ACT Supreme Court welcomes new Chief Justice

ACT Supreme Court welcomes new Chief Justice

23 November 2021 By Naomi Neilson

The ACT Supreme Court has appointed its sixth Chief Justice and the second woman to ever hold the position after outgoing Chief Justice Helen Murrell.

The current judge of the NSW Supreme Court and the NSW Court of Appeal, Justice Lucy McCallum, has been appointed Chief Justice of the ACT. This represents Justice McCallum’s return to the ACT, where she was a prosecutor for two years in the late 1980s before moving back to NSW.


“I am very excited to be returning to the ACT to take on this role,” Justice McCallum commented. “I’m looking forward to working with Canberra’s judges and magistrates and the broader legal community to build on the achievements of Chief Justice Murrell and cement the Territory’s reputation as a place of excellent jurisprudence.”

Justice McCallum started her legal career in NSW in 1986 following her graduation from the University of NSW. She has been a judge of the Supreme Court of NSW since 2008 and was elevated to the NSW Court of Appeal in January 2019. For 16 years prior to being appointed to the bench, Justice McCallum was a barrister.


ACT Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said the appointment follows an extensive search from a high-calibre field and that Justice McCallum’s 30-year legal career “cemented her standing in the Australian legal profession”. In addition to welcoming Justice McCallum, Mr Rattenbury thanked Chief Justice Murrell for her service.

“Chief Justice Murrell has steered the ACT Supreme Court for the last eight years, and all Canberrans owe her a debt of gratitude for her outstanding contributions.”

The ACT Law Society also offered their welcome to Justice McCallum, with president Elizabeth Carroll commenting: “The ACT Law Society looks forward to welcoming her honour back to Canberra as our sixth Chief Justice.”

Supreme Court of NSW’s Chief Justice Tom Bathurst congratulated Justice McCallum on the new appointment and recognised her outstanding contribution to the work of the court and the admission of justice over the past 14 years.

“I have no doubt that she will do a terrific job as Chief Justice and will ensure that justice administered in the ACT continues to be of the highest calibre,” Chief Justice Bathurst said.

ACT Supreme Court welcomes new Chief Justice
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