Dr Stephen Donaghue

Stephen Donaghue1997 Menzies Scholar in Law


D.Phil (Oxon) (Magdalen College) 1999

LLB (1st Class Honours) University of Melbourne, 1995.

BA, University of Melbourne, 1995

Other awards and achievements

Supreme Court Prize, University of Melbourne, 1995


Queens Counsel since 2011. Barrister since 2001.

Senior Fellow, Law School, University of Melbourne

Chair, Public Law Section, Commercial Bar Association


Associate to Justice Hayne, High Court of Australia (2000)

Solicitor, Minter Ellison (London) 1996-1997

Areas of Professional Interest

Stephen appears principally in appellate matters in the areas of constitutional and administrative law, most commonly before the High Court of Australia, but also in the Federal Court and Victorian Court of Appeal. He has appeared in many High Court matters as lead counsel for the Commonwealth and its agencies. His cases commonly involve challenges to the validity of Commonwealth or State legislation, or challenges to the validity of ministerial decisions (in areas including immigration, national security, terrorism, extradition, water rights, storage of nuclear material, and the use of coercive investigative powers).

Stephen is married and has two teenage children. He lives in Melbourne. His interests outside work include rowing, beach holidays and supporting the Tigers (AFL).


Royal Commissions and Permanent Commissions of Inquiry (Butterworths 2001).

Numerous articles in leading journals in the public and commercial law fields.


My life in Oxford was devoted largely to study, rowing and Middle Common Room activities. My wife (who lectured in Law at Exeter College, Oxford) and I enjoyed living in the UK.