Australia has made history today but swearing in the country’s first female Chief Justice of the High Court.
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Today Susan Keifel made her pledge while also paying respects to those that made this appointment possible. She told the press, “It would not be until 1987 that a woman, the Honourable Mary Gaudron, was appointed to this court”. She added, “When I came to the bar in 1975, there were very few women members of the profession. This is not the occasion to consider why this was so.”
The new Chief Justice will put in the hard work as she has a proven track record of accomplishments. She became a legal secretary while finishing high school part time at the age of 15. Ms Kiefel achieved admittance to the Queensland Bar in 1975 before becoming the first woman to be appointed to the Queen’s Counsel in the state.
Chief Justice Keifel believes that this is a landmark step for Australia stating, “The appointment of more women to this court recognises that there are now women who have the necessary legal ability and experience as well as the personal qualities to be a justice of this court”. She added, “There seems no reason to think that that situation will not be maintained in the future. It may well improve.”
While she has been on the High Court since 2007 today marks her reaching the highest level with the support from her peers. She said, “Chief justices, like the other justices, give a part of their lives to the service of this court and thereby to the people of Australia”. She then added, “That service is not given for the purpose of personal acknowledgement or the enhancement of reputation.
“It is given to ensure that this court is maintained as an institution in which the Government, the legislature, the legal profession and the people of Australia can have confidence.”
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