Tony Fitzgerald

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Not to be confused with the Australian politician in Queensland Tony FitzGerald.
Gerald Edward Fitzgerald
Born (1941-11-26) November 26, 1941 (age 73)
Brisbane, Queensland
Alma mater University of Queensland
Occupation lawyer, judge
Years active 1964 - 2001
Known for presiding over the Fitzgerald Inquiry
Children three
Awards Order of Australia

Gerald Edward Fitzgerald, AC, QC (born 26 November 1941) is a former Australian judge, who presided over the Fitzgerald Inquiry. The report from the inquiry led to the resignation of the Premier of Queensland Joh Bjelke-Petersen and the jailing of several ministers and a police commissioner. He was the youngest person to be appointed as a judge to the Federal Court of Australia.[1]

Early life[edit]

He was born in a cottage at Sandgate.[1] Gerald Edward "Tony" Fitzgerald attended high school at St Patrick's College, Shorncliffe and later the University of Queensland,[1] where he graduated in 1964 with an LLB and was admitted to the bar that same year. At university he started studying engineering and then switched to law.[1]


"Unless there is an effective parliamentary opposition to advocate alternative policies, criticise government errors, denounce excesses of power and reflect, inform and influence public opinion, the checks and balances needed for democracy are entirely missing." [2]

In 1975, he became a QC. Fitzgerald was a judge in the Federal Court of Australia from 25 November 1981 to 30 June 1984.

Fitzgerald presided over the Fitzgerald Inquiry into corruption in the Queensland government. He was officially known as the chair of the Commission of Inquiry into Official Corruption in Queensland from 1987 to 1989.[3] While presiding over the Fitzgerald Inquiry, he and his family received death threats which were taken seriously by police.[1]

He chaired the Commission of Inquiry into the Conservation, Management and Use of Fraser Island and the Great Sandy Region from 1990 to 1991.[4] He was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1991.[1]

He was appointed as a judge to the Supreme Court of Queensland, which is the highest ranking court in the State of Queensland. He served as the first President of the Court of Appeals Division[1] from 16 December 1991 until his retirement from this court on 30 June 1998. He was a judge on the Court of Appeals Division of the Supreme Court of New South Wales from 1998 to 16 March 2001.

He has been the chairperson of both the Australian Heritage Commission and the National Institute for Law, Ethics and Public Affairs as well as the inaugural chancellor of the University of the Sunshine Coast.[1]


In 2001, Fitzgerald retired.[1] After retirement Fitzgerald worked primarily as a mediator and arbitrator.[4] In July 2009, following the Gordon Nuttall scandal and public criticisms of contemporary governance in Queensland, Fitzgerald revealed his relocation to New South Wales was due in large part to the 1998 election of the Beattie Labor government.

He has made several scathing comments regarding the Queensland government led by Campbell Newman. This included criticism of new laws targeting bikies and sex offenders as well as the appointment of Tim Carmody to Chief Justice of Queensland.[2][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Jamie Walker (21 September 2013). "1988: Tony Fitzgerald, corruption fighter". The Australian (News Limited). Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Francis Tapim and staff (29 June 2014). "Queensland corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald criticises Newman Government over 'abuse of power'". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Report Of A Commission Of Inquiry Pursuant To Orders In Council. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  4. ^ a b The Honourable Gerald Edward (Tony) Fitzgerald AC, QC. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  5. ^ David Lewis, staff (29 October 2013). "Anti-corruption judge Tony Fitzgerald slams Queensland's 'foolhardy' bikie, sex offender laws". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 29 June 2014. 

External links[edit]