The solicitations have been made, names canvassed, soundings made, due diligence conducted and a short list drawn-up.
This is for the job of Chief Justice of the Federal Court, which becomes vacant in March when Michael Black retires.
Here’s Justinian’s shortlist for the job.
* James Allsop (NSW). Formerly a judge of the Federal Court (2001-2008) before taking up the appointment as President of the NSW Court of Appeal. (Age not disclosed.)
* Pat Keane (Qld). Queensland Court of Appeal since 2005. Age 57.
* John Mansfield (SA). Judge of the Federal Court since 1996. Deputy President of the Australian Competition Tribunal since 2008. Age 63.
* Carmel McLure (WA) Judge of the WA Court of Appeal since 2005. Went to the WA Supreme Court in 2001. (Age not disclosed.)
The Federal Court’s own favourite for the job is Justice Mansfield (pic).
The cat-among-the-pigeons suggestion is Justice Chris Maxwell, Prez VicAppeals.
Barring a strong late starter our prediction is that it will one of the four. Don’t ask for reasons, but suggest away …