The government has announced Jacqueline Gleeson and Simon Steward will become the High Court’s newest justices, ahead of the retirement of two sitting justices in the coming months.
Justice Gleeson is in the Federal Court in Sydney, while Justice Steward is on the Federal Court bench in Melbourne.
“They are outstanding judges, they have been outstanding members of the legal and broader Australian community,” Attorney-General Christian Porter said on Wednesday.
Justice Gleeson’s father, Murray Gleeson, also served on the High Court bench as chief justice.
“It is not really possible to appoint Justice Jacqueline Gleeson without noting she is the eldest daughter of Murray Gleeson [and] that places her in a rather unique position,” Mr Porter said.
“I am told that is a first in common law countries.”
Two of the current High Court justices are approaching the mandatory retirement age of 70.
Justice Geoffrey Nettle will retire at the end of November, while Justice Virginia Bell’s term ends next February.
Justice Steward will take Justice Nettle’s place on the bench on December 1, while Justice Gleeson will begin on March 1, 2021.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison thanked the retiring justices for their work.
“Every justice appointed to the High Court carries a significant burden to uphold the laws of our land,” he said.
“I congratulate Justice Steward and Gleeson and I wish them all the best.”
-more to come