Three new magistrates for NSW

Publication date: Wednesday, 11 April 2018

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Attorney General Mark Speakman today announced the appointments of Richard Funston, Leanne Robinson and Andrew Miller as magistrates of the Local Court of NSW.

"Mr Funston and Ms Robinson come to the bench following lengthy and distinguished service at Legal Aid NSW, while Mr Miller has been an outstanding Crown Prosecutor and criminal barrister," Mr Speakman said.

Mr Funston has more than three decades of experience as a solicitor and manager of legal services in NSW and Victoria. He has worked for Legal Aid NSW since 1997, initially practising as a solicitor before being appointed to its executive team in 2001.

In recent years, Mr Funston has served in some of Legal Aid's most senior roles including Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Director of Criminal Law. He has acted as CEO of Legal Aid on various occasions since 2011, including for six months following the retirement of the late Bill Grant OAM in December 2016.

Ms Robinson has also worked at Legal Aid NSW for the majority of her professional life. Most recently, in her role as Legal Aid's Deputy Director of Criminal Law, she worked closely with other justice agencies to implement key reforms including a scheme to encourage early appropriate guilty pleas.

For more than 20 years, Ms Robinson has specialised in criminal law, appearing primarily in the Local and Children's Courts. In 1997, she was awarded Children's Lawyer of the Year by the National Children's and Youth Law Centre. This was for her work on establishing a visiting legal service to Juvenile Justice centres.

Mr Miller has worked in the justice system for a quarter of a century. He served as a Crown Prosecutor for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions from 2016 until 2017, appearing in trials on a range of matters including child sexual assault and manufacturing of prohibited drugs and fraud.

Mr Miller has also worked as a barrister and solicitor in private practice. At the private Bar, he conducted the trial of Sydney dentist Rodger Leighton who was jailed for sexually assaulting girls while they were under the influence of nitrous oxide.

Mr Miller and Ms Robinson will be sworn in as magistrates on 23 April 2018 and Mr Funston on 30 April 2018.