Vice President - South Asia & Australia
Chief Executive & Principal Registrar of the High Court of Australia
Andrew Phelan was appointed to a five year term as the Chief Executive & Principal Registrar of the High Court of Australia by the Governor-General of Australia on the recommendation of the Justices of the Court in July 2007. He was reappointed in July 2012 for a further term of five years.
Prior to his appointment to this Office, Andrew was Executive Director of the Australian Crime Commission, with particular responsibilities for intelligence-sharing between law enforcement and national security agencies as well as for the Commission’s support operations. From 1998 until 2003, he was a General Manager of the Family Court of Australia. From 1986 until 1998, he held a number of Australian government senior executive legal, international treaty negotiation and general management positions.
Andrew trained as a detective with the New South Wales Police in 1981 and conducted a number of nationally-significant corporate crime investigations during the early 1980s. In 1986, he directed the investigation into the conduct of a High Court Justice by a special Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, the only such inquiry ever held.
Andrew served as a Councillor, and remains a member, of the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration. In 2002, he was awarded an Australian Government Senior Executive Fellowship on justice themes, which he used to visit courts in a number of countries, including the USA; he subsequently published on judicial performance and reform initiatives in India and the USA. He has been the Secretary of the Council of Chief Justices of Australia and New Zealand since 2007.
Andrew has degrees in Arts (Hons), Laws and Business and was admitted to practise as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1978. He is married to Monica and they have three adult children.