Justice Sarah Derrington is an Australian Federal Court judge and a former President of the Australian Law Reform Commission.
Prior to her appointment to the Federal Court, Justice Derrington was the Dean of Law at the University of Queensland and a barrister specialised in maritime and shipping law, general commercial law and arbitration.
She was educated at the University of Queensland, where she graduated, initially, with a BA (in French and German) and an LLB (Hons). In 1990, she was admitted to the Bar in Queensland and as a Barrister & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of the ACT, where she commenced practice in the litigation section of Freehill Hollingdale and Page in Canberra. Subsequently she spent a year in the insurance litigation section of Minter Ellison in Brisbane before commencing part-time practice at the private Bar whilst pursuing her academic career at the University of Queensland, graduating in 1996 with an LLM and in 1999 with a PhD in the field of marine insurance law.
Justice Derrington was appointed Professor of Admiralty Law in 2008.
She has published in various journals including the Law Quarterly Review, Modern Law Review, Lloyd’s Maritime & Commercial Law Quarterly and the Insurance Law Journal. Sarah has also written a chapter in The Modern Law of Marine Insurance, Vol 2 by D. Rhidian Thomas (LLP, 2002), and co-authored both the first and second editions of The Law and Practice of Admiralty Matters with James M Turner KC (OUP 2007, 2nd edition 2016).
Justice Derrington is a Past President of the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ) and continues to represent Australia and New Zealand in various international working groups of the Comité Maritime International (CMI), of which she was appointed a Titular Member in 2016. Between 2012 and 2017, she served on the board of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). She has been a member of the Admiralty Rules Committee since 2006, and continues to serve on the Councils of the Australian Maritime College (AMC) and the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM). She was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Law in 2009 and of the Nautical Institute in 2013.
In 2022, Justice Derrington was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2022 Queen's Birthday Honours for "significant service to the judiciary and to the law, and to legal education”.