First female Chief Justice appointed to the High Court in 113 years

Image: Susan Mary Kiefel, newly appointed Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia

Long serving High Court judge Susan Kiefel will replace outgoing Robert French as chief justice, becoming the first woman to occupy the nation’s most senior judicial role in 113 years.

Justice Kiefel’s appointment has left a vacancy on the High Court bench, and will be filled by one of the youngest ever appointments to the court, 42-year-old West Australian Federal Court Judge James Edelman.

While Justice Kiefel’s appointment is of great historic significance, major obstacles still remain in the legal profession for women.

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