He served as judge of the Federal Court for over two decades
In a significant development for Victoria's formal truth-telling process, the Yoorrook Justice Commission has appointed former Federal Court judge Anthony North KC as one of its Commissioners.
Commissioner North brings a wealth of legal experience, having served as a judge of the Federal Court of Australia for over two decades, from 1995 to 2018. His recent role as Chair of the Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) for the past four-and-a-half years further underscores his distinguished career in law.
Throughout his tenure as a judge, Commissioner North focused on various legal areas, including native title, refugee law, industrial law, and criminal appeals within the Australian Capital Territory Court of Appeal.
As Chair of the VLRC, Commissioner North engaged extensively with First Nations organisations and community members, demonstrating his commitment to social justice issues.
Chair of Yoorrook, Professor Eleanor Bourke, expressed her welcome to Commissioner North, highlighting the crucial phase in the truth-telling process. She emphasised Yoorrook's ongoing inquiries into vital aspects of Indigenous life, including land, health, housing, education, and socio-political matters. Public hearings are scheduled in the coming months, with the Commission aiming to conclude its historic work by June 2025.
Commissioner North, acknowledging his appointment, expressed his honour in contributing to Yoorrook's groundbreaking work. “I am honoured to contribute to the historic work of the Yoorrook Justice Commission. I hope that my skills and experience will help advance its work: to tell the truth of our history. That truth is the foundation for community understanding, which is necessary so that we can move towards a more just society.”
Commissioner North joins an esteemed lineup of Commission members, including Chair Professor Eleanor Bourke, Deputy Chair Adjunct Professor Sue-Anne Hunter, Commissioner Travis Lovett, and Commissioner Distinguished Professor Maggie Walter.
Formally appointed by Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Margaret Gardner AC, Governor of Victoria, Commissioner North assumed his role immediately.
Yoorrook aims to deliver its final report to the First Peoples Assembly of Victoria and the Victorian Government in the first half of 2025, marking a significant milestone in the pursuit of truth and justice.