Crown Prosecutor appointed as a judge

Issued: Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Attorney General Brad Hazzard today announced the appointment of Crown Prosecutor Julia Baly SC as a judge of the District Court of NSW.

"Ms Baly has been a criminal lawyer for a quarter of century and has prosecuted serious and complex cases in the highest courts of NSW and in international tribunals," Mr Hazzard said.

"Her considerable experience and expertise was recognised last year when she was appointed as a Senior Counsel."

Ms Baly has been a Crown Prosecutor for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for 12 years. Recently she has been the Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor for country NSW. While she has been based in Lismore, she has prosecuted matters in regional areas throughout the state.

Ms Baly has twice taken leave from the DPP to work as an international prosecutor of war crimes. In 2005, Ms Baly worked as a prosecutor at the Bosnian State Court in Sarajevo, prosecuting crimes committed during the conflict in Sarajevo and Bosnia. In 2008, she appeared as prosecutor in the case against Liberian president Charles Taylor who was jailed for sponsoring atrocities in Sierra Leone's civil war.

Ms Baly has also twice travelled to Cambodia to assist a tribunal dealing with perpetrators of genocide under the Khmer Rouge regime. She advised the tribunal on the protection of witnesses and victims.

Prior to joining the DPP, Ms Baly spent three years working as a trial attorney with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia.

In the mid-to-late 1990s, Ms Baly also appeared as a defence counsel in serious criminal trials in the NSW District and Supreme Courts and in matters before the Court of Criminal Appeal. Her first job as a lawyer was with the Aboriginal Legal Service and she instructed counsel in the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1988.

Ms Baly was admitted as a solicitor in 1987 and as a barrister in 1995. She holds a Bachelor of Laws, a Masters in Public International Law and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney.

She will be sworn in as a District Court judge on 1 September 2014.