Rear Admiral Hon. Justice Harold Hyman Glass

RADM Glass

Harold Hyman Glass was born in Sydney on 21 August 1918. He was educated at Sydney Boys High School (1930-34) where he excelled in his studies. On completion of his secondary schooling he completed an Arts Degree at the University of Sydney, majoring in French and German. During his time at the University of Sydney he shared the medal in philosophy with the eminent philosopher John Leslie Mackie.

Glass joined the Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve, as a Paymaster Sub Lieutenant, on 23 June 1942, and served initially at HMAS Rushcutter before being appointed to HMAS Kuttabul in January 1943. Glass was promoted to Paymaster Lieutenant in August 1943 and  joined the heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire, as a coding and cypher officer, in October 1943. He served in her until September 1944, with a brief posting to HMAS Australia during February-March 1944. Glass then served at HMAS Ladava, the RAN shore depot at Milne Bay until being appointed to Navy Office, Melbourne, in March 1945 as a member of the coding and cyphering staff.

Lieutenant Glass was demobilised from the RANVR, at HMAS Rushcutter, in January 1946 and later undertook a Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of Sydney and was articled at Lieberman & Tobias for two years before being admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1948. He practiced at the bar, became a Queens Counsel in 1962 and was appointed to the bench of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1973; and was also President of the New South Wales Bar Assosciation in 1973. Glass was appointed a Judge Appeal in 1974, a position he retained until 1987.

Glass re-entered the RAN Reserve in 1966 as a Commander (special branch) as a member of the Reserve Legal Panel. In 1969, he served as Australia's leading counsel in the joint RAN-United States Navy Board of Inquiry following the collision between the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne and the destroyer USS Frank E Evans in the South China Sea on 3 June 1969. Glass was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1973 and was appointed to the office of Judge Advocate-General as an Acting Rear Admiral in 1978. He was confirmed in the rank of Rear Admiral in 1980, shortly before he was placed on the retired list. He continued to serve as the Judge Advocate-General for the Navy until 1983 and was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Australia (Civil List) on 26 January 1988 for service to law and to the Royal Australian Navy.

After he retired, he became a visiting professor at the University of New South Wales. He was the co-author of 'The Liability of Employers', described by the NSW Bar Association's journal Bar News as "one of the few really first rate Australian legal treatises" and he was also the editor of the 'Essays on Evidence'. In addition, he contributed articles to several leading legal journals.

Under the nom de plume of Benjamin Sidney he published two works of legal fiction, 'Discord Within the Bar' (1981) and 'Sherman for the Plaintiff' (1987). The Harold H Glass Memorial Prize was established at the University of Western Australia to honour his memory and this is awarded each year to the most able student in the subject of Torts.

Glass died in Sydney on 29 March 1989. At his funeral, Rabbi Raymond Apple of the Great Synagogue, Sydney, described him as a "quintessential judge, learned lawyer, loyal Australian, faithful Jew, broadminded human being and cultured citizen of the world".