The Honourable Justice Patrick Keane AC

5 December 2011

Award of Doctor of Laws honoris causa
The Honorable Patrick Keane


The Honourable Patrick Keane is one of the stellar graduates of The University of Queensland's TC Beirne School of Law.

His academic and professional careers can only be described as exceptional. He has rendered distinguished service to Queensland as its Solicitor-General for many years and, more recently, as Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia.

His appointment as Chief Justice now sees him offering distinguished service to the Commonwealth of Australia.

While studying at The University of Queensland in the 1970s, His Honour won a number of prizes including the University Medal in Law, the John Hughes Wilkinson Prize, the Virgil Power Prize and the Walter Harrison Prize.

On the Sir Henry Abel Smith Scholarship, His Honour attended Oxford University, and graduated Bachelor of Civil Law with first-class honours in 1977.

He was awarded the Vinerian Scholarship for the best-performing student in the examination for the Degree of Bachelor of Civil Law, and the prestigious JHC Morris Prize.

After practising as a solicitor for several years, His Honour was admitted to the Queensland Bar in 1977. He 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, his Honour led many appeals for Queensland and throughout his career, 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, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia.

His Honour has maintained his links with the University including being a donor towards the establishment of the Sir Gerard Brennan Chair at the TC Beirne School of Law in 1999.

Chancellor, in recognition of his distinguished career and service to Queensland and Australia, I present to you The Honorable Patrick Keane, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws with first-class honours from The University of Queensland, and Bachelor of Civil Law with first-class honours from Oxford University, for the award of Doctor of Laws honoris causa bestowed by the Senate of The University of Queensland.


Doctor of Laws honoris causa


Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Laws (Hons)