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Judges appointed to Federal Court of Australia

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The Attorney-General, Mr R.J. Ellicott, Q.C.,

today announced the appointment of 18 Judges to the new

Federal Court of Australia. The names of the Judges in

their order of seniority are shown on the attached list.

The Judges appointed are in addition to the Chief Judge,

- Sir Nigel Bowen, whose appointment was announced on

December 10 last.

The Attorney-General also announced that the new

Court would commence to exercise its jurisdiction on 1

February next.

. The Attorney-General said that seventeen of

those appointed already held commissions on existing

Courts, namely the Australian Industrial Court, the Federal

Court of Bankruptcy and the Supreme Courts of the Australian

Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

One of those appointed comes direct from the

bar. He is Mr John Keely, Q.C. Mr Keely, 51 a Melbourne

barrister, has had a very wide experience in industrial

matters and in the course of his practice has appeared for

both Union and Employer Organisations and for the Commonwealth

and "Victorian Governments. He was appointed a Queen's

Counsel in 1969.

. The Attorney-General said that pursuant to the

Federal Court of Australia Act the new Court would have

two Divisions - an Industrial and a General Division - and

that in accordance with the Act some of the Judges had

been assigned to the General Division and some to the

Industrial Division. Others would sit regularly in both '

Divisions. Judges whose commissions assigned them to a

particular Division could be used in the other Division

should they be needed.

The Judges, in addition to the Chief Judge, whose

commissions will enable them to sit in either Division are:


Mr Justice Smithers · .

Mr Justice Woodward

Mr Justice Northrop

Mr Justice Brennan

The Attorney-General said it was not intended that

Mr Justice Woodward would sit on the Court whilst he remained

Director-General of Security.

. Those Judges whose commissions assign them

specifically to the Industrial Division are:

Mr Justice J.B. Sweeney

Mr Justice P.G. Evatt

Mr Justice Kee'ly

The Attorney-General said that there were eleven

Judges whose commissions assign them specifically to the

General Division. They are:

Mr Justice Fox

Mr Justice Blackburn

Mr Justice C.A. Sweeney '

Mr Justice Nimmo '

Mr Justice Forster . .

- Mr Justice Connor

Mr Justice Franki

Mr Justice Riley

Mr Justice Muirhead

Mr Justice Ward ,

Mr Justice St. John

He said that six of these (Justices Fox, Blackburn,

Forster, Connor,. Muirhead and Ward) were the permanent Judges

of the Territory Supreme Courts. He said that the new

Court would sit as a Court of Appeal from these Courts

and that the Territory Judges were being appointed to the

new Court to enable them to sit on Territory appeals.

1 Of the other Judges, Mr Justice C.A. Sweeney and

Mr Justice Riley who had been the Judges in Bankruptcy would

as a general rule exercise the Bankruptcy jurisdiction of


the Court in Melbourne and Sydney, respectively.

The eighteen newly appointed Judges will be

sworn Sir Nigel Bowen at 10.15 a.m. on 7 February

in the new Law Courts Building, Queens Square, Sydney.

. Canberra

18 January 1977



The Honourable Mr Justice Smithers

The Honourable Mr Justice Fox

The Honourable Mr Justice Blackburn, O.B.E.

The Honourable Mr Justice C.A.Sweeney, C.B.E.

•The Honourable Sii? John Nimmo, C.B.E., O.St.J

The Honourable Mr Justice Forster

The Honourable Mr Justice Connor

The Honourable Mr Justice Woodward, O.B.E.

The Honourable. Mr Justice Franki

The Honourable Mr Justice Riley

The Honourable Mr Justice J.B.Sweeney

The Honourable Mr Justice Muirhead

The Honourable Mr Justice P.G.Evatt, D.S.C.

The Honourable Mr Justice Ward

The Honourable Mr Justice St. John

The Honourable Mr Justice Northrop

The Honourable Mr Justice Brennan .

The Honourable Mr Justice Keely