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Published date: Thursday 21 June 2018

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The NSW Court of Appeal has sat for the first time in Newcastle, only the second time the Court has sat outside of Sydney.

Attorney General Mark Speakman SC and Parliamentary Secretary Alister Henskens SC welcomed this historic sitting of the Supreme Court, which presided for a two-day hearing.

“It’s important for the courts to have the ability to hear criminal and civil matters around the state, allowing all members of the community from all areas to access justice,” Mr Speakman said.

“The willingness of the Court of Appeal to move to where the case is goes directly to the importance of open justice, a key tenant of our justice system.”

Mr Henskens, who hails from Newcastle originally, yesterday spoke in a short ceremony marking the occasion and attended by lawyers, members of the judiciary, as well as members of the public.

“Appellate court proceedings are an important part of our system of justice, providing a safeguard against judicial error and helping to ensure judicial officers in lower courts apply consistent reasoning in their judgments,” Mr Henskens said.

“I’m pleased the people of Newcastle, members of the local legal profession and members of the judiciary have been be able to witness first-hand these proceedings.”

The Court of Appeal began its two day sitting in Newcastle yesterday constituted by the Justice Julie Ward, sitting with Justice John Basten and Justice Anthony Payne.