News: Congratulations James Edelman, new High Court Judge

I was particularly delighted to hear of James Edelman’s recent appointment to the High Court of Australia, as he is a friend and former academic colleague. Indeed, his book based on his PhD thesis, Gain-Based Damages: Contract, Tort, Equity and Intellectual Property was the inspiration for my own PhD thesis.

Edelman J’s list of achievements are impressive: degrees in law, economics and commerce, a Rhodes Scholarship, a BCL and a DPhil from Oxford, a Professorship at Keble College, Oxford, followed by an appointment to the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2011 and an appointment to the Federal Court in Queensland in 2015. He has numerous publications in the area of private law, and a keen interest in theoretical scholarship.

We extend our warmest congratulations to him and to our new Chief Justice, Susan Kiefel.

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About Katy Barnett

Katy Barnett is a Professor at Melbourne Law School. She has published extensively in the areas of private law and remedies, and is a co-author of ‘Remedies in Australian Private Law’ with Dr Sirko Harder. In 2016 she received the Barbara Falk Award for excellence in teaching.

12 thoughts on “News: Congratulations James Edelman, new High Court Judge

  1. Jeremy,has Edelman expressed any view on the judgment in Farah Constructions Pty Ltd v Say-Dee Pty Ltd?

    • He has expressed a view which treats it as enumerating an ‘unjust factors’ approach. As to the precedential point – I recall that he has written something, but I can’t recall off the top of my head where he said it – he has so many publications!

  2. Justice Edelman is the youngest appointee ever to whom mandatory retirement applies.

    If he serves until the mandatory retirement age, he will have served 9,841 days, the fifth longest term of any High Court judge behind McTiernan, Rich, Dixon and Starke, all of whom served well beyond the age of 70.

    His term will be longer than any justice to whom mandatory retirement has applied. The current longest is Sir Anthony Mason at 8,867 days.

    He will be the first justice under the age of 50 appointed since Sir Anthony in 1972 and the second youngest ever behind Sir Edward McTiernan who was appointed at the age of 38 in 1930 (and served until 1976, when he was 84).

    • Correction. He is the first Justice under the age of 50 appointed since Mary Gaudron in 1987, at the age of 44.

  3. Justice Edelman to serve 28 odd years on the bench?? Far too long for any judge. There should be a limit on serving on the bench, no matter which jurisdiction and whatever that limit is, not more than 15 years.

    • I tend to agree, although he may choose to retire early- as Justice Gaudron did, having also been appointed young (age 44), and then retiring after 16 years on the bench, 10 years short of mandatory retirement.

  4. One of Edelman’s judgments in the Federal Court will be heard as a High Court appeal in the new year:Air New Zealand v ACCC;PT Garuda Indonesia Ltd V ACCC.In those cases there was a joint judgment of Dowsett and Edelman finding that there was a market in Australia,notwithstanding that the contracts were entered into overseas and the carriage was initiated overseas.Yates J dissented.The airlines assert that the joint judgment applied a definition of market that was inconsistent with High Court authority notably Queensland Wire Industries v BHP.
    So Edelman will face the prospect that his decision will be overturned,rather like Gordon J in Pacioccio(her decision was at first instance and overturned by the Full Federal Court and then the FFC decision upheld by the High Court).

    • Keane J also had a decision he made as CJ of the Federal Court overturned on appeal after his appointment to the HCA.

  5. James you probably wont remember me but i was a teacher’s Aid at Carmel School in Perth when you were in grade 2. Mazaltov on all your achievements your family must be so very proud of you. Mrs Helen Majzner

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