​Deputy Senior Public Defender appointed as a judge

Issued: Wednesday, 30 April 2014

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Attorney General Brad Hazzard today announced the appointment of Dina Yehia SC as a judge of the District Court of NSW.

“Ms Yehia is a formidable criminal law practitioner and over the course of her 24 year career she has helped thousands of disadvantaged people to get a fair trial,” Mr Hazzard said.

She has been working as a barrister for the Public Defenders Office for 14 years. She was appointed as Senior Counsel in 2009 and as a Deputy Senior Public Defender in 2012.

Ms Yehia has appeared as lead counsel for the Public Defenders Office in the High Court and has represented defendants in all criminal courts in NSW. She has also represented grieving families at coronial inquests.

During the first decade of her career, Ms Yehia worked as a solicitor for Legal Aid and the Western Aboriginal Legal Service.

Outside of the courtroom, Ms Yehia has been on a committee organising the annual Public Defenders Conference and has presented papers on various aspects of criminal law at national and international conferences.

In 2005, she was invited to speak to representatives of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

She is also involved in legal mentoring programs at the University of Sydney and Wollongong University and supervises the Public Defenders’ Aboriginal Law Graduate Program.

Ms Yehia holds a Masters in International Law from the University of Sydney and Bachelors of Laws and Arts from the University of NSW.

Her decision to pursue a career in law was influenced by injustices she witnessed as a child in Egypt. Her father was held in secret detention in Egypt during a period of political upheaval. Her family moved to Australia in 1970

Her appointment follows the recommendation of an independent selection panel which nominates candidates on their merits.

Ms Yehia will be sworn in as a District Court judge on 5 May 2014.