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James Sheller SC

Bachelor of Arts - University of Sydney
Bachelor of Laws- University of Sydney


Admitted to the Bar 2004

Appointed Senior Counsel 2019


James has a broad common law practice operating in the District and Supreme Courts, with occasional work in the Federal Court (eg a representative action for injured plaintiffs).  He has practiced extensively in the Dust Diseases Tribunal since 1997.

James has also appeared regularly both as junior and senior counsel, mostly unled, in matters in the Court of Appeal (and once in the Full Federal Court) since 2005 in matters as diverse as seeking prohibition orders restraining a judge from sentencing a convicted person to appealing a bankruptcy trustee’s decision to engage a litigation funder.

James’ practice in the Dust Diseases Tribunal is mostly work for defendants.  His common law practice outside the Tribunal is usually for plaintiffs (without means to pay), particularly in police torts and abuse cases, and for defendants in more general personal injury matters.

James has also been involved in long-standing litigation in the Civil & Administrative Tribunal (health disciplinary section) which gave rise to proceedings in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal listed below.

James has also appeared in a Special Commission of Inquiry, the Jackson Inquiry (2004), two coronial inquiries including the matter of Re Holcombe which gave rise to leading authority on the compellability of a police witness to give evidence (see cases below) and three Judicial Commission proceedings for magistrates or judges, the subject of inquiry (see cases below).

In addition to legal practice, James is the coordinator for the organisation of mooting judges in New South Wales university competitions.

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