The Hon Melissa Anne PERRY

Judge, Federal Court of Australia: 23.9.2013
Location: Sydney

Other Commissions/Appointments:
Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory - Additional Judge
Administrative Appeals Tribunal - Deputy President
Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal - Member

Melissa Anne Perry was appointed to the Federal Court of Australia on 23 September 2013. 

Justice Perry was appointed as a Deputy President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (2019) and commissioned in the office of Member of the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal (11 October 2018).

Since 2011, Justice Perry has also served as an Officer with the Royal Australian Air Force, Legal Specialist Reserves.

Justice Perry graduated from the University of Adelaide and was admitted as a practitioner in 1985. She was subsequently awarded an LLM and PhD in public international law from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Her doctorate on State succession, boundaries and territorial regimes was awarded the Yorke Prize. 

She practised at the Bar from 1992 to 2013, being appointed Queen’s Counsel for South Australia in 2004. She was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales in 2012, joining Inner Temple.

Justice Perry was a Visiting Fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge for three months in 2005/2006 and a part-time Visiting Research Fellow at the Australian National University in 2003. She is a Fellow and former Director of the Australian Academy of Law, and a member of the Advisory Committee to the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, University of New South Wales, the Law School Advisory Board and the Research Unit on Military Law and Ethics, University of Adelaide, and the advisory board, Centre for International and Public Law, Australian National University. In addition, she is a section-editor with the Australian Law Journal and has been appointed as the Federal Court representative on the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity (JCCD). The JCCD is an advisory body formed to assist Australian courts, judicial officers and administrators to positively respond to Australia’s diverse needs, including the particular issues that arise in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Justice Perry is also the Patron for the NSW Chapter of the Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association.

Prior positions held by her on professional bodies include: membership of the Administrative Review Council (2006-2013), the New South Wales Bar Association Human Rights Committee (2010-2013) and Equal Opportunity Committee (2011-2012); the Rule of Law Institute of Australia, Governing Committee (2011-2013); the Australian Association of Constitutional Law, Secretary (2005-2008) and Council Member (1998-2005); the Law Council of Australia, Administrative Law Sub-committee (2005-2012) and Resources, Energy and Environmental Law Sub-committee (2008-2012); PALS@PILCH Advisory Committee (2009-2012); Legal Practitioners Education and Admission Council (SA) (2004-2006); Joint Chair, Constitutional Law Sub-Committee, Law Society of South Australia (2003-2004); and St Marks College, Adelaide, South Australia, Council member and member of the Education Committee (1995-2000). In addition, she served for many years as a mentor with the New South Wales Bar Association Junior Women’s Mentoring Scheme and the Sydney University Women’s Mentoring Program.

Associateship applications

A position for a second Associate to Justice Perry to commence (if possible) in August 2022 is now open.  Her Honour invites interested applicants to apply for this position on or before 5.00 pm on Wednesday, 13 July 2022.  Interviews will be conducted shortly thereafter.

Please email your CV, covering letter, contact details for 3 professional and/or academic referees, academic transcripts and any other supporting documentation to Please note that her Honour prefers applicants to have experience in practice prior to commencing the associateship.

Justice Perry is also seeking applications for associates to commence in mid-2023 and mid-2024.  The due date for the applications for these positions has been brought forward to 5:00pm on Friday, 26 August 2022

General information about associate positions can be found on the Employment pages of the website.

Updated 29 July 2022