Susan Kiefel Sworn In As 13th Chief Justice Of The High Court Of Australia

Susan Kiefel has been sworn in as Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.

Kiefel

Kiefel was sworn in at 10am in a ceremony at the High Court in Canberra. The Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, dressed in wig and gown, addressed the court following the ceremony.

Kiefel, 63, is the 13th Chief Justice of the court since it was established in 1903. She succeeds Robert French, who served from 2008.

Under of the Section 72 of the Constitutution, Kiefel must retire by January 17, 2024, when she turns 70. [Read more…]


Susan Kiefel Appointed First Woman Chief Justice Of High Court; James Edelman Fills Vacancy

The Turnbull government has appointed Justice Susan Kiefel as the Chief Justice of the High Court.

KiefelKiefel was first appointed to the High Court in 2007 by the Howard government. She is the longest-serving member of the court and will become the 13th Chief Justice, the first woman Chief Justice and the fourth Chief Justice from Queensland. She will replace Chief Justice Robert French, who was appointed by the Rudd government in 2008.

Kiefel’s appointment means that all three arms – parliament, executive and judicial – of the Australian political system will now have been led by a woman.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Attorney-General Senator George Brandis also announced that James Edelman will fill the vacant position on the court. Edelman, has been a judge of the Federal Court since 2015, after serving as a Justice of the Western Australian Supreme Court since 2011. He is a former Professor of Law at Oxford University.

Edelman is 42. He turns 43 on January 9. When he is sworn in on January 30, he will become the fourth youngest Justice of the Court, just behind Sir Owen Dixon, who was 42 years, 9 months and 7 days old when he was appointed in 1929. [Read more…]


Brandis Announces New Anti-Terror Laws; Control Orders To Apply To 14-Year-Olds; Indefinite Detention For Convicted Terrorists

The federal government will this week introduce legislation to extend anti-terrorist control orders to 14-year-olds and to provide for indefinite detention of high-risk offenders.

The Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, announced the proposals at a media conference in Brisbane this morning.

Brandis

Control orders currently have a minimum age threshold of 16 years. The government plans to lower this to 14 years.

It also plans to introduce a uniform nationwide regime of post-sentence detention for high-risk offenders who remain unreformed after completing their sentence. Brandis said the proposal provides for the Attorney-General to apply to a state Supreme Court for a post-sentence order. Such an order could include an indefinite period of detention. [Read more…]


Coalition-Labor Deal On Rotation Of Members Confirmed By Senate

The Senate has voted to confirm the agreement between the Coalition and the ALP on the rotation of senators following the double dissolution election.

As has occurred on each of the previous six occasions when double dissolutions have been held (1914, 1951, 1974, 1975, 1983 and 1987), the first six senators elected in each state have received six-year terms, whilst the second group of six will serve for three years. The rotation is required under Section 13 of the Constitution.

The major parties rejected the recount method whereby the Senate votes are recounted as if it was a half-Senate election. This method would have meant that the Liberal and Labor Parties each lose one long-term senator (Scott Ryan and Deborah O’Neill) in favour of minor parties (Derryn Hinch and Lee Rhiannon). [Read more…]


Current Federal Parliamentary Leaders

Each political party represented in the Federal Parliament elects leaders in each house.

Just as the government is decided in the House of Representatives, so the parties elect their leaders and deputy leaders from amongst their representatives in the House. If the party is not represented in the lower house, its leader will be chosen from amongst its members in the Senate.

These tables are correct as of the first day of the 45th Parliament, August 30, 2016. The Liberal, Nationals and ALP positions are unchanged from those that applied immediately prior to the July 2 double dissolution election. Senate parties with more than one senator have been included for the first time. [Read more…]


One Nation Wins Two Queensland Senate Seats; Coalition Loses Ground; ALP And Greens Unchanged

The Senate results for Queensland were finalised and announced this morning.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is the big winner, securing two positions, taking its national tally to three. The Coalition has retained 5 of its 6 seats, the ALP has retained 4 and the Greens 1.

The Coalition polled 35.27% of the primary vote and secured the re-election of 5 senators – George Brandis, Matthew Canavan (Nats), James McGrath, Ian Macdonald and Barry O’Sullivan (Nats).

Joanna Lindgren, who entered the Senate in May last year, filling a casual vacancy created by the retirement of Brett Mason, has been defeated.

The ALP polled 26.35%, enough to elect 4 senators: new members Murray Watt and Anthony Chisholm, and returning members Claire Moore and Chris Ketter. Watt and Chisholm replace Jan McLucas and Joe Ludwig, who both retired.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation polled 9.19% of the vote, securing two places. Pauline Hanson will return to the parliament for the first time since she he held the lower house seat of Oxley between 1996-98. She will be joined by Malcolm Roberts.

One Nation has secured a stronger preference flow from other minor and micro parties. It now stands a reasonable chance of winning a fourth position in NSW.

The Greens polled 6.92%, re-electing Larissa Waters to a second term

Aside from Joanna Lindgren, only one other previous senator, Glenn Lazarus, was defeated. Elected in 2013 as a Palmer United Party candidate, Lazarus ran under his own banner of The Glenn Lazarus Team, polling 1.66% of the primary vote. [Read more…]


Government House Releases Double Dissolution Documents

Government House has released the documents related to today’s announcement of a double dissolution election on July 2.

The documents include the formal advice tendered by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Cosgrove’s written assent to the advice.

A statement from the Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, has also been released. It sets out the legal position of the legislation twice rejected by the Senate and demonstrates how Section 57 of the Constitution has been satisfied.

The documents also show the hand-written annotations of the Governor-General. [Read more…]