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4 added to WA Magistrates Court

Attorney-General John Quigley has confirmed the appointment of four senior advocates to the Magistrates Court of Western Australia.

user iconEmma Musgrave 17 August 2021 Big Law
4 added to WA Magistrates Court
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Sarah Oliver, Cillian Stockdale, Matthew Holgate and Michelle Harries have been named as the new magistrates. Ms Oliver, Mr Stockdale and Mr Holgate will commence their appointments on 18 August, while Ms Harries will commence hers on 30 August.

Ms Oliver is described as “an experienced barrister and legal educator, as well as a member of the Western Australian Amateur Football League’s Competition and Integrity Committee and the Liquor Commission of Western Australia”.


Mr Stockdale is a former Western Australian State Prosecutor. Throughout his career, he has been a senior advocate at the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia and travelled extensively in regional Western Australia, doing trial and related work including in remote Aboriginal communities, a statement from Mr Quigley’s office confirmed.

Mr Holgate is also a former Western Australian State Prosecutor and has appeared as counsel in more than 75 jury trials. In addition, he has worked as a lawyer in both Australia and the UK.

Meanwhile, Ms Harries, who brings over 24 years’ of experience in the state’s legal system and as an educator, has worked for Legal Aid Western Australia. During this time, she became Western Australia’s first Drug Court lawyer and set up the services very own Drug Court unit.

“I am very pleased to announce the appointments of Ms Harries, Ms Oliver, Mr Stockdale and Mr Holgate as Magistrates,” the Mr Quigley said.

“Aside from her outstanding work at Legal Aid, Ms Harries has considerable investigative experience at a senior level at the Corruption and Crime Commission and the Royal Commission into WA Police. Her leadership and skills will be an asset to the Court.

“Ms Oliver has appeared as counsel in the Federal Court, Supreme Court and Administrative Appeals Tribunal. She was the Principal Federal Prosecutor (Complex Litigator) at the office of the Commonwealth DPP.

“Mr Stockdale was admitted to practice in Western Australia in 2006, was a State Prosecutor for several years at the DPP and has significant experience acting for Aboriginal clients facing serious and complex criminal charges.

“Mr Holgate has been a criminal defence lawyer, acted as Principal Legal Counsel for WA Police and served on the board of the Mental Health Law Centre and as an Independent Prison Visitor for the Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services.

“I congratulate all four new Magistrates on their appointments. They bring a rich variety of experience to the Magistrate’s Court and will be valuable members of the judiciary.”