On 8 May 2014, ACT Attorney-General, Simon Corbell, announced
the appointment of Stephen Walmsley, Linda Ashford, Dennis Cowdroy
and David Robinson as acting judges to the ACT Supreme Court. The
appointments are for a 12 month period.
Justice Walmsley served as a NSW District Court judge from 2001
to 2013. He was appointed as Senior Counsel (NSW) and Queen's
Counsel (TAS) in 1998. Justice Walmsley served as a deputy
president of the Medical Tribunal of NSW from 2003 to 2013, and has
previously served as acting justice of the Supreme Court of
Justice Ashford is a retired judge of the District Court of NSW.
Justice Ashford has held several other judicial appointments,
including judge of the Compensation Court of NSW, acting judge of
the Dust Diseases Tribunal, and commissioner of the Compensation
Court of NSW.
Justice Cowdroy OAM QC retired as a Federal Court judge in March
this year. He was previously a judge of the Supreme Court of the
ACT. Justice Cowdroy was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1989 and
became a justice of the Land and Environment Court of NSW from 1999
Justice Robinson was admitted as a barrister in 1978 and
appointed as Senior Counsel in 2003. He has practiced principally
in crime and common law. This practice has expanded into
commercial, equity, trade practices, corporations and employment
law. He has appeared before the High Court, NSW Supreme Court and
NSW Court of Appeal and two royal commissions.
The newly appointed acting judges will initially hear matters
during the Supreme Court's intense civil hearing listing period
from 7 July 2014 to 22 August 2014.
During this period, civil hearings will be listed for a call
over on the Monday of each week, with two of the acting judges
available to commence hearings that week. Two hearings are
therefore likely to run concurrently during this period. Given the
large number of hearings, we expect Supreme Court hearings will be
held between both the Supreme and Magistrates Court buildings.
Hearings may also be held in the Federal Law Courts building on
The Attorney General also announced the re-appointment of
special magistrates Maria Doogan and Kenneth Cush and the
appointment of two new special magistrates, Ms Margaret Hunter OAM
and Mr Dominic Mulligan. Ms Hunter was previously a senior crown
prosecutor with the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions. Mr
Mulligan was previously a temporary coroner in Western Australia
and a practising barrister and solicitor. The special magistrates
will serve concurrently as coroners.
Following the establishment of the ACT Industrial Court and the
appointment of Chief Magistrate Walker as the Industrial
Magistrate, we do not expect that the special magistrates will hear
matters within the Industrial Court jurisdiction. However, they may
be appointed as acting industrial court magistrates from time to
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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