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New High Court judge

Briefs

Cite as: Jan/Feb 2015 89 (1/2) LIJ, p.14

Victorian Court of Appeal judge Geoffrey Nettle has been appointed to the High Court of Australia. 

Federal Attorney-General George Brandis QC said Justice Nettle QC was regarded as “one of the Australia’s finest jurists”.

“His judgments are marked by analytical clarity and deep legal scholarship. He will be an outstanding addition to the High Court,” Senator Brandis said.

Justice Nettle studied at the Australian National University, Melbourne University and Oxford University.

He began his legal career, which Senator Brandis described as “brilliant”, at Mallesons Stephen Jaques in 1977 and became a partner at the firm four years later.

As a barrister, Justice Nettle specialised in commercial law, equity, taxation, constitutional law and administrative law and in 1992 became a QC.

He was appointed to Victoria’s Supreme Court in 2002 and, two years later, joined the Court of Appeal.

He is the first appointment to the High Court by the Abbott government.

Justice Nettle will replace Justice Susan Crennan AC who will retire in February, five months before her term is due to end. Justice Kenneth Hayne will also retire in 2015, after serving 18 years on the High Court, when he turns 70 – the mandatory retirement age for High Court judges – in June.

Following Justices Hayne and Crennan’s departures, Justice Nettle will be the only Victorian judge on the High Court.

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