HomeThe Hon Michael Black AC KC

Expert resume of The Hon Michael Black AC KC

Former Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia

The Hon Michael Black was Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia from 1991 until March 2010. He was appointed from the Bar, at which he had practised since 1964.

As Chief Justice he sat as an appellate judge in all areas of the court's jurisdiction and was also responsible for the administration of the court. He was closely involved in the development of the Federal Court’s self-governance, civil procedure reforms and court-annexed ADR.

He was also closely involved in international judicial training and other international judicial matters, especially in the South Pacific and South East Asia. He was Co-President of the Paris-based International Association of Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions from 1997-2010.

Michael Black is presently the Chair of the Attorney-General’s Steering Committee for a Courts Administration Service in Victoria and a member of the Dispute Resolution Panel, National Gas Market Rules (Australia).

He is a graduate of Melbourne University, LL.B. and LL.D (honoris causa) and is a Senior Fellow at the Melbourne Law School.

As a junior barrister Michael Black practised in all areas of the law. As Queen's Counsel (1980) he practised nationally with a focus upon appellate advocacy, especially in the High Court of Australia. He argued appeals in diverse fields of law but principally in constitutional and administrative law, commercial law, environment and planning law and industrial law. He appeared and advised in important matters involving competition law and economics, especially pricing.

From 1987 until his appointment as Chief Justice he was the Defence Force Advocate.

Whilst at the Bar he was, at various times, a member of the Victorian Bar Council, the Board of the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Board of the Leo Cussen Institute for Continuing Legal Education. He was the foundation chair of the Victorian Bar Course of Instruction for Barristers (the Bar Readers Course).

On Australia Day 1998 Michael Black was appointed a Companion in the Order of Australia (AC) for services to the law, the legal profession and the judiciary.