John Finnis (1962, DPhil Law), Emeritus Fellow in Law, has been awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for eminent service to the law, and to education, to legal theory and philosophical enquiry, and as a leading jurist, academic and author. This award is the highest honour an Australian citizen can receive.
Professor Finnis attended Univ on a Rhodes scholarship, researching the idea of judicial power in relation to Australian federal constitutional law. The year after he finished his thesis, 1966, he was appointed Fellow and Praelector in Jurisprudence at the University. He was Professor of Law & Legal Philosophy from 1989 to 2010, and a law tutor at University College from 1966 to 2010. He was also Vice-Master of Univ from 2001 until 2010, when he was appointed Emeritus Fellow of Univ and Emeritus Professor.
While at Univ, he supervised Neil Gorsuch (1992, DPhil Law), who is currently serving on the Supreme Court of the United States of America. He also became friends with Aung San Suu Kyi, whom he nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Professor Finnis has been a Fellow of the British Academy since 1990 and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel honoris causa in January 2017. He has been the Biolchini Family Professor of Law at University of Notre Dame du Lac since 1995.