The president of the Queensland Court of Appeal, Justice Margaret McMurdo AC, has announced her departure from the bench next year.
Justice McMurdo will resign her commission on 26 March 2017. She has served a judge in Queensland for more than 25 years.
Earlier in her career, Justice McMurdo worked as an assistant public defender and private barrister. She was also a founding member of the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland. She was the first woman to preside over an appellate court in Australia and also the first woman appointed to Queensland’s District Court, in the early '90s.
The judge is also a Companion of the Order of Australia and a Centenary medallist.
Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath described Justice McMurdo as “an exemplary servant of justice” for the state.
“Eighteen years ago, when she was appointed president of the Court of Appeal, [Justice McMurdo] became the first woman to preside over an appellate court in Australia. The tenor of her term stands as testament to her legal acumen and leadership over that significant period,” Ms D’Ath said.
“She has brought dignity, leadership and intellectual rigour to this vital role, and rightly has the respect of the legal profession and the judiciary across this state and beyond.”
A statement about the judge’s planned departure was released after Justice McMurdo notified the Queensland Governor of her intention to resign in October. The Attorney-General said this foresight demonstrated Justice McMurdo’s hallmark consideration for the efficient administration of justice.
“Her period of notice ensures there will be minimal disruption to the function of the courts, and allows a smooth transition to take place.
“Once again, I thank Justice McMurdo for her distinguished service to Queensland and wish her all the best for the future,” the Attorney-General said.