News and Updates

John Doyle Oration

The emphasis of programmes for judicial education should be on “matters not adequately covered by readily available sources”, they should be on “practical skills”, including “social and cultural awareness, disability awareness, and the treatment by courts of persons from non-English speaking and indigenous backgrounds and of children. Other important matters include programs dealing with physical and mental health.”

The administration of justice involves much more than professional and practical competence. There is a qualitative aspect to the administration of justice which calls for judicial officers to have a real enthusiasm for their work, a strong belief in the importance of justice, and a commitment to the administration of justice in the fullest sense of the word.” The Honourable John Doyle, 2002

The Chief Justice of the High Court, the Honourable Stephen Gageler will deliver the inaugural John Doyle Oration at a dinner to be held in the Gordon Darling Hall, at the National Portrait Gallery, in honour of the Honourable John Doyle AC QC, on the 6 April 2024.

The oration will celebrate the lasting and profound commitment to the judicial education and training landscape in Australia by the first Chair of the NJCA Council. Given his considerable and transformative contribution to judicial learning in Australia, we look forward to this significant oration to mark what has been transformative leadership in judicial education. Along with members of the Doyle family, guests are expected from all over Australia, including NJCA Life Members, Council, Program Advisory Committee and Committee Chairs, both past and present.

The Honourable John Doyle, formerly Chief Justice of South Australia, has been a powerful advocate for, and fundamental to, the development of judicial education in Australia. As the first Chair of the NJCA Council (2002-2006), he developed programs for judicial training, particularly focussing on judicial leadership, conduct and ethics. He remained part of the NJCA governance bodies for many years after serving as Chair. Very notably, the Honourable John Doyle was instrumental in the development of both the National Curriculum for Judicial Professional Development and the National Standard for Judicial Professional Development. Moreover, as an advocate of the equal treatment of all Australians by the justice system, the Honourable John Doyle has made a profound contribution to the improvement of the administration of justice in Australia.

The Honourable John Doyle’s achievements are numerous:

  • Advocate for the establishment of the NJCA
  • Dialogues on Being a Judge Committee 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 – name change to Reflections on the Judicial Function
  • Writing Better Judgments 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Programs Advisory Committee Chair 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009; Committee 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • NJCA Council Chair (very first) 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006,
  • National Judicial Orientation Program Committee Chair 2002, Committee 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
  • HOJ Leadership Committee Chair 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Further information about the John Doyle Oration is available via