​Sydney silk appointed as Supreme Court judge

Issued: Tuesday, 15 April 2014

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Leading criminal law barrister Peter Hamill SC will move from the bar table to the bench of the Supreme Court of NSW, Attorney General Greg Smith SC announced today.

“Mr Hamill’s appointment as a judge is well deserved and I am sure the Supreme Court will benefit from his sharp legal mind and considerable experience,” Mr Smith said.

“He is no stranger to the Supreme Court, having appeared as defence counsel in numerous criminal trials involving serious charges such as murder.”

Mr Hamill has been a barrister for 26 years and was appointed as Senior Counsel in 2004.

The Sydney silk has practised at all levels of the criminal justice system, from the Local Court to the High Court. He has appeared in more than 150 criminal appeals.

In recent years, Mr Hamill has also worked on some of the state’s most significant coronial inquests and commissions of inquiry.

Mr Hamill was counsel for the family of Roberto Laudisio Curti at the inquest into the Brazilian student’s death during a police arrest, and was counsel assisting the coroner at the inquest into the disappearance of northern beaches teenager Trudie Adams.

He was also counsel for the NSW Police Force at the judicial inquiry into the conviction of Phuong Ngo, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of politician John Newman.

Mr Hamill’s other areas of expertise include disciplinary proceedings and legal ethics. He has sat on a Professional Conduct Committee of the NSW Bar Association since 2004.

He began his legal career as a clerk in the Local Court and achieved his legal qualifications by studying part time for the Barristers’ Admission Board examinations.

Mr Hamill worked as Justice Mary Gaudron’s Associate in the High Court before commencing practice at the Bar in 1988. He was a founding member of Forbes Chambers where he has practised since 1989.

Mr Hamill will be sworn in as a Supreme Court judge on 29 April 2014.