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Former Chief Justices

(born 1938). Chief Justice 1998-2008. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales 1988-98.
Admitted New South Wales Bar 1963 (QC 1974). President New South Wales Bar Association 1984-85. Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales 1989-98.

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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

Artworks of the High Court | Portraits of Chief Justices

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Robert Shenton French was appointed Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia in September 2008. At the time of his appointment he was a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, having been appointed to that office in November 1986.

He graduated from the University of Western Australia in science and law. He was admitted in 1972 and practised as a barrister and solicitor in Western Australia until 1983 when he went to the Western Australian Bar. From 1994 to 1998 he was President of the National Native Title Tribunal. At the time of his appointment he was an additional member of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory and a member of the Supreme Court of Fiji. He was also a Deputy President of the Australian Competition Tribunal and a part-time member of the Australian Law Reform Commission. From 2001 to January 2005 he was president of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law. Chief Justice French was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2010.

Speeches by Chief Justice French AC

 

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