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Judge with mental illness faces dismissal

Judge with mental illness faces dismissal

A Sydney magistrate who is facing punishment due to behaviour evoked by his bipolar disorder has won the sympathy and support of NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell. O'Farrell is concerned that…

A Sydney magistrate who is facing punishment due to behaviour evoked by his bipolar disorder has won the sympathy and support of NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell.

O'Farrell is concerned that magistrate Brian Vincent Maloney could be penalised for having bipolar disorder after he failed to overturn a Judicial Commission finding in the NSW Supreme Court that he was "incapacitated" for the job, which he now faces losing.

O'Farrell said on Wednesday (25 May) that he sympathised with Maloney, who is on medication to treat his mental illness.

"I am concerned obviously about someone being penalised for a disability," O'Farrell told reporters at Erskine Park in Sydney's west.

Maloney, who has vowed to keep fighting for his job, can only be sacked if both houses of Parliament agree that it is the correct course to take.

It is expected that there will be a conscience vote in Parliament to decide whether Maloney should be dismissed following the commission's finding that he acted inappropriately.

It will be the first time in 13 years that such a vote has been held in regards to the behaviour of a judicial officer.

O'Farrell said he was waiting to be briefed on the issue by NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith.

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