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Upcoming retirement of the Honourable Justice Patrick Keane AC, Justice of the High Court of Australia

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Media Release

The Government has commenced the consultation process to appoint a new Justice of the High Court of Australia. This upcoming appointment will follow the retirement of the Honourable Justice Patrick Keane AC in October 2022 after nine years of outstanding service to the Australian community as a Justice of Australia’s highest court since his appointment in March 2013.

At the time of his appointment, Justice Keane was Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia. He served as a judge of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Queensland, before joining the Federal Court. Prior to this, he was Solicitor-General for Queensland and a highly distinguished barrister. Justice Keane is a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the law and the judiciary.

On behalf of the Government, I thank Justice Keane for his service and dedication as a Justice of the High Court of Australia. It is a role that he has performed with the utmost distinction and intellectual rigour.

The Government is consulting extensively in the lead up to the decision for a new Justice of the High Court.

I am currently seeking views on a suitable replacement from the Attorneys-General of States and Territories, and the heads of Federal Courts and State and Territory Supreme Courts.

I have also written to members of the broader legal community, including the Law Council of Australia, the Australian Bar Association, State and Territory Bar Associations and Law Societies, Australian Women Lawyers, the National Association of Community Legal Centres, National Legal Aid, and Deans of law schools.

Broad consultation with the legal community will assist the Government in appointing the best candidate to the High Court. A further announcement will be made in due course.