NSW District Court welcomes new judges

The Local Court also named new deputy chief magistrates

NSW District Court welcomes new judges

The NSW District Court has welcomed two new judges to the bench.

The NSW government announced on Thursday that solicitor Penny Musgrave and Peter McGrath SC will join the ranks of NSW District Court judges. The appointments were lauded by the NSW Law Society.

“Penny Musgrave has worked in both Commonwealth and State jurisdictions for more than 30 years and is considered one of our state’s most experienced criminal law solicitors and legislative advisors,” Law Society President Juliana Warner said. “She has made a significant contribution to the legal profession and will bring a broad perspective to her new role as a District Court judge.”

Warner highlighted Musgrave’s contributions to the Law Society.

“The Law Society has also been extremely fortunate to have benefited from Penny’s expertise – she has been a volunteer member of our criminal law committee since 2016, helping to inform and shape important policy submissions on criminal law reforms,” Warner said.

In addition, the government announced the appointments of NSW Local Court Magistrates Sharon Freund and Theo Tsavdaridis to deputy chief magistrates. Emma Manea, Catherine Samuels and Stephen Barlow also joined the court as magistrates.

“The Local Court is the frontline of our justice system, dealing with more than 94% of all criminal prosecutions and almost all domestic and family violence matters in NSW. While our courts and tribunals have proved agile in the public health crisis of COVID-19, there has been a pressing need for additional magistrates in the Local Court,” Warner said. “The state’s 36,000 solicitors will be particularly happy to learn that there will be three new magistrates commencing in the Local Court early in the new year.”

Warner singled out Samuels, who served as an active member of several Law Society committees.

“Catherine Samuels has also made a significant contribution over a number of years on a range of Law Society committees, including the family law, government solicitors, alternative dispute resolution, public law and children’s legal issues committees,” Warner explained. “The Local Court will derive enormous benefit from her legal and public sector background.”

Warner said she was pleased to see that the new judicial appointments were indicative of the crucial role played by solicitors in providing access to justice.

“I warmly congratulate each and every one of these members of our judiciary and wish them every success in their new roles administering justice in our state,” she said.

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