Hearsay ... the Journal of the Bar Association of Queensland
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Issue 30: October 2008
Retirement of Conrad Lohe Esq., Crown Solicitor Print E-mail

introretirement.jpgAfter 39 years of legal service, the State’s 21st Crown Solicitor, Conrad Lohe, has announced his retirement.

conradloheheadshot.jpgMr Lohe’s career in the Crown Law Office began on 18 June 1969 when he started work as a clerk in the prosecutions branch while completing his legal studies at Queensland University.

He was admitted as a barrister on 23 March 1971 and appointed a Crown Prosecutor in September 1972.

During his time as a prosecutor, a period of his career which he said he particularly enjoyed, Mr Lohe participated in a number of significant cases, including the trial of Alexander Duncan Carstens for murder, and the two trials of Peter Vivian Wardrop, also for murder.

When prosecutions were separated from Crown Law in 1985 with the creation of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Lohe remained with Crown Law and, in December of that year, was appointed Assistant Crown Solicitor in charge of the then Appeals and Advocacy Branch.

With the major restructure of Crown Law in 1990/91, Mr Lohe assumed one of the two Deputy Director roles, heading Crown Law’s Civil and Commercial Branch.

Following the resignation of then Crown Solicitor, Barry Dunphy, who moved to private practice, Mr Lohe was appointed Acting Crown Solicitor in May 1999 and formally appointed to the position in May 2000.

During his career, Mr Lohe has been involved in several significant whole-of-Government projects, most notably his long and active membership of the Co-ordinating Committee on Child Abuse which oversaw the Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect — or SCAN — teams.

He has also contributed to several committees reviewing the Criminal Code and, as Crown Solicitor, advises the Attorney-General in relation to petitions for pardon.

Mr Lohe has advised the State on many significant legal matters, including a claim made on behalf of former Premier, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, for compensation and legal costs arising out of the 1987 Fitzgerald Inquiry.

Mr Lohe also advised the Government with regard to constitutional reforms in the State, in particular on the bills for The Constitution of Queensland 2001 and The Parliament of Queensland Act 2001.

gothamtowerweb.jpgSuccessive Attorneys and Directors-General of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General have praised Mr Lohe’s calm wisdom and considered approach to the law.

He was presented with an Australia Day Achievement Medallion in 2006 and is a member of the Supreme Court of Queensland Library Collection and History Program Sub-Committees. He is a founding member and strong supporter of The Crown Law Choir which has entertained visitors and staff at the State Law Building and at other Christmas functions since its inception in 2002.

Mr Lohe was also a contributing author of the comprehensive book ‘Sir Samuel Griffith: The Law and the Constitution’, published in 2002.

A keen wood- and metal-worker, Mr Lohe said he was looking forward to the completion of extensions to his already significant workshop when he will be able to devote even more time to his hobbies, which recently extended to include a five-inch gauge steam locomotive which he plans to finish rebuilding.

“After 39 years, I am sad to be leaving. Crown Law has been such a big part of my life for so long. But I am looking forward to more time with my family and also to devoting as much time as I can to the book we are developing on the history of Crown Law,” he said.

Crown Law celebrates its sesquicentenary in 2009, along with that of the State of Queensland.

Mr Lohe will complete his career with Crown Law at the end of October following the annual conference of Crown Solicitors in Tasmania.

Lisbeth Elvery


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