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NSW Chief Justice Spigelman retires

One of the nation's most senior judges, NSW Chief Justice James Spigelman, has resigned after 13 years on the job.

user iconThe New Lawyer 18 March 2011 The Bar
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ONE of the nation’s most senior judges, NSW Chief Justice James Spigelman, has resigned after 13 years on the job.

“I believe that any organisation needs refreshing, and after 13 years, it also seems an appropriate time for me to personally and professional refresh myself,” Chief Justice Spigelman said in a statement.

The judge has served as the 16th Chief Justice of the NSW Supreme Court since 1998 and will step down on 31 May, just six days after his 13th anniversary on the job.


NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell les the tributes to the judge, telling reporters in Sydney that “he has made a contribution to life beyond the bench.”

NSW Attorney General John Hatzistergos said that under the Chief Justice’s guidance, the reputation of the Supreme Court had thrived.

“He has led the court through significant and important changes in legal principle, procedure and practice with insight, wisdom and ferocious intelligence,” he said.

Justice Spigelman, 67, leaves the court seven years before the mandatory retirement age of 72.

“I leave with the same level of commitment and enthusiasm I brought to the job in 1998,” he said.

Justice Spigelman rose to prominence in 1965 when Sydney University students went on the “freedom rides” across western NSW in support of indigenous rights.

“He was one of those who joined Charlie Perkins on those freedom rides to northwest NSW to pursue an end to the discrimination against Aboriginals (sic) in this state and for that he should always have our thanks,” O’Farrell said.











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