The Australian Government has proposed the appointment of Justice Emilios Kyrou AO as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia and as the President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

Justice Kyrou is the first Greek-born Australian appointed to the Federal Court.

This appointment follows the government’s announcement in December 2022 to establish a new administrative review body to replace the AAT.

Justice Kyrou, widely recognised for his integrity, legal excellence, and expertise in administrative law, will lead the AAT during this period of reform and subsequently serve as the inaugural president of the new administrative review body. The proposed term of his appointment is five years.

“On behalf of the Australian Government I congratulate Justice Kyrou on his proposed appointment,” Senator and Acting Attorney General Kathy Gallagher said in a statement.

“The Government is grateful to all members of the legal profession who provided nominations of candidates for this very important role. The Government would also like to thank the Hon Justice Susan Kenny AM and the Hon Justice Berna Collier for their service as Acting AAT President in recent months.”

The Attorney-General invited qualified individuals to apply and sought nominations from various legal bodies and institutions.

The Member for Calwell, Maria Vamvakinou rose in parliament to speak on Justice Kyrou’s appointment. She said that she was “particularly proud of Justice Kyrou’s appointment because he is a shining example of a migrant success story.”

Vamvakinou highlighted his  role as judge of appeals in the Court of Appeal at the Supreme Court of Victoria since 2014, Justice Kyrou and pointed to the “several judgements” made by Kyrou dealing with administrative law matters.”

She went on to reference his work from 2008 to 2014, as a trial judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria, “where he was one of the judges in charge of the Supreme Court’s judicial review and appeals list.”

“Growing up in Broadmeadows, he went to Dallas North Primary School in my electorate and, like most migrants, he experienced the difficulties often associated with the migrant experience. He has gone on to be a great success story, has never forgotten where he has come from and is a wonderful role model.”

Vamvakinou said that Justice Kyrou is “a proud son of Broadmeadows, and I know that his family is proud of him, as most certainly the broader Greek Australian community is.”

The parliamentarian said that he would “make an excellent contribution and will without doubt bring dignity, excellence and a work ethic critical to the important reforms needed to deliver to Australians a trusted federal administrative review body.”

An independent selection panel, comprising the Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department, the former Chief Justice of the Federal Court, the Hon James Allsop AC, and former Justice of the Federal Court, the Hon Ray Finkelstein AO KC, assessed all applicants.

Currently serving as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria since 2008 and as a Judge of Appeal in its Court of Appeal since 2014, Justice Kyrou brings extensive experience and capacity to his new role.

Justice Kyrou AO has served as a Judge of Appeal in the Court of Appeal at the Supreme Court of Victoria since 2014. During this tenure, he has authored several judgments dealing with administrative law matters. Previously, from 2008 to 2014, he held the position of Trial Judge at the Supreme Court of Victoria, where he was among the judges in charge of the Judicial Review and Appeals List. Prior to his judicial career, Justice Kyrou was a Partner in the Litigation Department at Mallesons Stephen Jaques from 1990 to 2008. He also served as the founding editor of the loose-leaf service Victorian Administrative Law, playing an integral role until 1998.

Subject to approval by the Governor-General, Justice Kyrou’s appointment as a Justice of the Federal Court will commence on June 8, 2023, while his role as AAT President will commence on June 9, 2023.