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Five judges to join NSW District Court bench

Five judges to join NSW District Court bench

New South Wales has bolstered its judicial ranks with the appointment of five new judges to the District Court.

The appointment of Nicole Noman SC, Philip Ingram SC, Jeffery McLennan SC, Robert Sutherland SC and Warwick Hunt was announced last week.

NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton congratulated the group, describing them as highly respected criminal barristers who had served “distinguished legal careers”.

“I congratulate them on their appointments and have no doubt the District Court will benefit from their experience at the bar,” Ms Upton said.

The swearing in of the five judges next month will follow the retirement of Judge Brian Knox SC and Judge Gregory Woods QC, who have served 11 and 18 years on the bench respectively.

“I thank Judge Knox and Judge Woods for their outstanding efforts in helping to deliver fast, fair and accessible justice in the NSW District Court. They have served with distinction and I wish them all the best for this next chapter of their lives,” Ms Upton said.

Ms Noman, Mr Ingram and Mr McLennan are current serving Crown prosecutors.

Ms Norman joined the NSW Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in 1987 and has worked as a DPP Crown prosecutor since 1999. She was appointed to senior counsel in 2012.

Mr Ingram has more than 30 years’ experience in law, having worked as a Crown prosecutor since 1992. He took silk in 2010.

Mr McLennan has worked for the Commonwealth DPP, Queensland DPP and Queensland Legal Aid. He was appointed as a senior counsel in NSW two years ago and served as a Crown prosecutor in the state for 14 years.  

Mr Sutherland was appointed as senior counsel in 2001 and has prosecuted and defended a number of prominent trials.

Mr Hunt is a former Local and Children’s Court magistrate, who went into private practice at the bar in 2007.

A statement released by the NSW Department of Justice said that the appointments would facilitate the relocation of a full-time judge from Sydney to Wagga Wagga. The New England, Sydney and metropolitan Sydney areas will also benefit from the additional judicial services.

Three of the new District Court roles were introduced as part of a $39 million NSW government package. The funding was announced in the latest NSW budget to address District Court backlogs and delays.

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