|The Honourable Justice
QC LLB BA BCL
|Justice of the High Court of Australia|
1 March 2013
|Nominated by||Julia Gillard|
|Appointed by||Quentin Bryce|
|Preceded by||Dyson Heydon|
|Born||26 October 1952
Early life and education
Patrick Anthony Keane was born to Patrick and Margaret Keane in a family of Irish descent and raised in Wilston, a middle-class, inner-city suburb in northern Brisbane, Queensland. The senior Patrick was an RAAF aviator who died from a heart attack when the younger Patrick was 7.
Keane was educated at Catholic schools: St. Columba's Convent School and St. Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace in Brisbane, where he was the school captain and dux of 1969, winning an Open Scholarship in the Queensland Senior Public Examinations. After eliminating other vocations, he graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Arts in 1973, and a Bachelor of Laws with first-class honours and a University Medal in 1976.
Keane read for a Bachelor of Civil Law at Magdalen College of the University of Oxford and was awarded the Vinerian Scholarship, a scholarship given to the student that "gives the best performance in the examination for the Degree of Bachelor of Civil Law". Having earned a B.C.L. with First-Class Honours in 1977, he then returned to Australia.
Keane was admitted as a Solicitor and Barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1976 and went to the bar, as a Barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland, in 1977. During 1978–1979, he was a part-time lecturer at the University of Queensland.
In 1992, Keane was appointed Solicitor-General for the State of Queensland, a position he held under Labor and Coalition state governments until his appointment to the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Queensland.
Keane published a number of articles and has been outspoken on the quality of legislative drafting. During 1990–1992, he was the Deputy Chairman of the Queensland Law Reform Commission. In 2011, he condemned the "volume and complexity of federal laws", telling the Australian Financial Review that "opening the tax act is like entering the door to a parallel universe".
In 2005, Keane was appointed a Judge of Appeal of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Queensland, the highest court in that state.
On 10 February 2010, Commonwealth Attorney-General Robert McClelland announced that Keane would be appointed as the next Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia. Keane took up that role on 22 March 2010.
High Court career
On 20 November 2012, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon announced that Keane had been appointed a Justice of the High Court of Australia effective on the retirement of Dyson Heydon on 1 March 2013. Keane became the 50th Justice appointed to the High Court. Keane's seat as Chief Justice on the Federal Court bench was filled by James Allsop, the president of the NSW Court of Appeal.
In 1974, aged 22, Keane married Shelley, with whom he has three sons and four grandchildren. His wife, Dr. Shelley Keane, is a psychologist. His son Patrick was born in Oxford in December 1976. His son David is a barrister.
The Australian reported that Keane is said to have been close to Prime Minister and fellow Queenslander Kevin Rudd and that Keane has been described by one unnamed Brisbane barrister as a "Labor man". Keane's appointment met with bipartisan approval: the Liberal Party's justice spokesperson, Senator George Brandis QC, described Keane's appointment as "the right decision" and Keane himself as a "very, very distinguished lawyer, both academically and professionally" with "a very illustrious reputation".
- "Ceremonial Sitting of the Full Court for the Swearing in and Welcome of the Honourable Justice Farrell". Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- "Ceremonial – Welcome – Keane J – Melbourne  HCATrans 122 (10 May 2013)". Austlii. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- Catanzariti, Joseph. "Ceremonial sitting of the High Court of Australia, Swearing-in of the Honourable Patrick Keane as Justice of the High Court". Law Council of Australia. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- "Keane, Chief Justice Patrick --- "Transcript of swearing in and welcome ceremony" (FCA)  FedJSchol 9". Austlii. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- Battersby, Lucy (16 February 2013). "Man of choice words and keen judgments". Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- The Honourable Justice Patrick A Keane – Supreme Court of Queensland Library
- Byrne, Elizabeth (5 March 2013). "Justice Keane completes the new-look High Court". Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- "Patrick Keane Appointed to the High Court". AustralianPolitics.com.
- Berg, Chris (25 January 2011). "Micromanagement in the regulatory state". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
- Supreme Court of Queensland (2009) Pat Keane. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
- The Australian (2010). Queensland judge Pat Keane named new Federal Court chief justice. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
- Federal Court of Australia (2010). The Hon Patrick Anthony KEANE. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
- "Roxon reveals new High Court judge". ABC News. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- Justice Keane completes the new-look High Court, Elizabeth Byrne, ABC News Online, 5 March 2013
- Chris Merrit and Joe Kelly (21 November 2012). "Cautious Pat Keane will 'fit right in' at High Court". The Australian. Retrieved 31 May 2013.