Sir Anthony Mason was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1951. He was appointed both a QC and Commonwealth Solicitor-General in 1964. In 1969 he was appointed a Justice of the New South Wales Court of Appeal and in 1972 a Justice of the High Court of Australia. He became chief justice in 1987, retiring in 1995 upon reaching the compulsory retirement age. He has since served as a non-permanent justice of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, as a judge of the Supreme Court of Fiji and as President of the Solomon Islands Court of Appeal.
Sir Anthony has honorary doctorates from the Australian National University, where he is a Visiting Fellow, from Deakin, Griffith, Monash, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Oxford Universities, and from the University of New South Wales where he served as Chancellor from 1994 to 1999. He was Chairman of the National Library of Australia 1995-1998 and has held a professorship at the University of Cambridge. He was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1972 and, in 1988, a Companion of the Order of Australia.