The High Court of Australia has welcomed a new member to its bench – Commonwealth Solicitor General Stephen Gageler SC. Gageler was recently before the High Court arguing the Commonwealth’s case for the plain packaging of cigarettes, a case he won before his new colleagues. Gageler also lead the Commonwealth’s notable loss last year before the High Court in the Malaysia Solution case.
A former Associate to the Hon Sir Anthony Mason KBE, at a time when the Mason court was widely seen as an era of judicial activism, how Justice Gageler will approach human rights cases remains at the front of many minds. Justice Gageler has, like Mason, regarded the phrase ‘judicial activism’ as a “term of abuse”, regarding that High Court era as a time of “great creativity and development in the law”.