Speech at the Ceremonial Sitting of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia to welcome the Hon. Justice Christopher Horan

19 December 2023




Speech by Peter Dunning KC, President of the Australian Bar Association


Chief Justice Mortimer, Justice Horan, Justices of the Federal Court, distinguished guests. Justice Horan, it is my privilege and pleasure in equal measure on behalf of the Bar nationally to offer its congratulations on your Honour’s well-deserved appointment to this Court and to thank you for the public service and commitment to public service that the acceptance of such an appointment requires.

Your Honour joins a large and important national Court, with a busy and varied schedule. It has amongst its many tasks part of the process of bringing peace to our First Nations peoples, and it is an important role that the Court fulfills. Your Honour has the skill and learning to fulfill that role with distinction. I, indeed, had the privilege of appearing against your Honour when you were at the Bar. Your Honour was delightful. Your Honour was incredibly competent. Your Honour was skilled. Your Honour was also successful, as I recall. And those early matters may take some of the mystery out of that.

Your Honour has, over decades, demonstrated a sincere commitment to the attainment of justice and all of the finest traditions of the Bar. Your Honour exemplifies them, in particular, the important place the Bar has in standing between the citizen and the state and ensuring that justice is done and is seen to be done and is as accessible as possible for all.

No one gets to a day like today without the love and support of their family, and your Honour has been fortunate to have that. However, your Honour is a product of the Victorian Bar. And so today is very much Victoria’s day, and on that note, I will pass to my friend Mr Hay to speak on behalf of the Victorian Bar.


20 October 2023

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