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New judge appointed to Land and Environment Court

An experienced barrister has been appointed as the new judge of the Land and Environment Court.

user iconEmma Musgrave 07 November 2022 The Bar
New judge appointed to Land and Environment Court
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NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman announced the appointment of Dr Sarah Pritchard SC, citing her 36-year career in the legal profession.

“Her extensive legal experience spans many areas of practice, including environment, planning and property law, constitutional law and administrative and public law,” said Mr Speakman.

“She has appeared in the High Court of Australia, the Federal Court of Australia, the Supreme Court of NSW, the Land and Environment Court, the Local Court of NSW and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.”


Dr Pritchard is set to be sworn in to her new role on 15 November 2022, according to Mr Speakman.

Dr Pritchard is the current environmental counsel to the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the EPA board. She was appointed senior counsel in 2012 and was a former associate to former justice of the High Court of Australia, the Honourable Michael McHugh AC KC.

In addition, Dr Pritichard was an Australian Research Council postdoctoral fellow and senior lecturer at the faculty of law at UNSW.

She also served as former director of the Australian Human Rights Centre at UNSW, on numerous Law Council and NSW Bar Association committees and working parties, including as chair of the Law Council of Australia’s human rights committee.

The appointment comes after the NSW government dedicated $1.2 million in this year’s budget to continue its support of the Land and Environment Court.

“The Land and Environment Court’s judges play a critical part in upholding the rule of law in a wide range of environmental and planning disputes,” said Mr Speakman.

“The NSW government continues to commit significant resources to expand the pool of acting commissioners and to reduce the time it takes to have a matter resolved in the Land and Environment Court.”

The Attorney-General praised the recent developments as another example of the effectiveness of the first specialist environmental superior court in the world.

“In the most recent Report on Government Services data, the Land and Environment Court achieved an over 100 per cent clearance rate for the second year in a row, meaning the court finalised more matters than it registered,” he said.

“Dr Pritchard’s appointment will be a much-welcomed addition to the Land and Environment Court, the first specialist environmental superior court in the world.”

Emma Musgrave

Emma Musgrave

Emma Musgrave (née Ryan) is the managing editor, professional services at Momentum Media.

Emma has worked for Momentum Media since 2015, including five years spent as the editor of the company's legal brand - Lawyers Weekly. Throughout her time at Momentum, she has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest stories in corporate Australia. In addition, she has produced exclusive multimedia and event content related to the company's respective brands and audiences. 

Prior to joining Momentum Media, Emma worked in breakfast radio, delivering news to the Central West region of NSW, before taking on a radio journalist role at Southern Cross Austereo, based in Townsville, North Queensland.

She holds a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) degree from Charles Sturt University. 

Email Emma on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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