High Court of Australia welcomes new Justice Patrick Keane AC

The High Court of Australia officially welcomed new Justice Patrick Keane to the bench today at a swearing-in ceremony in Canberra.

The High Court of Australia officially welcomed new Justice Patrick Keane to the bench today at a swearing-in ceremony in Canberra.

The ceremony was attended by Chief Justice Robert French, the Justices of the High Court, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus and senior law officers from around Australia and New Zealand.

Justice Keane is the 50th appointee to the High Court since Federation and replaces the Honourable Justice John Dyson Heydon AC who retired last week after 10 years of dedicated service to the Court.

"In a political environment where bipartisan support can be elusive, Justice Keane's appointment is welcomed by both sides of the Parliament," said Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC.

"In consultations across the legal system prior to his appointment, Justice Keane was noted for his outstanding intellect and capacity for hard work, and is widely respected for his leadership and interpersonal skills at the Federal Court.

"Throughout a long career, he has cultivated an environment of development - encouraging judicial and staff education and supporting programs for judges in other countries," said the Attorney-General.

Justice Keane served as Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia from 2010 and, prior to that, as a Judge on the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Queensland. He was also Solicitor-General for Queensland for 13 years. He joins Justice Susan Kiefel as the second Queenslander on the bench of the High Court and is the eighth to be appointed a High Court Justice.

"I thank Justice Keane for his ongoing service to the Australian legal community and congratulate him on a well-deserved appointment," said Mr Dreyfus.


Biography of Patrick Keane, 50th Justice of the High Court of Australia

Previous positions:

  • Chief Justice of the Federal Court since March 2010
  • 2005-2010 Judge, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Queensland
  • 1992-2005: Solicitor-General for Queensland
  • 1990-92: Deputy Chairman, Queensland Law Reform Commission
  • 1989-2005: Member, Supreme Court Library Committee
  • 1978-79: Part-time Lecturer, University of Queensland
  • 1978-2005: Barrister, Queensland Bar
  • 1976-77: Solicitor, Feez Ruthning
  • 1973-75: Articled Clerk, Roberts and Kane Solicitors

Qualifications:

  • Appointed Queen's Counsel, 1988
  • Bachelor of Civil Law (Hons), Oxford University, 1977
  • Admitted, Barrister, Supreme Court of Queensland, 1977
  • Admitted, Solicitor, Supreme Court of Queensland, 1976
  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons), University of Queensland, 1976
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Queensland, 1973

Date of birth:

  • 26 October 1952

Personal:

Justice Keane grew up in Wilston, Brisbane. He attended St Columba's Convent School and St Joseph's College Gregory Terrace where he was School Captain and Dux of the School.

He is married to Dr Shelley Keane. They have three sons and three grandchildren.


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