Fordham Law


Chief Justice of Australia Robert French to Speak on "Judicial Activism: An Australian Perspective"

January 21, 2010

Robert French, Chief Justice of Australia, will speak at Fordham Law School Thursday, January 21, at 6:00 p.m. on “Judicial Activism: An Australian Perspective.” The presentation—sponsored through the generosity of Earle I. Mack—is free and open to the public. It will be held in Room 430 B&C, Fordham Law School, 140 West 62nd St.

Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia since September 1, 2008, Robert French has had a distinguished career as a jurist. At the time of his appointment he was a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, having been appointed to that office in November 1986. He also served as an additional member of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory and was a member of the Supreme Court of Fiji.

His many contributions to the legal community include founding the West Australian Aboriginal Legal Service and serving as the first president of the National Native Title Tribunal from 1994 to 1998. He was also a Deputy President of the Australian Competition Tribunal and a part-time member of the Australian Law Reform Commission. From 2001 to January 2005 he was president of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law.

He graduated from the University of Western Australia with degrees in science and law. He was admitted in 1972 and practiced as a barrister and solicitor in Western Australia until 1983 when he went to the Independent Bar.

During his visit at Fordham Law, Chief Justice French will conduct a master class in Constitutional Law. He also will meet with alumni, faculty, and students—including the student editorial staff of the Fordham International Law Journal and the Crowley Scholars, a group of students who complete a highly selective program of study in international human rights that culminates in an overseas fact-finding mission.