Morrison appoints new High Court judges

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Daniel McCulloch
(Australian Associated Press)


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced two new appointments to the High Court.

Federal Court justices Simon Steward from Victoria and Jacqueline Gleeson from NSW will join the bench within months, replacing outgoing judges Geoffrey Nettle and Virginia Bell.

“Every justice appointed to the High Court carries a significant burden to uphold the laws of our land,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

“I congratulate Justice Steward and Gleeson and I wish them all the best.”

Justice Geoffrey Nettle will retire on November 30 and Justice Bell will finish in February.

Attorney General Christian Porter said the incoming justices were outstanding legal minds and would make very useful additions to the High Court.

“Both have absolutely impeccable records and skills for the High Court,” he said.

Mr Porter described the six-month selection process as exhaustive and extensive.

Justice Gleeson is the daughter of former High Court chief justice Murray Gleeson.

“That places her in a rather unique position. I am told that is a first in common law countries,” Mr Porter said.

No South Australian has ever been appointed to the High Court, and the state was overlooked again.

Mr Porter said the historic geographic snub weighed heavily on his mind but he did not commit to appointing a South Australian in the future.


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