Appointments to The Federal Court of Australia
I am pleased to announce that the Governor-General, His Excellency the Hon David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), has accepted the advice of the Government and appointed Justice Catherine Button, Justice Geoffrey Kennett, and Mr Ian Jackman SC as judges of the Federal Court of Australia.
The Government is committed to greater transparency in the judicial appointments process. In the lead up to this decision I consulted extensively with key members of the legal community seeking nominations of suitable, qualified people.
I established an advisory panel, comprising the Hon James Allsop AO, Chief Justice of the Federal Court, the Hon Alan Robertson SC, former Justice of the Federal Court, and a senior officer of the Attorney-General's Department. The advisory panel assessed the nominations and provided me with recommendations on suitable candidates. The three people whose judicial appointments I am announcing today were all recommended to me by the panel.
On behalf of the Australian Government I congratulate Justice Button, Justice Kennett and Mr Jackman on their appointments and thank them for their willingness to serve the people of Australia as judges of the Federal Court of Australia.
Justice Catherine Button
Justice Button has been appointed to the Victorian Registry and will commence on 16 January 2023. Justice Button was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2000. Justice Button came to the Bar in 2007 and took silk in 2018. In July 2021 Justice Button was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria.
In 1997 Justice Button graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws. Justice Button also studied as a Rhodes Scholar from 2000 to 2003, graduating from the University of Oxford with a Bachelor of Civil Law in 2000, a Master of Philosophy in Law in 2001 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 2003.
Prior to joining the Bar in 2007 Justice Button was a senior associate with Minter Ellison in the commercial disputes division and also spent some time working in the United Kingdom at the Law Commission. In 2018 Justice Button took silk and practised in areas of corporate, commercial, regulatory and tax law, before being appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2021.
Justice Geoffrey Kennett
Justice Kennett has been appointed to the New South Wales Registry and will commence on 19 December 2022. Justice Kennett was admitted as a legal practitioner in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1989. Justice Kennett joined the Bar in 1998 and took silk in 2010. In March 2022 Justice Kennett was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory.
Justice Kennett graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in 1985, a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) in 1988, and a Master of Public Law in 1993. He also studied at the University of Sydney, graduating with a Master of Law in 2013.
In 1985 Justice Kennett began his career in the Australian Public Service. He held various roles including notably as counsel assisting the Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth, before being called to the Bar in 1998. He was appointed Senior Counsel in 2010.
At the Bar Justice Kennett specialised in administrative, constitutional, customs, native title, taxation and competition and consumer law matters. He served for several years as chair of the Administrative Law Committee of the Law Council of Australia and a member of its Constitutional Law Committee.
Mr Ian Jackman SC
Mr Jackman has been appointed to the New South Wales Registry and will commence on 6 February 2023. Mr Jackman was admitted as a barrister in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1989, and took silk in 2002.
Mr Jackman graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons I) in 1984. In 1985, as a Rhodes Scholar, Mr Jackman went to the University of Oxford where he completed a Bachelor of Arts (Jurisprudence) (Hons I) in 1987 and a Bachelor of Civil Law in 1988. During his studies Mr Jackman received the Gibbs Prize in Law.
While at the Bar, Mr Jackman specialised in commercial and company law and has also published works including in the Cambridge Law Journal and Australian Law Journal. The first edition of Mr Jackman’s book ‘The Varieties of Restitution’ was published by the Federation Press in 1998.