Queensland has appointed two new judges for the District Court, and a new Children’s Court president, as 2018 draws to a close.
John Allen QC and Vicki Loury QC were announced to their District Court roles by acting attorney-general and minister for justice Dr Anthony Lynham, while Judge Deborah Richards has been appointed to the position of president of the Children’s Court of Queensland.
Mr Allen and Ms Loury commenced their roles last week in Brisbane, with Dr Lynham considering the pair as “highly-regarded barristers who will bring with them more than a combined 55 years’ worth of legal experience.”
“Mr Allen has also been appointed to sit in the position of Deputy President of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal for three years, with Judge Suzanne Sheridan returning to sit in the District Court,” he clarified.
“Both appointees come highly regarded,” Dr Lynham considered, and said each has “served the people of Queensland and the legal profession very well in their current roles and are well-suited to serve the justice system from the bench.”
The appointments enabled the filling of a position for an extra District Court judge after the Palaszczuk government previously announced funding for one.
In a statement, Mr Allen was noted as the Public Defender for Legal Aid Queensland before his announcement to the judiciary.
Having spent more than 30 years in the profession, Mr Allen “has appeared in challenging trials and appeals and as public defender contributed to the administration of justice on behalf of disadvantaged Queenslanders.”
He holds a Master of Laws with a major in Health Law, and has tutored for the Queensland University of Technology.
Ms Loury has spent the last 17 years as a barrister, the statement said, and has most recently held the position of consultant crown prosecutor.
She is a mentor at the Queensland University of Technology, and has previously been a guest lecturer at both Griffith University and the University of Queensland.
Judge Deborah Richards will take over the Children’s Court presidency in the new year.
It comes after Judge Michael Shanahan made the decision to step down from the role, with Dr Lynham thanking Judge Shanahan for his work, and expressing his gratitude that “the courts will retain his wealth of knowledge as he continues to serve as a judge of the District Court.”