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Appointments to the High Court of Australia

Media Release

Prime Minister
The Hon. Scott Morrison MP

Minister for Industrial Relations
The Hon. Christian Porter MP

His Excellency the Governor-General has accepted the advice of the Government to appoint the Honourable Justice Simon Steward and the Honourable Justice Jacqueline Gleeson as Justices of the High Court of Australia.

Justice Steward and Justice Gleeson will respectively fill the vacancies that will arise upon the retirements of the Honourable Justice Geoffrey Nettle AC on 30 November 2020 and the Honourable Justice Virginia Bell AC on 28 February 2021.

Justice Steward completed a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) in 1990 and a Masters of Law in 2000, at the University of Melbourne. He was admitted to practice as a legal practitioner of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1992 and signed the High Court Roll in the same year.

Justice Steward was called to the Victorian Bar in 1999 and was appointed Silk in 2009. In 2009 he commenced as a Senior Fellow in the Faculty of Law at the University of Melbourne. He was appointed as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia in 2017 and commenced his career on the Bench in 2018.

Justice Gleeson graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts in 1986 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1989. She began practising at the New South Wales Bar in 1991. Justice Gleeson left the Bar in late 2000 to practise as a solicitor, firstly with the Australian Broadcasting Authority and later the Australian Government Solicitor, before returning to the Bar in 2007.

Justice Gleeson completed a Master of Laws at the University of Sydney in 2005 and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2012. She was appointed as a Judge of the Federal Court in 2014.

The Government congratulates Justice Steward and Justice Gleeson on their appointments.

We also take this opportunity to thank His Honour Justice Nettle and Her Honour Justice Bell for their judicial service.

The Honourable Justice Simon Steward

2018 Judge, Federal Court of Australia
2014 Appointed Queen’s Counsel
2009-2017 Queen’s Counsel/ Senior Counsel, Aickin Chambers
2009 Appointed Senior Counsel
1999 Signed Bar Roll, Victorian Bar
1992-1999 Solicitor/Senior Associate, Mallesons Stephen Jaques
1992 Signed High Court Roll
1992 Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor, Supreme Court of Victoria


2000 Master of Laws, University of Melbourne
1990 Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours), University of Melbourne

The Honourable Justice Jacqueline Gleeson

2014 Judge, Federal Court of Australia
2012 Appointed Senior Counsel
2007-2014 Barrister, private practice
2003-2006 Senior Executive Lawyer, Australian Government Solicitor
2001-2003 General Counsel, Australian Broadcasting Authority
1991 Admitted as Barrister of the Supreme Court of New South Wales
1990-2000 Solicitor/Barrister
1989 Associate to the Honourable Justice Trevor Morling, Federal Court of Australia
1989 Admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales


2005 Masters of Laws, University of Sydney
1989 Bachelor of Laws, University of Sydney
1986 Bachelor of Arts, University of Sydney