Christine Adamson

Christine Elizabeth Adamson is an Australian judge. She has been a Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales since October 2011.[1]

Christine Elizabeth Adamson
Judge of the Supreme Court of NSW
Assumed office
17 October 2011
Personal details
Born1962/1963 (age 57–58)
EducationWalford Anglican School for Girls
University of Adelaide
OccupationJudge, lawyer

She was educated at Walford Anglican School for Girls and the University of Adelaide, where she graduated with honours in law in 1986 and won the Stow Medal and Bennett Medal for academic distinction. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1986 and worked as a legal officer for the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department for two years, then from March 1988 worked for the Australian Government Solicitor's Office. She taught property law at the Australian National University in 1987 and Constitutional Law at the University of Sydney in 1989.[2]

Adamson was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in February 1989 at the relatively young age of 26. Her practice as a barrister included trade practices, administrative law, constitutional law, professional negligence, personal injury and disciplinary matters, and although initially appearing often in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and Administrative Decisions Tribunal of New South Wales, she later developed a significant Supreme Court practice. She attained senior counsel status in 2003, and was appointed chairperson of the Council of Law Reporting for New South Wales in 2004. She represented officers of a failed insurer before the HIH Insurance Royal Commission and was counsel assisting the Independent Commission Against Corruption in their investigations of state MPs Karyn Paluzzano and Angela D'Amore.[2][3]

She was appointed to the Supreme Court by Attorney-General Greg Smith with effect from October 2011.[1] In 2017, she presided over the trial of former state minister Ian Macdonald and union official John Maitland, sentencing McDonald to at least seven years imprisonment and Maitland to at least four years' imprisonment.[4][5] The sentences were quashed on 25 February 2019 by the Court of Criminal Appeal, which held that Adamson had not properly directed the jury.[6]

Adamson is the daughter of former South Australian state MP Jennifer Cashmore. Her sister, Frances Adamson, was Australia's first female Ambassador to China.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Adamson appointed to NSW Supreme Court". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Swearing in ceremony of the Honourable Christine Adamson SC as a judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales" (PDF). Supreme Court of New South Wales. 17 October 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  3. ^ "New NSW Supreme Court judge announced". 29 September 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  4. ^ R v Macdonald; R v Maitland [2017] NSWSC 638 (2 June 2017), Supreme Court (NSW).
  5. ^ "Ian Macdonald jailed for 10 years for misconduct in public office, John Maitland also imprisoned". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2 June 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  6. ^