After nearly 22 years of outstanding service to the Family Court of Australia and more than 46 years working in law, most of which has been undertaken in the ACT, The Honourable Deputy Chief Justice John Faulks will be retiring from the Court this year.  

To mark this special occasion a ceremonial sitting was held today at the Commonwealth Law Courts Building Court in Canberra.

Deputy Chief Justice Faulks has had a long and distinguished career in the law spanning almost 47 years.  Prior to being appointed as a judge of the Family Court in 1994, Justice Faulks was in private practice for 26 years. Throughout his career, as a solicitor and barrister, as the President of the ACT Law Society, as the President of the Law Council of Australia, as the Chair of the Family Law Council and in recent years as a first instance judge and the Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia, Justice Faulks has made a significant contribution to the development of family law generally and, more specifically, to the administration of justice.

During his speech today, Deputy Chief Justice said, “I count it as an enormous privilege to have been invited by people to share in their decision-making at a time of high emotion, when significant choices are being made about children, property and financial matters. Often this has meant not only sharing in the process, but making decisions for them when they cannot make those decisions for themselves”.

Deputy Chief Justice Faulks has not only made his strong contribution whilst serving in the courtroom, His Honour can boast a long list of achievements in other areas of court policy and management. His Honour oversaw the Magellan project which was introduced by the Family Court to specifically manage cases involving allegations of child abuse. His Honour was also instrumental in the development of the Less Adversarial Trial process and oversaw the Access to Justice committee which co-ordinated the Court’s programs on diverse cultural groups, self-represented litigants and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

The Chief Justice of Family Court of Australia, Diana Bryant said, “I wish to thank Deputy Justice Faulks for his immense contribution to the Family Court over the past 21 years.

He has fulfilled his role as Deputy Chief Justice admirably during my tenure as Chief Justice. He has willingly and assiduously taken over the responsibility for several key administrative areas which would otherwise have taken up a large part of my time and I could not have had a more supportive deputy.

I wish His Honour, and his family, all the very best for the next phase of his professional and personal life.”

During today’s ceremony, the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis acknowledged the judge’s outstanding contribution to the law, as did other speakers representing the various legal bodies from the ACT and Australia-wide.

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