Media release - 13 June 2019
Queensland Law Society has praised the Queensland Government for the appointment of a new District Court judge and three additional magistrates.
Queensland Law Society President Bill Potts on Thursday (June 13) said the appointments – which include two prominent criminal law solicitors -- were another step towards adequate resourcing and swift replacements on the bench.
Mr Potts praised the merit based appointments, saying he was particularly delighted the government had seen the value in appointing the often overlooked, but extremely experienced and talented members from solicitor's branch of the profession to the judiciary.
"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,’’ he said.
His comments follow Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath's announcement commercial barrister Ken Barlow would take on the role of District Court judge from June 18, while Mackay-based barrister Bronwyn Hartigan and Brisbane specialist criminal solicitors Kurt Fowler and Peter Saggers would sit as magistrates from June 24.
Both Mr Fowler and Mr Saggers are QLS Accredited Criminal Law Specialists and have served on the Society's Criminal Law Committee during their lengthy legal careers.
Mr Fowler earlier this year was awarded the 2018 QLS President's Medal and at the time of his appointment was the chair of the Criminal Law Committee.
Ms Hartigan has accepted a posting to sit in Bundaberg until December, then move to Mackay for a two-year period.
Mr Fowler has been appointed to sit in both Ipswich and Beaudesert for the next three years, while Mr Saggers will sit in Caboolture until December, then move to Charleville for two years.
"All four appointments are yet another step forward to ensuring swift and effective justice for all Queenslanders through a well-resourced justice system," Mr Potts said said.
"The Society will continue to advocate for better resourcing for our overworked courts, and I look forward to actively working with the government on further appointments."