Federal Circuit Court judges elevated to Family Court

By Jerome Doraisamy|11 February 2019

Judge Jillian Williams and Judge Louise Henderson have both been appointed to the Family Court of Australia, moving away from their current positions as judges of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

Judge Williams has been assigned to the Melbourne registry and Judge Henderson to the Sydney registry. Both commenced in their new roles last Friday, 8 February.

Both Judge Williams and Judge Henderson bring a wealth of family law experience from the Federal Circuit Court, where they have both heard matters in the family law jurisdiction on a full-time basis, Attorney-General Christian Porter said in a statement.

“On behalf of the Australian government, I congratulate Judge Williams and Judge Henderson on their appointments and thank them for their willingness to continue to serve the Australian people as judges of the Family Court of Australia,” he said.

Judge Williams was called to the bar in 2008, where she specialised in family law, before being appointed to the Federal Circuit Court in February 2016.

Judge Henderson was called to the bar in 2003, also specialising in family law, and was appointed to the Federal Circuit Court in November 2005.

The two appointments were welcomed by The Law Council of Australia.

“One of the Family Court’s most distinct features is that only those who, by reason of training, experience and personality, are suited to deal with family law cases are appointed as its judges,” said LCA president Arthur Moses SC.

“Both Justice Williams and Justice Henderson worked as barristers specialising in family law before appointment to the judiciary. Their specialist expertise and first-hand experience as practising family lawyers will be an asset to the court and to the community.

“The Law Council has long called for greater investment in the Family Court, including timely, specialist judicial appointments, to enable the court to discharge its responsibilities. We thank the Attorney-General for listening to and acting on the concerns of the profession, the courts and the community.”

Federal Circuit Court judges elevated to Family Court
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