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Former Maurice Blackburn lawyer new judge

Former Maurice Blackburn lawyer new judge

The president of the peak body representing Victorian lawyers has welcomed Gerard Mullaly as a judge on the state's County Court.

The president of the peak body representing Victorian lawyers has welcomed Gerard Mullaly as a judge on the state’s County Court.   

In a detailed and personal speech, Danny Barlow, president of the Law Institute of Victoria, officially swore in the new judge. 

Barlow paid tribute to Justice Mullaly’s “characteristic modesty”, and social conscience in a speech that covered the judge’s experience at law firm Maurice Blackburn, as well as representing AWB chief executive Andrew Lindberg before the Cole Inquiry. 

“A hallmark of Your Honour’s practice is the depth of your social conscience and commitment. You began your professional career at Maurice Blackburn, the oldest established union movement firm in Melbourne,” Barlow said. 

“Your social conscience has deep roots,” he said, adding that that judge’s siblings trace evidence of it back to the age of four. 

Barlow gave details of Justice Mullaly’s first day at the Holy Eucharist School of Chadstone in September 1965, months before the judge’s fifth birthday. “A towering sixth grader, flanked by a couple of his sixth grade classmates, came to you to ask whether anyone had the jumper he had mislaid. 

“The combination of a keen social conscious and the logical possibility that you might perhaps – wholly unknowingly – have the giant jumper cause what would, in modern parlance, be called a ‘panic attack’,” he said. 

“Prosecutors see this history as perhaps explaining what might fairly be described as Your Honour’s more far-fetched submissions on reasonable doubt as to the possibilities not excluded.”

In the representation of Lindberg before the Cole Inquiry into the AWB, the new judge’s instructing solicitor nicknamed him ‘the Oracle’. “You were o immersed in the case that you had every detail in your head … Astonishingly, a year after the event you still had all the detail absolutely at your fingertips.”

See the full speech here


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