On behalf of the Victorian Government, I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of The Hon Philip Cummins AM and offer my condolences to his family during this difficult time.
In a legal career spanning more than 60 years, as a lawyer, judge, educator and researcher, Mr Cummins made an important and tireless contribution to the Victorian justice system.
He was a great and vital advocate for victims’ rights and interests including his time as the inaugural Chair of the Victims of Crime Consultative Committee.
His highly distinguished legal career saw him being appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1978, before being made a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1988, where he served until his judicial retirement in 2009.
After his retirement from the bench, Mr Cummins continued his work to help guide Victoria on the path to a fairer legal system that placed victims and the most defenceless at its centre. This included his work as Chair of the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry, the inaugural Chair of the Victims of Crime Consultative Committee and most recently as Chair of the Victorian Law Reform Commission.
During his leadership of the Victorian Law Reform Commission, the commission has contributed to significant law reforms, including access to medicinal cannabis, adoption by same-sex couples and the protection of children from sex offenders.
He was also President of Court Network from 2010 to 2014 and President of the Commonwealth Association of Law Reform Agencies in London.
Philip Cummins will be much missed by the entire legal fraternity, with our state much poorer for his passing.
I experienced, Mr Cummins as a truly delightful and engaging person. I admired his fierce intellect, appetite for reform, terrific sense of humour and love of life.
I want to thank the Cummins family for the contribution that has been made to the Victorian community, with the hope that Mr Cummins’ great legacy offers a source of comfort during this sad time.
Reviewed 19 August 2020