Former President of the Law Society of NSW Pauline Wright will be sworn in as magistrate to the Local Court this month, as part of plethora of new appointments to the state’s busiest court system.
Wright is one of three new magistrates to the Local Court of NSW, with Attorney General Mark Speakman making the announcement on Wednesday. He said the move will bolster the NSW Government’s $5.6 million investment in the local court and will continue the delivery of more efficient justice.
The new magistrates including Wright, Aaron Tang and Don McLennan bring almost nine decades of experience to the bench.
“These appointees bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the NSW Local Court, having worked across a range of areas in legal practice,” Speakman said.
“The NSW Local Court is the engine room of the judicial system, with a record 149 magistrates overseeing a caseload equal to 96 per cent of criminal prosecutions and 90 per cent of civil matters before the state’s courts.”
Wright, who is a Partner at PJ Donnellan & Co in Gosford, boasts a rich career and has been active in the areas of criminal justice, anti-terrorism and asylum seeker policy. Wright was president of the Law Society of NSW in 2017, having served on the Council since 1997. She has also held the office of President of the Law Council of Australia, and President of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties.
Current Law Society President Joanne van der Plaat congratulated the appointees, tweeting “I’m delighted with the appointments announced by the Attorney General to the Local Court today. @LawSocietyNSW is particularly over the moon our former President has been appointed to the bench of Australia’s busiest court.”
The NSWCCL congratulated Wright on her appointment and thanked her for her long service and organisation. Wright’s election as President in 2019 made history for NSWCCL as the second only woman to be elected to the office since the organization was founded in 1963.
“Pauline’s departure was unexpected and will be a great loss to NSWCCL. I have no doubt that she will prove to be an outstanding and compassionate Magistrate and will serve the citizens of our state well,” Wright’s successor Josh Pallas said.
The three new magistrates will be sworn in next week.