26 September 2008

Justice Graham Mullane, a judge of the Family Court of Australia since 1986, will retire from the bench on 30 September and begin his life after law.
A ceremonial sitting in Newcastle will be held today to mark his retirement from a judicial career spent in Newcastle where he was a partner in a law firm prior to his appointment.
The Chief Justice of the Family Court, Diana Bryant, said, “Justice Mullane’s contribution to the Court has been both longstanding and generous and I acknowledge the work that he has done and the time he has spent on the Court’s behalf.
“Justice Mullane had only been a judge for three years when he joined the Court’s Information Technology Committee and continued as a member for four years.
“Between 1990 – 92, he added membership of the Family Court Review Implementation Committee to his responsibilities. 
“In 1992, Justice Mullane became the Chair of the Family Law Rules Committee and also joined the board of the Faculty of Law at the University of Newcastle.

In the period 2000 – 05, Justice Mullane managed at various times to be

  • chair of the Family Court Electronic Benchbook Committee,
  • a member of the Family Court Rules Revision Committee,
  • a member of the Harmonisation of Rules Committee of Australian Superior Courts
  • and during 2002 was also the chair of the Family Court Costs Committee.

“He became the regional co-ordinating judge for NSW/ACT in 2004 and continued that role until his retirement. Since 2007 he has been a member of the board of the (international) Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.
“Justice Mullane has shown a real understanding and empathy for separating couples and children. He has had a long-standing practice, in appropriate cases, of inviting the children into his chambers at the conclusion of a case to explain why he has made certain orders that affect them.
“He will be missed by his colleagues on the bench and in the court generally, by the profession and others involved in providing solutions to complexities that arise at the end of a marriage.
“On behalf of the Court I wish him a long and happy retirement,” she said.
Justice Mullane said that, in his new-found leisure time, he intended to go on walking holidays and other travels and to devote more time to his involvement in an aged care facility.
“It will be difficult to step back from the law after such busy times in the profession and the court.
“I am sure I will miss the stimulation and am inclined to the idea of a little part-time teaching in law as a good way to use my experience and keep involved,” Justice Mullane said.