The Hon Charles Sweeney QC (NSW, VIC and NZ), FTI, FAICA
Charles Sweeney is Chief Justice of Tuvalu. He is a nationally accredited advanced mediator and arbitrator and a commercial and resources barrister. He has had an extensive practice for many years in most jurisdictions in the Asia Pacific and has been a regular adviser to governments and economic regulators in the region.
Charles is the great great grandson of Mary Connors, born 1821, who was transported in 1851 from Limerick to Van Diemen's Land on a 7 year sentence for receiving stolen property, having been in possession of a cloak without lawful excuse:
the great grandson of Catherine Agnes Scanlan, the daughter of Mary Connors, who was born in Limerick in 1849 and arrived in Van Diemen's Land as a two year old and grew up in the Hobart Orphan Asylum, the great grandson of Edward Sweeney, formerly of the RIC, born 1832 who came to Tasmania from Achonry, Co Sligo as a supervisor of convicts and who, on 29 September 1879, took Catherine Scanlon as his second wife; she produced five sons and a daughter with him, on of whom, Charles' grandfather, was Tasmanian publican and racehorse owner/trainer Charles Sweeney, born 1890 in Fingal, whose four brothers were well known Tasmanian jockeys and owner/trainers:
He is also the great grandson of the owner of the Ship Hotel, Hobart and Pyengana racing identity of the 1910s James Paice, whose daughter Elsie (Charles' grandmother) died in childbirth on 19 October 1922 aged 28. James became, in his capacity as the licensee of the Ship Hotel, an experienced (and often successful) litigant, usually as a defendant to licensing prosecutions:
Charles is a life member of Descendants of Convicts Group and a member of Female Convicts Research Centre.
Charles is the first (and so far only) Head of Jurisdiction of a Commonwealth country who is a direct descendant of persons convicted and transported by the English justice system or of persons both subject to and who were employed by the prison system in a penal colony. He has had a lifelong interest in criminal justice and the penal system. His godfather was the eminent criminologist and judge J V Barry, the author of Alexander Maconochie of Norfolk Island:
With deep roots in Tasmania, he is available here for mediations, arbitrations, early neutral evaluations, mining and resources advice and litigation and appeals. He has a long history of having acted for clients the subject of oppression by large corporations, especially banks, and governments. He has a particular interest in rural clients in difficult years.
Previous occupations: Professor of Law and Economics, (Centre for Law and Economics, ANU, Auckland University and University of the South Pacific), Lecturer in Taxation, University of Melbourne, Editor MULR, Editor Australian Law Journal, Editor Federal Court Reports and Federal Law Reports (over 100 volumes), Australian Correspondent, Lloyds Maritime and Commercial Law Journal, London, Special Counsel (Tax Avoidance Litigation) to Second Commissioner of Taxation, Canberra, Chairman, Fiji Commerce Commission.
Other offices presently held: Visiting Professor in Law and Economics, University of Fiji.
Telephone: 03 9028 6898