The Hon Barry O'Keefe AM QC [1935 - 2014]
Written by ACM   
Saturday, 26 April 2014

Former Supreme Court judge, the Hon Barry O'Keefe AM QC, a founder and Patron of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, has passed away in Sydney. His funeral will be held in St Mary's Cathedral Sydney on Friday 2 May 2014 at 11:00 am.

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He was one of a small group of patriots who came together to defend the Crown when it was under attack in the nineties. With the Rt Hon Sir Harry Gibbs, Justice Lloyd Waddy, Neville Bonner AO, Dame Leonie Kramer, Justice Michael Kirby, Alderman Doug Sutherland AM, Lord Mayor of Sydney, Sir John Atwill, Dr Margaret Olley ,The Hon Helen Sham-Ho MLC and others they formed Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.

His was a lifetime of service to the community in a number of significant ways. A devout Catholic, he was a considerable lawyer and a gentleman who honoured his Oath of Allegiance by his strong support and defence of the role and function of the Australian Crown.

A highly accomplished barrister, arbitrator, he was called to the NSW Bar in 1957.

Appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1974 he acted for the Federal and NSW governments in a number of leading cases, and also for Her Majesty's Crown Agents in the United Kingdom

Appointed a Supreme Court Judge in 1993, he was made  Chief Judge of the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of NSW and an Additional Judge of the Court of Appeal.

From 1994 to 1999 he was the Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption.


He has been Chairman of the National Trust since 1991, and was at the time of his passing the Chairman of Interpol's International Group of Experts on Corruption and Chairman of the International Anticorruption Conference, Chair of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council for the Australian Catholic Church, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Constitutional Education Fund - Australia,  Adjunct Professor in the University of Sydney, Chairman of the  Law Advisory Board of the Notre Dame School of Law in Sydney and Consultant to the leading law firm Clayton Utz.

He was a former President of the NSW Bar Association, President of the Local Government Association of New South Wales and the longest serving Mayor of Mosman.

He has been  honoured in the Order of Australia, awarded a Centenary Medal, and appointed a Freeman of the City of London.

His father Ray was a former Mayor of Waverley.  His younger brother, Johnny O'Keefe, was a well-known   singer and entertainer, hosting the ABC's most popular television music programme .

Justice O'Keefe and his wife Janette - also a great supporter of ACM - were married for 52 years. They have five children, Philip, Vanessa, Roger, Andrew (a well known television presenter)  and Sophie.