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Former Justices

Apart from the current members of the Court, there have been 11 Chief Justices and 36 Justices since the Court was established in 1903. A biographical synopsis of each is given below.

(born 1928). A Justice 1981-95. Chief Justice 1995-98.
Admitted Queensland Bar 1951 (QC 1965). Member, Australian Law Reform Commission 1975-77. First President Administrative Appeals Tribunal 1976-79. Judge, Australian Industrial Court and Additional Judge, ACT Supreme Court, 1976-81. Judge, Federal Court of Australia, 1977-81.

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Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press Australia, from The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia, by Tony Blackshield, Michael Coper and George Williams, 2001, © Oxford University Press, www.oup.com.au

(born 1931). A Justice 1982-95.
Admitted NSW Bar 1957 (QC 1966). Judge Supreme Court of NSW 1977. Judge, Federal Court of Australia 1977-82. President, Australian Trade Practices Tribunal 1977-82. Governor-General of Australia 1996-2001.

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Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press Australia, from The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia, by Tony Blackshield, Michael Coper and George Williams, 2001, © Oxford University Press, www.oup.com.au

(born 1933). A Justice 1982-97.
Joined Victorian Bar 1957, Tasmanian Bar 1972 (QC 1971). Solicitor-General (Vic) 1974-82. Lieut. Cmdr. RANVR. Member Australian Motor Sport Appeal Court 1974-86, Chairman 1987.

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Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press Australia, from The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia, by Tony Blackshield, Michael Coper and George Williams, 2001, © Oxford University Press, www.oup.com.au

(born 4 March 1930, died 9 April 2015). A Justice 1987-98.
Admitted WA Bar 1952 (QC 1968). Judge, Federal Court of Australia & Supreme Court of NT 1977-87. NT Aboriginal Land Commissioner 1977-82. Member, Constitutional Commission 1985-86 & Presidential Member, AAT.

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Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press Australia, from The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia, by Tony Blackshield, Michael Coper and George Williams, 2001, © Oxford University Press, www.oup.com.au

(born 1943). A Justice 1987-2003.
Admitted to NSW Bar 1968 (QC 1981). Deputy President, Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission 1974-1980. Chairman, NSW Legal Services Commission 1979-80. Solicitor-General (NSW) 1981-87.

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Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press Australia, from The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia, by Tony Blackshield, Michael Coper and George Williams, 2001, © Oxford University Press, www.oup.com.au

(born 1935). A Justice 1989-2005.
Admitted to NSW Bar 1961 (QC 1973). Judge of Court of Appeal and Supreme Court NSW 1984-89. President NSW Bar Association 1981-83. President Australian Bar Association 1983-84.

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Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press Australia, from The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia, by Tony Blackshield, Michael Coper and George Williams, 2001, © Oxford University Press, www.oup.com.au

(born 1937). A Justice 1998-2007.
Admitted Queensland Bar 1965 (QC 1978). President Queensland Bar Association 1984-87. President Australian Bar Association 1984-85.

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Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press Australia, from The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia, by Tony Blackshield, Michael Coper and George Williams, 2001, © Oxford University Press, www.oup.com.au

(born 1939). A Justice 1996-2009.
Admitted New South Wales Bar 1967. Chairman Australian Law Reform Commission 1975-84. Deputy President Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission 1975-83. Judge Federal Court of Australia 1983-84. President New South Wales Court of Appeal 1984-96. President Solomon Islands Court of Appeal 1995-96. UN Special Representative for Human Rights in Cambodia 1993-96. President International Commission of Jurists 1995-98.

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Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press Australia, from The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia, by Tony Blackshield, Michael Coper and George Williams (eds), 2001, © Oxford University Press, www.oup.com.au

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(born 9 October 1942)
William Montague Charles Gummow AC was appointed to the Court in April 1995. At the time he was a judge of the Federal Court of Australia. He had held that office since 1986.

He graduated from the University of Sydney as a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Laws. After 10 years in practice as a solicitor, he was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1976. He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1986. For 30 years he lectured part-time at the University of Sydney. He is the author and editor of several texts on equity and trusts. Justice Gummow AC was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 1997.

 

Justice Heydon

(born 1 March 1943)
John Dyson Heydon AC was appointed to the Court in February 2003, after having been a judge of the New South Wales Court of Appeal since 2000. He graduated in arts from the University of Sydney, and, as the Rhodes Scholar for New South Wales in 1964, graduated as Master of Arts and Bachelor of Civil Law from Oxford University.

He was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1973 and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1987. At age 34, he was elected dean of the University of Sydney Law School for 1978–79. He practised at the Bar from 1979 until his appointment to the Court of Appeal. He has published a number of legal texts, including his first book, The Restraint of Trade Doctrine, in 1971. Justice Heydon AC was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2004.

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