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The role of barristers: Remarks by Sir Owen Dixon
One of the finest statements of the role and functions of barristers is found as part of the remarks of Sir Owen Dixon, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia from 1952 to 1964, a Justice of that Court from 1929 to 1952, and a barrister from 1910 to 1929.

From the remarks of Sir Owen Dixon on his swearing in as Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia:

The Bar has traditionally been, over the centuries, one of the four original learned professions. It occupied that position in tradition because it formed part of the use and the services of the Crown in the administration of justice. But because it is the duty of the barrister to stand between the subject and the Crown, and between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak, it is necessary that, while the Bar occupies an essential part in the administration of justice, the barrister should be completely independent and work entirely as an individual, drawing on his own resources of learning, ability and intelligence, and owing allegiance to none.

The work of solicitors in the administration of justice has the greatest possible importance, but their allegiance is perhaps more to their clients who have a more permanent or at all events a longer relation with them than the transitory relations between client and counsel when the full enthusiasm and force of the advocate are attached to the individual for a short space of time. I would like to say that from long experience on the Bench and a not much shorter experience at the Bar there is no more important contribution to the doing of justice than the elucidation of the facts and the ascertainment of what a case is really about, which is done before it comes to counsel's hands. Counsel, who brings his learning, ability, character and firmness of mind to the conduct of causes and maintains the very very high tradition of honour and independence of English advocacy, in my opinion makes a greater contribution to justice than the judge himself.

I think it is hardly useful to refer to the past except to explain the present. But my work at the Bar covered a period when I was younger and when perhaps according to the ordinary nature of man he derived greater pleasure and excitement from his activities. The activities at the Bar are greater than those on the Bench, and the responsibilities are no less.

21 April 1952 85 Commonwealth Law Reports XI-XII