The judge who presided over some of Australia’s most controversial cases and his career as a lawyer, barrister and social justice advocate
From a very young age Michael Finnane had a righteous sense of injustice and, despite growing up in a family with no legal background, he set his sights on becoming a barrister.
With a career as a barrister and judge spanning nearly fifty years, in The Pursuit of Justice he provides rare insights into the judicial process from both sides of the Bench.
Michael Finnane came to public attention as the judge who presided over the Skaf gang-rape trials. These trials moved the public so much that he received letters of support from interstate and overseas, including from victims of gang rape.
He considers the impact of sometimes horrifying cases on all who are involved, including those who preside over them, and what should be done in sentencing the perpetrators of the most heinous crimes.
Throughout his life Michael Finnane has also been involved in campaigning for social justice both in Australia and overseas; from the treatment of the disadvantaged by the legal system – particularly Aboriginal people – to long-standing efforts to fight the causes of poverty and injustice in Sri Lanka by promoting fair trade, and highlighting the impact of climate change in the Pacific.
Michael Finnane QC
A former Judge of the District Court of New South Wales and Colonel of the Australian Army Legal Corps, Michael has an expansive practice, including, Commercial Law, Equity, Commissions of Inquiry, Immigration and Building Arbitrations.
Prior to his judicial appointment in the year 2000, Michael maintained a broad practice, regularly representing clients in long and complex matters, such matters including Royal Commissions and Inquiries undertaken on behalf of the New South Wales Government.
He has appeared in the High Court of Australia, Federal Court of Australia and in every Court in New South Wales.
Michael has also appeared in the Supreme Court of South Australia and on numerous occasions in the Supreme Court of Victoria.