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
Deputy Judge Advocate General - Air Force

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 on 20 July 2018 and commissioned in the office of Member of the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal on 11 October 2018.

Since 2011, Justice Perry has served as an Officer with the Royal Australian Air Force, Legal Specialist Reserves, being promoted to Air Commodore with effect from 10 February 2023. Justice Perry is the Deputy Judge Advocate General, Air Force, holding office on a part-time voluntary basis from 10 February 2023 until 9 February 2028.

Justice Perry holds an LLB (1st Class) from the University of Adelaide and 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 by the University of Cambridge. 

Her Honour practised at the Bar from 1992 to 2013, being appointed Queen’s Counsel for South Australia in 2004. Her Honour was admitted to the NSW Bar in 1999 and 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, returning twice in subsequent years, and a part-time Visiting Research Fellow at the Australian National University in 2003. Her Honour has also undertaken judicial fellowships at Flinders University and the Australian National University. Justice Perry 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; the Advisory Board, Centre for International and Public Law, Australian National University; and the Advisory Board, UNSW Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation. In addition, Justice Perry is an Honorary Member, Special Joint Data and Policy Subcommittee of the Asian Australian Lawyers Association NSW Branch and Women’s Lawyers’ Association of NSW Diversity Subcommittee.

In addition, Justice Perry is a section-editor (administrative law) with the Australian Law Journal and has been appointed as the Federal Court representative on the Judicial Council on Diversity and Inclusion (JCDI) (formerly the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity (JCCD)). In her Honour’s capacity as a member of the JCDI, Justice Perry chairs the specialist committee established by the JCCD/JCDI which prepared the first and second editions of the National Recommended Standards for Working with Interpreters in Courts and Tribunals. Her Honour was also a member of the Editorial Working Group which reviewed Modern Slavery: Guidance for Australian Courts, published by the JCCD in 2021. Justice Perry is 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, her Honour 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

Justice Perry has appointed Associates for 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025. Her Honour is not accepting any further applications at this time.

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

Updated 11 October 2022 

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