A tribute to Justice Dutney
Central Judge Justice Duncan McMeekin yesterday paid this tribute to The Honourable Justice Peter Dutney:
The Honourable Justice Peter Dutney will be sorely missed.
Justice Dutney was the eleventh Central Judge (April 2000 - January 2008) and left here only at the personal request of the Chief Justice that he transfer to Brisbane to assist with the commercial list there, he being an acknowledged master of that field of law.
Justice Dutney made a significant contribution in his seven and a half years here and not only in the Law.
He became a trustee of the Art Gallery, a strong supporter of the young lawyers and the local law association, a good friend to many within and without the profession, and a member of the local chapter of the Beefsteak and Burgundy Club.
His love of the area and its people was evident in his decision to maintain his membership of the Club despite his transfer to Brisbane and indeed volunteering to be the next President, a decision he abandoned only on taking up the proffered position of inaugural President of the Queensland Commercial and Administrative Tribunal.
Through his personal influence a number of the local lawyers took up cycling, which was his passion. In earlier years he had been an enthusiastic tri-athlete and had competed at the Noosa triathlon over 10 successive years.
And he not only competed. More than one young lawyer was surprised to find that the volunteer kneeling at their feet putting on their identification bracelet for the event was a Supreme Court judge.
When time allowed he demonstrated that too long with his law books had blunted his skills as a golfer.
But in this, as in every activity he pursued, his enthusiasm was infectious.
As if all this was not enough he was the most engaging of companions and there were few subjects on which Justice Dutney could not speak with some authority, as his reading and experience were wider than most.
He leaves his wife Bronwyn, herself a Magistrate, two sons, a daughter-in-law and a grandson.
He and Bronwyn were due to take leave a little later in the year to see his grandson for the first time.
He is a sad loss at so young an age.