Ian Barker QC
|Born||21 October 1935|
Ian McClelland Barker (born 21 October 1935) is an Australian barrister and Queen's Counsel. He was the first Solicitor-General of the Northern Territory and is a former president of the NSW Bar Association. Barker retired as a barrister in 2017.
Barker practiced as a barrister and solicitor in Alice Springs, Northern Territory from 1961 to 1970 and in Darwin from 1970 to 1974. In 1974, Barker became one of the first Queen's Counsel appointed in the Northern Territory and practiced at the Independent Bar at Darwin until his appointment as Solicitor General of the Northern Territory in 1978, the first such appointment after self-government was granted to the territory. He returned to private practice at the Sydney Bar in 1980. Barker became known nationally in 1982 when he led the prosecution in the Azaria Chamberlain trial and Lindy Chamberlain was tried and convicted of her murder and Michael Chamberlain was convicted as an accessory after the fact. Both were later exonerated and received substantial compensation.
Aside from the Chamberlain trial, Barker has had many successes that put him on a footing as one of Australia's most successful barristers. He successfully acted for John Marsden in a defamation case against the Seven Network where Marsden was wrongly portrayed as a paedophile. In a book written by Marsden before his death, he referred to Barker as "the best cross examiner in the land". Barker also successfully defended ex Australian High Court judge Lionel Murphy for allegedly perverting the course of justice. He promoted a successful bill in the Northern Territory Parliament to make the Cobourg Peninsula into a national park.
Barker was the president of the NSW Bar Association in 1998–1999.
Barker is a member of the International Human Rights Observer Panel which was established in 2005 by the Law Council of Australia. It is a part-time panel of Australian lawyers who serve as trial observers and undertake reviews in relation to human rights. He is regularly called upon by the national media as a commentator on matters relating to human rights and civil liberties.
Barker has represented the following clients in high profile court matters:
- John Marsden
- Patrick Power
- Marcus Einfeld
- Julian Moti (former Attorney General of Solomon Islands)
- Who's Who in Australia (Crown Content Melb, 20079) pp 191: Barker, Ian McClelland (1935 – )
- "Retirement Celebration – Mr Ian Barker QC". NSW Bar Association. 7 November 2017.
- Newington College Register of Past Students 1863–1998 (Syd, 1999) pp9
- Jon Faine, Lawyers in the Alice: aboriginals and whitefellas' law, Edition 2, Federation Press, 1993 ISBN 1-86287-115-9, ISBN 978-1-86287-115-1 P5
- Northern Territory Bar Association Archived 2006-09-20 at the Wayback Machine
- "Barker QC knows the Territory – The Age: 30 Oct 1982". Archived from the original on 15 September 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
- "Law Council of Australia – Humain Rights". Archived from the original on 24 October 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
- Abu Ghraib and Ian Barker QC – ABC Radio National: 18 June 2004
- Interference alleged in Marsden case – PM Archive: 3 February 2000
- A gross miscarriage of justice – On-line opinion: 7 May 2007
- Marcus Einfeld subjected to 'vicious stuff' – The Australian: 27 February 2009
- Costly pursuit ends as Moti deportation ruled unlawful – Brisbane Times: 8 December 2011
- Ian Barker QC – Picture: Through my eyes