Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson was appointed to the ACT’s Supreme Court earlier this year, joining a number of other judges of Hellenic origin appointed to judicial positions around Australia.
Her Honour (pictured) was sworn in on 26 March 2018 at a ceremony in Canberra before many eminent jurists, her family, colleagues in the law and both the Greek Ambassador and the Swedish Ambassador to Australia.
Her Honour’s Greek heritage was referenced many times in speeches on the day. Justice Loukas-Karlsson traced her family’s arrival in Australia in the 1950s, remarking on the many challenges that such migrants faced in establishing a foothold.
Education was crucial in building her family’s future.
“It was a burning ambition on the part of my parents, both early feminists in their way, that my sisters and I, born in Australia, would receive the education they themselves were denied through the accidents of history and birth,” she said.
Her Honour graduated from the University of Sydney, and worked for the Aboriginal Legal Service and Legal Aid Commission.
Justice Loukas-Karlsson was appointed senior counsel in 2012, after being called to the bar in 1989.
Her Honour had experience as a Public Defender, Acting Crown Prosecutor, and appeared as counsel before the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
In 2017, Justice Loukas-Karlsson won barrister of the year award from the Women Lawyers Association of NSW.
Her Honour has presented many papers both nationally and internationally.
Attorney-General of the ACT, Mr Gordon Ramsay, said her Honour’s appointment to the bench on 26 March (the day after the observance of the Greek National Day) was a fitting celebration that reflected the community’s warm embrace of multiculturalism.
Her Honour concluded by quoting Socrates, who “stated some two and a half thousand years ago that the essential qualities of a judge are to listen courteously, answer wisely, consider soberly and decide impartially.”