Ceremonial Sitting of the Full Court

For the Welcome of the Honourable Justice Moshinsky

Transcript of proceedings

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ALLSOP CJ: Justice Moshinsky, it was my duty and honour to swear you in as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia last Tuesday. You were the first Federal Court Judge to be sworn in on Melbourne Cup Day, showing a disregard both for public holidays and horse racing – at least in this Chief Justice's opinion, admirable judicial traits. Also, you shared the day with the first female jockey to win the Cup. I am sure the augurs would say that these were good auspices for your undertaking of judicial office. May I publicly welcome you to the Court. On behalf of all the Judges of the Court, we all look forward immensely to working with you in the years ahead. Welcome.

Mr Attorney.

THE HON. G. BRANDIS QC: May it please the Court. It is a pleasure to today welcome and congratulate your Honour, on behalf of the Government and the people of Australia, on your appointment as a Judge of this Court. May I acknowledge the presence in the Court today of the Honourable Susan Crennan, a former Justice of the High Court of Australia, the Honourable Michael Black, a former Chief Justice of this Court, many current and former Judges of this Court and of State Courts, Shadow Attorney-General, the Honourable Mark Dreyfus, leaders of the legal profession, in particular, the many members of the Bar who assemble in this Court this morning.

Your Honour's appointment to this Court is another significant achievement in an already illustrious career and it is a testament to the esteem in which your Honour is held that there are so many members of the judiciary, the legal profession and other dignitaries present today. I also wish to acknowledge the presence of many members of your family, who proudly share this special occasion with you. Your wife, Sidra, your three daughters, Danita, Amira and Hannah, your parents, Sam and Ada Moshinsky, your parents-in-law, Henryk and Emma Kranz, and your two brothers, Richard and Randall, and members of their families.

Your Honour was born and raised in Melbourne. Your academic promise was evident from a young age. You were named dux of Wesley College in 1982. The law was, of course, part of your life growing up because your mother Ada was the third woman to be appointed a Queen's Counsel in Victoria, equal third, in fact, with the Honourable Susan Crennan. So it is hardly surprising that you went on to study the law. You graduated Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne in 1986 and Bachelor of Laws in 1988 and that year you were awarded the Supreme Court Prize. Your Honour's career in the profession began in 1989 when you undertook articles at Arthur Robinson and Hedderwicks, now Allens Linklaters.

You were elected an Australian Rhodes Scholar-at-Large in 1989 and took a two-year BCL at Oxford University, where you read at Magdalen College. You obtained a first class degree in 1991. Your thesis, The assignment of debts and the conflict of laws, was regarded as brilliant. It informed the basis of an article which you published in the Law Quarterly Review in 1992. And that year your Honour was admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria. You read with Dr Susan Kenny, now a Justice of this Court. You managed to balance the pressures of a blossoming career with your home life as you had become a father for the first time in that year.

Your Honour signed the Bar Roll in November 1995. At the Bar, your Honour has specialised in taxation, superannuation, commercial law, human rights, constitutional and administrative law. In 2002, relatively early in your career, as junior to Geoffrey Nettle QC, now Justice Nettle of the High Court, your Honour represented the plaintiffs in Austin and the Commonwealth, better known as the High Court challenge to the superannuation surcharge tax on judicial pensions. When the case was still only part-heard, Justice Nettle was appointed to the Supreme Court of Victoria. Such was your client's faith in you – and no doubt very sceptical and critical clients they were – that no new silk was briefed.

You took over the lead, appearing in the High Court without a leader up against the might of the then Commonwealth Solicitor-General, Dr David Bennett QC. Of course, in due course, you yourself took silk after only 12 years of being called to the Bar. Your Honour has appeared in some of the most significant cases of recent times, including the Work Choices case of 2006, Gypsy Jokers Motorcycle Club against the Commissioner of Police in 2008, Momcilovic, an important decision concerning the Victorian Charter of Rights and Responsibilities, where your Honour appeared as amicus curiae on behalf of the Human Rights Law Centre, the DPP and JM, a High Court decision concerning advisory opinion, Kracke v Mental Health Review Board, the leading decision of Justice Kevin Bell when he was president of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, regarding medical treatment without consent in which your Honour appeared as amicus curiae for the Human Rights Law Resource Centre, Spirit Pharmaceuticals and Mundipharma Proprietary Limited, where your Honour appeared successfully for the respondents in the case – an important case about the extension of a pharmaceutical patent, and IOOF Holdings and the Commissioner of Taxation, where your Honour acted successfully for the Commissioner before the Full Court of this Court in a matter concerning the statutory interpretation of retrospective legislation.

In the final chapter of your career at the Bar, your Honour has spent the past six months as counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Notwithstanding the very great demands on your Honour's time, your Honour has, in the fine tradition of the Bar, served the Bar by holding professional office as a member of the Victorian Bar Council for five years, including as chairman of the Victorian Bar Council in 2010/11. As a member of the Federal Court, you will, no doubt, miss the floor to ceiling windows at the level 38 Ninian Stephen Chambers, which afford, I am told, an uninterrupted 180 degree view across Melbourne – uninterrupted, that is, except for the part obscured by your 12-inch computer screen.

Truly in the spirit of the 21st century – this, after all, is the age of agility, I understand your Honour overcame obstruction by installing a photograph of this segment as your screen saver. Perhaps your Honour can bring that part of the view with you to your new chambers. I may say, your Honour, that this appointment has been exceptionally well-received in all quarters. As one of Australia's most highly respected counsel, one of the most distinguished members of the Victorian Bar of your generation, you've demonstrated incisive intellect, sound judgment and true professional commitment. I'm sure yours will be a long and distinguished judicial career and on behalf of the Australian Government, I once again extend the warmest congratulations and welcome as you embark upon an illustrious judicial career. May it please the Court.


MS F. McLEOD SC: May it please the Court. I appear on behalf of the Australian Bar Association and the Law Council of Australia. On behalf of the Australian legal profession, I warmly congratulate your Honour on your appointment to this Court. I first met your Honour in 1987 when you, with Kim Rubenstein, were co-editors of the Melbourne University Law Review. The two of you immediately impressed as a highly talented and dedicated, focussed and able team, managing of – capable of managing your team of authors, subeditors and footnote checkers with the courtesy and warmth that has been a hallmark of your style as a leader of the Victorian Bar.

As counsel, you were always mindful of the requirement of integrity in all your dealings with opponents and the Bench and warmly embraced the collegiality of the independent Bar. As has been noted, your Honour has practiced in commercial, competition, constitutional, administrative law and human rights and perhaps not surprisingly, followed your mother, Ada Moshinsky, into tax matters. What is perhaps more surprising is that your talent for the law was apparent at a very early age. You made your first appearance, it seems, at your mother's admission before you were even born. She appeared before the Court, pregnant with you, attracting the attention of the Chief Justice. Then your Honour was about seven years old and, in the absence of an available babysitter, accompanied your mother to a tutorial at RMIT where you sat quietly at the back of the class for the duration with your colouring book.

The concepts of constructive trust were difficult and the students clearly struggled. On the way home, however, your Honour remarked casually to your mother, "I don't understand what was so hard about all that." The future Supreme Court Prize and Rhodes Scholarship were plainly already in your sights. Your Honour was a senior member of the Victorian Bar, as has been mentioned, leading the Council as chairman in 2011 with Melanie Sloss, now Justice Sloss, and me as your vice chairs. It was a very happy and productive year. Your Honour articulated a clear vision for what you wanted to achieve, including the launching of our first Victorian Bar conference and revamping the readers' course, then sent us both off to do the work.

Melanie and I enjoyed working closely with you. You're unflappably calm, never troubled by the pressing demands of Bar Council business, including a review of the silks appointment process, clerking rules and civil procedures and service on the council of the Australian Bar Association, defending on a number of occasions the Courts against attack. You contributed to the work of many committees and special projects and your door was always open to all members of the Bar for advice on cases and practice. You were generous with your time and in your attention to the needs of others. You have been a strong supporter of equality and diversity initiatives and human rights, acting for six years as secretary of the Victorian Council of Civil Liberties and appearing, advising and supporting the activities of a number of human rights organisation.

In 2011, as chairman, your Honour welcomed the new Bar readers, quoting Chief Justice Warren. Her Honour suggested that one reason to be a lawyer was the opportunity to do justice according to the rule of law, noting there is a strong heroic element in the practice of law. Your Honour has embraced that notion of heroism in a number of your Honour's cases. The first, ACCC and Turi Foods – I shall call it the chicken case – challenged the labelling of chickens as "free to roam" when they were, in fact, confined to an area the size of an A4 sheet of paper. The chicken industry challenged the attack, saying there was no logical connection between average space and the availability of space to move.

Your Honour for the ACCC pointed out that by the time the chickens were caged they had already been fattened up a bit, suggesting that the label "free to roam" was somewhat illusory. You might be interested to know that reporting of the case prompted some interesting blog comments, some of which likened the lawyers to backyard chooks with ample room to roam free. However, your brother Judge, Justice Tracey, had the final word, noting logically that if some birds had more room the others would be a bit more squished together. We assume this observation reflects a general rule in the allocation of Judges' chambers. It was certainly unheard of in the expansive halls of the Ninian Stephen Chambers.

You appeared this year as counsel assisting in the Royal Commission into Family Violence with Rachel Ellyard and Joanna Davidson. Your Honour told the Commission of the families torn apart, lives ruined and children damaged by family violence in all its forms. In evidence you led from the former Chief Commissioner of Police Ken Lay, he noted poignantly that violence is a continuum from the fractured cheekbones and the deaths at one end to the attitudes we see from young men and some women which pervades the whole of society. We cannot arrest our way out of this. In a moving submission to the Commission, your Honour said: 

What does this violence say about us a society here in Victoria in Australia in 2015? Does it not reflect on us as a society if we allow it to continue?

And most recently, in the case of North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency Limited and Northern Territory of Australia, you appeared with Kathleen Foley, instructed by Ashurst and the Human Rights Law Centre concerning the new so-called paperless arrest laws for minor civil offences in the Territory. The appeal raised interesting defences that the doctrine of separation of powers does not apply to the Territory. But with curious serendipity, the judgment of the High Court will be delivered this morning in less than an hour's time. You've appeared in other landmark cases mentioned by the Attorney, including Momcilovic and Kracke.

In Kracke, Justice Bell agreed with your Honour's submission and that case led to systematic changes in the practices of the Mental Health Review Board for the benefit of thousands of patients each year. And in 2011, your Honour appeared on behalf of the Victorian Bar before the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee Review of the charter. Your Honour demonstrated the value of the charter and the difference it had made to the lives of a number of people by references to the cases in which your Honour had appeared. Referring to Kracke, your Honour noted the case would never have been brought were it not for the charter.

Now, your family are all, no doubt, very proud of you today and pleased that you've managed to balance the demands of practice so far the times for the joys – of time for the joys of family with your daughters, Danita, Amira and Hannah and your wife, Sidra. Your mother, Ada, loved life at the Bar saying it was rich, fulfilling and diverse that it allowed her to have a challenging and satisfying career, happy marriage and three wonderful kids. And no doubt, you would say the same. Your Honour will no doubt make an enormous contribution to the Court and to the community. On behalf of the Australian Bar Association and the Law Council of Australia, I wish your Honour, joy and distinction and long service as a Justice of this Court. May it please the Court.

ALLSOP CJ: Mr Anastassiou.

MR P. ANASTASSIOU QC: May it please the Court. On behalf of the Victorian Bar, I congratulate your Honour on the appointment to this Court. Your Honour commenced the Bar Readers' Course in September 1995 having recently turned 30 years of age and having recently returned from overseas travel with your wife, Sidra. That sojourn was well deserved given all that your Honour had achieved by that time. Your Honour attended Wesley College for your secondary education. Your year 12 English teacher, Ms Meegan Pannu, in describing your Honour said she has never taught a more perfect student. She said that in every way as to comportment, civility, humour, character and academically, your Honour was superb.

It seems that your Honour's perfection as a student had its genesis in kindergarten as Ms Pannu recalls being told by your mother, Ada, one of the pioneering women of our Bar and, of course, a justifiably proud mother that in kindergarten, your Honour was the only child who did homework even though none was required. Your Honour's two closest friends in year 12 were Steven Davis who went on to have a successful career in environmental law and Jason Stephens who went on to become a well-known actor and comedian who performed as part of the D-Generation and The Late Show.

In year 12, Ms Pannu made a prediction of what the students would become later in life. She said then that your Honour would become a Judge and that Jason Stephens would become a talk show host. As your Honour would appreciate, there are some similarities between the work of a Judge and of a talk show host, but I will not dwell on those now. After Wesley where you were dux, your Honour obtained a first class honour's degree from the University of Melbourne winning, as we have heard, the Supreme Court prize. Your Honour was the co-editor of the Melbourne University Law Review in 1987 and assuming judicial office, your Honour has followed the footsteps of many distinguished editors including Justices J.B. Phillips, Tadgell, Batt, Goldberg, Byrne, Mandie, Hayne, Callaway, Kenny and McLeish.

As a student, there was a thing that your Honour did after an exam that was observed by others. Many students leaving an exam tend to have an anguished look as they think about the things they should have written or the things they realised they have not done; not your Honour, however. You came out of the exams whistling. Really. One of your fellow students and a member of our Bar saw you doing it. We can only speculate about why your Honour would whistle after an exam, but whatever the reason, it tended to be unsettling for the rest of the cohort. If your Honour were to whistle when leaving the Bench, I am not sure that it would augur as well for the moving party as it did for your Honour's outstanding academic career.

Your Honour was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship which led you to Oxford University where you obtained a Bachelor of Civil Law, again, with first class honours. While a student both at Melbourne University and at Oxford, you found time to write articles which gave an earlier indication of your Honour's particular areas of interest. In 1987, you published an article in The Australian Law Journal entitled State Extra-Territorial Legislation and the Australia Acts 1986 and in 1989, you published an article in the Federal Law Review entitled Re-enacting the Constitution in an Australian Act. Whilst at Oxford, you published an up-date article in The Australian Law Journal entitled State Extra-Territorial Legislation – Further Developments.

Upon your return from Oxford, your Honour completed articles with Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks now Allens and worked as a solicitor with Arthur Robinson for two years. In addition to the demands of working for a large commercial law firm, your Honour was a lecturer at Melbourne University Law School teaching conflicts of laws. Returning to the September 1995 readers' course, the early signs of the barrister your Honour would become were evident from the outset. Your Honour addressed moots, pleadings and paperwork with an equal measure of discipline and polish. Your calm and measured approach to all tasks was obvious to your fellow readers and it was readily apparent then that your Honour was destined for judicial appointment.

The one thing, however, that your Honour did not seem to take seriously was the last day of the course when the Bar Roll was signed and a good photograph taken. If one looks at the Bar photograph for November 1995, it reveals that everyone is perfectly dressed in professional attire but for your Honour. Apparently, you had decided it was casual day turning out in jeans and a smart, though, casual shirt. It seems your Honour was – had been distracted by other things. That being no less than the birth of your first daughter, Danita who had been born earlier that day and who now, 20 years later, is studying law.

Your Honour was fortunate to read with Susan Kenny, now Justice Kenny of this Court. No doubt, you were keen to work with her Honour especially given her constitutional and public law practice - two areas of special interest to your Honour. However, working with her Honour was not to be as in 1997, she was appointed to the Court of Appeal and then in 1998 to this Court. Your Honour's wish to work with her Honour, albeit, 20 years later and in a different capacity, has now been realised.

In your early years at the Bar, your Clerk, John Dever, recognising talent, ensured that you were fully occupied from the time you signed the roll. You started out appearing in the Magistrates Court, running each matter as if it were a Supreme Court trial. After a very short period of time, you had become a favourite junior of many of the leading silks at the Bar and began appearing regularly in the Supreme Court, the Federal Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court. Despite the challenges and time demands of an early flourishing career, your Honour became again a lecturer in 1996 at Melbourne University Law School in the subject of constitutional and administrative law and somehow seemed to manage the demands of a busy and ever-growing practice with the rigors of your lecturing commitments.

The Attorney-General has mentioned that when Justice Nettle was appointed to the Supreme Court your Honour took over the lead in Austin and the Commonwealth, which involved a challenge to the superannuation surcharge tax on judicial pensions. But the Attorney didn't mention the result. The Judges won. It's not often that one's work as counsel produces a direct flow-on benefit but, happily for your Honour, in this instance we can say it was a win-win. That said, I'm sure the warmth of your Honour's welcome by your fellow Judges would in no way have been different had your Honour lost that case. Your Honour took silk in 2007 and after 12 years at the Bar, your practice continued to go from strength to strength.

In the short time that your Honour was able to take readers you had four. They were Michael Borsky, Michael Rush, Aaron Weinstock and Albert Dinelli, all of whom felt a great privilege to have had the opportunity to read with you and with whom you remain in contact. The final matter in which you appeared before your appointment to this Court was the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence, in which you appeared as counsel assisting the Commission, together with Rachel Ellyard and Joanna Davidson of our Bar. Your Honour had a leading role in the formulation of the structure and content of the Royal Commission's public hearings, including the adoption of a panel approach which permitted the Commissioners to hear concurrent evidence from more than one witness, a style that suited the complexity of the issues with which the Commission was dealing.

The public hearings were also notable for the rigorous but non-adversarial approach adopted by your Honour and your juniors in examining witnesses and for the sensitivity with which your Honour led evidence from victims. There were five weeks of hearings in the period from July to October of this year and a total of 219 witnesses were called over those five weeks. Although the Royal Commission is yet to report, there is no doubt your Honour has played an important role in the formulation of its recommendations. True to the adage "to whom much is given much is expected", your Honour has made a significant contribution to the Victorian Bar and to the life of the Bar. You were a member of the Bar Council from 2006 to 2011 and its chairman from 2010 to 2011.

Ms McLeod has given direct evidence of the enormous contribution your Honour has made to the Bar as a member of the Bar Council and as chairman. Outside of the Bar your Honour has varied interests, including, it seems, camping. In 2004 your Honour conceived of the idea of going on a three-month camping holiday in Northern Australia with your wife Sidra and your three daughters, Danita, Amira and Hannah, then aged four, six and eight. Not everyone thought a three-month camping trip with three children under eight was a good idea, let alone a bright idea. Undeterred, your Honour and your family embarked on that holiday and it was a great success. The trip included visits to Arnhem Land and to the Indigenous communities in Cape Leveque.

Sidra described your Honour as a happy camper and we trust your Honour will channel that sensation when sitting on the Court. It might surprise some people to know that your Honour is also an author. In 1989 you wrote a biography of your maternal grandfather, Mietek Gringlas, who migrated to Australia in 1947. Your father, Sam, not to be outdone, published a memoir in 2009 called, Goodbye Shanghai, which covered the first 17 years of his life, which were spent in Shanghai during the Second World War and during the changing regimes. Given your academic background and grounding in English literature, one may expect that your Honour would be reading Proust or Homer or James Joyce.

However, that is not the case. Your Honour's tastes tend towards the thriller, whether that be the rollercoaster of Ice Station by Matthew Reilly or the globetrotting intelligence agent in an epic race against time in I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. We await with interest whether your Honour's writing style will reflect these styles. We suspect not. Your Honour's interest in art, developed and cultivated at Wesley, continues and your Honour and Sidra continue to be actively interested in both painting and sculpture. The Victorian Bar rejoices in your Honour's appointment, certain in the knowledge that your Honour has demonstrated the qualities of learning, integrity, courtesy that qualify your Honour for appointment to this high office. On behalf of the Victorian Bar, I wish your Honour a satisfying and distinguished career as a Judge of this Court. May it please the Court.

ALLSOP CJ: Ms Wilson.

MS B. WILSON: May it please the Court. I appear on behalf of the Law Institute of Victoria and the solicitors of this state to congratulate your Honour on your appointment to this Court. Your Honour's skills as an advocate were evident early in your second year at law school. You and your partner won the senior mooting competition against all comers in open competition. You didn't win outright. It was a draw. The Judges said that there had never, ever been before a draw and there is believed to have not been a draw since. The names of both teams were engraved on the cup. Your Honour continued to excel as a student and long before you were awarded the Supreme Court Prize you were identified as in the very top rank of Melbourne law students.

The major Melbourne law firms have, for a long time, been in serious competition to attract the most outstanding law students to come to them for articles. You were one of the first to experience the Arthur Robinson and Hedderwicks' strategy of assigning each pampered summer clerk to a particular partner and placing their desk in the partner's room. The partner with whom your Honour spent a month as a summer clerk is in Court. The 20-something-year-old summer clerk may have found a month in the partner's room confronting but so did the 40-something-year-old partner to whom your Honour's intellect and outstanding ability were immediately evident. Mr Poulton is delighted that you continued and flourished in the law and that you chose Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks, demonstrating, as he says, a forgiving nature.

You were articled to Andrew Guy and he is also in Court. It is now more than 20 years since your Honour was at Arthur Robinson, now Allens Linklaters. Since then, members of the firm have briefed you, strongly supporting you from the outset at the Bar. Both retired and present partners of Arthur Robinson/Allens are here in significant numbers, testimony to the high regard and affection in which your Honour is held. From your earliest years at the Bar, your Honour was briefed in very substantial matters.

You had been at the Bar only a couple of years when you were briefed in Commonwealth Bank v White. The real fight was against Lloyd's and your Honour was briefed to draw the third party notice against The Society of Lloyd's on behalf of Mr White. It was a massive case. From January 1998 to late 2004 when the matter settled in mediation, there were nine decisions by single Judges of Victorian Supreme Court, two decisions of the Victorian Court of Appeal and one decision of the High Court refusing leave.

Your Honour was led at various times by Geoffrey Nettle QC, Julian Burnside QC and Charles Scerri QC. However, before Justice Warren for six days in June and July 2001, your Honour was briefed alone. Your Honour was opposed to Myers QC, Jopling QC and Hardingham QC, briefed by Freehills here and backed up by the efforts of Freshfields in London. On about the fifth day, Myers QC delivered himself of the immortal line to the effect of: 

Some people should just know when to stop.

Your Honour, you didn't stop. You prevailed. You were the wall against the might of Lloyd's. Solicitors and their clients sought your Honour out. Small wonder that Mr White wanted you again. Once again, your Honour prevailed for Mr White, this time against a $2.6 million assessment by the Commissioner of State Revenue. Your Honour was a pleasure to work with for solicitors: courteous, respectful of the solicitors' views, well prepared and sound of advice. Your Honour was a friend of The Law Institute of Victoria and understood and appreciated the role of solicitors. Your Honour acted for and against various government entities such as the ACCC and ASIC; for the government regulator on one case; against it in another. Your Honour was an exemplar of objectivity, independence and integrity that this requires.

Your Honour has a genius for managing large teams of lawyers in such a way that each individual feels that their contributions are valued. Each is conscious of your Honour's interest in them as an individual. All remark on your Honour's sheer stamina. Representing Coles in the case brought by the ACCC, the Allens team was some 28 solicitors plus paralegals and administrative staff. Your Honour was engaged from the outset in responding to notices to produce documents, in examinations, supporting a large number of managers, and in proofing witnesses and that massive proceeding was done all in about a year.

Your Honour's wizardry in bringing the parties together, encouraged by Justice Gordon in this Court, averted the estimated 12 weeks trial set down for early April this year and Justice Gordon was able to determine the penalty at the end of 2014. So it was, in your Honour's pro bono work for the Human Rights Law Centre in, for example, Momcilovic and in the Northern Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency Limited & Bowden v Northern Territory. In the Northern Territory case, the team was somewhat smaller: three counsel, four Ashurst solicitors, and solicitors from the Human Rights Law Centre. The story is the same: that your Honour met with and fully engaged the whole team. Human Rights Centre Executive Director, Hugh de Kretser, recalls your Honour moving your chair in one meeting so that you had eye contact with every member of that team. Your Honour gave that pro bono case the same attention that you gave all your other work.

Approached at the end of November last year, your Honour took the case and you delivered your advice by Christmas Eve. Despite extensive other commitments, including the Royal Commission on Family Violence, your Honour always made yourself available to give clear and decisive guidance, settle submissions and keep the case on track. Part way through the case, it was necessary to find an individual who could be joined as a plaintiff. Miranda Bowden was amongst the most marginalised and disadvantaged Aboriginal people with very little English. Your Honour took immense pains to ensure that she understood and agreed to her part in it and, most importantly, to ensure that she was protected. Incredibly, this case was concluded in less than a year and, as we've heard, the High Court will deliver judgment today.

Your Honour has a record of achievement at the highest level: at Wesley College and the Universities of Melbourne and Oxford; in practice, first as a solicitor albeit only for a couple of years and then at the Bar for the best part of 20 years; in your service to the profession, rising in a very short time to be Chairman of the Victorian Bar Council; and in what you've given back to the Legal Academy as an independent lecturer in the early 1990s and now as a senior fellow teaching the Masters program at Melbourne Law School. You have demonstrated a passionate commitment to the rule of law, access to justice and to social justice and Aboriginal rights. On behalf of the Law Institute of Victoria and solicitors of this state, I wish your Honour joy in your appointment and a long, satisfying and distinguished service as a Judge of this Court. May it please the Court.

ALLSOP CJ: Thank you. Justice Moshinsky.

MOSHINSKY J: Chief Justice Allsop, Attorney-General for the Commonwealth, Senator Brandis, Shadow Attorney-General Dreyfus, the Honourable Susan Crennan AC QC, the Honourable Michael Black AC QC, Judges, former Judges, colleagues, friends and family, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you all for coming today and thank you Attorney-General Brandis, Ms McLeod, Mr Anastassiou and Ms Wilson for your kind and generous words. I am touched by the thought and effort that have gone into the preparation of your speeches. I'm honoured to have been appointed to the Federal Court of Australia and am conscious of the importance of the work of the Court and the significance of the role of Judge.

Under successive Chief Justices, this Court has taken a lead in innovative case management techniques. Most recently, the Court has adopted national practice areas to better meet the needs of litigants and serve the public. It is an exciting time to be joining the Court. The reception that I have received from the Chief Justice and the Judges of the Court has been extremely warm and welcoming. Thank you for this. It is a very supportive way to start in a new role where there is much to learn. The Court staff have also been welcoming and helpful, for which I am grateful. I acknowledge that this ceremony is taking place on Remembrance Day, this year marking the 97th anniversary of the armistice which ended the First World War.

There are many people I would like to thank and acknowledge for getting me to this point. It is certainly not something that one accomplishes alone, but rather with the support and guidance of many people with whom one interacts in the course of one's professional and personal life. Many of you are here today, for which I am grateful. I would like to start with my immediate family: my wife, Sidra, and daughters, Danita, Amira and Hannah. Thank you, Sidra, for all of your love and support without which this would not have been possible. It has been a beautiful journey since our relationship began 25 years - or half my life - ago. Danita, Amira and Hannah, it is a joy to see you blossom into young adults and I have loved being able to share the excitement of this appointment with you.

My parents have had an enormous influence on my upbringing and values. It is often said that each generation stands on the shoulders of the one before. That could not be more true in my case. Both my parents' families migrated to Australia after World War II and worked hard to establish new lives in Australia in the fifties and sixties. My mother, Ada, who arrived in Australia at the age of seven, not speaking a word of English, was one of few women to undertake a Law Degree at the University of Melbourne. After practising as a solicitor for some years, she came to the Bar, reading with the late Neil Forsyth and developing a successful practice, particularly in taxation law and trusts.

When she took silk in 1989, together with the Honourable Susan Crennan, there had previously been only two female silks in Victoria. It says much about Mum's drive and ability, as well as the openness of Australian society, that she was able to accomplish all these things. My father's journey was rather different. His grandparents migrated from Russia to Shanghai in 1930 and he was born and lived there until the age of 17 when he and his family migrated to Australia. Throughout his professional life as an accountant and management consultant, he always devoted much time to communal affairs and impressed upon me the values of public service and personal integrity.

Sidra's parents, Emma and Henryk Kranz have become second parents to me. They too have been significant role models in my life. Importantly, all four parents have been exemplary grandparents. In the interests of time, I won't mention the other family members – brothers, sisters-in-law, aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces – each of whom has played a significant role and forms part of the tapestry of a vibrant, sometimes noisy and often humorous extended family.

At Wesley College in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I was fortunate to have a rounded education and outstanding teachers. I am very pleased that the two who I have stayed in touch with, Meegan Pannu and Bill Toppin are here today. When I started at Melbourne University, the Dean of the Law School and my first-year Criminal Law lecturer was Mark Weinberg, now Justice Weinberg, who I'm delighted is present today. Criminal Law lectures were at 4.15 pm to accommodate his practice as a barrister. He would arrive after Court, lecture for one hour without any notes, and the lectures were spellbinding.

Another lecturer who had a significant impact was Professor Cheryl Saunders who is a superb teacher of Constitutional Law and sparked my longstanding interest in the subject. She too is here for this ceremony. I had many other inspiring lecturers but time does not permit me to refer to them all. At Oxford, there were similarly many great lecturers and tutors. Particular mention should be made of Sir Roy Goode, a tremendous teacher who supervised my BCL thesis.

When I commenced articles at Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks in 1989, it was not long after the merger between two grand old Melbourne firms, Arthur Robinson & Co and Hedderwicks, Fookes & Alston. The merger produced what was then considered to be a mega-firm, although, of course, the size is small compared with the national or international firms of today. I received there a first-rate education in how to be a good lawyer. The mentoring I received from Andrew Guy, Tom Poulton, Colin Galbraith, Tony Browne, Steve Spargo, Bob Santamaria, John Webster and many others was superb.

As has been mentioned, I read with Susan Kenny, as her Honour then was, when I came to the Bar. Her Honour was a great mentor: patient, generous and supportive. I am truly delighted to be joining the same Court as her Honour and look forward to a bit more mentoring. A fellow reader in the Bar Readers' Course was Greg Ahern. We quickly became close friends and have stayed so ever since, with chambers near each other for most of the last 20 years. Over my first 12 years at the Bar, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to appear with many leading silks from whom I learnt so much. Apart from those who are now sitting Judges, silks I appeared regularly with included Brian Shaw QC, Neil Young QC, Alan Archibald QC, Rodney Garratt QC and Charles Scerri QC. I learnt a great deal from each of them.

As has been mentioned, I had four readers. I enjoy my ongoing relationship with each of them. After taking silk, I worked with many talented juniors. I found the process of discussing cases with juniors in the lead-up to trials and appeals to be among the most satisfying of professional experiences of my time at the Bar. I have also worked closely with many solicitors over the years and have thoroughly enjoyed this experience. I was always conscious of the fact that you were entrusting your clients to me as the barrister and the responsibility that went with that. In recent years, I have had the good fortune to be part of Ninian Stephen Chambers. Not only are these beautiful chambers, more importantly, it is a friendly and harmonious workplace. I will miss the company of the barristers on the floor.

Over the last six months, I have had the privilege of acting as counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Family Violence, ably assisted by Rachel Ellyard and Joanna Davidson. I'm delighted that the Honourable Marcia Neave AO and Tony Nicholson are here today. The public hearings, which took place in July, August and October, covered a large range of issues concerning prevention of, and the response to, family violence. The issues at stake are difficult and important and it was a deeply satisfying experience to work on this as my last engagement as a barrister.

My barrister's clerk for the last 20 years has been John Dever. I have valued his advice and counsel and the support provided by his team. I would also like to thank my personal assistant, Bronwyn Donald, for her dedicated assistance over the last eight years. I'm delighted that she's coming with me to this Court. By way of conclusion, I am conscious of the responsibility that has been entrusted to me as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia. I'm also very grateful to have the opportunity to serve the community in this way. Thank you all for coming to this ceremony today. I really do appreciate it.

ALLSOP CJ: The Court will now adjourn.