Geoffrey Nettle

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The Honourable Justice
Geoffrey Nettle
Justice of the High Court of Australia
Assumed office
3 February 2015
Nominated by Tony Abbott
Appointed by Sir Peter Cosgrove
Preceded by Susan Crennan
Personal details
Born (1950-12-02) 2 December 1950 (age 66)
Cottesloe, Western Australia
Nationality Australian
Alma mater Australian National University
University of Melbourne
University of Oxford

Geoffrey Arthur Akeroyd Nettle (born 2 December 1950[1]) is a Justice of the High Court of Australia, the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy. Prior to his appointment to the High Court, he was a judge of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria, in the Australian state of Victoria.

Early life and education[edit]

Geoffrey Nettle was born in Cottesloe, Western Australia, a beachside suburb of Perth and moved to Victoria at an early age. Nettle received his secondary education at Wesley College, Melbourne.[2]

Nettle completed a Bachelor of Economics at the Australian National University followed by a Bachelor of Laws, for which he received First Class Honours, at the University of Melbourne in 1975. While studying at Melbourne, he was a resident at Trinity College, where he rowed and played rugby. Nettle then completed a Bachelor of Civil Laws with First-Class Honours at Magdalen College, Oxford.[3]


Nettle was admitted to practise in 1977 and was a solicitor with Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King & Wood Mallesons). He was called to the bar in November 1982. He became a Queen's Counsel in 1992. His major areas of practice were commercial law, taxation, constitutional law and administrative law. He was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria, Trial Division, in 2002, and a Judge of Appeal of the Victorian Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria, in 2004.[4][5]

Unusually for an Appeal Justice, in 2013, Nettle presided over the trial at first instance of Adrian Ernest Bayley for the rape and murder of Irishwoman Jill Meagher in Melbourne, Australia.[6]

On 4 December 2014, the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, announced that Nettle would become a justice of the High Court of Australia, replacing Justice Susan Crennan who would retire on 3 February 2015.[5] Nettle will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 for High Court justices in 2020.[7]


  1. ^ "No sting: George Brandis plays it straight on High Court appointment". The Australian Online. News Ltd. Retrieved 5 December 2014.  (subscriber only)
  2. ^ "Appoints: The Hon Justice Geoffrey Nettle" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-04-20. 
  3. ^ "Melbourne Law School : Awards Ceremony for the 2009 Academic Year" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Justice Nettle". Victorian Bar News. The Victorian Bar Inc. Spring 2002. pp. 16–17. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Attorney-General's announcement Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Irishwoman’s killer sentenced to life imprisonment". The Nation. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  7. ^ Constitution, section 72.