Five new judicial appointments to FCFCOA Division 2

Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) Chief Justice Will Alstergren today welcomed five judicial appointments to the Division 2 courts.

Federal Attorney-General Michaelia Cash yesterday announced the appointments of Sydney-based lawyers Gillian Eldershaw and Natasha Laing and Melbourne-based practitioners Paul Glass, Alison Burt and Amanda Mansini to take effect from tomorrow 6 April.

On Friday, Ms Cash announced that popular former Brisbane silk and Law Council of Australian Immediate Past President Dr Jacoba Brasch was one of four new additions to Division 1 of the FCFCOA.

QLS Proctor last week reported that Judge Alice Carter, Judge Bruce Smith, and Judge Alister McNab were appointed as judges of the FCFCOA (Division 1) in the Melbourne and Newcastle registries, while Dr Brasch was appointed a Division 1 judge in the Sydney Registry.

Chief Justice Alstergren also commended the additional appointment of Justice Fiona Meagher as President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

In today’s statement, the Chief Justice said the addition of such experienced lawyers to the bench would provide the courts with judicial officers exceptionally skilled to deal with the high-volume and extremely complex cases that come before the courts, in both the family law and general federal law jurisdictions.

“With the elevation of three Division 2 judges to Division 1, I am very pleased to welcome these new appointments to the Melbourne and Sydney registries,” he said.

“They are all very well qualified and respected legal practitioners and are a timely addition to the bench. Not only will the extra judicial resources help with family law matters, the Courts’ (Division 2) general federal law workload will be greatly assisted by the new appointments.

“These appointments, together with the announcement (in last week’s Federal Budget) that the Courts are to receive $63.8 million of additional resources, will enhance the ability of the Courts to reduce delays and respond to family violence and other risks to vulnerable parties and children.

“Critically, it will also aid the Courts in improving safety outcomes for children and litigants involved in family law disputes, together with enhancing the Courts’ support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.”

He said it was also pleasing that the national legal aid commissions had received funding that would allow them to assist the courts with these important initiatives, and support the most vulnerable litigants in the family law system.

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