New judicial appointments made to Family Court and Federal Circuit Court in Tasmania

The appointments come “at an exciting time of change” as the courts merge in September

New judicial appointments made to Family Court and Federal Circuit Court in Tasmania

The Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court welcome the appointments of three new judges to the courts in Tasmania.

Attorney-General Michaelia Cash announced last Thursday that Terry McGuire will ascend to the bench of the Family Court (Hobart registry) on Saturday. Barrister Sandra Taglieri SC and solicitor Marcus Turnbull SC join the Federal Circuit Court (Hobart and Launceston registries).

Taglieri started yesterday, while Turnbull begins his term on Monday.

“The appointments come at an exciting time of change for the courts as the new amalgamated Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia commences on 1 September 2021,” said Will Alstergren, who serves as the Family Court’s chief justice and chief judge at the Federal Circuit Court. “I am absolutely delighted to welcome such highly qualified and experienced judges to our Courts who are Tasmanian locals. They take on an important role in administering justice and dealing with critical family law and other disputes.”

McGuire is set to succeed Justice Robert Benjamin AM, who retires on 21 May after nearly 16 years on the court bench in Tasmania. Alstergren praised McGuire’s 12-year tenure in the Federal Circuit Court.

Alstergren also highlighted Taglieri’s experience as the Tasmanian Bar’s immediate past president and Turnbull’s time as a partner at Ogilvie Jennings.

“These are excellent appointments; people of great expertise, skill and experience. Tasmanians will be well served by these appointees,” Law Council of Australia President Dr Jacoba Brasch QC said. “The timely appointments follow the government’s budget announcement of an additional $100m to the FCoA and the FCC, which will allow the court to appoint two additional judges to the FCoA and eight judges to the FCC bench, quite apart from replacing retiring judges.”

Brasch applauded Cash’s “prompt action” in replacing Benjamin, who will be taking up a new position as commissioner to assist the Inquiry into Tasmanian Government’s Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings.

“The Law Council has long called for the timely replacement of retiring judicial officers. That has happened with these appointments,” she said.

The government budget allotted to the courts will fund 27.4 registrar-related positions, 25 registrar-related support positions, 10 family consultants plus support staff, four Indigenous liaison officers, and 10 legal associates, Brasch said.

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