Australian Government coat of arms

Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP

Appointments to the High Court of Australia

29 November 2016

Prime Minister

Attorney-General

His Excellency the Governor-General has accepted the advice of the Government to appoint the Honourable Justice Susan Mary Kiefel AC as the next Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia. Justice Kiefel will become Australia’s thirteenth Chief Justice when the Honourable Justice Robert French AC leaves the Court on 29 January 2017.

Justice Kiefel has enjoyed a distinguished legal career, both at the Bar and on the Bench.  She is appointed Chief Justice from the High Court Bench where she has served since September 2007, and is presently the most senior puisne judge.

Her Honour holds a Master of Laws from Cambridge. She was called to the Queensland Bar in 1975. Justice Kiefel took silk in 1987, becoming the first woman in Queensland to do so. In 1993, Her Honour became the first woman appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland.

In 1994 Her Honour was appointed a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia, and served as a part-time Commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission from 2003-2007.

We congratulate Justice Kiefel on her appointment and for all that she has achieved.  

Justice Kiefel will be sworn in as Chief Justice on 30 January 2017.

His Excellency the Governor-General has also accepted the Government’s advice to appoint the Honourable Justice James Joshua Edelman to the High Court.  He will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of Justice Kiefel as Chief Justice.

His Honour holds the degrees of Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours), and Bachelor of Commerce.  He also holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford after being chosen as the Rhodes Scholar for Western Australia in 1998.

In 2001 Justice Edelman was called to the Western Australia Bar and in 2008 the Bar of England and Wales. His Honour has also lectured in law and was appointed Professor of the Law of Obligations at the University of Oxford in 2008.

In 2011, Justice Edelman was appointed to the Supreme Court of Western Australia and was appointed to his current position as Judge of the Federal Court of Australia in April 2015.

We congratulate Justice Edelman on his appointment in what has been a remarkable career already. His Honour will be sworn in on 30 January 2017.

We also take the opportunity to thank Chief Justice Robert French AC for his many years of judicial service.  His Honour was appointed Chief Justice in 2008 and served as judge of the Federal Court of Australia from 1986 to 2008.

The Honourable Justice Susan Mary Kiefel AC

Current Office

  • 2007 : Justice, High Court of Australia

Previous Offices

  • 2003 – 2007 : Part-time Commissioner Australian Law Reform Commission
  • 1994 : Judge, Federal Court of Australia
  • 1993 : Judge, Supreme Court of Queensland
  • 1987 : Queen's Counsel

Education

  • Master of Laws from the University of Cambridge
  • Legal qualification from the Barristers’ Board of Queensland

 

The Honourable Justice James Joshua Edelman

Current Office

  • 2015 - : Judge, Federal Court of Australia

Previous Offices

  • 2011 - 2015 : Judge, Supreme Court of Western Australia
  • 2008-2011 : Barrister, Bar of England and Wales
  • 2001-2011 : Professor of the Law of Obligations, University of Oxford , Barrister, Western Australian Bar

Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Law Oxford, Rhodes Scholar 1998-2000
  • Bachelor of Laws (First Class Hons), University of Western Australia
  • Bachelor of Commerce, Murdoch University
  • Bachelor of Economics, University of Western Australia

Judge, Federal Court of Australia