All-female court delivers remote justice

The tiny Queensland town of Richmond – some 498km from Townsville and 406km east of Mt Isa – made history this week.

The town, which still has a visited Magistrates Court, hosted an all-female Western Circuit Court on Wednesday, as far as is known, for the first time.

The court was serviced on Wednesday by her Honour Magistrate Keegan, ATSILS Solicitors Ms Samuels and Ms Ward, Prosecutor Ms Nitz, and Probation and Parole Officers Ms Richards and Ms Morgan, and Depositions Clerk Ms Pease. There was no male on the circuit.

Townsville District Law Association Immediate Past President Mark Fenlon posted a copy of the photo above to the DLA’s Facebook page with a quote by Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “When I’m sometimes asked ‘When will there be enough women on the Supreme Court?’ I say, ‘When there are nine.’”

Mark said the photo was an incredible visual representation of the changing face of the profession.

“These women all travelled from Townsville for the court to operate,” he said. “Richmond may be a long way from the Supreme Court of the United States, but it is pretty significant that a regional court in Queensland sat and everyone involved was a woman.”

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Pictured, from left, are Shontelle Samuel (ATSILS), Mikaila Ward (ATSILS), Rachael Pease (Court Services Officer), her Honour Magistrate Keegan (seated), Cassandra Nitz (Queensland Police Service), Karissa Richards (Townsville Community Corrections) and Breeanna Morgan (Townsville Community Corrections).

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