Professor Croucher was first appointed to the Commission as a full-time Commissioner in February 2007. She was appointed President of the ALRC in December 2009. In 2015 Professor Croucher was reappointed as President for a further three years, to 13 December 2018.
Professor Croucher obtained a BA (Hons) in History and an LLB from the University of Sydney; and her PhD from the University of New South Wales in the field of legal history. She was admitted as a legal practitioner in New South Wales in 1981. Professor Croucher has had a distinguished career in legal education prior to joining the ALRC, with 25 years in university teaching and management, including as Dean of Law at Macquarie University (1999–Feb 2007) and Acting Dean of Law at Sydney University (1997–1998). She is an Adjunct Professor of Macquarie University.
Professor Croucher has lectured and published extensively, principally in the fields of equity, trusts, property, inheritance and legal history. She has written or edited nine books, including Succession: families, property and death; Families and Estates: A Comparative Study; and Law and Religion – God, the State and the Common Law. She has also authored over 100 publications including book chapters, encyclopaedia entries, journal articles, casenotes and conference papers.
Professor Croucher was honoured in being made a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law in 2007. Her contributions have also been acknowledged in a number of honorary appointments: Honorary Fellow of St Andrew’s College of the University of Sydney (2002); Honorary Fellow of the Australian College of Legal Medicine (2004); and honorary life membership of the Women Lawyers’ Association of NSW (2013). Professor Croucher has also undertaken many pro bono leadership roles – including as Governor of Ascham School for nine years; Councillor of St Andrew’s College; as a board member of the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs; Chair of the Council of Australian Law Deans, 2002–2003; and Vice-President of the International Academy of Estate and Trust law 2000–2005.
In 2011 she was recognised as one of the 40 ‘inspirational alumni’ of UNSW, where she gained her PhD in 1994. In 2014 she was acknowledged for her contributions to public policy as one of Australia’s ‘100 Women of Influence’ in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac awards; and for her ‘outstanding contribution to the legal profession’ role in supporting and advancing women in the legal profession she was awarded the Australian Women Lawyer’s award. In the Australia Day Honours list, 2015, Professor Croucher was conferred the award of Member of the Order of Australia for “significant service to the law as an academic, to legal reform and education, to professional development, and to the arts”.
Professor Croucher has been Commissioner-in-charge of nine law reform inquiries, including Client Legal Privilege, Secrecy Laws, Family Violence (x 2), Discovery, Age Barriers, Disability Laws and the Freedoms Inquiry, and is currently in charge of the Elder Abuse Inquiry.