Tony Fitzgerald

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The Honourable
Tony Fitzgerald
Tony Fitzgerald, 1990
Chair of the Commission of Inquiry into Official Corruption in Queensland
In office
President of the Queensland Court of Appeal
In office
16 December 1991 – 30 June 1998
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded byMargaret McMurdo
Judge of the Federal Court of Australia
In office
25 November 1981 – 30 June 1984
Personal details
BornGerald Edward Fitzgerald
(1941-11-26) 26 November 1941 (age 76)
Brisbane, Queensland
Alma materUniversity of Queensland
OccupationLawyer, judge
Known forPresiding over the Fitzgerald Inquiry
AwardsOrder of Australia

Gerald Edward "Tony" 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 of the Federal Court of Australia.[1]

Early life[edit]

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


"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, Fitzgerald became a QC. He 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 undertaking the Fitzgerald Inquiry, he and his family received death threats which were taken seriously by police.[1]

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

He was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland, which is the highest ranking court in the State of Queensland. He also served as the first President of the Court of Appeals Division,[1] from 16 December 1991 until his retirement from that 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.

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


After retiring in 2001,[1] 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 and the loss of momentum for reform.[5]

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 as Chief Justice of Queensland.[2][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Walker, Jamie (21 September 2013). "1988: Tony Fitzgerald, corruption fighter". The Australian. News Limited. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b Tapim, Francis & 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 Archived 20 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Tony Fitzgerald breaks his silence". The Brisbane Times. 29 July 2009. Archived from the original on 5 October 2017. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  6. ^ Lewis, David & 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]


Legal offices
New title President of the Queensland Court of Appeal
Succeeded by
Margaret McMurdo