Former NSW chief justice to lead Law Reform Commission

16 May 2022 By Jerome Doraisamy

Attorney-General Mark Speakman has appointed the Honourable Tom Bathurst AC QC to chair the state’s independent law reform advisory body.

Mr Bathurst, who announced his retirement late last year and officially stepped down as chief justice in NSW in February, has been appointed as chair of the NSW Law Reform Commission.

His term with the independent statutory body will commence on 1 June 2022 and will run until 31 May 2025.

Mr Bathurst said that he is “honoured” to take up the position. It will, he mused, allow him to look at the law from a different perspective.

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“The NSW Law Reform Commission undertakes significant work in researching, interrogating the law and advising on reform,” Mr Bathurst said.

“It is a privilege to be appointed chairperson of an institution with such a respected record of reform and advice work. I look forward to the opportunity to consider the law in a new light.”

A-G Speakman added that Mr Bathurst’s legal acumen and vast experience would be great assets to the NSW Law Reform Commission.

“The commission plays an important role in independently scrutinising the operation of our laws and justice system to ensure these remain fit for purpose, and advising on reform,” Mr Speakman said.

“Mr Bathurst is eminently qualified to take on this role, having served with distinction as chief justice for more than 10 years and as a legal practitioner for almost 40 years before joining the bench. He is a respected advocate for the rule of law and the administration of justice. He has also held other esteemed roles in the legal profession, including as the president of the New South Wales and Australian bar associations.”

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Good law reform, A-G Speakman continued, requires both inquiring legal minds and detailed knowledge of our laws, the justice system that upholds them and the community the justice system serves.

“As chief justice, Mr Bathurst oversaw a number of reforms, including to the way the courts engaged with technology,” he proclaimed.

“I am delighted that the Law Reform Commission and the people of NSW will now benefit from his intellect, leadership skills, and sound judgement. I look forward to Mr Bathurst’s contribution and guidance in this new endeavour.

A-G Speakman also expressed his thanks to outgoing chairman Alan Cameron “for his service, leadership and thoughtful contributions to the NSW Law Reform Commission’s work over the past seven years.”

Former NSW chief justice to lead Law Reform Commission
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