Jacqueline Gleeson

Jacqueline Sarah Gleeson (born 7 March 1966) is an Australian judge. She has been a Justice of the High Court of Australia since 1 March 2021, and was a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, based in Sydney, from April 2014 to February 2021.[2]

Jacqueline Gleeson
Justice of the High Court of Australia
Assumed office
1 March 2021
Nominated byScott Morrison
Appointed byDavid Hurley
Preceded byVirginia Bell
Judge of the Federal Court of Australia
In office
15 April 2014  28 February 2021
Personal details
(1966-03-07) 7 March 1966[1]
EducationMonte Sant'Angelo Mercy College
University of Sydney
OccupationJudge, lawyer

Early life and education

Gleeson is the eldest of four children of former Chief Justice of Australia Murray Gleeson and Robyn Gleeson. Speaking about her upbringing, Gleeson stated that "my wellbeing and development was my mother's job and she can justly take credit for any success of mine". She was educated at Monte Sant'Angelo Mercy College and attended Sancta Sophia College, University of Sydney, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in 1986 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1989.[3]


Gleeson was admitted as a lawyer in 1989, and worked as an associate to Justice Trevor Morling of the Federal Court and then as a solicitor for Bush Burke & Company. Gleeson was admitted as a barrister in 1991. In 2000, she left the Bar to work as general counsel for the Australian Broadcasting Authority and then from 2003 a senior executive lawyer for the Australian Government Solicitor. She completed a Master of Laws from the University of Sydney in 2005, before returning to the Bar in 2007. She gained senior counsel status in 2012. Her practice specialised in administrative law, competition and consumer law, professional liability, disciplinary proceedings and taxation. Gleeson represented the New South Wales government at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and represented QBE Insurance in the Canberra bushfires litigation in 2013, then the Australian Capital Territory's largest ever civil case.[2][3][4][5]

Federal Court

Gleeson was appointed to the Federal Court by Attorney-General George Brandis on 15 April 2014, replacing retired Justice Dennis Cowdroy.[5] Gleeson has sat on a number of high-profile cases, dismissing claims against the Australian Securities and Investments Commission brought by clients of Storm Financial that alleged that the regulator should have taken action to prevent their loss.[6][7] Gleeson held that a company promoting a scheme "how to buy a house for $1" had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.[8][9] Gleeson was a member of the Full Court of the Federal Court that unanimously upheld an appeal by the Australian Defence Force, finding that the ADF had not breached the implied freedom of political communication when it terminated Gaynor's commission in the army reserve after he expressed anti-homosexual and anti-Islamic views.[10][11] The High Court refused special leave to appeal against the decision.[12]

High Court

On 28 October 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Attorney-General Christian Porter announced that Gleeson and Simon Steward would be appointed to the High Court of Australia to fill the vacancies caused by upcoming retirements of Geoffrey Nettle and Virginia Bell. She began her term on 1 March 2021 in succession to Bell.[13][14]

See also

  • List of Judges of the Federal Court of Australia


  1. Pelly, Michael (29 October 2020). "High Court bookie wiped out after missing omen tip". Financial Review. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  2. "The Hon Jacqueline Sarah GLEESON". Federal Court of Australia. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  3. "The Hon Justice Jacqueline Gleeson" (PDF). New South Wales Bar Association News. New South Wales Bar Association. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  4. "Ceremonial Sitting of the Full Court For the Swearing In and Welcome of the Honourable Justice Gleeson". Federal Court of Australia. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  5. "New Federal Court judge a chip off the old block". Lawyers Weekly. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  6. "Court throws out ASIC Storm claim". financialobserver.com.au. 12 February 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  7. Lock v Australian Securities and Investments Commission [2016] FCA 31 (4 February 2016), Federal Court.
  8. "We Buy Houses breached Australian Consumer Law with 'buy a house for $1' claim, judge says". ABC News. 11 August 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  9. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v We Buy Houses Pty Ltd [2017] FCA 915 (11 August 2017), Federal Court.
  10. "We need the clarity of a High Court ruling on Bernard Gaynor's free speech crusade". The Canberra Times. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  11. Chief of the Defence Force v Gaynor [2017] FCAFC 41 (8 March 2017), Federal Court (Full Court)
  12. Gaynor v Chief of the Defence Force [2017] HCATrans 162 (18 August 2017), High Court.
  13. Mizen, Ronald; Pelly, Michael (28 October 2020). "Gleeson, Steward next High Court justices". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  14. "PM announces new High Court justices, including daughter of former chief justice". www.abc.net.au. 28 October 2020. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
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