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Warm welcome to District Court Chief Judge Devereaux

Group shot of people smiling close together
From left, Women Lawyers Association of Queensland President Catherine Cheek, Queensland Law Society Deputy President Elizabeth Shearer, Legal Aid Queensland Acting Chief Executive Officer Nicky Davies and Queensland District Court Chief Judge Brian Devereaux SC.

Having served more than a decade as Queensland’s Public Defender and then as a District Court judge, freshly sworn-in Chief Judge Brian Devereaux SC was the ideal appointment to lead a court which deals with many of the state’s most difficult and tragic criminal cases.

Queensland Law Society Deputy President Elizabeth Shearer today told a welcoming ceremony for Chief Judge Devereaux that his appointment was well-deserved and that he possessed the “unique skill-set” necessary to fill such an vital role in our justice system.

Many high-profile judicial officers and members of the legal profession attended the ceremony at Brisbane’s QEII Courts of Law ceremonial Banco Court – an event that garnered so much interest it was beamed live into numerous courts across Queensland.

Queensland Minister for Justice and Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said Judge Devereaux was a highly experienced lawyer and judge who was eminently qualified for the role as chief of the District Court.

“Your Honour has served for more than 12 years as a judge of the District Court and is well-respected by his judicial colleagues and the legal profession,” she said. “As new Chief Judge, your Honour’s leadership (particularly during the current COVID-19 global pandemic) will be vital in providing continued agility (in the District Court) to ensure on-going access to justice for all Queenslanders.”

Judge Devereaux, who was formally sworn-in to replace retiring Chief Judge Kerry O’Brien on Monday, said he took on the role at a time when the “very busy and harmonious court” was “in good shape”.

Ms Shearer, who told Judge Devereaux she was honoured to represent the more than 13,000 solicitors of Queensland at the ceremony, said his appointment was well-deserved and had been widely welcomed by the state’s legal profession.

“The position of Chief Judge is of critical importance to our system of justice,” she said. “The District Court has a presence in 32 locations across our state. It has a broad civil jurisdiction and in the criminal jurisdiction, deals with many of our most difficult, and indeed tragic, cases.

“The work of this court in dispensing justice in response to serious criminal offending is of utmost importance to all Queenslanders. The court deals every day with the imperfect, the cracks in our society.

“Your Honour can be assured of the support of solicitors throughout Queensland in all cities and towns in which the court sits.

“Collectively, we wish your honour and the court every success and have no doubt that your time as Chief Judge will be remembered as a time when the light gets in.”

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