Further magistrate appointments a welcome announcement for Queensland’s justice system: QLS
4 May 2017
The state’s peak professional body for solicitors has praised the announcement of further magistrates for Queensland’s courts.
Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth said that the appointments of two solicitors and one barrister to the Rockhampton and Emerald, Mt Isa and particularly to Southport Magistrates Court, Queensland’s busiest court would provide much-needed resources.
“I congratulate solicitors Michelle Dooley and Catherine Benson, and barrister James Morton on their achievements to date and for their meritorious appointments as magistrates for Queensland,” she said.
“Our magistrates are at the very forefront of our justice system, and we must always ensure that they are adequately resourced in order so that justice is served swiftly and adequately for all.
“I am especially pleased to see two of our very own stepping into such honourable roles in our justice system as solicitors make fine and excellent members of our judiciary.
“Congratulations to Michelle Dooley, a solicitor from my hometown of the Gold Coast, and a member of Queensland Law Society.
“She is also an accredited specialist in mediation law, and has been an active member of our profession for many years.
“I also applaud family law accredited specialist Catherine Benson, also a member of the Society, and a former barrister on her appointment.”
President Smyth went on to congratulate James Morton – the current Chair of Queensland’s newly resurrected Sentencing Advisory Council and a defence barrister who previously worked in regional and remote areas of the country.
“I am also pleased to see James Morton appointed as a magistrate – a well-deserved appointment,” she said.
“Queensland Law Society strongly advocated for the Sentencing Advisory Council to be revived, and I applaud James on his work as Chair thus far."
Queensland Law Society has consistently advocated for further resources for Queensland courts, stating that magistrates and judges were overworked.
“The leaders of our courts contend with heavy caseloads and too few appointments, and I am pleased to see further resources announced for our Magistrates Courts,” president Smyth said.
“I look forward to actively working with the government to ensure that further appointments are made in the near future, and I especially welcome more solicitors into our courthouses.”
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