Attorney General Mark Speakman today announced the appointment of eight new magistrates to the bench of the Local Court of NSW. Mr Speakman said barristers Holly Kemp and Allison Hawkins and solicitors Sally McLaughlin, Kevin Hockey, Lisa Viney, Jillian Kiely, Janine Lacy and Michael Love will bring a total of more than 150 years of legal experience to the Local Court.
“Six magistrates replace retiring judicial officers, while two will fill new roles created by the $4.1 million packages that addresses rise in child sexual abuse cases following the recent Royal Commission,” Mr Speakman said.
The latest appointments boost the number of female magistrates to a record 65. “While the upper echelons of the justice system have traditionally been male dominated, it is pleasing to see the gender gap closing in the Local Court with females to make up a 46 per cent of magistrates,” Mr Speakman said.
Each new magistrate was subject to a rigorous merit selection process. The new magistrates will begin their judicial career in Sydney before relocating to regional or suburban courts. Mr Speakman said the Local Court has some of the country’s hardest working judicial officers, who continue to deliver fast, fair and accessible justice.
“The Local Court is the workhorse of the legal system, dealing with 96 per cent of all matters from start-to-finish and continues to be a national leader in managing its huge workload,” Mr Speakman said. The magistrates will begin taking their judicial oaths on Monday, 30 September when Ms Kemp and Ms Viney are sworn in. Mr Love and Ms McLaughlin commence their judicial careers on Tuesday, 8 October. Ms Lacy and Mr Hockey rise to the bench on Monday, 21 October and a week later on Monday, 28 October they’ll be joined by Ms Hawkins and Ms Kiely.