H. B. Higgins

HigginsH.B. HigginsHenry Bournes HigginsHenry Bourne HigginsHenry HigginsHiggins JJustice HigginsMr Justice H B HigginsMr. Justice Higgins
Henry Bournes Higgins KC (30 June 1851 – 13 January 1929), known by his initials, was an Australian lawyer, politician, and judge.wikipedia
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Attorney-General for Australia

Attorney-GeneralAttorney-General of AustraliaAttorney General
He served on the High Court of Australia from 1906 until his death in 1929, after briefly serving as Attorney-General of Australia in 1904.
Additionally, four former attorneys-general have won appointment to the High Court – Isaac Isaacs, H. B. Higgins, John Latham, Garfield Barwick, and Lionel Murphy.

High Court of Australia

High CourtAustralian High CourtSupreme Court
He served on the High Court of Australia from 1906 until his death in 1929, after briefly serving as Attorney-General of Australia in 1904.
Even H. B. Higgins, who was himself later appointed to the court, objected to setting it up, on the grounds that it would be impotent while Privy Council appeals remained, and that in any event there was not enough work for a federal court to make it viable.

Nettie Palmer

NettieJanet (Nettie) HigginsJanet Gertrude (Nettie) Palmer
Ina Higgins, an early feminist, was his sister and Nettie Palmer, poet, essayist and literary critic, was a niece.
Nettie Higgins was born in Bendigo, Victoria, the niece of both H.B. Higgins, a leading Victorian radical political figure and later a federal minister and justice of the High Court of Australia, and of H.B. Higgins' sister, Ina Higgins, the first female landscape architect in Victoria.

Protectionist Party

ProtectionistProtProtectionists
In 1901, Higgins was elected to the new federal parliament as a member of the Protectionist Party.
Labour's program, however, was frequently too radical for many Protectionists, creating internal conflict between those who, like H. B. Higgins, were sympathetic to Labour, while conservatives like Allan McLean preferred to support the Free Trade Party.

Alfred Deakin

DeakinDeakiniteSir Alfred Deakin
In 1906, Prime Minister Alfred Deakin decided to expand the High Court bench from three to five members, nominating Higgins and Isaac Isaacs to the court.
In 1906 Deakin's government amended the Judiciary Act to increase the size of the High Court to five judges, as envisaged in the constitution, and appointed Isaac Isaacs and H. B. Higgins to fill the two additional seats.

Wesley College (Dublin)

Wesley CollegeWesley College, DublinWesley College Dublin
H. B. Higgins was educated at Wesley College in central Dublin, Ireland, and at the University of Melbourne, where he graduated in law.

Isaac Isaacs

Sir Isaac IsaacsIsaacsIsaacs J
In 1906, Prime Minister Alfred Deakin decided to expand the High Court bench from three to five members, nominating Higgins and Isaac Isaacs to the court. Higgins was one of only eight justices of the High Court to have served in the Parliament of Australia prior to his appointment to the Court; the others were Edmund Barton, Richard O'Connor, Isaac Isaacs, Edward McTiernan, John Latham, Garfield Barwick, and Lionel Murphy.
On the High Court, Isaacs joined H. B. Higgins as a radical minority on the court in opposition to the chief justice, Sir Samuel Griffith.

Harvester case

Harvester JudgementHarvester JudgmentEx parte H.V. McKay
In that capacity, he wrote the decision in the influential Harvester case, holding that a legislative provision for a "fair and reasonable" wage effectively required a living wage.
H.B. Higgins declared that "fair and reasonable" wages for an unskilled male worker required a living wage that was sufficient for "a human being in a civilised community" to support a wife and three children in "frugal comfort", while a skilled worker should receive an additional margin for their skills, regardless of the employer's capacity to pay.

Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration

Arbitration CourtCommonwealth arbitrationCommonwealth Arbitration Court
He also served as president of the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration from 1907 to 1921.
One of the Court's early awards was the landmark Harvester case (Ex Parte H.V. McKay of 1907), delivered by Justice H.B. Higgins, which introduced the concept of the living wage into Australian industrial relations.

Division of Northern Melbourne

Northern MelbourneNorthern Melbourne (Vic)
In 1901, when federation under the new constitution came into effect, Higgins was elected to the first House of Representatives for the working-class electorate of Northern Melbourne.
The division was held by one member, H. B. Higgins, who was Attorney General from 1904 to 1905.

Electoral district of Geelong

Geelongseat of Geelong
In 1894, Higgins was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly as MLA for Geelong.

Ina Higgins

Ina Higgins, an early feminist, was his sister and Nettie Palmer, poet, essayist and literary critic, was a niece.
A brother, Henry Bournes Higgins, was a Justice of the High Court of Australia.

Communist Party of Australia

CPACommunist PartyCommunist
The postwar years saw a series of bitter industrial confrontations, some of them fomented by militant unions influenced by the Industrial Workers of the World or the Communist Party of Australia.
The leadership of the party went to Jack Kavanagh, an experienced Canadian communist activist who had moved to Australia in 1925, and Esmonde Higgins, a talented Melbourne journalist who was the nephew of a High Court judge, H.B. Higgins.

Living wage

fair wagebasic wagefair wages
In that capacity, he wrote the decision in the influential Harvester case, holding that a legislative provision for a "fair and reasonable" wage effectively required a living wage.
Justice H. B. Higgins established a wage of 7/- (7 shillings) per day or 42/- per week as a 'fair and reasonable' minimum wage for unskilled workers.

Constitution of Australia

Australian ConstitutionConstitutionCommonwealth of Australia Constitution Act
He was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1894, and represented Victoria at the Australasian Federal Convention, where he helped draft the new federal constitution.

Edmund Barton

BartonSir Edmund Barton The Right Honourable '''Edmund Barton
Higgins was one of only eight justices of the High Court to have served in the Parliament of Australia prior to his appointment to the Court; the others were Edmund Barton, Richard O'Connor, Isaac Isaacs, Edward McTiernan, John Latham, Garfield Barwick, and Lionel Murphy.
Barton was one of only eight justices of the High Court to have served in the Parliament of Australia prior to his appointment to the Court; the others were Richard O'Connor, Isaac Isaacs, H. B. Higgins, Edward McTiernan, John Latham, Garfield Barwick, and Lionel Murphy.

Garfield Barwick

Sir Garfield BarwickBarwickBarwick CJ
Higgins was one of only eight justices of the High Court to have served in the Parliament of Australia prior to his appointment to the Court; the others were Edmund Barton, Richard O'Connor, Isaac Isaacs, Edward McTiernan, John Latham, Garfield Barwick, and Lionel Murphy.
Barwick was one of only eight justices of the High Court to have served in the Parliament of Australia prior to his appointment to the Court; the others were Edmund Barton, Richard O'Connor, Isaac Isaacs, H. B. Higgins, Edward McTiernan, John Latham, and Lionel Murphy.

Edward McTiernan

McTiernanSir Edward McTiernanJustice McTiernan
Higgins was one of only eight justices of the High Court to have served in the Parliament of Australia prior to his appointment to the Court; the others were Edmund Barton, Richard O'Connor, Isaac Isaacs, Edward McTiernan, John Latham, Garfield Barwick, and Lionel Murphy.
McTiernan was one of only eight justices of the High Court to have served in the Parliament of Australia prior to his appointment to the Court; the others were Edmund Barton, Richard O'Connor, Isaac Isaacs, H. B. Higgins, John Latham, Garfield Barwick, and Lionel Murphy.

List of Justices of the High Court of Australia

Justice of the High Court of AustraliaJusticeJustices
Nine justices have served in the Parliament of Australia: Edmund Barton, Richard O'Connor, Isaac Isaacs, H. B. Higgins, Edward McTiernan, H. V. Evatt, John Latham, Garfield Barwick, and Lionel Murphy.

Lionel Murphy

MurphyJustice MurphyBriese
Higgins was one of only eight justices of the High Court to have served in the Parliament of Australia prior to his appointment to the Court; the others were Edmund Barton, Richard O'Connor, Isaac Isaacs, Edward McTiernan, John Latham, Garfield Barwick, and Lionel Murphy.
Additionally, Murphy was one of only eight justices of the High Court to have served in the Parliament of Australia prior to his appointment to the Court, along with Edmund Barton, Richard O'Connor, Isaac Isaacs, H. B. Higgins, Edward McTiernan, John Latham, and Garfield Barwick.

Higgins, Australian Capital Territory

Higgins
Further, Higgins is commemorated by the federal electorate of Higgins in Melbourne, and by the Canberra suburb of Higgins, Australian Capital Territory.
The suburb is named after politician and judge Henry Bournes Higgins (1851–1929).

Carlton Football Club

CarltonCarlton BluesCarlton FC
Aside from politics, he was president of the Carlton Football Club in 1904.

Hugh Victor McKay

H. V. McKayH.V. McKaySunshine Harvester
The case involved one of Australia's largest employers, Hugh McKay, a manufacturer of agricultural machinery.
H. B. Higgins heard evidence from employees and their wives.

Richard O'Connor (politician)

Richard O'ConnorO'ConnorO'Connor J
Higgins was one of only eight justices of the High Court to have served in the Parliament of Australia prior to his appointment to the Court; the others were Edmund Barton, Richard O'Connor, Isaac Isaacs, Edward McTiernan, John Latham, Garfield Barwick, and Lionel Murphy.
With the appointment of H. B. Higgins to the High Court with Isaacs in 1906, that body had become far less unanimous, with O'Connor sometimes agreeing with the two new justices on industrial matters.

John Latham (judge)

John LathamSir John LathamLatham
Higgins was one of only eight justices of the High Court to have served in the Parliament of Australia prior to his appointment to the Court; the others were Edmund Barton, Richard O'Connor, Isaac Isaacs, Edward McTiernan, John Latham, Garfield Barwick, and Lionel Murphy.
Latham was one of only eight justices of the High Court to have served in the Parliament of Australia prior to his appointment to the Court; the others were Edmund Barton, Richard O'Connor, Isaac Isaacs, H. B. Higgins, Edward McTiernan, Garfield Barwick, and Lionel Murphy.