Derek Davies, 1931-2016

Derek Davies, 1931-2016

St. Catherine’s College is very sorry to announce the death of Derek Davies (B.C.L., M.A., LL.B), Emeritus and Founding Fellow of the College.

Derek took his first law degree at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1951 and completed the B.C.L. at New College, Oxford in 1953. After obtaining pupillage at Lincoln’s Inn, he was called to the Chancery Bar. But in 1954 his former tutor at New College, Jack (later Lord) Butterworth, told Derek that St. Catherine’s Society intended to elect a Tutor in Law, and that he would support an application for the job. So Derek became the College’s first Tutor in Law, and he would continue to teach at St. Catherine’s for forty-two years until his retirement in 1996 when he was elected to an Emeritus Fellowship.

Derek’s contribution to his academic field was significant. His main area of interest was Trusts, and his extensive academic career took him to Australia and New Zealand during his sabbatical leaves. He also taught in the law faculty at the National University of Singapore during part of each year after his retirement from St. Catherine’s.

Furthermore, he was integral to the formation of St. Catherine’s as a recognised collegiate institution. As Chairman of the Statutes Committee, Derek drafted the College Petition, Charter and Statutes in 1961, as well as the College By-laws in 1963. He played a central role in the College community and was Pro-Master of St. Catherine’s during Alan Bullock’s tenure as Vice-Chancellor and again in the interregnum period between Lord Bullock’s retirement and Sir Patrick Nairne’s appointment. He was Vice-Master from 1971-1973. His appointment as the University’s Senior Proctor from 1963-1964 was the first occasion in which the newly founded College had been asked to nominate a Proctor.

St. Catherine’s held a Memorial Service for Derek in October 2016.