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6 October, 2009  
Federal Court CJ

Here’s a list of contenders for an upcoming vacancy – Chief Justice of the Federal Court … Refined speculations … Weight for age … Jockey Club selections

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 imageTribunal 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 …


Reader Comments

Posted by: Anonymous
Date: October 5, 2009, 11:56 pm

Hopefully the beard is where the resemblance ends to Sir Charles Powers
Posted by: Anonymous
Date: October 6, 2009, 1:30 am

I can't see the Admiral taking the job... He hasn't been Prezza for very long... I guess the Full Fed Ct might get a slightly more varied diet of work, of which Allsop would have the pick as CJ... Still, given his background as a commercial silk, though, I think he'd be pretty happy to stay put... The only thing he'd really miss is the IP work... Added to that is the constant travel of the Fed Ct CJ and the reality - let's face it - that the Full Fed Ct is hardly the august tribunal that is the NSWCA... Mansfield seems v likely - an insider, personable, well respected, and yet another Ruddite minor state appointment. Only thing against him is age... That said, reported before the election that Julian Burnside QC already had the job stitched up... Should Keane JA be ineligible on the ground that he shares the Vinerian Scholarship with Lord Saville of Nudiegate?
Posted by: Anonymous
Date: October 8, 2009, 8:27 pm

What about Weinberg J? He left the Fed Court to rescue his super and is now on the Vic Court of Appeal. Mark would make an excellent CJ.
Posted by: Anonymous
Date: October 11, 2009, 7:55 pm

I'm surprised Bennett J isn't on your shortlist. She would certainly be on mine.