Law Council of Australia


Law Council welcomes five new court appointments

25 February 2019

The Law Council of Australia has welcomed the Attorney-General’s appointment of multiple judges to the Federal and Family Courts of Australia.

Five appointments have been announced – four to the Federal Court and one to the Family Court – increasing the capacity of the courts to deal with their growing workloads.

Darren Jackson SC, Michael O’Bryan QC, Angus Stewart SC and John Snaden have been appointed as judges of the Federal Court of Australia.

Judge Ciara Tyson has been appointed as a judge of the Family Court of Australia.

Mr Jackson, from Western Australia, will commence his position in Perth. He has practiced extensively in commercial law, arbitration, mediation, and public and administrative law.

It is anticipated Mr O’Bryan and Mr Stewart will provide valuable assistance to the Federal Court to accommodate the predicted increase in civil enforcement actions brought by ASIC after the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

Mr O’Bryan, who has extensive experience in competition and consumer law, commercial law, corporate and securities law, administrative law and constitutional law, will be based in Melbourne.

Mr Stewart, a leading practitioner in admiralty and maritime law, international trade, international commercial arbitration, and human rights law, will be based in Sydney.

Mr Snaden, who will be Melbourne-based, will provide the Federal Court with additional resourcing and expertise in its employment and industrial relations jurisdiction. Mr Snaden is an experienced civil litigation and dispute resolution practitioner, having appeared in many high-profile industrial disputes.

Judge Tyson will hold a dual commission as a judge of the Family Court of Australia and the Family Court of Western Australia. Her Honour practiced principally in family law in Australia and London before her appointment as a Registrar and Magistrate of the Family Court of Western Australia in 2015.

Law Council President, Arthur Moses SC, said these appointments would bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the courts.

“The Law Council thanks Attorney-General Christian Porter for making these excellent and timely appointments. These new judges are fearless advocates for the rule of law and are some of the country’s leading practitioners in their respective fields. Their expertise will be an asset to the judiciary and to the community they serve,” Mr Moses said.

“The Law Council looks forward to the Federal Attorney-General consulting the Law Council on future appointments – as has been agreed. Consultation is critical to promote diverse, merit-based appointments and maintain public confidence in the integrity of Australia’s judiciary.”


Media contacts:

Patrick Pantano: Public Affairs

P. 02 6246 3715     E.

Anne-Louise Brown

P. 0406 987 050     E.


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