duffy, sir

Chief Justice of Australia

The Chief Justice of Australia is the senior justice of the High Court of Australia and the highest-ranking judicial officer in the Commonwealth of Australia. The present incumbent is Robert French.

The office of Chief Justice is established under section 71 of the Australian Constitution, which establishes the High Court as consisting of a Chief Justice and at least two other Justices.

The Chief Justice is first among equals among the Justices of the High Court, and the position differs little from that of the other members. The one substantial difference between a Chief Justice and any of the other members of the Court is that, by operation of section 23(2) of the Judiciary Act 1903, where opinion on the court is evenly divided, that side of the question supported by the Chief Justice is the side which prevails.

As with all other Justices of Federal courts, appointment is until the mandatory retirement age of seventy. Before 1977, appointment was for life. As the workload of the Court has steadily increased, more Justices have retired before reaching the mandatory retirement age.

The Chief Justice often acts as the Governor-General's deputy, especially at ceremonies such as the opening of Parliament after an election.

The Chief Justice also administers the Oaths of Office and Allegiance to the monarch to the Governor-General-designate when he or she takes up his or her appointment.

List of Chief Justices of the High Court

See also

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