Hon. Mr Justice Edward Parnell Kinsella CBE, LLB

State Records Authority of New South Wales
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Edward Parnell Kinsella was born on 10 June 1893 at Glen Innes, New South Wales, the son of Patrick Kinsella and his wife Mary Jane, nee Shannon. He was educated at St Patrick's College, Goulburn and University of Sydney (LLB 1927). He joined the NSW Department of Lands as a cadet draftsman at the Local Land Board Office at Wagga Wagga on 19 September 1910. On 2 August 1911 he moved to the Miscellaneous Contract and Noting Branch, Sydney, and on 11 June 1913 he moved to the Local Land Board Office at Moree. (1)

During World War I Kinsella served in both the Gallipoli campaign and on the Western Front. On 28 August 1914 he enlisted at Randwick in the First Australian Imperial Force. He served with the 2nd Battalion at Gallipoli from the initial landing on 25 April to the evacuation, promoted to Corporal and then Sergeant. Transferred to the 54th Battalion, he arrived in France on 29 June 1916, was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on 23 August 1916 and Lieutenant on 11 January 1917. During 1917 he was in England with illness and afterwards at the Clapham Bombing School where he qualified as a Bombing Instructor. He returned to his unit in France in August 1917. In June and July 1918 he had two months compassionate leave in Australia on half-pay, following appeals from his mother. His father had died in 1917, one of his brothers was fighting overseas, a second was a prisoner of war, and his younger brother had spent five months ill in hospital. He returned to France in December 1918 to join the 56th Battalion and spent 1919 in France and England. He arrived back in Australia on 15 December 1919 and was officially discharged from the Army at Sydney on 25 July 1920. He married Marie Louise Josephine nee Graff at the Town Hall, Marchienne Au Pont, Belgium, on 9 August 1919. (2)

On 23 February 1920 Kinsella rejoined the Department of Lands, working as a draftsman in the Closer Settlement Branch, Sydney. From 1926, he was a draftsman in the Returned Soldiers' Settlement Branch. He studied for his Bachelor of Laws degree part-time, graduating in 1927. He was admitted to the New South Wales Bar on 5 May 1927. During 1929 until 17 March 1930 he was on loan to the Legal Aid Office. He resigned from the Public Service on 24 October 1930. (3)

Kinsella was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the New South Wales Parliament from 25 October 1930 to 18 May 1932 as Member for Georges River, representing the Australian Labor Party. In the State elections of 1932 and 1935 he unsuccessfully stood in George's River as the Lang Labor candidate. (4)

Kinsella established his law practice in the 1930s, probably during 1931. He worked mainly in common law and industrial work. (5)

From 19 January 1943, Kinsella was appointed to be a Judge of every District Court and Chairman of every Court of Quarter Sessions in New South Wales. He was a Judge of the Industrial Commission of New South Wales from 7 October 1943 to 18 January 1950, with the status of a Supreme Court Judge. On 18 January 1950 he was appointed a Judge of the New South Wale Supreme Court. From October 1952 to February 1962 he was the Chief Justice's surrogate judge on the Admiralty Court. From 9 February 1960 to 15 May 1963 he was Chairman-Judge of the Crown Employees Appeal Board. He retired from the Supreme Court on 9 June 1963. Kinsella was appointed a Commander (Civil) of the Order of the British Empire on 1 January 1964 for his role as a Judge of the Supreme Court. (6)

Kinsella presided over two Royal Commissions. The first was the Royal Commission of inquiry as to the conviction of Frederick Lincoln McDermott for the murder of William Henry Lavers. The Letters Patent were issued on 14 August 1951 and Kinsella reported on 9 January 1952. McDermott had been found guilty based on circumstantial evidence and sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment. Kinsella found that a crucial part of the evidence was false and concluded that McDermott should be released. He was released although the conviction remained on his record. (7)

The second Royal Commission was the Royal Commission of inquiry into Off-Course betting in NSW. The letters Patent were issued on 18 April 1962 and extended three times. Kinsella reported on 29 March 1963. The terms of reference were whether off-course betting should be made legal and if so how would it operate. Kinsella concluded that legalised off-course betting would reduce illegal betting and would provide financial assistance to the racing industry and revenue to the State government. The system he advocated was a modification of the Victorian Totaliser Agency Board (TAB) system. He recommended the establishment of a statutory body, the Totaliser Agency Board, with representatives of horseracing, trotting and greyhound racing organisations, plus a government representative. He also recommended amendments to the Betting and Gaming Act 1912 (Act No.25, 1912) to ensure the suppression of illegal off-course betting. (8)

Kinsella was involved in the community. He was active in returned servicemen's associations and chairman of the United Returned Soldiers' Fund. He was a foundation member of St Vincent's Hospital Board, Sydney (1954-1967), and Chairman from 1961 to 1967. In the 1960s he was president of the Anti-Tuberculosis Association of New South Wales. (9)

Kinsella died on 20 December 1967 at Darlinghurst, survived by his wife, two daughter and two of their three sons. (10)

1.Martha Rutledge, 'Kinsella, Edward Parnell (Ted) (1893-1967), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online edition, (cited 11 January 2008); Who's Who in Australia, Melbourne, Herald and Weekly Times Ltd, 1944, p.490; 1947, p.492; 1950, p.403; 1955, p.439; 1959, p.449; 1962, p.480; 1965, p.484; Legislative Assembly New South Wales, Public Service Lists, Sydney, NSW Government Printer, 1911, p.91; 1912, p.82; 1913, p.98; 1914, p.96.
2. ADB, op.cit.; National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920; 'Kinsella Edward Parnell', (cited 8 May 2008).
3. Public Service Lists, op.cit., 1920, p.80; 1923, p.59; 1924, p.60; 1925, p.62; 1926, p.64; 1928, p.68; 1929, p.67; University of Sydney Calendars, 1922, p.658; 1923, p.524; 1925, p.545; 1926, p.546; 1927, p.549; 1928, p.849, (cited 12 May 2008); Barrister and Solicitors Admission Boards; NRS 13665, Roll of Barristers, 17 February 1927 - 10 June 1955; Reel 2147, p.1.
4. 'Mr Edward Parnell Kinsella [Former Member]', New South Wales Parliament website (cited 8 May 2008); 'NSW Elections - 1930 Results', New South Wales Election results 1856-2007, (cited 8 May 2008); 'NSW Elections - 1932 Results', New South Wales Election results 1856-2007, (cited 8 May 2008); 'NSW Elections - 1935 Results', New South Wales Election results 1856-2007, cited 8 May 2008).
5. New South Wales Law Almanac, Sydney, NSW Govt Printer, 1928, p.75; 1931, p.77; 1932, p.72; ADB, op.cit.
6. New South Wales Government Gazette, No.10, 22 January 1943, p.122; No.114, 8 October 1943, p.1757; New South Wales Law Almanac for 1973, Sydney, NSW Government Printer, 1973, pp.49, 53-54; NRS 6206, Notebooks: Admiralty [Justice E.P. Kinsella]; [3/8650 part] 2 October 1952- 20 February 1962; It's an honour website, (cited 23 January 2008).
7. D H Borchardt, Checklist of Royal Commissions Select Committees of Parliament and Boards of Inquiry, Part IV New South Wales 1855-1960, Bundoora, La Trobe University Library, 1975, p.180; NSW Government Gazette, No.134, 10 August 1951, p.2375; No.177, 19 October 1951, p.3059; No.225, 14 December 1951, p.3697; Agency 4917: Royal Commission of Inquiry as to the conviction of Frederick Lincoln McDermott for the murder of William Henry Lavers; Les Kennedy, 'Pardon on way 69 years later', Sydney Morning Herald 6 December 2006, (cited 15 May 2008).
8. Borchardt, op.cit., pp.185-6; Agency 4963: Royal Commission into Off-Course Betting.
9. 'Mr Edward Parnell Kinsella [Former Member]', New South Wales Parliament website, op.cit.
10. ADB, op.cit.

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