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Magistrate named as new District Court judge in WA

An experienced magistrate, Felicity Zempilas, has been appointed as a new judge of the District Court of Western Australia by the state’s Attorney-General, John Quigley.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 03 October 2023 The Bar
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Felicity Zempilas has been promoted to the position of judge of the District Court of Western Australia following her service of 14 years as a magistrate.

The news follows the appointment of Terence Palmer SC to the state’s District Court in late July and the appointment of Mark Ritter SC to the same bench in late January.

Ms Zempilas’ appointment, A-G Quigley said in a statement, bolsters the benches of the District Court as it manages a substantial workload.


She has previously served as a magistrate of the Magistrates Court, Children’s Court, Warden’s Court and Coroner’s Court in Kalgoorlie, as a resident magistrate at Joondalup Magistrates Court, and as a magistrate of the Start Court and Intellectual Disability Diversion Program Court.

Prior to her extensive career as a magistrate, Ms Zempilas worked as counsel assisting the State Coroner for over six years, conducting inquests into reportable deaths.

The appointment extends to Ms Zempilas serving as judge of the Children’s Court, the A-G’s Department added.

Speaking about the appointment, A-G Quigley said: “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Zempilas as a District Court judge. She is highly regarded in the legal profession and has performed exceptionally well as a magistrate across diverse settings.

“Ms Zempilas played a key role in the success of the Start Court, which recently marked 10 years since inception, and her distinguished long service makes her ideal for the new position.

“In addition to her commitment as a lawyer and a magistrate, she has made contributions to the community, including as a director on the board of PeopleKind Group.”

Ms Zempilas started in her new role on 26 September.