find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Judge takes husband's seat on High Court

Judge takes husband's seat on High Court

Justice Michelle Gordon

Federal Court judge Michelle Gordon has been named to the High Court, making history by replacing her husband on the bench.

In an Australian first, Justice Gordon will join the court after her husband Justice Ken Hayne reaches the statutory retirement age of 70 on June 5.

Justice Gordon has served on the Federal Court since 2007, before which she was “one of the leaders of the Bar”, according to attorney-general George Brandis.

“The contribution Her Honour has made to the development of the law, particularly in commercial law, is widely recognised by her colleagues on the bench and at the bar,” he said in a statement.

Addressing the relationship between Justice Hayne and Justice Gordon, Senator Brandis ruled out any claims of favouritism.

“It would be outrageous for a person who was otherwise well-qualified for an appointment, as Justice Gordon certainly is, to be disqualified on account of who they were married to,” he told reporters in Canberra.

The appointment brings the number of women currently sitting on the High Court bench to three out of a total of seven judges.

Since the High Court was first convened in 1903, just five women have been appointed to the bench, whereas 42 men have been appointed.

Law Council of Australia president Duncan McConnel congratulated Justice Gordon, lauding her for having the "perfect qualities for the complex type of cases regularly requiring determination in the High Court."

"As a well respected and highly regarded member of the Australian legal profession, Justice Gordon will bring to the position of Justice of the High Court of Australia her measured, astute and humane approach in determining cases."

The appointment was also welcomed by the Australian Bar Association president Fiona McLeod SC.

"Justice Gordon is an excellent appointment," Ms McLeod said.

"She is widely regarded and respected, and we regard this is an outstanding appointment to the highest court in our nation."

Justice Gordon graduated from the University of Western Australia in 1987 and started her career in Perth at Robinson Cox (now Clayton Utz).

In 1988, she moved to Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks (now Allens) in Melbourne before being called to the Bar in 1992.

Justice Gordon will be sworn in on June 9. Given that she is currently 51, her tenure may last another 19 years before she reaches the mandatory retirement age.

Senator Brandis also farewelled Justice Hayne, who was appointed to the High Court in 1997.

“May I also take the opportunity to thank Justice Hayne for his many years of distinguished judicial service to the Australian people, and wish him a long, happy and active retirement,” Senator Brandis said.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Judge takes husband's seat on High Court
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Applauds
07:00
LCA applauds proposed Modern Slavery Act
The Law Council of Australia has welcomed new recommendations for the development of a Modern Slaver...
Mentoring
07:00
Top-tier offers targeted mentoring for Indigenous law students
Students at Macquarie University will be the first to benefit from a new Indigenous mentoring progra...
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...