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Judicial Profiles

The Hon Ronald Sackville AO

Judge, Federal Court of Australia (Sydney) (retired from bench 2008)
Acting Judge of Appeal, Supreme Court of New South Wales

Qualifications | Work History | Other positions held | Academic positions | Relevant judgments | Relevant speeches and publications


Relevant qualifications and honours

  • Graduate of the University of Melbourne and Yale University
  • Appointed Queen's Counsel in 1991
  • Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) (2009)
    For service to the administration of the Australian judicial system, to the reform of
    federal and state law, and to legal education


Relevant work history

  • 2008- current - Acting judge of appeal, Supreme Court of New South Wales
  • 19 September 1994 - 25 August 2008: Judge, Federal Court of Australia (Sydney)
  • 1985-1994 - Barrister in Sydney (appointed Queen's Counsel in 1991)
  • 1972-1985 - Professor of Law at the University of New South Wales
  • 1979-1981 - Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales


Other positions held

  • 1973-1975 - Commissioner for Law and Poverty on the Australian Government Commission of Inquiry into Poverty
  • 1979-1981 - Chairman of the South Australian Royal Commission into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs
  • 1981-1984 - Chairman of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission
  • 1992 - Assistant Commissioner of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption
  • 1993-1994 - Chair of the Access to Justice Advisory Committee
  • 2004-2006 - Chair of the Judicial Conference of Australia, a body representing judicial officers throughout Australia


Visiting academic appointments

  • Visiting appointments at McGill University (Montreal)
  • Cardozo Law School, Yeshiva University (New York)
  • Cornell University (New York)
  • New York University


Relevant judgments

  • Seven Network Ltd v News Limited [2007] FCA 1062 (the C7 case)
    Anti-competitive agreements; misuse of market power - Justice Sackville dismissed the claim, finding no contraventions of Part IV.
    Trial judge; decision upheld on appeal. Some reasoning on the issue of the meaning of 'purpose' overturned by the majority on appeal.
    The trial was one of the longest in history and produced a judgment of more than 1,200 pages. The time and cost associated with the trial was described by Justice Sackville as “extraordinarily wasteful” and “bordering on the scandalous”.


Relevant speeches and publications

  • Forthcoming