Former AGS lawyer appointed as new judge to ACT Supreme Court

18 March 2022

The Australian Government Solicitor Michael Kingston has congratulated former AGS lawyer Geoffrey Kennett SC for his appointment to the ACT Supreme Court as a new resident judge.

Geoffrey has over 30 years legal experience and worked in Canberra from 1985 to 1998, before moving to Sydney to practice at the bar. He is currently the Chair of the Administrative Law Committee of the Law Council of Australia and is a member of its Constitutional Law Committee.

During the 1990s, Geoffrey worked in AGS’s Office of General Counsel, advising clients on the impact of constitutional law issues on their programs.

He had particular expertise on constitutional aspects of acquisition of property, taxes and charges and the regulation of economic activity. He also advised clients on statutes, particularly relating to government finances and the constitutional protection of individual rights.

He left AGS to briefly work as Counsel Assisting the Solicitor-General before going to the bar. Since this time, Geoffrey has been briefed as Counsel for AGS on a number of significant cases.

Geoffrey’s appointment to the Supreme Court was one of 2 recently announced by ACT Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury. The other announcement was Belinda Baker who is currently the Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor with the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions.

Geoffrey will begin his appointment on 21 March 2022. He will fill the vacancy left by Justice Burns who retired from the Court in August last year having served over 30 years in the ACT Courts.

ACT Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucy McCallum said, ‘The Court welcomes these outstanding appointments. Mr Kennett and Ms Baker are both known for their huge intellects, their astute legal analysis and their prodigious capacity for hard work. With our full complement of six judges the Court is well placed to take on the challenges ahead.’

The Australian Government Solicitor Michael Kingston said he was proud to have an AGS alumni appointed to such a distinguished position in the legal profession.