ACT Supreme Court welcomes new chief justice

The selection follows "an extensive search which drew a high-calibre field"

ACT Supreme Court welcomes new chief justice

The ACT Supreme Court has welcomed Justice Lucy McCallum as the chief justice of the court.

Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury made the announcement earlier today, saying in a statement published on the ACT Greens website that the appointment follows “an extensive search which drew a high-calibre field.

“[McCallum’s] legal career spans more than 30 years and has cemented her standing in the Australian legal profession. I welcome her appointment,” Rattenbury said.

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Prior to joining the bar in 1991, McCallum worked in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions as a prosecutor. She became senior counsel in 2005.

She assisted as counsel in the in the HIH Royal Commission, and acted for asbestos victims in the James Hardie Inquiry. She also offered pro bono services to refugees in immigration detention.

Her practice as a barrister covered defamation, administrative law, competition law and professional negligence; moreover, she handled environmental issues. She also joined the NSW Bar Council in 2007.

McCallum ascended to the bench of the NSW Supreme Court’s common law division in 2008, and was appointed the list judge for the defamation list in 2014. In 2019, she rose to the bench of the NSW Court of Appeal.

ACT Bar Association President Andrew Muller and ACT Law Society President Elizabeth Carroll welcomed the new chief justice.

“Her Honour has presided over hundreds of high-profile criminal and civil proceedings, first as a barrister and then as a judge, garnering a reputation for scrupulous fairness,” both organisations said in their media releases.

As the sixth ACT Supreme Court chief justice, McCallum succeeds outgoing Chief Justice Helen Murrell, who made history as the first female chief justice in the state. Murrell served an eight-year term in the role that ends in March 2022.

“I am very excited to be returning to the ACT to take on this role. I’m looking forward to working with Canberra’s judges and magistrates and the broader legal community to build on the achievements of Chief Justice Murrell and cement the Territory’s reputation as a place of excellent jurisprudence,” McCallum said in a statement on the ACT Greens website.

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