John Morris

John Morris (University of Tasmania)

John Demetrius Morris (190256), judge and university chancellor, was born in Melbourne, grandson of a Greek migrant. After graduating in Law from the University of Melbourne, he was admitted to the Tasmanian Bar in 1930. His keen social conscience, sharp intelligence and acute political acumen promoted the rapid establishment of his reputation as a legal all-rounder, and in 1940 he was appointed to the Supreme Court as Chief Justice. His best-known case was presiding over the trial of the premier, Robert Cosgrove, for corruption. On occasions he acted ably as Administrator.

Valuing the extension of knowledge, Morris was foundation chairman of Adult Education (194956) and the State Library Board, and chancellor of the University of Tasmania (194456), where he improved conditions at the economically disadvantaged institution. He was knighted in 1943.

Further reading: ADB 15.

Helen Kalis