The Honourable Justice Patrick A Keane

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Judge, High Court of Australia

Date of Birth

26 October 1952

Schooling

  • St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace (1961-1969)

University Education

  • Bachelor of Civil Law (Hons), Oxford University (1977)
  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons), University of Queensland (1976)
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Queensland (1973)

Honours

  • Centenary Medal (2003)

Awards

  • JHC Morris Prize (1977)
  • Sir Henry Abel Smith Scholarship (1977)
  • Vinerian Scholarship (1977)
  • John Hughes Wilkinson Prize (1976)
  • University Medal in Law (1976)
  • Virgil Power Prize (1976)
  • Walter Harrison Prize (1976)

Judicial Career

  • Judge, High Court of Australia (2013-)
  • Chief Justice, Federal Court of Australia (2010-2012)
  • Judge, Queensland Court of Appeal (2005-2010)

Pre-judicial Career

  • Solicitor-General for Queensland (1992-2005)
  • Deputy Chairman, Queensland Law Reform Commission (1990-1992)
  • Member, Supreme Court Library Committee (1989-2005)
  • Practised at the Bar in Queensland (1978-2005)
  • Part-time Lecturer, University of Queensland (1978-1979)
  • Articled Clerk, Roberts and Kane Solicitors (1973-1975)
  • Appointed Queen's Counsel (1988)
  • Admitted as a Barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland (1977)
  • Solicitor, Feez Ruthning (1977)
  • Solicitor, Feez Ruthning (1976)
  • Admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland (1976)

Extra Judicial Positions

  • Chairman, Supreme Court Library Collections Sub-Committee (2006-)
  • Member, Council of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration (2006-)
  • Member, American Law Institute (2006-)
  • Member, Australian Association of Constitutional Law Inc (1998-)

Biographical Notes

Patrick Anthony Keane was born on 26 October 1952 in Brisbane, to Patrick John Keane, telephone technician, and his wife Margaret Mary (née Houseman). He undertook his secondary education at St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace (1961–69), where he was school captain and dux (1969). He then studied at the University of Queensland, where he graduated Bachelor of Arts (1973) and Bachelor of Laws with first class honours (1976). He was the recipient of the University Medal in Law, the Walter Harrison Prize, the Virgil Power Prize and the John Hughes Wilkinson Prize. He married Shelley Heiser on 30 November 1974. They had three sons, Patrick, David and Michael. Having completed his articles of clerkship at the Brisbane firm of Roberts & Kane (1973-75), Keane was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland on 3 February 1976. Having been awarded the Sir Henry Abel Smith Scholarship, he obtained a Bachelor of Civil Law with first class honours at Magdalen College, Oxford (1977). He was the recipient of the Vinerian Scholarship and the JHC Morris Prize.

On 15 December 1977, Keane was admitted as a barrister of the Supreme Court, commencing practice at the bar in Brisbane. He took silk on 10 November 1988 and was later appointed solicitor-general for the state of Queensland (1992-2005). He served as a member of the Supreme Court library committee (1990–2005) and deputy chairperson of the Queensland Law Reform Commission (1990–92). He was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003.

On 21 February 2005, Keane was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland and a judge of appeal. He served as chairperson of the Supreme Court library collection subcommittee (2006–10), a member of the Council of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration (2006-2010) and chairperson of the projects and research committee of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration (2009) and became President of the Institute in 2010. Keane resigned from the court to take up an appointment, on 22 March 2010, as the third Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia. He has served as president of the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration (2010–11). Keane was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws at the University of Queensland (2011).

Judicial Papers

View Papers by The Honourable Justice Patrick A Keane