Legal Services Council > About Us > Admissions Committee > The Hon Justice Ruth McColl AO

​The Hon Justice Ruth McColl AO

Member, LSC Admissions Committee

(29 June 2018 - 30 June 2019)


Justice McColl graduated with degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Sydney in 1975.  In January 2004 she was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for her service to the law, to continuing professional development and education, particularly for women, and to the community in matters affecting indigenous groups and youth.  Justice McColl was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003. 

Justice McColl undertook postgraduate articles at the State Crown Solicitor's Office in 1975, then practised as a solicitor in that Office until 1980.  In 1980 she was admitted as a barrister in New South Wales.  She was appointed Senior Counsel in 1994.  Her Honour had a diverse practice at the Bar including defamation, commercial, equity and inquiry work.  She appeared in the Privy Council twice, and in appellate jurisdictions in Australia, including the High Court.

Justice McColl was appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal in 2003. 

Prior to her appointment to the Bench, her Honour served on the Council of the New South Wales Bar Association from 1981 until 2001.  She was elected the first female President of that Association in 1999, holding office for the customary two years until 2001.  She was also President of the Australian Bar Association (2001), President of the Women Lawyers Association of New South Wales (1996 – 1997) and Vice President of Australian Women Lawyers (1996 – 1999).  After her appointment, Justice McColl served on the Board of the Judicial Conference of Australia to which she was elected President in 2008, a position she occupied until 2010.

From 1994 to 1997 her Honour was a member of the Legal Profession Advisory Council, which reviewed the structure and regulation of the New South Wales legal profession, including the rules and regulations of the legal profession. 

From 1999 to 2002, Justice McColl served as President of the Board of the New South Wales Public Interest Law Clearing House.  Her Honour was a member of the Public Education Council, an advisory body established to plan the future of public education in New South Wales, from 2002 – 2005.  In July 2002 her Honour was appointed to the Board of the New South Wales Cancer Council.

From 2004 until 2010 her Honour was a member of the New South Wales Rhodes Scholarship selection committee, a committee she chaired from 2007 to 2010.