Sydney barrister Hament Dhanji SC (pictured above) has been appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of NSW. He will become the first Australian of Indian descent to serve on a NSW Supreme Court bench, having been admitted as a legal practitioner in 1990. He was called to the Bar in 1997 and took silk in 2010. He has also conducted prosecutions on behalf of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and began his career as a solicitor for Legal Aid NSW.
The Honourable Justice Robert Beech-Jones has been appointed as Chief Judge of the Common Law Division of the Supreme Court of NSW and a Judge of Appeal. Justice Beech-Jones was appointed to the Supreme Court bench in 2012, after a 20-year career at the bar and four years as a solicitor. He commenced his role as Chief Judge at Common Law on 31 August.
Magistrate Ellen Skinner will act as President of the Children’s Court of NSW, following the appointment of former President Judge Peter Johnstone to Chief Magistrate of the Local Court. Magistrate Skinner has experience across the legal system, as a solicitor for the Aboriginal Legal Services, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and Legal Aid. She was the youngest magistrate appointed in NSW when she was elevated to the bench at 33 years old.
West Australian lawyer and academic Lorraine Finlay (pictured above) has been appointed Australia’s new Human Rights Commissioner and will commence her five-year term on 22 November. Finlay has worked as a state prosecutor with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Western Australia, and is a former Singapura Scholar, being awarded a dual Masters in Law from New York University and the National University of Singapore. Most recently she was a Senior Human Trafficking Specialist with the Australian Mission to ASEAN, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and a lecturer at Murdoch University and the University of Notre Dame.