State still waiting on High Court representative

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After 112 years, South Australia is yet to have a home grown lawyer appointed to the High Court bench.

Rocky Perrotta, president of the Law Society of South Australia, observed that Justice Gordon was an outstanding appointment to the Court.

He did note, however, that just as gender diversity is fundamental to the group of judges appointed, a group judges more representative of all Australian states, would be a positive development for future appointments to the Court.

While Perrotta said that he didn’t believe that there was any active bias towards judges from South Australia, he did say that South Australia is not without exceptional lawyers who would equally be outstanding appointments.

“All great appointments, but 112 years without a South Australian is a bit odd,” he said.  “It’s not because there hasn’t been anyone who’s been worthy, I think that’s a given.  There have been people from South Australia who would have been worthy candidates.”

Perrotta also said that it is important to note that there are many candidates who would be exceptional appointments but are not ‘tapped on the shoulder’.  In his opinion, there would be many great appointments from all around the country who would have been overlooked over the years.

“There’s only room for seven at a time,” he said.  “A number of South Australian appointments have missed out or have not been tapped on the shoulder over 112 years, but the same has to be said about a whole lot of other people from around the country.”

South Australia is not the only jurisdiction still waiting on its first High Court appointment. No High Court justices have been appointed from Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory.