List A congratulates Tony Pagone QC on being elected as president of the International Association of Judges (IAJ).  It is the first time an Australian has held this high office.  The IAJ is the oldest and most prestigious international organisation of judges.  The IAJ’s members consist of approximately 90 national associations or representative groups of judges from five Continents across the world.

The IAJ was founded in Salzburg (Austria) in 1953.  The objective of the Association is to safeguard the independence of the judiciary, which is an essential element of the judicial function, guaranteeing the rule of law, human rights and freedom.  One of its central functions is to highlight and make representations where judicial independence is threatened or has been attacked.  This has occurred recently in countries such as Hungary, Turkey and Poland.

In accepting the Presidency, the Hon. Tony Pagone said:

We know and understand the work that judges do, and we know and understand the vital importance of that work to freedom, safety and orderly society.  We know also about the vulnerability under which judges work and live, and therefore of the need to foster and preserve judicial impartiality and the rule of law.

The Hon. Tony Pagone will hold office as President of the IAJ for two years.