Chief Justices of Kiribati




Sir Gilbert John Baptist Muria is from the Solomon Islands born in 1953 and was the first indigenous Solomon Islander to be Chief Justice of the Solomon Islands. He was Chief Justice of the Solomon Islands for 11 years, from 1992 to 2003.    He was also appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court and also sat in the Court of Appeal of Vanuatu.  He then sat as a judge on the courts of Sierra Leone (High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court) from 2003 to 2006.  In 2007 Sir John Muria became a justice of the Supreme Court of Belize where he remained until 2010. 

He then became Chief Justice of the High Court of the Republic of Kiribati from 2011 to 2020.

In 2021 to date, Justice Sir John Muria was appointed as a judge of the High Court of Tuvalu where he now resides.



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Robin Rhodes Millhouse QC was born in Adelaide, Australia on 9 December 1929.  He was, at various times, the 39th Attorney-General of South Australia, the first Australian Democrats parliamentarian and the Chief Justice of both Kiribati and Nauru and a judge of the High Court of Tuvalu.  Justice Millhouse was made a Queen’s Counsel in 1979.  He resigned from parliament in 1982 upon accepting a position as a South Australian Supreme Court justice and served until his retirement in December 1999.

After retirement, he was appointed Chief Justice of the High Court of Kiribati, a position he held until January 2011.  He was also Chief Justice of Nauru from 2006 to late 2010.  Following his retirement as Chief Justice of Kiribati, he served as a judge of the High Court of Tuvalu for one year from February 2014 to March 2015.

Justice Robin Millhouse QC died in Sydney, Australia on 28 April 2017 aged 87.



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Richard Lussick is a Samoan judge born in Sydney, Australia in 1940.   He is the  current and sixth President of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal.  He is also a judge of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone.  Justice Lussick served as a judge of the Special Court for Sierra Leone from November 2004 to May 2012, finishing his tenure as Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber II. From 2005 to 2006 he also sat as the Staff Appeals Judge for the Special Court.

From 1995 to 2000, he served as the Chief Justice of the Republic of Kiribati.  Prior to that to the District Court, Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Land and Titles Court as he was appointed to the bench in Samoa in 1987 and during his tenure held appointments Acting Chief Justice. He also served as Chairman of the Public Service Board of Appeal from 1988 to 1995. He was Vice President of the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (Pacific Region) from 1997 to 2000.  



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James Aiden O’Brien Quinn was an Irish-born lawyer and judge born on 3 January 1932.

From 1972 to 1976, O'Brien Quinn was Attorney-General of the Seychelles and of the British Indian Ocean Territory, becoming a Seychelles Queen's Counsel in 1973.  He was Chief Justice of the Seychelles from 1976 to 1977, when he was expelled from the country during the 1977 Seychelles coup.

After he was expelled from the Seychelles, O'Brien Quinn became Chief Justice of the then Gilbert Islands  serving from 1977 to 1981, where he set up a new courts system. He was a member of the Council of State from 1979 to 1981. He was also a Judge of the High Court of Solomon Islands from 1977 to 1979. In 1981, he served as special prosecutor in the Falkland Islands.

O'Brien Quinn was made a Chevalier of the Ordre de la Valeur of the Republic of Cameroon in 1967, and received the Kiribati Independence Medal in 1979.

He died on 28 December 2018.


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