Speeches given at a swearing in ceremony can be both light hearted and serious and often reveal some of the character of the newly appointed judge. I have never met nor appeared (yet) before her Honour Justice Cheeseman (in the Federal Court), but her speech at her swearing in is good natured and personal. The following two passages are illustrative:

Speaking of family life and her husband:

Together we have forged a life that is crazy and chaotic, a rollicking circus where routine runs second to the crisis of the moment. To me, our life is simply perfect. ….. He has suffered holidays where I have to finish up that last advice or prep for the hearing that is on the other side of the holiday. A light sleeper, he rarely complains with my pre-dawn departures to go into work at what I refer to as “crazy o’clock”. He has worked by my side and I by his. Late into the evenings he has been there changing nappies and rehearsing and correcting my cross-examination, often at the same time, there being a striking similarity in the subject matter of those two tasks.

And of her junior:

I once gifted one of my juniors a t-shirt with the slogan that perfectly captured his tutelage of me as his leader. The slogan said, “I can explain it to you, but I cannot understand it for you.” It was Tom Prince. I’m not sure if Tom is here today – he is appearing in the New South Wales Court of Appeal this morning before Justices Basten, Meagher and Leeming. I just hope quietly that he’s wearing the t-shirt.

You can read the rest of it on the court’s website.

Creative commons acknowledgment for the photograph.

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