The Rule of Law Institute of Australia congratulates Her Honour Dr Melissa Perry on being sworn in as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia


Dr Perry has been an active member of RoLIA’s Board of Directors since 2011 and has made valuable contributions to improving the profile of the rule of law  in Australia. She has been appointed as a judge and we wish her well in her time on the bench.

Her many accomplishments are set out below and we concur with Ms Bishop in her summation of Dr Perry’s attributes and suitability for the Federal Court.

At Dr Perry’s recent swearing in ceremony the Hon Bronwyn Bishop MP, Speaker of the House, commented that her Honour’s “…accomplishments and personal qualities will equip you well to make an excellent judicial officer. You have an impressive legal mind and deep understanding of legal principles and their rationale. You have been known and sought after for your high quality work, and admired for your courtesy, patience and kindness. To this end, one of your colleagues remarked that your immense legal knowledge and intelligence will be a wonderful asset to the Federal Court. Litigants will always be treated with the utmost respect. Your temperament and integrity positions you to adeptly face the challenges and responsibilities of this appointment.”

Dr Perry was admitted to the Supreme Court of South Australia as a barrister and solicitor in 1985. She graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) earlier that year. In 1986, following completion of her degree, Dr Perry was Associate to the Hon Justice Matheson at the Supreme Court of South Australia. In 1988 she completed a Master of Laws and in 1995, was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy, both at the University of Cambridge, where she won the Yorke Prize for her doctorate in public international law.

Dr Perry went to the Bar in 1992 and since that time has practised primarily in constitutional law, administrative law and native title. She was appointed Queens Counsel in 2004 and was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales in 2012.Dr Perry was a Visiting Fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge for three months 2005 – 06, and a part-time Visiting Research Fellow at the Australian National University in 2003. She is currently a member of various legal and academic organisations, including the Administrative Review Council and the Australian Academy of Law of which she is a Director and Fellow.

Dr Perry is also a Squadron Leader with the Royal Australian Air Force Legal Specialist Reserves.