Goodbye job applications, hello dream career
Seize control of your career and design the future you deserve with LW career

NSW appoints 2 new Supreme Court judges, 2 new District Court judges, 4 new magistrates

NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman has made numerous judicial appointments in the past few days, across various benches in the state.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 12 December 2022 The Bar
expand image

Supreme Court appointments

District Court judges Deborah Sweeney and Richard Weinstein SC have been appointed to the Supreme Court of NSW, and Supreme Court Justice Christine Adamson has been appointed as a judge of appeal.

A-G Speakman said that the three appointees bring “decades of judicial experience” to their new roles.


“Judge Sweeney was appointed a judge of the District Court 16 years ago following a distinguished term as a magistrate of the Local Court and contributions to the work of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the NSW Crime Commission, and the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

“Judge Weinstein was appointed to the District Court in 2019 after a 20-year career at the New South Wales Bar, with an eminent practice in common law and equity. His Honour was an exemplary mediator with a common-sense approach to alternative dispute resolution,” the A-G outlined.

“Justice Adamson has sat as a judge of the Supreme Court’s common law division for more than a decade, following a distinguished career at the bar. Her Honour has an extraordinary work ethic, and her expertise will be invaluable to the Court of Appeal.”

Judge Weinstein will be sworn in on 1 February 2023, Judge Sweeney will be sworn in on 8 February 2023, and Justice Adamson will commence as a judge of appeal on 3 February 2023.

District Court appointments

The A-G has also named two new judges for the District Court, both of whom bring “a breadth of knowledge and legal experience to the bench”.

Mr Speakman congratulated solicitor Sarah Hopkins and barrister Lara Gallagher on their appointments: “Ms Hopkins and Ms Gallagher have significant advocacy and trial experience, leaving them well prepared for the challenges of the District Court.”

Following Ms Hopkins’ and Ms Gallagher’s appointments, there will be 36 female judges on the District Court bench, an increase of over 50 per cent since 2010.

Ms Hopkins will be sworn in on Thursday, 2 February 2023, and then Ms Gallagher will be sworn in on Thursday, 16 February 2023.

Local Court appointments

Elsewhere, four new magistrates have been appointed to the NSW Local Court.

A-G Speakman has named solicitors John Arms, Michael Maher, Gemma Slack-Smith and Julie Zaki as magistrates, all of whom “bring impressive experience to the justice system”, he said.

“Mr Arms, Mr Maher, Ms Slack-Smith and Ms Zaki have a wealth of legal knowledge developed over the course of successful careers. With decades of experience between them, they have clearly demonstrated they have the capabilities and attributes to manage the demands of the Local Court,” Mr Speakman noted.

“The Local Court is the engine room of the justice system, underpinned by more than 700 registry staff working in 150 locations across the state to deliver timely access to justice.

“Our magistrates manage a caseload equivalent to 96 per cent of all criminal prosecutions and 90 per cent of civil matters in NSW.”

All four appointees will be sworn in during the week of 6 February 2023.