Sir Pope Alexander Cooper KCMG
(12 May 1848
– 30 August 1923
) was an attorney-general
and a chief judge
of the Supreme Court of Queensland
, which is the highest ranking court
in the Australian State
Pope Alexander Cooper was born at Willeroo station, Lake George, New South Wales
, the son of Francis Cooper, a squatter, and his wife Sarah, née Jenkins. Cooper was educated at the Sydney Grammar School
and the University of Sydney
, where he won the Cooper and Gilchrist scholarships and graduated with a B.A.
and in 1868 a M.A.
. He then went to London
where he completed the LL.B.
course, became a student of the Middle Temple
, and was called to the English bar
in June 1872.
Cooper returned to Australia and began to practise as a barrister at Brisbane
in June 1874. He became a crown prosecutor and in January 1879 and entered the Queensland Legislative Assembly
as member for Bowen. On 31 December 1880
he joined the first Thomas McIlwraith
ministry as attorney-general
. He resigned this position on 6 January 1883
when he was appointed as a supreme court judge for the northern district of Queensland. His travelling expenses caused some quarrels. In 1895 he became senior puisne judge at Brisbane, and on 21 October 1903
chief justice. He resigned this position 31 March 1922
, being succeeded by Thomas McCawley
, and died on 30 August 1923
In 1873, Cooper married Alice Frener, daughter of James Cooper who died in 1900 leaving a son and two daughters. He was knighted 1904 and was created a KCMG in 1908. He was chancellor of the University of Queensland
from 1915 to 1922.
Cooper had only a short career in parliament but made himself a reputation as a polished speaker. As a judge he was always seeking the essentials of a case and generally adopted a common attitude on legal questions. His summings up were usually brief and to the point. In criminal cases he could be severe though just. In his conduct of the court, though always courteous, he insisted that the dignity of the bench must be upheld, and he was quick to restrain anything in the nature of contempt of court. He was an efficient lieutenant-governor.
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