Queensland Susan Kiefel Welcomed as First Woman Chief Justice of High Court
Congratulations go to Australia's first woman Chief Justice of the High Court, Susan Kiefel AC. She will succeed CJ Robert French AC, following his retirement in January next year.
We regard her appointment as the 13th Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, as a significant legal milestone.
Susan Kiefel is a Queenslander born in Cairns who began her rise in the legal profession by working as a legal secretary. She was appointed to the High Court of Australia in 2007.
Significantly, this is the first time in Australia's history that a woman has been appointed to head the highest court in the nation which was established in 1903.
But we acknowledge remarks by Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, the president of the Australian Law Reform Commission, that the Chief justice-designate would not want too strong a point to be made of her gender amid what has been widely described as a landmark appointment.
"Nevertheless this is a milestone for women in law and we should celebrate it as such, and acknowledge Justice Kiefel is an inspiration to all women in the legal profession," Cassandra Pullos says.
Justice Kiefel was named in 2011 a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the law and to the judiciary, to law reform and to legal education in the areas of ethics, justice and governance.
She has served as Queensland's first QC and during her service on the Federal Court, Queensland Supreme Court and the High Court, Justice Kiefel has served Australia with high distinction.