Four new magistrates have been appointed to the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.
Victorian Attorney-General Martin Pakula announced the appointments earlier this month. The new magistrates are Raj Malhotra, Thérèse McCarthy, Jacinta Dwyer and Tony Burns.
The Asian Australian Lawyers Association congratulated Mr Malhotra on his appointment.
“A study by the AALA in 2015 found that Asian-Australians only accounted for around 0.8 per cent of the judiciary, despite accounting for around 9.6 per cent of Australia’s population,” a statement from the organisation said.
Mr Malhotra brings extensive prosecutorial experience to the role, having worked for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Western Australia. He was also a senior prosecutor for the Environment Agency in the UK and the manager of prosecutions and investigations at the Department of Transport in Victoria, said a statement from the Attorney-General’s office.
Ms McCarthy and Ms Dwyer are specialists in family violence. Ms McCarthy worked for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions before being admitted to the bar in 2007. She also specialises in human rights, discrimination and civil and administrative law.
Ms Dwyer specialises in family law, child protection and mediation. She has worked as a lawyer at the Women’s Legal Service Victoria since 2014 and acted as a duty lawyer in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, focusing on family violence.
Mr Burns is another experienced prosecutor, having worked as a senior sergeant of prosecutions for Victoria Police. Since his admission to the bar in 2001, he has practised mainly in crime, administrative law and statutory prosecutions.