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Justice Jayne Jagot has been appointed as the 56th Justice of the High Court of Australia.

Jagot will commence her position on 17 October 2022, replacing Justice Patrick Keane AC upon his retirement. She is the seventh woman to be appointed and it will be the first time in history that women make up the majority on the High Court.

Prior to her appointment, Jagot was a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, an additional judge of the Supreme Court of ACT and Deputy President of the Copyright Tribunal of Australia. She has also worked as a Judge of the Land and Environment Court of NSW, a barrister and a partner at Mallesons Stephen Jaques.

Attorney General Mark Dreyfus announced the appointment after extensive consultation with key members of the legal profession including state and territory Attorney-Generals, the Shadow Attorney-General, the heads of courts, bar associations, law societies, Legal Aid, Australian Women Lawyers, the National Association of Community Legal Centres and deans of law schools.

“Throughout this consultation, Justice Jagot’s legal acumen and sterling reputation on the Bench was noted,” the government wrote in a statement.

Dreyfus and the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese congratulated Jagot on her “well deserved appointment” and described her as an “outstanding lawyer and an eminent judge”.

When asked if gender played a role in her appointment, Dreyfus said “This was an appointment of the best possible person to the High Court of Australia”.

Attorney General Mark Dreyfus Attorney General Mark Dreyfus

The government is very proud of the appointment that we are making and announcing today, and I am certain that she is going to serve with distinction.

Joanne van der Plaat, President of the Law Society of NSW, congratulated Justice Jayne Jagot on her elevation to the High Court via Twitter.

“Her Honour’s appointment recognises an outstanding career as lawyer and jurist and marks the beginning of an era for a majority female bench,” she tweeted.

President of the Law Council of Australia Tass Liveris also praised the appointment, describing Jagot as a “dedicated and respected” judge.

“The Law Council recognises diversity as an essential feature in ensuring a responsive and well-informed judiciary,” said Liveris.

“Over 50 per cent of our profession and population are female. Representation in our courts should reflect the community that they serve.”

Jagot is 57, which gives her a tenure of up to 13 years on the High Court.