Cahal G Fairfield


  • +61 3 9225 7666

Areas of Practice

  • Transport Law - Admiralty/Aviation/Maritime
Public/Administrative Criminal Family Law and Guardianship Industrial/Employment Inquests/Inquiries
Cahal G Fairfield

Cahal G Fairfield

Telephone: +61 3 9225 8547
Fax: 9077 7471
Room 0603
William Crockett Chambers
530 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne Vic 3000

Admitted to the Legal Profession: 

14 Apr 1999

Signed Victorian Bar Roll:

18 Nov 1999


LL.B(Hons) (Q.U.B.)

Also entitled to practise in:

  • Federal Court of Australia
  • High Court of Australia
  • Queensland
  • Tasmania

Previous occupation:

Associate to the Honourable Justice Ryan of the Federal Court of Australia 1997-1999


Cahal has experience both as a trial advocate and as an appellate advocate. He has a general practice and has appeared in matters as diverse as administrative law, family law, industrial and employment law, commercial disputes in the County and Magistrates Courts, maritime and admiralty law, coronial inquests, proceeds of crime, and criminal law including Commonwealth anti-bribery law. He has appeared in criminal summary contests, committals, and pleas.  

He has a particular interest in administrative law and instructs, and updates course materials, in the subject at the Leo Cussen Centre for Law on both the practical training course and continuing professional developments course.  He is committed to legal education and continuing professional devlopmennt.



Cahal has appeared in numerous judicial review matters includng:

(a) In the High Court in VBAO v Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (2006) 233 CLR1 and in a number of special leave and original jurisidction matters.

(b) In 12 Full Federal Court cases inclduing VGAO v MiMIA [2003] FCAFC 68; Sok v MIMIA [2005] FCAFC 56; Applicant M169 of 2003 v MIMIA [2004] FCAFC 311; Applicant M164/2002 v MIMIA [2006] FCAFC 16; VNAA v MIMIA [2004] FCAFC 134 and most recently in Miles v Commissioner of Patents [2014] FCAFC 109.

(c) In over 50 cases in the Federal Court mainly in migration but also in intellecutal property and industrial law.
(d) In over 60 cases in the Federal Magistrates Court and Federal Circuit Court.

(e) In the Supreme Court of Victoria and Court of Appeal in judicial review of:

(i) a VCAT decision (Ismail v Rustom [2009] VSC 625); (ii) rulings by the Coroners Court of Victoria (Priest v Deputy State Coroner [2010] VSC 449; Priest v West [2012] VSCA 327) and (iii) rulings by a Victorian Magistrate (Zion-Shalom v Magistrates Court of Victoria [2009] VSC 476).


Cahal appears at the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the Victorian Civil and Administitaive Tribunal in matters relating to freedom of information; migration; taxation;retail tenancies; occupational registration: Psycholigists Registration Board of Victoria v G [2010] VCAT 1927


Cahal appears in both parenting order and property matters in the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court.


Cahal frequently appeared in the former Australian Industrial Relations Commission in unfair dismissal and discrimination matters.  He has appeared in the Federal Court in a trades union election inquiry.  He has appeared at Fair Work Australia and in State courts in breach of employment contract matters.  He is a member of the Industrial Bar Association.


Cahal has published articles in the areas of employment law and migration law. He has also reviewed texts on statutory demands and texts in the areas migration law, Australian offshore law, and admiralty and maritime law. He is currently reviewing, for the Law Institue of Victoria, a new textbook on Commonwealth Criminal Law.

Cahal grew up in Northern Ireland and is a graduate of the Queen's University, Belfast in Northern Ireland.  He studied for his Bar Exams in Northern Ireland. After coming to Australia, he undertook further legal studies at the University of Melbourne.

From 1995 he worked at the Federal Court of Australia and from 1997 to 1999 he was Associate to Justice Ryan of the Federal Court.


Cahal served as a member of the Victorian Bar Council from 2004 to 2007.  He has also served on committees and sub-committees of the Victorian Bar. He currently serves on the Bar's Pro Bono Commitee.

Victorian Bar Committee memberships

  • Pro Bono Committee

The information referred to above has been supplied by the barrister concerned. Neither Victorian Bar Inc nor the barrister's clerk have independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the information and neither accepts any responsibility in that regard.