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FIRST FEMALE SENIOR PUBLIC DEFENDER FOR NSW 

Published date: Wednesday, 29 May 2019

[PDF version of this media release]

Attorney General Mark Speakman today announced the appointment of Belinda Rigg SC as Senior Public Defender for NSW. 

“Ms Rigg has been a Public Defender since 2004, delivering an outstanding legal service to disadvantaged members of our community,” Mr Speakman said. 

“She has become a leader in the field of criminal justice in NSW and her elevation to Senior Public Defender is well deserved.” 

Ms Rigg is the first woman to be appointed as NSW’s Senior Public Defender and will replace Justice Mark Ierace, who has joined the bench of the NSW Supreme Court. 

“Ms Rigg is a wonderful role model and an inspiration to young women studying the law and working in the profession.” 

Over the past 15 years, she has been briefed to advise on or appear in hundreds of matters before the Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeal. 

Since being appointed as a Senior Counsel in 2014, Ms Rigg has predominantly represented defendants in trials and appeals involving homicide-related charges. She has also appeared as lead counsel in matters before the High Court. 

Ms Rigg has contributed to the education of the legal profession, delivering presentations on a range of issues including the appropriate cross-examination of vulnerable witnesses, such as children in sexual assault proceedings. 

In addition, she prepared submissions for the Public Defender’s Office on reviews of bail laws and sentencing for murder and manslaughter. 

Ms Rigg graduated from the University of Sydney with Bachelors of Laws and Arts and practised at the private bar from 1997 until 2004. 

Public Defenders are salaried barristers independent of the government who appear in serious matters for clients who have been granted legal aid.