Famous Australian Lawyers & Judges

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Australian Lawyers & Judges

 1 Julie Bishop

Julie Bishop
3
Famous As: Jurist, Politician, Diplomat, Lawyer
Birthdate: July 17, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lobethal

Julie Bishop is an Australian former politician who once served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs. For several years, she was the deputy leader of the Liberal Party. She studied law at the University of Adelaide and worked as a commercial lawyer before venturing into politics. In 2020, she became the first woman chancellor of the Australian National University.  

 2 Bill Shorten

Bill Shorten
4
Famous As: Politician, Lawyer, Trade unionist
Birthdate: May 12, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Melbourne

Bill Shorten is an Australian politician who served as the leader of the Labor Party from 2013 to 2019. He was also the Leader of the Opposition during this period. He is considered a senior figure in the right faction of the Labor Party. He studied law at Monash University and pursued a legal career before joining politics. 

 3 Quentin Bryce

Quentin Bryce
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Famous As: Teacher, Lawyer
Birthdate: December 23, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brisbane

Quentin Bryce is an Australian academic and politician. She served as the 25th Governor-General of Australia from 2008 to 2014 and is the first woman to have held the position. She attended the University of Queensland, where she studied law and became one of the first women accepted to the Queensland Bar. Following a legal career, she entered politics. 

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 4 Waleed Aly

Waleed Aly
3
Famous As: Radio personality, Television presenter, Lawyer, Songwriter
Birthdate: August 15, 1978
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Melbourne

Waleed Aly is an Australian writer, lawyer, and TV personality. He completed his International Baccalaureate from Wesley College and furthered his education at the University of Melbourne. Besides pursuing a legal career, he also hosts several popular programs on TV and radio. He is married to  feminist author and academic Susan Carland.

 5 Zali Steggall

Zali Steggall
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 16, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Manly, Australia

Zali Steggall is an Australian lawyer turned politician. She has been serving as a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Division of Warringah since 2019. She is a former Olympic athlete as well and is considered Australia's most internationally successful alpine skier. She became a lawyer after retiring from skiing and eventually entered politics as well. 

 6 Christopher Pyne

Christopher Pyne
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: August 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Christopher Pyne is an Australian retired politician. He was affiliated with the Australian Liberal Party and served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Sturt from 1993 to 2019. He has also served as the Minister for Industry, Innovation, and Science and the Minister for Defence in the past. He began a teaching and consulting career after leaving politics. 

 7 Shaun Micallef

Shaun Micallef
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Famous As: Comedian who hosted the game show Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation on Channel 10
Birthdate: July 18, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia

Shaun Micallef first gained fame with Theatre Sports on ABC TV. A qualified lawyer who practiced for a decade too, he later stepped into films and TV. Although a teetotaler, he does consume alcohol for his shoots. He has also hosted programs such as the Dave & Denise with Shaun Micallef.

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 8 Andrew Peacock

Andrew Peacock
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Famous As: Diplomat, Politician, Lawyer
Birthdate: February 13, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Melbourne

Andrew Peacock was an Australian politician and diplomat who became the leader of the Liberal Party on two occasions. He studied law at the University of Melbourne and ventured into politics while simultaneously practicing law. He was appointed to cabinet in 1969 and held a variety of portfolios, including that of the Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1975 to 1980. 

 9 Joe Hockey

Joe Hockey
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Famous As: Former Treasurer of Australia
Birthdate: August 2, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: North Sydney, Australia

Joe Hockey is an Australian politician who was the Member of Parliament for North Sydney from 1996 until 2015. He has also served as the Treasurer of Australia and the Minister for Human Services and Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations in the past. He was appointed as Ambassador of Australia to the United States in 2016. 

 10 Peter Costello

Peter Costello
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Famous As: Economist, Politician, Lawyer, Investment banker
Birthdate: August 14, 1957
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Melbourne

Peter Costello is an Australian former politician and lawyer. From 1996 to 2007, Costello served as the Treasurer of Australia, becoming the longest-serving Australian Treasurer in history. Costello had an illustrious political career; from 1990 to 2009 he was an important member of the House of Representatives and from 1994 to 2007, he served as the Liberal Party's Deputy Leader.

 11 Michael Kirby

Michael Kirby
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Famous As: lawyer, Judge, Jurist-consultant, Solicitor
Birthdate: March 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sydney

Michael Kirby is an Australian jurist and academic. He was the Justice of the High Court of Australia from 1996 to 2009. He has also served on the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) and the CSIRO. After retirement, he was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to lead an inquiry into human rights abuses in North Korea.  

 12 James D. Wolfensohn

James D. Wolfensohn
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Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: December 1, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

A renowned investment banker and the ninth President of the World Bank, James D. Wolfensohn was also a transformative and hands-on leader and a global champion of human rights.  Beginning his career in investment banking, he worked for several different institutions, before being nominated to the World Bank, shifting the Bank’s commitment back to alleviate poverty and promote social justice.  

 13 Eric Abetz

Eric Abetz
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Famous As: Lawyer, Politician
Birthdate: January 25, 1958
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Stuttgart

Eric Abetz is an Australian politician. He has been serving as a senator for Tasmania since February 1994. He represents the Liberal Party and has been the Minister for Employment and the Leader of the Government in the past. He was a barrister and solicitor before entering politics. He has been accused of sexist behavior by politician Sue Hickey. 

 14 Ninian Stephen

Ninian Stephen
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Famous As: 20th Governor-General of Australia
Birthdate: June 15, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nettlebed, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Died: October 29, 2017

Ninian Stephen was a prominent Australian judge. He served as the 20th Governor-General of Australia from 1982 to 1989. Prior to this, he had been a Justice of the High Court of Australia from 1972 to 1982. He was one of Australia's leading constitutional lawyers. He was also  Australia's first Ambassador for the Environment. 

 15 Stanley Bruce

Stanley Bruce
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 15, 1883
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
Died: August 25, 1967

Stanley Bruce was an Australian politician who served as the 8th Prime Minister of Australia from 1923 to 1929. He implemented a comprehensive nation-building program and brought about a range of reforms that aimed at expanding the nation’s economy. However, his handling of industrial relations took a controversial turn, and he had to step down in 1929. 

 16 Robert Holmes à Court

Robert Holmes à Court
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Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: July 27, 1937
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
Died: September 2, 1990

The Great Acquirer, Robert Holmes à Court was Australia’s first billionaire. The South African-born later studied forestry in New Zealand, before moving to Australia to study law. He proved his business acumen by using a loss-making AWM as a tool to acquire Bell Brothers, and turning it into Bell Group Ltd.

 17 H. V. Evatt

H. V. Evatt
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: April 30, 1894
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: East Maitland, Australia
Died: November 2, 1965

H. V. Evatt was an Australian politician and judge who served as a judge of the High Court of Australia from 1930 to 1940. He was appointed the attorney-general in 1941. He was also active in politics and was the leader of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and Leader of the Opposition from 1951 to 1960. 

 18 Natasha Stott Despoja

Natasha Stott Despoja
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Famous As: Australian Senator
Birthdate: September 9, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia

Natasha Stott Despoja is an Australian politician, diplomat, and author. She began her career as a political advisor and was soon appointed to the senate. She has held several political positions. She is a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the founding Chair of the Board of Our Watch. 

 19 Monisha Kaltenborn

Monisha Kaltenborn
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Famous As: Business women who is former team principal of the Sauber Formula One team and held a 33.3% stake in the outfit
Birthdate: May 10, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dehradun, India

Though born in India, Monisha Kaltenborn moved to Austria as a child. After attaining a master’s degree in law, she worked for the UN and various legal firms. She also headed Sauber Motorsport as its CEO and later formed KDC Racing. The mother of two now lives with her family in Switzerland.

 20 Robert French

Robert French
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Famous As: 12th Chief Justice of Australia
Birthdate: March 19, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Perth, Australia

Robert French is a prominent Australian lawyer and judge. He served as the twelfth Chief Justice of Australia from 2008 to 2017. He was appointed to the Federal Court in 1986 and was soon elevated to the High Court. After stepping down as the Chief Justice, he was appointed as the chancellor of the University of Western Australia. 

 21 Julian Burnside

Julian Burnside
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Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: June 9, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia

Apart from being a successful barrister, Melbourne-based Julian Burnside, now a Living National Treasure, is also a famed human rights activist. A lover of the arts, he is a passionate collector of paintings and sculptures and has also chaired Chamber Music Australia. An author too, he has penned a children’s book.

 22 Wayne Goss

Wayne Goss
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Famous As: Politician, Lawyer
Birthdate: February 26, 1951
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mundubbera, Australia
Died: November 10, 2014

Wayne Goss was an Australian politician cum lawyer who served as the  Premier of Queensland from 1989 to 1996. He was a member of the Labour Party. He worked as a solicitor before entering politics and was a key figure in the civil liberties fight against the Bjelke-Petersen Government. He was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001. 

 23 Mick Dodson

Mick Dodson
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Famous As: Barrister
Birthdate: April 10, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Katherine, Australia

Mick Dodson is an Aboriginal Australian barrister and academic. He is a member of the Yawuru people of the southern Kimberley region of Western Australia. In 1974, he became the first Indigenous person to graduate with a law degree in Australia. He has worked as a criminal solicitor and is a legal adviser in native title and human rights. 

 24 Anthony Mason

Anthony Mason
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Famous As: 9th Chief Justice of Australia
Birthdate: April 21, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

 25 Garfield Barwick

Garfield Barwick
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Famous As: Judge
Birthdate: June 22, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died: July 13, 1997

Garfield Barwick was an Australian judge remembered as the longest-serving Chief Justice of Australia. As the head of the high court, Barwick made important decisions on several constitutional cases, including cases pertaining to the constitutional basis of taxation. Barwick, who held the office from 1964 to 1981, also served as a minister from 1958 to 1964 in the Menzies Government. 

 26 Gerard Brennan

Gerard Brennan
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Famous As: 10th Chief Justice of Australia
Birthdate: May 22, 1928
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia

 27 James Spigelman

James Spigelman
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Famous As: 16th Chief Justice of New South Wales
Birthdate: January 1, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sosnowiec, Poland

 28 Sir Guy Green

Sir Guy Green
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Birthdate: November 5, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Frome
Died: September 15, 2005

Sir Guy Green was an English film producer, director, cinematographer, and screenwriter. He is best remembered for his work as a cinematographer in the 1946 British drama film Great Expectations for which he won an Academy Award. In 2002, Guy Green was honored at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

 29 Stephen Gageler

Stephen Gageler
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Famous As: Judge, Taekwondo Athletic
Birthdate: July 5, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New South Wales, Australia

Stephen Gageler is a lawyer currently serving as a Justice of the High Court of Australia. He was previously the Solicitor-General of Australia, the Commonwealth's second-ranking law officer. He has a master's degree from Harvard Law School and worked as a barrister for several years before being appointed as the Solicitor-General of Australia. He has a black belt in taekwondo.  

 30 Roma Mitchell

Roma Mitchell
1
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: October 2, 1913
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia
Died: March 5, 2000

Roma Mitchell was an Australian lawyer and judge. She became the first woman to hold a number of positions in Australia, including the country’s first female judge. She was also the first woman to be a Queen's Counsel and the governor of an Australian state. She was a pioneer of the Australian women's rights movement as well.

 31 Mark Weinberg

Mark Weinberg
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Famous As: Judge of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria
Birthdate: May 13, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Trelleborg, Sweden

 32 Jon Stanhope

Jon Stanhope
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Famous As: 5th Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory
Birthdate: April 29, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gundagai, Australia

Jon Stanhope is an Australian former politician who served as the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Chief Minister from 2001 to 2011. During his time in office as ACT chief minister, Stanhope came up with the Human Rights Act 2004, which established newly held human rights.

 33 Harry Gibbs

Harry Gibbs
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Famous As: Justice
Birthdate: February 7, 1917
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
Died: June 25, 2005

Harry Gibbs was an Australian judge who served as the Chief Justice of the Australian High Court from 1981 to 1987. Regarded as one of the most influential federalist judges of Australia, Gibbs played an important role in many cases including the famous Koowarta v Bjelke-Petersen. In 2012, the Sir Harry Gibbs Legal Heritage Centre was opened in his honor.

 34 John Davies

John Davies
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Famous As: Swimmer, Judge
Birthdate: May 17, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Willoughby, Australia
Died: March 24, 2020

Apart from being an Olympic gold medalist, Australian swimmer John Davies was also a UCLA graduate and later became a federal judge in the US. The breaststroke specialist became Australia’s first swimming gold medal winner since Clare Dennis, at Helsinki in 1952. He was also named to the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

 35 John Toohey

John Toohey
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Famous As: Judge, Lawyer
Birthdate: March 4, 1930
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Western Australia
Died: April 9, 2015

 36 Robin Millhouse

Robin Millhouse
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Famous As: 6th Chief Justice of Nauru, 39th Attorney-General of South Australia
Birthdate: December 9, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia
Died: April 28, 2017

 37 Will Alstergren

Will Alstergren
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Famous As: 5th Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia
Birthdate: April 12, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Australia

 38 Bernard O'Dowd

Bernard O'Dowd
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 11, 1866
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beaufort, Australia
Died: September 1, 1953

Born to Irish immigrants in Australia, Bernard O'Dowd became a head teacher at 17. He lost his teaching job for his radical views and was branded a heretic, but unperturbed, he opened his own school. A talented poet, he had also worked as a lawyer, a journalist, and a librarian.

 39 John von Doussa

John von Doussa
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Famous As: President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
Birthdate: September 17, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Australia

 40 Alfred Stephen

Alfred Stephen
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Famous As: Chief Justice of New South Wales
Birthdate: August 20, 1802
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saint Kitts, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Died: October 15, 1894

 41 Rowan Downing

Rowan Downing
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Famous As: Judge, Barrister
Birthdate: November 20, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Unknown

 42 Peter Heerey

Peter Heerey
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Famous As: Judge of the Federal Court of Australia
Birthdate: February 16, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Died: May 1, 2021

 43 Glenn McMillan

Glenn McMillan
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Famous As: Actor and Lawyer best known internationally as Dustin
Birthdate: October 5, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: São Paulo, Brazil