Former judges share memories

The Honourable James Allsop AC SC will be featured in an upcoming podcast. Photo: Event Photos Australia

The Federal Court has released the first two of its oral history podcasts entitled Lives and Times of Judges of the Federal Court of Australia.

Interviews with the Honourable MEJ Black AC KC and the Honourable WMC Gummow AC KC are now available.

The Honourable Robert French AC, the Honourable James Allsop AC SC and the Honourable Susan Kenny AM KC will also be interviewed for the series.

All 10 podcasts – of about 30 to 40 minutes – are planned over the next year and cover their careers before, during and after their incumbency as a Federal Court Judge.

Subjects also include notable cases, judgments, and the pathways taken to a career in the law, including childhood, education and mentorship.

More broadly, they deal with the creation and operation of the Federal Court, the politics of the times and political and social changes that have affected the working environment.


The Federal Court began as an entirely new court in January 1977 and its jurisdiction has continued to expand with the increase of Commonwealth legislative activity.

It started with just 18 judges and currently has 54.

Federal Court Chief Justice Debbie Mortimer said it was critically important the voices and memories of former judges were recorded so current and future generations can understand and reflect upon decisions made at particular points in history.

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