Sir Ross (Sir Ross) Cranston FBA

Award of Doctor of Laws honoris causa
Sir Ross (Sir Ross) Cranston FBA


The Honourable Sir Ross Cranston is a Judge of the High Court of England and Wales who has made his mark in the law, government and academia. Brisbane-born, Sir Ross was an exceptional student, who graduated from The University of Queensland with university medals in both Arts and Law. He went on to attain a Harvard Master of Law, an Oxford Doctor of Philosophy and doctorate in Civil Law, and a UQ Bachelor of Economics.

After working as an academic at the Australian National University, he returned to the United Kingdom in the 1980s, and built a career as an academic and barrister. He became Cassel Professor of Commercial Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 1992. He appeared as an advocate in courts including the House of Lords, the Privy Council, the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights. He was elected to the UK Parliament in 1997 and appointed Solicitor General for England and Wales the following year.

As such, his responsibilities included giving legal advice to the Blair Government, representing the government in court, and overseeing the Crown Prosecution Service (a duty he shared with the Attorney General). He was a Queen's Counsel. Retiring from Parliament in 2005, Sir Ross returned to LSE as Centennial Professor of Law, and was appointed a judge in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court in 2007, for which he was conferred a Knighthood. On 1 January 2016 he will become the judge in charge of the Administrative Court, part of the High Court, which hears judicial reviews and human rights cases.

His many judgements have covered a huge variety of issues affecting individuals’ lives and the functions of state and commerce. He has advanced the law on doctors’ duty to inform, freedom of information, and unfair dismissal from employment. Sir Ross has also contributed to inquiries on matters such as access to justice, the behaviour of public officials, and the interdiction of terrorist finance.

His published monographs cover business regulation, consumer protection, the welfare state, public policy, banking, and the law's workings. He has also published widely in UK, Australasian and north American periodicals, and has edited and contributed to books on banking, legal history, legal ethics and civil procedure – among other topics.

He has been President of the International Academy of Commercial and Consumer Law, and a consultant to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the European Commission. Sir Ross has been a chair and trustee of not-for-profits devoted to causes including whistle blower protection, low technology building in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the distribution of law books to less developed countries.

Chancellor, I present to you the Honourable Sir Ross Cranston, Bachelor of Arts with first class honours, Bachelor of Laws with first class honours, and Bachelor of Economics of this University, Master of Laws of Harvard University, Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Civil Law of the University of Oxford and Fellow of the British Academy, for the award of Doctor of Laws honoris causa, bestowed by the Senate of The University of Queensland.

Honorary award citation


Doctor of Laws honoris causa