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Three new magistrates for NSW

Issued: Wednesday, 13 August 2014
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Attorney General Brad Hazzard today announced the appointments of Claire Girotto, Erin Kennedy and Philip Stewart as magistrates of the Local Court of NSW.

“The three new magistrates have impressive backgrounds in criminal law and a comprehensive understanding of the operations of the Local Court,” Mr Hazzard said.

Ms Girotto and Ms Kennedy have been drawn from the NSW Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), while Mr Stewart was a partner at a large criminal law firm.

Ms Girotto worked for the DPP for almost a quarter of a century and for the past 11 years she has managed the prosecution services of its Solicitor’s Office. She has also served as the managing lawyer of the DPP’s Wollongong regional office.

Before being admitted to practice law in 1990, Ms Girotto was an associate for the late Supreme Court judge Jeremy Badgery-Parker.

Ms Kennedy has been a Trial Advocate for the DPP for the past two years, prosecuting in criminal trials and sentencing hearings in the District Court at Parramatta and Gosford.

Prior to joining the DPP, Ms Kennedy worked as a barrister for 14 years, maintaining a criminal and civil practice. She also conducted litigation for the Department of Fair Trading and a small law firm after being admitted as a solicitor in 1995.

Mr Stewart has been a solicitor for more than 16 years and a partner at Nyman Gibson Stewart since 2002. He has appeared in all NSW criminal law courts, as well as the Police Integrity Commission and both NSW and Australian Crime Commissions. He has also instructed in matters before the High Court.

Mr Stewart began his career in the NSW Police Force where he served for 14 years, including six years as a police prosecutor. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1998 and spent two years in Narrabri and Wee Waa before returning to Sydney. He became an accredited specialist in criminal law in 2001.

Ms Girotto will be sworn in as a magistrate on 25 August 2014, while Ms Kennedy and Mr Stewart will be sworn in on 8 September 2014.

“I congratulate the three new magistrates on their appointments and wish them every success in the next chapters of their careers,” Mr Hazzard said.