Various Published Documentation

Selected Speeches/Articles by Chief Justice Kiefel AC


"Pro bono work, legal aid and access to justice: some matters of history", National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference, Brisbane, 22 June 2023 (PDF)


"A nudge in the right direction; some landmark cases and the development of the law”, Hal Wootten Lecture 2022, UNSW, 24 November 2022 (PDF)  (RTF

“Yesterday, today and tomorrow – a trend towards equality?”, Australian Women Lawyers Conference, Brisbane, 6 August 2022 (PDF) (RTF)


 “The role of courts in our society”, LawRight Public Interest Address, Customs House, Brisbane, 25 October 2021 (PDF) (RTF)

"Judicial independence – from what and to what end?", Austin Asche Oration, Australian Academy of Law and Charles Darwin University, Hilton Hotel, Darwin, 27 March 2021 (PDF)   (RTF)

"Shaping Legal Minds - the ethical Mind", Queensland Law Society Symposium, Customs House, Brisbane, 19 March 2021  (PDF )   (RTF)


 "Legacies of Sir Samuel Griffith", Sir Samuel Griffith Lecture, Queensland College of Art Lecture Theatre, Griffith University, Brisbane, 17 November 2020 (PDF )   (RTF)



“The academy and the courts: what do they mean to each other today?”, Australian Academy of Law Patron’s Address, Banco Court, Brisbane, 31 October 2019 (PDF)             (RTF)

Opening of the International Association of Law Libraries, Sydney, 28 October 2019 (PDF) (RTF)

“William Ah Ket’s contribution to diversity in the legal profession”; William Ah Ket Scholarship Presentation, Asian Australian Lawyers Association, Great Hall, High Court of Australia, 9 October 2019 (PDF) (RTF)

“Just how common is the common law? A historical and comparative perspective”, Brennan Lecture, Bond University Law School, 3 October 2019 -  To be published in the Bond Law Review. (PDF) (RTF)

“Convergence – the Courts of Singapore and Australia”; joint keynote address with Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Chief Justice of Singapore, ABA “Convergence2019” Conference, Andaz Hotel, Singapore, 11 July 2019 (PDF) (RTF)

"Aspects of the relationship between the law, economic development and social change and the importance of stability"; 2019 Queensland Bar Association Conference, Brisbane, 2 March 2019 (PDF) (RTF)

“Human rights without an enacted statement of rights“, Legal Research Foundation Conference; farewell conference to mark the retirement of Dame Sian Elias GNZM (31 January - 1 February 2019), Auckland University, New Zealand, 1 February 2019, (to be published together with other conference papers at a later date)


"Social values and the criminal law's adaptability to change", 2018 International Criminal Law Congress, Byron Bay, NSW, 6 October 2018 (PDF) (RTF)

"Judicial Advice to Trustees – its Origins, Purposes and Nature”, Harold Ford Memorial Lecture, 14 September 2018, Melbourne – to be published by the Melbourne University Law School

Ceremonial sitting, Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Tuesday 4 September 2018 (PDF) (RTF)

Opening of the International Law Association 78th Biennial Conference, Sydney, Monday 20 August 2018 (PDF) (RTF)

“The High Court Justices and the weight of war”, The Samuel Griffith Society, 4 August 2018, Brisbane (PDF) (RTF)

“The Significance of Comparative Law to Common Law Judges – an Australian Perspective”, a Lecture delivered at the International Academy of Comparative Law General Congress, Fukuoka, Japan, 23 July 2018 - to be published by the IACL.

“Rhetoric and Reasoning – Contributions to the Common Law” – Hellenic Lawyers Association International Conference, Rhodes, Greece, 9 July 2018 (PDF) (RTF)

"The Adaptability of the Common Law to Change" - The Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration, Banco Court, Brisbane, 24 May 2018 (PDF) (RTF)

Welcome and introduction to Australian Constitution Centre, High Court of Australia Building, 9 April 2018 (PDF) (RTF)

“Women in the Australian Legal Profession: progress and a public voice”, International Women’s Day, Kuala Lumpur, 8 March 2018 (PDF) (RTF)

"Judicial decision-making in times of War and Relative Peace", Supreme and Federal Court Judges’ Conference, Monday 22 January 2018 - to be published in the ALJ


“Judicial Courage and the Decorum of Dissent” – The Atkin Lecture – given at the Supreme Court of Queensland, 28 November 2017 (PDF 124K) (RTF 215K)

"Independence - What does it mean for the Legal Profession?", IBA Conference, International Convention Centre, Sydney, 8 October 2017 (PDF 89K) (RTF 156K)

"Vicarious liability in tort - a search for policy, principle or justification", New South Wales Supreme Court Judges Conference, Leura, 25 August 2017 (PDF 150K) (RTF 254K)

"Some reflections, following the Brexit decision, on secession, on the roles of Australian and English courts with respect to the validity of executive and legislative action and on responses to controversial decisions of this kind", Anglo Australian Lawyers Association, London, 12 July 2017 (PDF 114K) (RTF 190K)

"The Community of Courts in the Asia Pacific Region", International Association of Women Judges Conference, Amora Jamison Hotel, Sydney, Friday 28 April 2017 (PDF 109K) (RTF 165K)

"Judicial Methods in the 21st Century", Supreme Court Oration Banco Court, Supreme Court, 16 March 2017 (PDF 109K) (RTF 150K)

"Why the Study of Law is Important", The Opening of the University of Queensland's T C Beirne School of Law's newly renovated West Wing of the Forgan Smith Building, Monday 13 March 2017 (PDF 59K) (RTF 110K)

Chief Justice's swearing in speech, High Court of Australia, Canberra, 31 January 2017 (PDF 56K) (RTF 115K)


Freeleagus Oration, "Legal Influences– across centuries and borders", Brisbane, Friday 26 August 2016 (PDF 81K) (RTF 167K)


The Doctrine of Consideration in Contract – Some Historical and Comparative Perspectives, Contracts in Commercial Law Conference, Domain Theatre, Art Gallery, NSW, 18 December 2015 (yet to be published)

"Good Faith in Contractual Performance" - A background paper for the Judicial Colloquium, Hong Kong, September 2015 (PDF 138K) (RTF 272K)

Developments in the law relating to medical negligence in the last 30 years, Greek/Australian International Legal and Medical Conference 2015, 1 June 2015. It will be published in volume XIX of the International Trade and Business Law Review. (PDF 96K) (RTF 258K)


Actions for negligence against barristers in England and Australia, International Malaysia Law Conference, Kuala Lumpur, September 2014, to be published. (PDF 84K) (RTF 100K)

Vienna Report - Australia:  The independence of a meritorious elite:  the government of judges and democracy.   A lecture presented by the Hon Justice Susan Kiefel AC and Professor Cheryl Saunders at the XIX International Congress of Comparative Law, Vienna, Austria, July 2014, to be published in the Springer, Just Gentium Collection, mid 2015. (PDF 163K) (DOCX 51K)

The Individual Judge (2014) 88 ALJ 554, Sir Richard Blackburn Lecture, 13 May 2014.


Lessons from a "conversation" about restitution (2014) 88 ALJ 176, WA Lee Lecture in Equity, 14 November 2013.

Social Justice and the Constitution - freedoms and protections (2013) 20 JCULR 6,  Mayo Lecture, James Cook University, 24 May 2013. 

"On being a judge", Public Lecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 15 January 2013. (PDF 196K) (RTF 212K)

The Constitutionalisation of Free Trade by the High Court of Australia and the Court of Justice of the European Union:  Freedom of Trade and Commerce under Section 92 of the Australian Constitution.  This is a revised and updated transcript of a seminar presented at the Centre for Financial Regulation and Economic Development, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 14 January 2013, published in the Global Journal of Comparative Law  3:1. 


Reasons for judgment: objects and observations, Sir Harry Gibbs Law Dinner, University of Queensland, 18 May 2012. (PDF 68K) (RTF 148k)

Practice at the Bar - what has changed and what remains the same, Bar Association of Queensland Annual Conference, Practice in the Modern Era, 3 March 2012 (PDF 34k) (RTF 139k)


Proportionality - a rule of reason (2012) 23 PLR 85, 2011 Sir Anthony Mason Lecture, University of Melbourne Law School, 7 October 2011.


The use of constitutional supra principles by Judges, Plenary Session IV, VIII World Congress of the International Association of Constitutional Law, Mexico City, 10 December 2010 (PDF 76k) (RTF 51k)

Comparative analysis in judicial decision-making: the Australian experience, Max Planck Institute, 12 July 2010 (PDF 141k)
Published in: Bd 75, Heft 2 (April 2011), Rabels Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht  354-370

Ethics and the Profession of the Lawyer, Queensland Law Society, The Vincents' 48th annual Symposium 2010, 26 March 2010 (PDF 59k) (RTF 79k)

Oral Advocacy — the Last Gasp?, Supreme & Federal Court Judges' Conference, Canberra, 27 January 2010 (PDF 72k) (RTF 81k)


Address to Graduates, UQ Centre, The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus, 8 December 2009 (PDF 28k) (RTF 33k)

Section 92: markets, protectionism and proportionality - Australian and European perspectives, Monash Law School's 17th Lucinda Lecture, 19 November 2009, (2010) 36(2) Mon L R 1

Queensland University of Technology Association of Law and Justice, Annual Dinner, Marriott Hotel, Brisbane, 21 August 2009 (PDF 44k) (RTF 43k)

Occasional Address, Griffith University Graduands, Brisbane Convention Centre, 1 August 2009 (PDF 35k) (RTF 40k)

The Profession of Barrister - Service, Duty and Independence,Bar Practice Course, Banco Court, Supreme Court of Queensland, 20 February 2009 (PDF 69k) (RTF 85k)


"Judicial Independence", North Queensland Law Association Conference, 30 May 2008 (PDF 65k) (RTF 78k)








30 MAY 2008


The Honourable Justice Kiefel

High Court of Australia