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Law Council of Australia


Ceremonial Sitting of the High Court of Australia to mark the swearing-in of The Honourable Stephen Gageler AC as Chief Justice of Australia

Speech delivered by Greg McIntyre, President-elect of the Law Council of Australia at the High Court of Australia, Canberra, 6 November 2023.

"May it please the Court.

I adopt the acknowledgement of Traditional Owners by my learned friend Mr McAvoy.

Your Honour recently reflected on the concept of judicial legitimacy in the Australian Law Journal. You stated, “’Judicial legitimacy’ I take to mean that level of public confidence which needs to exist for a competent and impartial judiciary to do its job of deciding controversies according to law without fear of favour. Judicial legitimacy depends on the public understanding and respecting the distinctiveness of the judicial function.”

Your Honour’s appointment as Chief Justice contributes to the confidence which the public, including the legal profession, hold in this Court; making it very easy for those whom we at the Bar table represent to play our part in maintaining that legitimacy by assisting in ensuring that there is a public understanding of the judicial function whenever the need arises to reinforce that."

Read the full speech below.


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