LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – A Queensland judge will today become just the third woman to sit in the High Court of Australia. Justice Susan Kiefel will officially take up the position this afternoon in a ceremony at the High Court in Canberra.
The 53-year-old Federal Court judge is regarded as a conservative and safe choice for the position left vacant by fellow Queenslander Justice Ian Callinan, who has retired after serving nine years.
Justice Kiefel left school at 15 and worked for a law firm before studying and working her way up in the legal profession.
She was Queensland’s first female Queen’s Counsel (QC) and the first Queensland woman to be appointed a Federal Court judge.
Australian Women Lawyers president Janean Richards says women on the bench make an important contribution.
“We think a diverse judiciary is desirable for a number of reasons,” she said.
“We think it’s important to facilitate public confidence in the judiciary and to ensure the judiciary reflects the make-up of the Australian legal profession.