In 1974 I became a legislative drafter with the Office of the Legislative Draftsmen in Northern Ireland. In 1977 I moved to Australia and, after a short period as a solicitor, became a legislative drafter with the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel in Melbourne, Victoria. I was Chief Parliamentary Counsel in Victoria from 1999 to 2008 and from 2008 to 2012 was Law Draftsman in the Department of Justice, Hong Kong.
I was a member of the Law Reform Commission of Victoria, Australia from October 1989 to October 1992. During that period, and previously as an honorary consultant, I contributed to the Commission's work on plain English. In 2005 I was awarded a Public Service Medal in Australia for "outstanding public service to legislative drafting and public law, and to the promotion of plain legal language". In 2012 I was awarded a Silver Bauhinia Star in Hong Kong for "distinguished and dedicated service to the Government and the Hong Kong community, particularly [my] dedicated service in the Law Drafting Division in the Department of Justice, and [my] contribution to the development of plain language drafting in Hong Kong".
I am currently a member of the Victorian Law Reform Commission as well as being a barrister in private practice and a consultant legislative counsel in several jurisdictions.
I have given many talks on legislative drafting and statutory interpretation to various groups of lawyers and law students. In particular, over a 10 year period through to 1996, I participated in the teaching of the subject "Legislation" at the University of Melbourne.
I was appointed Queen's Counsel in Victoria, Australia in 1998.
Updated November 06 2014 by Student & Academic Services