Four new regional magistrates being appointed

Four new magistrates have been appointed and will preside in regional and north Queensland for the next three years.

Mary Buchanan, Leanne Scoines and Michael Holohan will be sworn in on Monday, and Michael Dalton will be sworn in on 24 July.

Ms Buchanan has been an acting Magistrate in Gladstone since January and will take on a permanent role there. She has an extensive legal career dating back more than two decades, including working as a lawyer for Legal Aid Bundaberg. She has also provided duty lawyer services for adults and children in other regional areas and acted as an Independent Children’s Lawyer and as a Separate Representative.

Ms Scoines has been an acting Magistrate for four years across various regions including Southport, Mackay, Gladstone, Dalby, Mt Isa and Cairns. She will take up a permanent role in Cairns. She has legal expertise in areas of child protection, youth justice and domestic violence, has been a volunteer solicitor for Women’s Legal Services. She has a Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) from the University of Queensland.

Mr Dalton was admitted as a solicitor in 1995 before being called to the Bar in Queensland in April 2010. His legal experience includes working as a solicitor in private practice in Cairns for nearly a decade, as a Senior Crown prosecutor in England, working for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and as a barrister in private practice for the past decade. He has been appointed to Cairns.

Mr Holohan has been an acting Magistrate for a year, following a career in law and criminal justice starting as a scientific officer with Queensland Police Service in the early 1990s. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from QUT in 2003 and was admitted to the Bar in 2009. As a barrister, he specialised in criminal and family law and forensic, medical and digital expert evidence. He will serve his first five months in Brisbane before relocating to Mt Isa for two years.


Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Yvette D’Ath, said the four appointees were among “the best and brightest in law”.

 “I am sure all four new magistrates, who have highly impressive and extensive legal backgrounds in various fields, will serve their communities well,” Ms D’Ath said.

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