Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice.  Find out more >

​11 New Magistrates to join the NSW Loc​al Court

Issued: Thursday, 24 November 2016

The largest appointment of new magistrates in decades will join the bench of the Local Court of NSW, Attorney General Gabrielle Upton announced today.

Ms Upton said six women and five men with combined legal experience of almost 250 years would take up their new positions in early 2017.

"I congratulate all the appointees, who will make an enormous contribution to justice in the Local Court which is the engine room of our Justice system," Ms Upton said.

"The appointments also bring NSW another step closer to gender equality on the Local Court bench with women now accounting for 62 of the state's 140 magistrates."

Seven of the new magistrates specialise in criminal law and four primarily in civil law. The new magistrates are:

Imad Abdul-Karim                Susan Horan           

Rodney Brender                   Jennifer Price

George Breton                     Julie Soars

Kathy Crittenden                  Brett Thomas

Cate Follent                         Julia Virgo

James Gibson                                 


The Local Court has had the lowest backlog of any comparable jurisdiction in Australia for more than a decade, according to the Productivity Commission's Report on Government Services.

NSW Chief Magistrate, Judge Graeme Henson said the additional resources were critical to the Local Court serving the needs of city and regional areas and remaining a leader in the delivery of timely justice.

"When matters are dealt with efficiently, it reduces stress and uncertainty for victims and defendants and allows witnesses to give evidence while the incident is still fresh in their minds," Judge Henson said.

The 11 new magistrates will be sworn in at a series of ceremonies in the first quarter of 2017.