Journal article

'Benchmarking' a Supreme Court and Federal Court Judge in Australia

Francesca Bartlett, Heather Douglas

Oñati Socio-legal Series | ONATI INT INST SOCIOLOGY LAW | Published : 2018


In this article, we reflect upon the backgrounds and career trajectories of judicial officers currently presiding over the Federal Court and Supreme Courts, which are some of the highest courts, in Australia. We gathered information through publicly available websites in Australia providing official biographical information, and drew on academic efforts to fill in more details about the judiciary. While patchy, the picture today in the Australian judiciary is of a relatively uniform educational and career background – for both male and female judges. Our analysis shows that judges are predominantly recruited from a long career at the private Bar. However, given continued professional barrier..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

Research for this article was supported by Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects funding, The Australian Feminist Judgements Project no. 120102375. We acknowledge the research assistance of Kathryn Thomas and Jessica Downing-Ide. We thank Rosemary Hunter for her useful comments on an earlier draft and suggestions from anonymous referees.