In a part of the country where customary law is still strong, payback can involve punishment – but can also carry rewards. Just ask Northern Territory QC, John Reeves. He is currently holidaying on the Greek islands, but tomorrow will be elevated to the Federal Court bench.

In a bit of hurried housekeeping before going into caretaker mode, Attorney General Ruddock is to fill four vacancies on the Federal Court, and not just the one opened up by the promotion of new High Court judge, Susan Kiefel.

In an unprecedented move, Ruddock is to overlook the logistical need to appoint two justices in Sydney. Rather, Ruddock is awarding just one new post to Sydney, and will anoint Reeves as the first Northern Territory-based Federal Court judge.