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NSW judges and magistrates will soon be able to serve on court benches for three more years than they could previously, under new laws that raise the compulsory retirement age.

NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman announced on 20 September that judges would now be asked to retire at a maximum age of 75 instead of 72, as the law currently proscribes. Speakman said the legislative reforms would be introduced to Parliament in coming weeks, in a bid to “harness the judicial expertise of our finest legal minds for longer”.

“The change reflects social trends towards people living and working longer, and will allow experienced judges and magistrates to continue to contribute to the justice system when they’d otherwise be forced to retire,” said Speakman.

Speakman said the reforms would also enable retired judicial officers to be appointed as acting judges and magistrates for fixed periods until the age of 78, up from 77. He also noted the reforms would decrease the average number of years judges receive the pension, which was expected to deliver “significant savings to taxpayers”.