Category Archives: Judges

Appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

ON 10 DECEMBER 2014, Federal Attorney-General Senator George Brandis QC announced the following appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal:

  • Deputy President: Mr Gary Humphries.
  • Senior Member: Dr James Popple.

Senator Brandis also announced the reappointments of Senior Members McDermott, Ettinger and O’Loughlin and Members Hughes and Alexander.

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Judge Helen Wilson SC appointed to NSW Supreme Court

New South Wales Attorney General today announced that District Court Judge Helen Wilson SC has been appointed to the Supreme Court of NSW.

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Jago v District Court of NSW | 12 October 1989

ON 12 OCTOBER 1989, the High Court of Australia delivered Jago v District Court of NSW [1989] HCA 46; (1989) 168 CLR 23 (12 October 1989).

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1989/46.html

Superior Courts “possess an inherent power to prevent their processes being used in a manner which gives rise to injustice”.

The inherent jurisdiction of the Superior Courts empowers them to order a permanent stay of proceedings to prevent an abuse of process. The power is to be exercised with fairness as the “touchstone”: per Mason at 31.

A permanent stay of proceedings will only be ordered in an “extreme case”: Per Mason CJ at 34.

Per Mason CJ at 33-34:

“The test of fairness which must be applied involves a balancing process, for the interests of the accused cannot be considered in isolation without regard to the community’s right to expect that persons charged with criminal offences are brought to trial…At the same time, it should not be overlooked that the community expects trials to be fair and to take place within a reasonable time after a person has been charged. The factors which need to be taken into account in deciding whether a permanent stay is needed in order to vindicate the accused’s right to be protected against unfairness in the course of criminal proceedings cannot be precisely defined in a way which will cover every case. But they will generally include such matters as the length of the delay, the reasons for the delay, the accused’s responsibility for asserting his rights and, of course, the prejudice suffered by the accused… In any event, a permanent stay should be ordered only in an extreme case and the making of such an order on the basis of delay alone will accordingly be very rare…
To justify a permanent stay of criminal proceedings, there must be a fundamental defect which goes to the root of the trial ‘of such a nature that nothing that a trial judge can do in the conduct of the trial can relieve against its unfair consequences’…Where delay is the sole ground of complaint, an accused seeking a permanent stay must be ‘able to show that the lapse of time is such that any trial is necessarily unfair so that any conviction would bring the administration of justice into disrepute’…”

It is fundamental to the legal system that an accused be given a fair trial according to the law. The accused has “a right not to be tried unfairly or as an immunity against conviction otherwise than after a fair trial.”: per Deane at 56-57.

The five main considerations in determining whether or not proceedings should be stayed on the grounds of unfair delay are, per Deane J at 60:

  •  “the length of the delay”
  • “reasons given by the prosecution to explain or justify the delay”
  • “the accused’s responsibility for and past attitude to the delay”
  • “proven or likely prejudice to the accused”
  • “the public interest in the disposition of charges of serious offences and in the conviction of those guilty of crime.”

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BA, LLB, Grad Cert Leg Prac, Acc Spec
Principal Solicitor, Legal Helpdesk

John Hatzistergos appointed to District Court

NSW Attorney General Brad Hazzard has announced that former Attorney General John Hatzistergos has been appointed to the District Court of NSW.

http://www.justice.nsw.gov.au/Pages/media-news/media-releases/2014/bench-calls-former-ag.aspx

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Sydney, Australia

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Dame Roma Mitchell QC | 23 September 1965

ON 23 SEPTEMBER 1965, Dame Roma Mitchell QC was appointed to the Supreme Court of South Australia. She was the first female superior court justice in Australia.

http://www.australianbiography.gov.au/subjects/mitchell/

 

Appointment of Julia Baly SC as District Court Judge

The NSW Attorney General has announced the appointment of Crown Prosecutor Julia Baly SC as a judge of the District Court of NSW.

Ms Baly holds a Bachelor of Laws, Masters of Public International Law and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1987 and a barrister in 1995.

Ms Baly commenced her legal career at the Aboriginal Legal Service and was an instructing solicitor in the 1988 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. In the 1990s she acted as a criminal defence counsel in Sydney as well as taking on international criminal trials in Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Liberia and Cambodia.

Since 2002, Ms Baly has been a Crown Prosecutor with the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions and in recent times, based in Lismore, has been the Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor for the whole of country NSW.

Ms Baly will be sworn in as District Court Judge on 1 September 2014.

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Sydney, Australia

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Three new Magistrates for NSW

The NSW Attorney General has announced the appointments of Claire Girotto, Erin Kennedy and Philip Stewart as magistrates of the Local Court of NSW.

Ms Girotto was admitted to practice in 1990. She has worked for the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions for almost 25 years in Sydney and Wollongong. In the past 11 years she has managed the DPP’s Solicitor’s Office.

Ms Kennedy was admitted as a solicitor in 1995. She worked as a barrister for 14 years and in the last two years was a trial advocate for the Director of Public Prosecutions, prosecuting in criminal trials and sentencing hearings in the District Court at Parramatta and Gosford.

Mr Stewart  was admitted as a solicitor in 1998 and has worked for Nyman Gibson Stewart, becoming a partner in 2002. Before he joined the legal profession he was a police officer for 14 years.

Ms Girotto will be sworn in on 25 August 2014 at 9.00am in Court 5.2 of the Downing Centre Local Court. Ms Kennedy and Mr Stewart will be sworn in on 8 September 2014.

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Sydney, Australia

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Ceremonial welcome for new Chief Judge

ON 14 AUGUST 2014, at 9am, the new Chief Judge of the District Court of NSW, the Hon Justice Derek Price AM, will be welcomed with a formal ceremony in the Banco Court.

Lawyers

Sydney, Australia

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Justice Derek Price AM | New Chief Judge of NSW District Court

The Honourable Justice Derek Michael Price AM has been appointed Chief Judge of the District Court of NSW commencing on and from 8 August 2014.

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