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Published date: Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Albury-Wodonga educated and raised District Court Judge Sean Grant will become the first permanent resident judge to sit at Albury and Griffith from February 2020, NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman, Member for Albury Greg Aplin and Member for Murray Austin Evans announced today.
Judge Grant was sworn in on 14 February in Sydney, becoming one of seven new judicial officers to join the District Court since the end of last year. His appointment takes the number of full time NSW District Court judges to a record high of 75.
Mr Aplin said he’s thrilled at Judge Grant’s return to Albury after a successful legal career on both sides of the Murray River.
“For the first time Albury and Griffith will have a dedicated District Court judge working in the region which is a major win for the community. I’m also delighted that Albury will be welcoming one of its own to the District Court bench,” Mr Aplin said.
Mr Evans said the appointment of resident judge in the region will make a positive impact on the local legal sector.
“Judge Grant will be based in one location and travel between the two inland cities, which will mean a reduction in court backlogs and faster access to justice for victims and their families,” Mr Evans said.
The District Court sat for 22 weeks in Albury and 27 weeks in Griffith in 2018. There are currently 18 trials pending at Albury and 13 in Griffith, with four trials in the region dating back to 2017.
Mr Speakman said Judge Grant is the second judge appointed to a regional circuit this year, following the announcement earlier this month that Judge Graham Turnbull will be the resident judge on the Bathurst, Orange and Parkes circuit.
“Before joining the bench, Judge Grant was one of the most experienced criminal barristers in both NSW and Victoria, appearing in all court jurisdictions up to the High Court of Australia. After spending this year gaining judicial experience in Sydney, Judge Grant is expected to open the 2020 law term in Albury in February next year,” Mr Speakman said.
The NSW Government has made record investments in fighting crime since 2011 including additional frontline police and new technology resulting in more offenders being charged with serious offences.