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New era for High Court

New era for High Court

By Dr Heather Roberts

Ceremonies Legal Biography 


Chief Justice Susan Kiefel’s swearing-in was broadcast live on national television and may mark a shift in public attention paid to these rituals. At 10.15am on 30 January 2017 Susan Kiefel was sworn in as Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia. Swearing-in ceremonies operate alongside the open hearing of cases and the production of reasons for decision as an institutional feature of courts designed to reinforce transparency and public confidence in the judiciary. As a collective ceremonial archive, transcripts of ceremonial proceedings are also vital records of the history of the judiciary and legal profession in Australia. Chief Justice Kiefel’s ceremony was the first time a High Court swearing-in ceremony was broadcast live on national television, and may mark a shift in public and scholarly attention paid to these rituals.

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