1927).

Sir Kenneth Hamilton Bailey (1898 – 1972)

Kenneth Hamilton Bailey commenced his studies at The University of Melbourne in 1917 and deferred his studies in January 1918 to join the Australian Imperial Force. He served in England and briefly in France with the Australian Field Artillery. After Bailey was discharged in Melbourne in May 1919, he resumed his studies. He was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship for Victoria in 1919, which took him to Corpus Christi College, Oxford where he graduated in arts and law. In 1924, Bailey returned to the University of Melbourne as a lecturer in history and vice-master of Queen’s College. He became professor of jurisprudence, was appointed as the University’s first Australian- born Dean of Law. Bailey also held the chair of public law. His expertise as an international and constitutional lawyer lead him to take leave from academia in 1937 to serve as an Australian envoy to the League of Nations and in 1942 to act as an advisor to the Attorney General’s Department, In 1945 Bailey was asked by Dr H.V. Evatt to act as an advisor to the Australian Delegation to the United Nations at the time when the draft Charter of the United Nations was being considered. Bailey left the University in 1946 to become Solicitor-General of Australia, a position he held until 1964. In 1958, Bailey was knighted and from 1964-1969 he served as Australia’s high commissioner to Canada. Bailey received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Melbourne at a special conferring ceremony in Canberra in 1972.