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Issued: Wednesday, 16 October 2013[PDF, 125kb]
Attorney General Greg Smith SC today announced the appointment of Robertson Wright SC as a Supreme Court judge and as the inaugural President of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).“NCAT will become the gateway for almost all tribunal services in NSW when it begins operating in January and I am pleased to announce that its first president has extensive experience not only in the law, but in tribunal operations and dispute resolution,” Mr Smith said.Mr Wright has been practising as a barrister for 30 years and has been a Judicial Member of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal (ADT) since 2007. “On the ADT, Mr Wright has presided over a range of matters including disciplinary hearings for legal practitioners and cases involving breaches of discrimination law,” Mr Smith said.“As a barrister, Mr Wright has appeared in a large number of cases relating to competition and consumer protection.”“He has also been involved in numerous mediations, assisting parties to resolve disputes and avoid expensive court proceedings.”Mr Wright obtained a Bachelor of Laws and Arts at the University of Sydney, receiving first class honours for both degrees. He began practising law in 1980, was admitted to the bar in 1983 and has been a Senior Counsel since 2001. Outside of the law, Mr Wright served for 15 years in the Army Reserve, attaining the rank of major.Mr Wright will be sworn in as a Supreme Court judge on 25 October 2013. On the same date, he will begin a five-year term as NCAT President.“As President of NCAT, my focus will be on ensuring that tribunal processes are simple and efficient and that just outcomes are delivered quickly, cost effectively and transparently,” Mr Wright said.NCAT will integrate 23 of the State’s tribunals and bodies. Harnessing the expertise of the State’s existing tribunals, NCAT will operate four specialist divisions:
Consumer and Commercial
Administrative and Equal Opportunity and
Occupational and Regulatory
NCAT will also have an internal appeals panel to enable accessible and timely reviews of most tribunal decisions. “The creation of a tribunal network will build a collegiate atmosphere among division members, which will help to improve the quality and consistency of services,” Mr Smith said.