Attorney-General Nicola Roxon’s Speech On Data Retention Laws

This is the text of Attorney-General Nicola Roxon’s address on security in government and data retention.

The speech has caused controversy because of Roxon’s attitude to data retention laws and the balance between privacy and national security concerns.

Speech by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon to the Security in Government Conference: protective security – policy in action.

Thank you Mike (Mike Rothery, First Assistant Secretary, National Security Resilience Policy Division, Attorney-General’s Department), Roger Wilkins AO, Secretary, Attorney-General’s Department, Security industry leaders and suppliers –

Ladies and gentlemen:


It’s great to join you for this year’s Security in Government Conference, my first as Attorney-General.

SIG is considered to be Australia’s premier event on protective security, becoming very well established since its first gathering in 1987.

That was certainly a different era.

I was studying law at the University of Melbourne. And one of the most popular TV shows at the time was LA Law. While it wasn’t necessarily an accurate portrayal of the law or of legal proceedings, it was entertaining.

I remember in one episode a teenage computer hacker was hired to fix the law firm’s phones. I thought the story line was intriguing. Could he really be trusted?

I must admit, I don’t recall how the story played out. But I did do a bit of research and was amused to find the episode was written by Anonymous. And I think that’s enough said about that… [Read more…]

Stephen Gageler Appointed Justice Of The High Court

The Commonwealth Solicitor-General, Stephen Gageler, has been appointed a judge of the High Court of Australia.

Stephen GagelerThe appointment was announced today by the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon. Gageler will replace Justice William Gummow who will reach the constitutionally-mandated retirement age of 70 on October 9.

Gageler is 54 years old. If he serves until he turns 70, he will remain on the High Court until July 8, 2028.

Gageler was appointed Solicitor-General by the previous Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, in 2008. As Solicitor-General, he is the Second Law Officer to the Attorney-General. The Solicitor-General appears on behalf of the Commonwealth, especially in the High Court.

Gageler grew up in NSW, studied law at the Australian National University and completed his Master of Laws at Harvard University in 1987.

Early in his career, Gageler was an Associate to Sir Anthony Mason, a former Justice and Chief Justice of the court. It is Mason’s seat that Gageler will take. It is the position originally held by Australia’s first prime minister, Sir Edmund Barton. Like Gageler, Mason also held the position of Solicitor-General between 1964-69.

Gageler is the 49th appointment to the High Court since it was established in 1903. He replaces the last of the Hawke-Keating appointments. When Gageler takes his seat in October, the court will consist of four appointments by the Howard government, two by the Rudd government and one by the Gillard government.

Gageler’s appointment maintains the balance of three NSW judges, two from Victoria, one from Queensland and one from Western Australia. There has never been a High Court judge appointed from South Australia or Tasmania.

Media release by the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon:

New Justice of the High Court of Australia

21 August 2012

I am pleased to announce the Governor-General Her Excellency Quentin Bryce AC CVO has today appointed Mr Stephen Gageler SC as Australia’s new Justice of the High Court of Australia following a recommendation from the Government.

Mr Gageler will be the 49th person appointed to the High Court since Federation.

Mr Gageler’s appointment will follow the retirement of the Honourable Justice William Gummow AC in October 2012 after 17 years of outstanding service to Australia’s highest court.

Mr Gageler has served as the Commonwealth Solicitor General since September 2008. He is a highly distinguished barrister and specialised in constitutional, administrative, revenue and commercial law in Sydney. [Read more…]