Two Federal Court judges elevated to High Court

Federal Court judges Simon Steward and Jacqueline Gleeson have been announced as the two new appointees to the High Court of Australia.

The pair will replace retiring Justices Geoffrey Nettle and Virginia Bell.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter said in a joint statement today that the Governor-General had accepted the advice of the Government to appoint Justice Simon Steward and Justice Jacqueline Gleeson as justices of the High Court of Australia.

“Justice Steward and Justice Gleeson will respectively fill the vacancies that will arise upon the retirements of the Honourable Justice Geoffrey Nettle AC on 30 November 2020 and the Honourable Justice Virginia Bell AC on 28 February 2021,” the statement said.

“Justice Steward completed a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) in 1990 and a Masters of Law in 2000 at the University of Melbourne. He was admitted to practice as a legal practitioner of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1992 and signed the High Court Roll in the same year.

“Justice Steward was called to the Victorian Bar in 1999 and was appointed Silk in 2009. In 2009 he commenced as a Senior Fellow in the Faculty of Law at the University of Melbourne. He was appointed as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia in 2017 and commenced his career on the Bench in 2018.


“Justice Gleeson graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts in 1986 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1989. She began practising at the New South Wales Bar in 1991. Justice Gleeson left the Bar in late 2000 to practise as a solicitor, firstly with the Australian Broadcasting Authority and later the Australian Government Solicitor, before returning to the Bar in 2007.

“Justice Gleeson completed a Master of Laws at the University of Sydney in 2005 and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2012. She was appointed as a judge of the Federal Court in 2014.

“The Government congratulates Justice Steward and Justice Gleeson on their appointments…(and) take this opportunity to thank his Honour Justice Nettle and her Honour Justice Bell for their judicial service.”

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