WA District Court welcomes new judges Lara Christian and Wendy Hughes

Hughes is the first judge of Asian descent to be appointed to a WA superior court

WA District Court welcomes new judges Lara Christian and Wendy Hughes

WA Attorney General John Quigley has announced the appointment of state prosecutor Lara Christian and magistrate Wendy Hughes as judges of the WA District Court.

According to Belinda Wong, WA president of the Asian Australian Lawyers Association, Hughes is the first judge of Asian descent to be appointed to a superior court in WA.

"Hughes has served with distinction since her appointment as a magistrate presiding in the Children's Court," Quigley said. "She has significant experience in a broad range of jurisdictions and is an award-winning criminal lawyer and skilled advocate and arbitrator."

Hughes was a managing solicitor of the criminal law unit and the duty lawyer at the Aboriginal Legal Services of WA, appearing in all jurisdictions on various matters. She was appointed as a magistrate in 2109, presiding in the children's court, where she will continue to serve as a district court judge for half the allocated time of the position.

She was admitted to practice in 2007 and worked at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions from 2006 to 2009, appearing regularly in all courts. She received the Hodge Award for Young Criminal Lawyer of the Year in 2009.

Christian joined the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in 2006 and served as a senior consultant state prosecutor. She has been the state prosecutor in many complex and challenging criminal cases in the district and supreme courts.

Before being a state prosecutor, Christian worked for the state solicitor's office from 1998 to 2006. She has also provided training and mentoring in the professional development program at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Christian was admitted to practice in WA in 1999 and to the High Court of Australia in 2011. She was appointed senior counsel in 2019.

Quigley commented, "She is highly regarded by the legal profession and is an accomplished prosecutor, having managed many complex and challenging criminal cases."

The two new appointments to the district court were made under the state government's justice pipeline.

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