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WA A-G names new District Court judge, Solicitor-General

The West Australian Attorney-General, John Quigley, has appointed a barrister and former prosecutor as a judge of the state’s District Court and named a deputy state solicitor as the new WA Solicitor-General.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 20 November 2023 The Bar
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Craig Astill has been appointed as a judge of the District Court of Western Australia, with the criminal law specialist’s appointment increasing the number of currently serving District Court judges and has been funded by the Pipeline for Justice project, the A-G’s Department said.

Admitted to practice in 2002, Mr Astill began his career in Victoria before embarking on a 17-year stint with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for WA. He joined the Bar in early 2021 and has practised as a barrister at Francis Burt Chambers, appearing as counsel for the prosecution and defence in state and federal cases.

A-G Quigley said: “Craig Astill is highly regarded in the legal community and will be a welcome addition to the panel of District Court judges who are currently presiding over a heavy caseload. His distinguished service as a prosecutor with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions was recognised by his elevation to the position of senior state prosecutor.


“Mr Astill has extensive experience in criminal law – built over many years of appearing as trial counsel in complex criminal matters in both the district and supreme courts. I congratulate him on his appointment.”

He will join the District Court bench on 20 November 2023.

Elsewhere, Craig Bydder SC has been appointed as Solicitor-General of Western Australia.

He was appointed deputy state solicitor in 2017 and a senior counsel in 2022 and has spent more than two decades working for the State Solicitor’s Office (SSO) after being admitted to practice in 1999.

Mr Bydder recently commenced in the role.

A-G Quigley said: “I congratulate Craig Bydder on his appointment as the Solicitor-General of WA. Mr Bydder has performed with distinction in his previous positions at the State Solicitor’s Office over a legal career spanning almost 25 years.

“He also played a key role as part of the team advising the government on management of the COVID-19 pandemic. His skill and experience as a litigator and strategic adviser with the SSO make him ideally suited to serving the government in the years to come.”