Having a court that was efficient, effective and harmonious was the goal of Chief Judge Kerry O’Brien during his time leading Queensland’s District Court, he revealed, at the valedictory ceremony today to honour his 30 years on the bench.
The Chief Judge described the District Court as the great trial court of Queensland and observed the public could rightly have faith in it and its decisions as a part of his reflection on his forty-seven-year career in the law and thirty years on the District Court.
The ceremony recognised the more than 30 years of honourable judicial service Judge O’Brien has given to Queensland and marked his retirement as the longest-serving judge of the District Court since it was reconstituted in 1958. Despite COVID-19 social distancing restrictions limiting numbers, the ceremony was very well attended by all branches of the profession and a large cohort of retired judges.
Speaking of his general observations of the legal system, the Chief Judge spoke of more work to be done in streamlining the criminal justice system. In part this required having people who can meaningfully speak for the prosecution and defence at an earlier stage in a proceedings and may require the legal aid system to be revisited, the Chief Judge noted.
The Chief Judge also reflected on the accuracy of transcripts that were formerly prepared by court stenographers in his remarks.
QLS President Luke Murphy spoke at the ceremony on behalf of the solicitors’ branch of the profession noting the deep connection the Chief Judge had with regional Queensland and the spirit of public service he had displayed throughout his career.
Read more in the Chief Judge’s interview with QLS Proctor, https://www.qlsproctor.com.au/2020/08/chief-judge-set-to-retire-after-30-years-on-district-court-bench/