UNSW Law has congratulated Conjoint Professor James Edelman on his elevation to the bench of the Australian High Court.

Justice Edelman was chosen to fill the High Court vacancy left by Susan Kiefel following her appointment as Australia’s first female chief justice.

At 42, Justice Edelman is the youngest appointment to the High Court since since 1930 when H.V. Evatt (36) and Edward McTiernan (38) were appointed.

UNSW constitutional law expert Professor Andrew Lynch said the appointments made it a “significant day for judicial diversity in the High Court”.

At UNSW Justice Edelman has been an associate member of the Law faculty’s Private Law Policy & Research Group, established in 2004 to foster research and scholarship in the area of private law. Last year he was co-convenor of the Contracts and Commercial Law Conference hosted by UNSW Law.

He is a prolific author and has edited several books with Professor Simone Degeling, co-director of the Private Law Policy & Research Group.

Justice Edelman became a judge of the WA Supreme Court in 2011 – the youngest ever judge appointed to that court – before he was appointed to the Federal Court in 2015.

At the time of his WA Supreme Court appointment Attorney-General George Brandis championed his “prodigious work ethic”, “depth of knowledge” and “clarity of judgment writing”.

Yesterday Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised Justice Edelman as “one of the most outstanding legal minds of his generation”.

“He is a different generation to most of the other judges of the High Court. But he was a professor of law at Oxford at the age of 34 – quite precocious,” Mr Turnbull said.

He added: “He has a distinguished career and reputation, both as a barrister, as a legal academic and as a judge.”