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Four new federal bench appointees
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Four new federal bench appointees

FOUR NEW people have been appointed to federal bench positions, with John Gilmour QC becoming a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, and Michael Burnett, Stephen Coates and Leanne Spelleken…

FOUR NEW people have been appointed to federal bench positions, with John Gilmour QC becoming a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, and Michael Burnett, Stephen Coates and Leanne Spelleken becoming federal magistrates.

“[Gilmour] has acquired a breadth of experience at the Bar, principally in the area of commercial law,” the Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, said.

Having been admitted as a barrister and solicitor in Perth in 1976, Gilmour has practised exclusively as a barrister since 1989. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1994 and has extensive experience in federal and state courts and tribunals, as well as in the High Court. To be based in Perth, Gilmour will take up his post on 11 December 2006, a replacement for Justice Malcolm Lee, who retired earlier in the year.

“I am very pleased to announce [Gilmour’s] appointment and wish him all the very best for his future with the Federal Court,” Ruddock said. “I commend his achievements to date and am sure he will continue to make a valuable contribution to the law as a judge on the Federal Court bench.”

Taking up his appointment last Friday, Brisbane-based federal magistrate Burnett has practised at the Queensland Bar since 1985. Joining Burnett are Coates and Spelleken, both experienced family law practitioners. Coates commenced his role on Tuesday and will be based in Cairns, the first federal judicial officer to be based there. Spelleken will be based in Brisbane and is due to begin on 11 December.

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