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Former Chief Justices

(born 1845; died 1920). Chief Justice 1903-19.
Admitted Queensland Bar 1867 (QC 1876). MLA (Queensland) 1872-93, including Attorney-General 1874-78, Leader of the Opposition 1879-83, Premier 1883-88, Coalition Premier & Attorney-General 1890-93. Chief Justice of Queensland 1893-1903. PC (1901).

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Artworks of the High Court | Portraits of Chief Justices

(born 1863; died 1932). Chief Justice 1919-30. MLA (NSW) 1894-98.
Called to English Bar 1886. Admitted NSW Bar 1886 (KC 1906). PC (1920).

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Artworks of the High Court | Portraits of Chief Justices

(born 1855; died 1948). A Justice 1906-30. Chief Justice 1930-31.
Admitted Victorian Bar 1880 (QC 1899). MLA (Victoria) 1892-1901, including Attorney-General 1894-99 and 1900-01. MHR 1901-06, including Attorney-General 1904-06. Governor-General of Australia 1931-36. PC (1921).

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Artworks of the High Court | Portraits of Chief Justices

(born 1852; died 1936). A Justice 1913-31. Chief Justice 1931-35.
Admitted Victorian Bar 1874 (KC 1901). Founding editor of Australian Law Times 1879-1883. PC (1932).

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Artworks of the High Court | Portraits of Chief Justices

(born 1877; died 1964). Chief Justice 1935-52.
Joined Victorian Bar 1904 (KC 1922). Lt Commander, Naval Intelligence, World War I. MHR 1922-34, including Attorney-General 1925-29 and 1931-34. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs 1931-34. Leader of the Opposition 1929-31. First Australian Minister to Japan 1940. PC (1933).

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Artworks of the High Court | Portraits of Chief Justices

(born 1886; died 1972). A Justice 1929-52. Chief Justice 1952-64. Joined Victorian Bar 1910 (KC 1922). Acting Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria 1926. Australian Minister to Washington 1942-44. PC (1951).

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Artworks of the High Court | Portraits of Chief Justices

(born 1903; died 1997). Chief Justice 1964-81.
Admitted NSW Bar 1927 (KC 1941). President NSW Bar Association 1950-52 and 1955-56. President Law Council of Australia 1952-54. MHR 1958-64, including Attorney-General 1958-61, Minister for External Affairs 1961-64. Judge International Court of Justice 1973-74. PC (1964).

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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


(born 1917; died 2005). A Justice 1970-81. Chief Justice 1981-87.
Admitted Queensland Bar 1939 (QC 1957). Served in World War II as Major in Australian Army. Judge of Queensland Supreme Court 1961-67. Judge of Federal Court of Bankruptcy and ACT Supreme Court 1967-70. PC (1972).

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Artworks of the High Court | Portraits of Chief Justices

(born 1925). A Justice 1972-87. Chief Justice 1987-95.
Admitted NSW Bar 1951 (QC 1964). Served in RAAF, World War II. Commonwealth Solicitor-General 1964-69. Judge NSW Court of Appeal 1969-72.

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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

Artworks of the High Court | Portraits of Chief Justices


(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

Artworks of the High Court | Portraits of 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