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Howard Appoints Murray Gleeson As New High Court Chief Justice

The Prime Minister, John Howard, has announced the appointment of the current Chief Justice of the NSW Supreme Court, Murray Gleeson, as Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.

Justice Gleeson will become the eleventh Chief Justice of the High Court since it was established in 1903.

It is Mr. Howard’s second appointment to the court since his election in 1996.

This is the text of Howard’s announcement:

I am pleased to announce that it will be recommended to the Governor-General that the Honourable Justice (Anthony) Murray Gleeson AC, be appointed as Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.

Justice Gleeson, 59, is currently Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and has held this position since 1988. In addition he has been the President of the Judicial Commission of New South Wales since 1988 and Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales since 1989.

Prior to his appointment to the New South Wales Supreme Court, Chief Justice Gleeson had a distinguished career at the Bar. Having been appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1974 he went on to become President of the New South Wales Bar Association from 1984 to 1986. At the Bar he had an extensive general practice with significant expertise in equity, commercial and constitutional work and was held in the highest regard for his advocacy skills.

The proposed appointment arises following the imminent retirement, with effect from 22 May 1998, of the current Chief Justice of the High Court, the Hon. Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE.

I am sure that Mr Justice Gleeson will serve as Chief Justice with great distinction. His experience, skill and superb legal abilities admirably fit him for the task.

There will be an opportunity, at the time of his retirement, to say something of Sir Gerard Brennan’s work as Chief Justice.

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