Robert is a retired Australian lawyer and judge who served as the 12th Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia from 2008 to 2017. He became Chancellor of the University of Western Australia (UWA) in 2017 where he himself studied in the 1960s.
Robert has been an active advocate for the rights of Indigenous Australians for many years. In the early 1970s, he helped found the WA Aboriginal Legal Service and was its Chairman from 1973 to 1975. He was President of the National Native Title Tribunal from 1994 to 1998.
In 2010, Robert was made a Companion in the Order of Australia and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. He is a Founding Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, a member of the American Law Institute, and an Honorary Life Member of the Australasian Law Teachers Association, the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration and the Australian Bar Association.