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Ceremonial Sitting of the High Court of Australia on the occasion of the farewell of the Chief Justice, the Honourable Susan Mary Kiefel AC

Speech delivered by Luke Murphy, President of the Law Council of Australia at the High Court of Australia, Canberra, 16 October 2023.
 

"May it please the Court.

I too respectfully acknowledge that we are meeting on the traditional land of the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, and pay my respect to their Elders past and present, and Elders from other communities who may be here today.

I also acknowledge the Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus KG MP; President of the Australian Bar Association, Mr Peter Dunning KC; all judicial officers, dignitaries, family, friends, and, most of all: Chief Justice Kiefel. I am honoured to appear on behalf of the national legal profession to congratulate you on an exemplary career.

We have come together today to honour Your Honour's contribution to the administration of justice in this country as the 13th Chief Justice of the highest court of our land.

The words uttered by then Attorney-General Alfred Deakin in support of establishing the High Court, have been shared many times here. I apologise for repeating them, but they remind us that the objective of the High Court as envisioned over a century ago was that its highest function would be "exercised in unfolding the Constitution itself."

Read the full speech below.

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