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New Justice of the High Court Of Australia

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THE HON NICOLA ROXON MP Attorney-General Minister for Emergency Management


21 August 2012


I am pleased to announce the Governor-General Her Excellency Quentin Bryce AC CVO has today appointed Mr Stephen Gageler SC as Australia’s new Justice of the High Court of Australia following a recommendation from the Government.

Mr Gageler will be the 49th person appointed to the High Court since Federation.

Mr Gageler’s appointment will follow the retirement of the Honourable Justice William Gummow AC in October 2012 after 17 years of outstanding service to Australia’s highest court.

Mr Gageler has served as the Commonwealth Solicitor General since September 2008. He is a highly distinguished barrister and specialised in constitutional, administrative, revenue and commercial law in Sydney.

Mr Gageler studied Law and Economics at the Australian National University and completed a Master of Laws at Harvard University.

Mr Gageler served as associate for the Hon Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE QC, while he was a Justice of the High Court of Australia.

The Government thanks Mr Gageler for his work as the Solicitor-General and congratulates him on his appointment. It is a role that he will fill with distinction.

As Attorney, I consulted extensively in the lead up to the making of this decision.

This included consultation with all State and Territory Attorneys-General, the Federal Opposition, the Chief Justice and other Justices of the High Court, the Chief Justice of Federal Court, the Chief Justice of the Family Court, the Chief Federal Magistrate, the Chief Justices of the State and Territory Supreme Courts, the Council of Australasian Tribunals, 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.

The Government is grateful to all those who took the time to put forward suggestions, which greatly assisted the Government’s consideration of the breadth and depth of talent in Australia’s legal profession.

A short biography of Mr Gageler follows.

For all media enquiries, please contact the Attorney-General’s Office on 02 6277 7300 or 0409 945 476

Biography of Stephen Gageler SC, 49th Justice of the High Court of Australia

Current office: • Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia since 2008

Previous employment: • Barrister, Eleven Wentworth Chambers, Sydney 1992-2008 • Barrister, Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers, Sydney 1990-1992 • Tutor, Constitutional Law, Australian National University, 1988-1989 • Principal Legal Officer and Assistant to the Solicitor-General, Commonwealth

Attorney-General’s Department, Canberra 1987-1989 • Legal Officer and Senior Legal Officer, Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, Canberra 1985-1987 • Associate to the Hon Sir Anthony Mason KBE, High Court of Australia 1983-1985 • Solicitor, Erlingtons Solicitors, Canberra 1982-1983

Qualifications: • Appointed, Senior Counsel 2000 • Admitted, Barrister, Supreme Court of New South Wales 1989 • Master of Laws, Harvard University 1987 • Admitted, Barrister and Solicitor, Supreme Court of the ACT and the High Court

of Australia 1982 • B Laws (First Class Hons), Australian National University 1982 • B Economics Australian National University 1980

Other professional activities: • Chairman, Constitutional Law Section, NSW Bar Association 2000-2008 • Editor, Australian Law Reports 2006-2008 • Member, Administrative Review Council 1996-2006 • Member, Board of the 11th floor Wentworth Limited 1996-2006

Date of birth: 5 July 1958

Personal: • Mr Gageler was born and brought up in the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales, where he and his family lived on a four-hectare property that also housed his father and grandfather’s sawmill business C. Gageler and Son.

• Mr Gageler attended his local state primary school (Giants Creek Primary) and high school (Muswellbrook High School). • Mr Gageler is married to Carla Gageler and has three children.