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Justice Ron Merkel QC is retained as a legal adviser to the Investment Committee for Vannin in respect of legal claims it funds in Australia. Ron was first admitted to practice more than 40 years ago. He signed the Victorian Bar Role in 1971 and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1982. From 1996 to 2006 Ron was a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, the premier trial court in Australia. Ron frequently sat as a member of appeal courts of the Federal Court of Australia. During his time as a judge, Ron delivered more than 500 written judgments. Ron returned to the Bar in 2006. He primarily focuses on public interest and indigenous matters, but is also available to act in complex matters either as counsel, mediator or arbitrator.
Ron was a founding member of the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and the Koori Aboriginal Heritage Trust, President of the Victorian and Australian Councils of Civil Liberties, Founding President of the Victorian Immigration Advice and Rights Centre, part-time Commissioner of the Commonwealth Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Chairperson of the Victorian Government Independent Review Panel (established to supervise the new regulatory and licensing processes for gambling in Victoria) and a member of the Australian Tax Office’s General Anti-Avoidance Rules Panel.
In December 2011, the Australian Human Rights Commission awarded Ron the 2011 Human Rights Medal for his extensive human rights advocacy.