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​Deputy Chief Magistrate to join District Court

Publication date: Thursday, 8 March 2018

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Attorney General Mark Speakman today announced the appointment of Deputy Chief Magistrate Chris O’Brien to the bench of the District Court of NSW.

“Deputy Chief Magistrate O’Brien is one of the most hard-working, talented and respected members of the Local Court bench,” Mr Speakman said.

“He has served with distinction at Local Courts in and around Sydney for 11 years and acted as a District Court judge for a five-week period last year.”

Deputy Chief Magistrate O’Brien began his career as a solicitor in 1983 and was a partner of a Sydney law firm for 17 years. During this time he became an accredited specialist in criminal law and served on the Law Society of NSW’s Criminal Law Committee. He was appointed as a magistrate in 2007 and as a Deputy Chief Magistrate in 2014. 

Prior to his appointment as a District Court judge, Deputy Chief Magistrate O’Brien was the Local Court’s representative on the Law Society’s Criminal Law Committee. 

His Honour has also been a member of legal bodies including the Standing Advisory Committee on Judicial Education, the Judicial Commission’s Civil Trials Benchbook Committee and the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules Committee.

Deputy Chief Magistrate O’Brien holds Bachelors of Laws and Arts degrees from the University of Sydney. He will be sworn in as a District Court judge on 9 April 2018 and will replace the late Judge Robert Toner SC who passed away last month. 

“Judge Toner made a significant contribution to the District Court and the legal profession generally, including through his service as an office-holder on the Council of the NSW Bar Association. He is greatly missed,” Mr Speakman said.