UQ Congratulates Alumnus on High Court Appointment

1 Jan 2014

UQ Dean of Law Professor Gerard Carney congratulated alumnus The Hon Patrick Keane on becoming Australia's 50th High Court judge.

“Patrick Keane is one of Australia's most outstanding lawyers, Professor Carney said.

“He belongs on the High Court where his enormous experience, exceptional intellect, and humanity will serve the nation well.”

Earlier this week, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon confirmed that Justice Keane, the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, will replace High Court judge Justice Dyson Heydon who will retire from the bench in March 2013.

His Honour graduated from The University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Arts (1973) and Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours in 1976, before studying at Oxford University where he was awarded the Vinerian Scholarship, graduating with a Bachelor of Civil Law with first-class honours in 1977.

After practising as a solicitor for several years, Justice Keane was admitted to the Queensland Bar in 1977 and quickly became one of the most sought-after junior barristers in Queensland.

In 1988, after only 11 years in practice, he was appointed a Queen's Counsel.

In 1992, he was appointed Solicitor-General for the State of Queensland, a position he held until the time of his appointment to the bench in 2005.

As Solicitor-General, Justice Keane led many appeals for Queensland.

Throughout his career, he appeared before the High Court of Australia more than 50 times and made more than 150 appearances before the Queensland Court of Appeal.

In 2003, His Honour was awarded a Centenary Medal in recognition of his contributions to the legal profession.

He retained the right to private practice, and was widely recognised as one of the leading trial and appellate counsel in Australia.

In 2005, he was appointed to the Queensland Court of Appeal, and in February 2010, was appointed Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia.

Justice Keane has maintained close links with UQ and was a donor towards the establishment of the Sir Gerard Brennan Chair at the TC Beirne School of Law in 1999.

In 2011, the University awarded Justice Keane an honorary Doctor of Laws in recognition of his distinguished career and service to Queensland and Australia.