Four new magistrates appointed to the Local Court of NSW will bring the court nearer to gender parity than ever before.
The appointment of Magistrates Michael Ong, Kasey Pearce, Gareth Christofi and Rebecca Hosking in May tips the percentage of women magistrates in the Local Court of NSW to 49.6 per cent, the closest to parity it has ever been.
The new appointees will replace recently retired magistrates and will commence service in country regions after 12 months of training in Sydney.
Between them, the new magistrates bring 80 years of experience to the court.
Attorney General Mark Speakman announced the appointments on Wednesday 19 May and commended their “impressive breadth of experience across the legal system”.
“The Local Court is the engine room of the NSW justice system, dealing with 96 per cent of all criminal prosecutions and more than 90 per cent of civil cases,” Speakman said.
“Our new magistrates have an impressive breadth of experience across the legal system and will be a tremendous asset to the Local Court.”
President of the Law Society of NSW Juliana Warner praised the appointments as recognising four people with considerable experience as solicitors.
“Members of our profession play a valuable role in the community and in providing access to justice,” she said.
“It is pleasing to see that this contribution has been reflected in these latest appointments and I have every confidence Mr Ong, Ms Pearce, Mr Christofi and Ms Hosking will make exceptional judicial officers.”