The Honourable John Toohey was born in March 1930. He was educated at St Louis School, Perth and at the University of Western Australia where he graduated BA and LLB (First Class Honours).
Mr Toohey was admitted as a Legal Practitioner in 1952. He was a visiting lecturer in law at the University of Western Australia from 1953 to 1956, and senior law lecturer during the academic year 1957 - 1958. He was again a visiting lecturer in law between 1959 and 1965 before being called to the Bar of Western Australia in 1967. He was appointed Queen's Counsel (QC) in 1968.
Mr Toohey was President of the Bar Association of Western Australia in 1970 and of the Law Society from 1972 to 1973.
Mr Toohey has worked on Aboriginal issues for over a decade - in 1974 he was with the Aboriginal Legal Service, North West Australia: became Aboriginal Land Commissioner of the Northern Territory in 1977 until 1982: between 1977 and 1986 he was consultant to the Law Reform Commission reference on The Recognition of Aboriginal Customary Laws.
Between 1977 and 1987 Mr Toohey was a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia and of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory. From 1980 to 1987 he was Presidential Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and from 1985 to 1986 a member of the Constitutional Commission.
In 1987 Mr Toohey was appointed a Justice of the High Court of Australia, a post he held until his retirement in 1998. He was a visiting Professor at the Law School of the University of Western Australia in 1998 and 1999.
Mr Toohey was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1986 and a Companion in 1988. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) by Murdoch University in 1998.
Mr Toohey is married with five daughters and two sons and his recreations include tennis and camping.
On 5 September 2000 Mr Toohey was appointed as a member of the Tribunal.