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Hubris contained: why a separate Australian Tax Court should be rejected


Proposals that a specialist tax court be created should be rejected. The Federal Court has fulfilled the expectations of its founders. Generalist lawyers question orthodoxy and challenge the assumptions of specialists. The costs and disadvantages of a specialist court outweigh any supposed gains. Reform of federal appellate arrangements may, however, be worth considering.

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Hon Justice Michael Kirby
Justice Kirby was appointed to the High Court in February 1996. At the time of his appointment he was President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal, having been appointed to that office in September 1984. He was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1967. He was appointed a Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission in 1975. He served as first Chairperson of the Australian Law Reform Commission from 1975 to 1984. In 1983 he became a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, serving on that Court until 1984. In his education at Summer Hill Opportunity School (1949-1950), at Fort Street Boy’s High School (1951-5) and Sydney University (1956-61) he shared classrooms with the late Justice Graham Hill to whom he will pay a personal and professional tribute. - Current at 01 December 2006
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