Hearsay ... the Journal of the Bar Association of Queensland
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Swearing-In of Justice Jackson Print E-mail

swearing-in_intro.jpgThe following address was given by the Honourable Chief Justice de Jersey AC at the swearing-in ceremony of the Honourable Justice David Jackson. The ceremony was held on 10 October 2012 in the Banco Court.

We join to welcome Justice Jackson as the 113th Judge to be appointed to the Supreme Court in its 151 year history. There is added historical significance in this occasion, the first judicial swearing-in ceremony to take place in the Banco Court of the Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law.

I note with pleasure the presence of the Honourable the Attorney-General, the Presidents, the Chief Judge and Judges of the District Court, the Chief Justice and Judges of the Federal Court, the Chief Magistrate and his colleagues, retired Judges and Tribunal members.

The President of the Court of Appeal, the Senior Judge Administrator and Justices Margaret Wilson and Philip McMurdo have asked me to record their regret that they cannot be present this morning, because overseas, and Justice Ann Lyons who is interstate. All Judges of the court would wish to be associated with my following remarks. So would Justice Dowsett of the Federal Court: the then Mr Jackson was the then Mr Dowsett’s pupil at the bar. Yesterday at the swearing in of Justice Gageler at the High Court in Canberra, the Shadow Attorney-General, Senator Brandis, asked me to record his apology as well today, for the reason that parliament is sitting in Canberra.

I also take the opportunity to welcome members of the practising profession. Space considerations limited the number of practitioners who could be accommodated at the official opening on 3 August. I know that large numbers of practitioners participated in the guided tours conducted subsequently, at least 545 and there may have been more. It is nevertheless important that I express a particular welcome to the profession to our new courthouse, at this the first judicial swearing-in, and in so doing I acknowledge with gratitude the productively close relationship between the profession and the Judges and Magistrates. That relationship, which serves to foster continuing monitoring and reassessment of our processes, is very much in the public interest.

In that context, I also make mention of the fact that last Saturday, during the Brisbane Open House Festival, in just over five hours, as many as 1,396 members of the public toured the courthouse, an unsurprisingly high level of public interest in this remarkable building.

Before speaking directly in relation to Justice Jackson, I record gratitude, Mr Attorney, that in difficult financial times the government has found a way to increase the complement of Supreme Court Judges from 26 to 27. This necessary additional appointment will greatly assist in ensuring more timely disposition of the unrelenting workload of the court.

Given his legal acuity and intellectual pre-eminence evident through substantial trial and appellate experience over many years, Justice Jackson is an outstanding addition to the ranks of the Supreme Court, and the quality of this appointment is self-evident.

Justice Jackson’s practice at the bar spanned 35 years, 22 of them as Queen’s Counsel. Substantial corporate commercial work was its focus, but its reach was broader, including for example appearing for the pastoralists in the Wik People’s case ((1996) 187 CLR 1).

There is no doubt as to His Honour’s capacity to deal with all of the wide range of cases this court’s plenary jurisdiction exposes.

We warmly welcome Justice Jackson to the Court, and his wife Janice to the court community.

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