First Female Governor of Tasmania and Law Faculty Professor
Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC was sworn in as the first female Governor of Tasmania on 10 December 2014. She was also the University of Tasmania’s first female Dean of the Faculty of Law (1992) and first female Law Faculty Professor (1996).
Professor Warner graduated from the University of Tasmania with an Honours degree in Law in 1970 and was admitted to the bar in 1971. After working as Associate to the Chief Justice of Tasmania and gaining her Master of Laws in 1978, she commenced her distinguished academic career.
An internationally recognised expert in the fields of criminal law, criminology and sentencing, Professor Warner taught and published extensively in these areas for over 30 years. She also has a strong interest in law reform and human rights and was a foundation Director of the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute. Warner was awarded the Allen Austin Bartholomew Award for the best article in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology in each year from 2004 to 2007.
Professor Warner has served as a Commissioner of the Tasmanian Gaming Commission and Director of the Centre for Legal Studies, and as a member of the Tasmanian Sentencing Advisory Council, the Board of Legal Education, the Council of Law Reporting and the Parole Board.
In 2013 Professor Warner received the Women Lawyers Award for Leadership and in the same year, she was honoured with the rarely-awarded University of Tasmania Distinguished Service Medal. She was made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law in 2007 and was awarded a Visiting Fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford University, in 2009. She was also President and Chair of the Alcorso Foundation, supporting the Arts, Environment and Social Justice in Tasmania, and was a member of its Social Justice subcommittee.
Professor Warner has published numerous journal articles, book chapters and law reform reports. She first published Sentencing in Tasmania in 1991, which has since become an indispensable tool for judges and magistrates. She is a member of the editorial boards of Current Issues in Criminal Justice; Women Against Violence; and the Criminal Law Journal. She contributed the annual Sentencing Review to the Criminal Law Journal from 1998 until her appointment as Governor of Tasmania in 2014. Related to her role with the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute, she has written a number of papers and reports for the Board.
Professor Warner was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2014 for significant service to the law, particularly in the areas of legal education and reform, and to the community.
As Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency was an advocate for the empowerment of women, gender equality in the workplace and addressing the issues of sexual and domestic violence. Professor Warner chairs the Advisory Committee of the Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment. Professor Warner’s tenure as Governor ended in July 2021, she is quoted as planning to continue with her academic work in law.