The Hon. Justice Virginia Bell SC (LLB 1977) appointed to High Court

15 December 2008



Justice Bell delivered the occasional address at the November 2008 Sydney Law School Graduation Ceremony

The Federal Government today announced that The Hon. Justice Virginia Bell SC (LLB 1977) of the Supreme Court of New South Wales will take up the position on the High Court soon to be vacated by The Hon. Justice Michael Kirby AC, CMG (BA 1959, LLB 1962, BEc 1965, LLM 1967).

An excerpt from the Attorney-General's Department reads as follows:

Justice Bell will be the 48th person, and the fourth woman, appointed to the High Court since Federation. 

Her Honour's appointment will follow the retirement of the Honourable Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG after 13 years of outstanding service to Australia's highest court.

Justice Bell is currently a Judge of Appeal of the NSW Supreme Court. 

Beginning her legal career at the Redfern Legal Centre in 1978, Justice Bell practised as a lawyer for over 20 years before being appointed a Judge of the NSW Supreme Court in 1999.

Her Honour's time in practice included service as a Public Defender, as Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into the NSW Police Service, and as a part-time Commissioner of the NSW Law Reform Commission. 

Most recently Her Honour has also served as President of the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration.

The Sydney Law School would like to extend its congratulations to both alumni.

Further information on Justice Bell's appointment and Justice Kirby's retirment will be posted online soon.

Michael Kirby: a career shaped by a secret - The Australian, 13th December 2008

Virginia Bell rings in new era for High Court - The Australian, 16th December 2008 

On a roll: from barrell girl to High Court judge - The Sydney Morning Herald, 16th December 2008 

Court gets a go-getter - The Australian, 16th December 2008

Virginia Bell's journey from barrel girl to High Court - The Age, 16th December 2008

Virginia Bell to be High Court judge -, 15th December 2008 

NSW woman appointed to High Court - PM, ABC Radio Current Affairs, 15th December 2008 

Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

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