13 May 2022

Five Supreme Court acting judges reappointed to keep justice moving

| Claire Fenwicke
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ACT Courts

Five acting judges have been reappointed to the ACT Supreme Court. Photo: Region Media.

Five experienced acting judges have been reappointed to the ACT Supreme Court.

“Acting judges ensure the Court’s workload is managed in a timely and efficient way so that cases can progress when other judges take planned and unplanned leave,” Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said.

“Canberrans will continue to be well served by these jurists whose experience and skills as lawyers and judges are extensive, impressive and diverse.”

Chief Justice Lucy McCallum also welcomed the reappointments.

“The capacity to continue to draw on their support as needed is an important and much-valued resource in aid of the court’s commitment to continual improvement of the services we provide and the timely disposition of cases,” she said.

The acting judges reappointed to the ACT Supreme Court are:

  • Acting Justice Audrey Balla – a highly regarded civil lawyer who, as a judge, was responsible for overseeing the NSW District Court’s civil lists before her retirement in 2019. She was first appointed as an Acting Judge of the ACT Supreme Court in 2019.
  • Acting Justice Peter Berman SC – a former NSW District Court judge who had a distinguished career in criminal law as a prosecutor and public defender. He was first appointed as an Acting Judge of the ACT Supreme Court in 2019.
  • Acting Justice Robert Crowe SC – a former president of the ACT Bar Association with a strong civil law practice. He was first appointed as an Acting Judge of the ACT Supreme Court in 2019.
  • Acting Justice David Robinson SC – has appeared before several courts, including the High Court, the NSW Supreme Court, the NSW Court of Appeal and two Royal Commissions. He was first appointed as an Acting Judge of the ACT Supreme Court in 2014.
  • Acting Justice Richard Refshauge SC – has worked in private practice in commercial litigation, administrative, constitutional, industrial, and criminal law before being appointed ACT Director of Public Prosecutions, a position he held for a decade until 2008. He was a permanent judge of the ACT Supreme Court from 2008 to 2017 and was first appointed as an Acting Judge in June 2020 to preside over the ACT Drug and Alcohol Court.

Acting judges may be appointed by the Attorney-General to the ACT Supreme Court for up to 12 months. They have the same powers and jurisdiction as the court’s five resident judges.

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Interesting. I suspect it may be in your own good interest to weigh up waiting for a holidaying Supreme Court Judge to return , or risk going before a Green appointee.

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