Ceremonial Sitting – 2015


Delivered by the Chief Justice, the Hon Justice A M Blow OAM, on 15 April 2015

This is a ceremonial sitting to celebrate the recent appointment of a member of the Tasmanian bar, Mr Philip Jackson, as Senior Counsel.

On behalf of the Court, I would like to welcome all visitors here today, particularly those close to Mr Jackson.  There has been a tradition in many Commonwealth jurisdictions that newly appointed Queen’s Counsel or Senior Counsel appear before the courts in which they practice on a day appointed for the hearing of motions, and each announce his or her appointment, whereupon the presiding judge would ask, “Do you move?”  In response, the new appointee would bow to the Court.  Last year the judges decided that it was appropriate to have a ceremonial welcome for every newly appointed silk that included the appropriate parts of the traditional practice. This is the second ceremonial sitting we have held to welcome the appointment of Senior Counsel.  The first was in August of last year, following the appointment of Mr Ayliffe and Mr Barker.  We will now proceed.

Mr Jackson, do you move?

On behalf of the Court I congratulate you on your appointment.  Ever since the 1590s, counsel learned in the law have been appointed as Queen’s Counsel or, more recently, as Senior Counsel. The appointment of Queen’s Counsel by the Governor-in-Council was replaced in this State by the appointment of Senior Counsel with effect from 2001.

The designation of Senior Counsel is reserved for those whose standing and achievements justify an expectation that they can provide outstanding service as counsel and advisors, to the good of the administration of justice.  The appointments are made by the Chief Justice in consultation with the other judges of the Court, judicial officers of others courts when appropriate, and the presidents of the relevant professional bodies.  The required qualities include skill and learning, integrity and honesty, independence, diligence, and experience, particularly experience as an advocate in the higher courts or tribunals.

Mr Jackson was admitted as a legal practitioner on 27 February 1978.  He has practised continuously in the courts ever since.  He was President of the Tasmanian Bar Association from 1993 to 1995, and President of the Law Society of Tasmania from 2000 to 2002.  He was a council member and director of the Law Council of Australia between 2002 and 2007.  He was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003 for services to Australian society and the law.  He has practised at the independent bar since the beginning of 2007.  He has extensive experience in civil cases, particularly in relation to personal injury claims, workers compensation, commercial litigation, and professional disciplinary matters.  He has all the attributes required of Senior Counsel.

It gives me very great pleasure to acknowledge his appointment at this ceremonial sitting today.  Mr Jackson, I congratulate you again.  I hope you enjoy many years of challenging and rewarding practice as Senior Counsel.

That concludes this ceremonial sitting.  The Court will now adjourn.