Biography of Peter McClellan appointed to head the royal commission into child sexual abuse

Today, it was announced that NSW Supreme Court judge, Peter McClellan has been appointed to head the royal commission into child sexual abuse. He will be assisted by 5 other Commissioners.

Peter David McClellan, AM, is the Chief Judge at Common Law of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the highest court in the State of New South WalesAustralia, which forms part of the Australian court hierarchy. He was appointed to the position in 2005

McClellan was admitted to practise law in 1975, and was later called to the Bar. From 1984 to 1985 he held the role of Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into British nuclear tests in Australia. Also that year, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel.

In 1998, McClellan was the Chairman of the Sydney Water Inquiry. On 29 January 2001, McClellan was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. From 25 August 2003, McClellan was the Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales, leaving this role on 1 September 2005 due to his re-appointment to the Supreme Court.

McClellan has also worked as an Assistant Commissioner at the Independent Commission Against Corruption and as an Acting Judge of the District Court of New South Wales. In addition, he has held the position of New South Wales President of the National Environmental Law Association.

In the 2011, McClellan was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the judiciary through the Supreme Court of New South Wales, to environmental law, and to legal education.


About Peter Kelso

I am a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. I have been admitted to practice since 1984. I am the principal and founder of Kelso Lawyers which has operated in Newcastle since 1986.

I have been an advocate for compensation for victims of abuse since the commencement of the Victims Compensation Tribunal in New South Wales in 1988. I conduct the largest victims practice in New South Wales. I have a high level of engagement with numerous NGOs such as woman’s refuges, sexual assault services, community organisations and healing centres.

On 31 October 2012 I was a finalist for the Justice Medal, presented by the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales.

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