Queensland Law Society

QLS applauds further appointments to Queensland courts

Queensland Law Society has praised the state government for the appointment of one District Court judge and two magistrates.

President Bill Potts praised the merit-based appointments of respected barrister Craig Chowdhury to the District Court, James Blanch, of Blanch Towers Lawyers, and Queensland’s deputy public defender and Legal Aid Queensland general counsel David Shepherd to the Magistrates Court.

He also acknowledged the appointment of Natalie Siegel-Brown to the role of Public Guardian, saying that all four are welcome additions to Queensland’s justice system.

“The District Court appointment of respected barrister Craig Chowdhury will bring a wealth of criminal law knowledge to the bench,” Mr Potts said.

“James Blanch is a QLS member as well as an experienced practitioner in conveyancing, family, domestic violence, estates and criminal law. His appointment will bring a well-rounded approach to the court.

“David Shepherd has worked with Legal Aid Queensland, in private practice at the bar and within the Criminal Justice Commission. His experience with Legal Aid will assist in bringing an understanding of community legal work to the court.

“Natalie Siegel-Brown is very experienced in child protection, Indigenous affairs, disabilities, family violence, mental health and crime prevention. Her experience will be a great asset to the role, with a deep understanding of many societal groups and issues.

“I look forward to next week’s appointment of a further magistrate for Queensland and applaud our new appointments on their hard work and passion for the law.”

Mr Potts said that all Queensland courts were in need of further resources, with both magistrates and judges overworked with heavy caseloads and too few appointments.

“Our judges and magistrates do a great job,” Mr Potts said.

“But there is no doubt that they are run into the ground with the ever increasing busyness of the courts.”

“Our magistrates are at the coalface of the legal profession and deserve to have the resources required to serve justice for the community.

“These appointments will hopefully be followed by others in the near future.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact Tony Keim on 07 3842 5835, mobile 0488 433 884 or via email, t.keim@qls.com.au.