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Australia Rabbi Marcus Solomon becomes first orthodox rabbi named Supreme Court judge in Australia

07:22  03 august  2021
07:22  03 august  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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Orthodox Rabbi Marcus Solomon has been appointed as a judge in the Supreme Court of Western Australia , in what is likely the first time a rabbi has been appointed to such a position. "It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Mr. Solomon to the bench of the Supreme Court ," Western Australia Attorney-General John Quigley said in a statement. "He is not only an eminently qualified advocate and lawyer but he has also demonstrated his commitment to public service through his roles in the education and mentoring of his fellow practitioners, membership of various boards and

For the first time ever in Australia , an Orthodox rabbi has been appointed as a supreme court justice. On Thursday, Attorney General John Quiqley announced that Rabbi Marcus Solomon was tapped to become a justice on the Supreme Court of Western Australia • Full Story. Solomon , a barrister, was ordained as an Orthodox rabbi at the Beit Midrash of Western Australia in 1993. In his capacity as an attorney, he was appointed Senior Counsel in 2013. Solomon has provided extensive pro-bono legal advice to community groups and to legal practitioners before the Legal Practitioners

a man wearing a suit and tie: Rabbi Marcus Solomon says he is ready for his © Provided by ABC NEWS Rabbi Marcus Solomon says he is ready for his "very exciting and very challenging" new role. (ABC News: Keane Bourke)

For what is believed to be the first time, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi is being appointed to an Australian Supreme Court.

Rabbi Marcus Solomon will take up the role as the newest justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia tomorrow.

"It's obviously a tremendous honour and responsibility, and rather overwhelming when one pauses to contemplate the heaviness of that duty," Rabbi Solomon said.

"But very exciting and very challenging."

An experienced commercial litigator and arbitrator, Rabbi Solomon was admitted to practice in 1991.

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#BREAKING Rabbi Marcus Solomon has today been appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia . He is believed to be the first orthodox rabbi appointed as a Supreme Court judge in Australia . In a letter to parents this afternoon, principal Rabbi James Kennard said, "Since the student has already been isolating for some time, and had previously received a negative test result, DHHS have confirmed that Mount Scopus is not an exposure site and there is no risk to any student or staff."

Rabbi Marcus was not only my high school teacher, Rabbi of a synagogue I went to, and one of my Jewish News @aus_jewishnews. Rabbi Marcus Solomon has today been appointed as a Justice of He is believed to be the first orthodox rabbi appointed as a Supreme Court judge in Australia

He was then appointed senior counsel by then-chief justice Wayne Martin in 2013.

Rabbi Solomon said being appointed to the bench was more a reflection on Australian society than it was on himself.

"We are blessed with a country that is not only tolerant but that embraces and seeks to continue to embrace and improve its embracing of people from different backgrounds and different cultures," he said.

"Whilst we should always, I think, strive to do better and to continue the soul-searching about the way we treat particularly marginalised people, we are entitled to think that at least in some respects we've been a shining light in this country."

Rabbi Solomon was admitted to practice six years after being ordained, following studies at the Rabbinical College, New York.

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A First : Orthodox Rabbi Appointed To Supreme Court In Australia . On Thursday, Attorney General John Quiqley announced that Rabbi Marcus Solomon was tapped to become a justice on the Supreme Court of Western Australia . Solomon , a barrister, was ordained as an Orthodox rabbi at the Beit Midrash of Western Australia in 1993.

A First : Orthodox Rabbi Appointed To Supreme Court In Australia . On Thursday, Attorney General John Quiqley announced that Rabbi Marcus Solomon was tapped to become a justice on the Supreme Court of Western Australia . Solomon , a barrister, was ordained as an Orthodox rabbi at the Beit Midrash of Western Australia in 1993.

Educator turned judge

Before turning to law, Rabbi Solomon taught Jewish Studies at Perth's Carmel School between 1985 and 1990.

He has continued in various leadership positions at the school, including as its vice president and governor.

In 1993 he established the Beit Midrash of WA, an educational institution and synagogue, before founding the Perth Yeshivah in 2006 as the state's first tertiary institution of Jewish studies and Talmudic law.

Rabbi Solomon said education had always been an important part of his life.

"I simply loved that aspect of my career," he said.

"When I finished my law degree and began articles, I really longed to be back in that educational sphere.

"Being able to teach others, in my view, is the noblest thing you can do with knowledge."

While practicing law, Rabbi Solomon continued to teach both Jewish and legal studies.

Link to WA's first Jewish judge in Nazi era

Western Australia's Jewish community has a long association with the judiciary.

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A First : Orthodox Rabbi Appointed To Supreme Court In Australia . On Thursday, Attorney General John Quiqley announced that Rabbi Marcus Solomon was tapped to become a justice on the Supreme Court of Western Australia . Solomon , a barrister, was ordained as an Orthodox rabbi at the Beit Midrash of Western Australia in 1993.

Rabbi Solomon represented me , successfully, many years ago when David Irving sued me for Rabbi Marcus Solomon has today been appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Western He is believed to be the first orthodox rabbi appointed as a Supreme Court judge in Australia

The state's ninth chief justice, Sir Albert Wolff, was the first Jewish judge appointed to the bench.

To make that event even more remarkable, his appointment came as the Nazi Party was rising to power in Germany.

"In 1938, Jews were banned from the legal profession in Germany, under the Nazi regime," Rabbi Solomon said.

"And in the very year that Jews were banned from being judges and engaging in the legal profession in Germany, the Supreme Court of Western Australia appointed its first Jewish judge.

"Sir Albert Wolff's grandfather was my great, great grandfather, and so there's a personal connection there which makes it perhaps all the more special."

A unique perspective

Days out from beginning the new role, Rabbi Solomon said his faith background would almost certainly help in his work as a judge.

"It has given me an empathy for people and the predicaments in which they find themselves," he said.

"I think sometimes lawyers, including judges, can be somewhat removed from the humanity of the drama that's unfolding in the legal battle before them, and one can become somewhat distant from the human story.

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"I'm hopeful that that background, both in law and in pastoral care, will allow me to not forget the humanity and the human drama that rides behind every human conflict."

But he said that did not place him in too different a position to most other members of the judiciary.

"Every judge brings a different skillset and a different personality and a different background to the job," he said.

"Certainly mine's a little different from many others, but that doesn't necessarily make it any better.

"It's just what I am and what my background is and what informs me and the person I am."

He said he hoped to be able to continue in his religious work after starting in his new role.

Respected community figure

Rabbi Solomon's appointment has attracted attention from interstate and overseas since it was announced last week.

It has also been celebrated on social media.

Steve Lieblich is the director of public affairs for the Jewish Community Council of WA, and said it was a special moment in history.

"We're proud that a member of our community can contribute to the community in this way," he said.

"It's an important senior role in our society and that's a source of pride."

He echoed Rabbi Solomon's praise for Australian society.

"The freedoms that we enjoy and the cohesiveness of the society is something that is second to none," Mr Lieblich said.

"The Jewish community in particular are grateful for that because … we've had millennia of bad experiences of being oppressed and of anti-Semitic sentiment openly expressed in societies.

"It's definitely a credit to Australian society that people from all walks of life and all backgrounds can achieve higher office like this."

Praise has also flowed from the legal community for Rabbi Solomon's appointment.

"The court and the community of Western Australia are indeed fortunate that he has chosen to serve the administration of justice in this tate in this way," Chief Justice Peter Quinlan said.

Attorney General John Quigley echoed a similar sentiment.

"He is not only an eminently qualified advocate and lawyer, but has also demonstrated his commitment to public service through his roles in the education and mentoring of his fellow practitioners," he said.

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