Local practitioner appointed as FCC judge in Cairns

Cairns-based lawyer Patricia Cope has been appointed to the Federal Circuit Court in Cairns.

She replaces local long-term resident FCC Judge Josephine Willis AM, who has transferred to Brisbane.

Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia and Chief Judge of the FCC Will Alstergren said the popular long-time local practitioner would commence her appointment on the bench in Cairns today (26 July).

Judge Cope is one of four new FCC judges (including two in Melbourne and one in Adelaide) to be appointed.

“I am delighted to welcome such highly qualified and experienced judges to the Court, across a number of locations,” Chief Judge Alstergren said.

“It is excellent to see the appointment of a local practitioner to this important single-judge registry.


“I take this opportunity to thank Judge Willis for the extraordinary work that her Honour has undertaken for over 12 years in serving the communities of Cairns and far north Queensland.”

QLS President Elizabeth Shearer congratulated Ms Cope on her appointment.

“Patricia has led by example to inspire young female practitioners throughout regional Queensland,” she said. “And it is wonderful to see that the extensive experience she has gained practising family law as a QLS accredited specialist has been recognised by this appointment.”

Other appointments include Judges Jonathan Forbes and Catherine Symons (Melbourne) and Meredith Dickson QC (Adelaide).

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