Former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia 

The Hon Susan Kiefel AC KC  LLM (Cantab) Former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia  


The Honourable Susan Mary Kiefel AC KC was appointed Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia on 30 January 2017, having served as a Justice of the High Court since 3 September 2007. Ms Kiefel retired from the Court in November 2023, having served approximately seven years as the first female Chief Justice of Australia. 

Born in Cairns, Queensland in 1954, Ms Kiefel earned a Master of Law from the University of Cambridge, where she received several prestigious prizes. Having been admitted to the Queensland Bar in 1975, in 1987 she became Queensland’s first female Queen’s Counsel. From 1993 Ms Kiefel served as a Justice in the Supreme Court of Queensland and then the Federal Court of Australia before being appointed to the High Court. 

Ms Kiefel was awarded the Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2011 for eminent service to the law, judiciary law reform and legal education in the areas of ethics, justice and governance. 

Ms Kiefel is a Life Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, a Life Member of the Bar Association of Queensland and in 2023 was awarded life membership of the Australian Bar Association. She has been honoured by various legal and academic institutions worldwide.