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Profile: Charles FRANCIS AM RFD QC Back


Charles Hugh Francis, BA, LLB, B.Com (Melbourne University) was born in 1924.

He was a trial lawyer since 1949 and appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1969. He was a former chairman of the Victorian Bar (1987-1988) and served on the Australian Bar Association Council (1987-89). He was a former Vice-Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association (1983-84) and from 1989, served on the Common Law Bar Association Committee. He was a member of the Victorian State Parliament (1976-79) and for many years was an independent lecturer at Melbourne University.

Schooled at Melbourne Grammar and the University of Melbourne, in World War II, Charles served in the Royal Australian Airforce (1942-45) as an air-gunner, and later became a Group Captain and Deputy Judge-Advocate General (1979-82). He was awarded the Reserve Forces Decoration and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.

During his later years, Charles Francis was frequently in demand to speak on human rights issues, on euthanasia, and on UN Conventions, and lectured in the USA, Canada, England, New Zealand, Switzerland and Ireland. He wrote numerous papers on legal history and human rights. In 1997, he was Co-Chairman of the Committee in Prague, which prepared the Declaration of the World Congress of Families.

In August 1999, Charles Francis convened the Australian Regional Conference of the World Congress of Families II in Melbourne, Australia.

Charles Francis appeared frequently as defence counsel for pro-life persons prosecuted for standing and praying outside abortion clinics and also acted in many other pro-life cases.

He died in Melbourne, in August 2009.

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