Chief Justice Bowskill reflected today that 2023 was “a year of consolidation and growth for the Supreme Court” at the annual traditional Exchange of Christmas Greetings ceremony at Brisbane’s Banco Court.
A full courtroom this morning also witnessed the presentation of King’s Counsel commissions and recognition of newly admitted Barristers while the Crown Law Choir performed in the foyer.
The Crown Law Choir fundraising for the Red Cross.
Chief Justice Bowskill said 2023 followed the “enormous changes we saw in 2022”.
“We had some changes this year. We said farewell to two of our colleagues Justice Jackson from the Trial Division and Justice Philip McMurdo from the Court of Appeal,” she said.
“We saw the appointment of Justice Boddice to the Court of Appeal and we warmly welcomed two new colleagues, Justice Sullivan and Justice Muir, to the Trial Division.
“Otherwise we have all continued to work hard for the community of Queensland. It is a wonderful place to work with everyone focused on a common goal namely the efficient administration of justice.”
Chief Justice Bowskill also noted the changes and expansions in the District Court with new appointments.
While the Magistrates Court saw the retirement of four very experienced judicial officers and appointment of 11 new officers including five to be welcomed this Friday – three will sit as Coroners.
Chief Justice Bowskill said 2023 was a busy year with legislative amendments – both actual and proposed – with the ongoing courts digitization project a focus for 2024. She noted the “great success” of the new Commercial List, and a new Building and Engineering Construction List will be introduced in the New Year.
“There are many other respects in which we have made practical changes to the practice and procedures of the court and we will continue to do so,” she said.
“Looking ahead, we will have our eyes on the role of artificial intelligence as we must.
“Although we are an ancient profession, we can not stick our heads in the sand and ignore modern technological advances. In all we do, we will continue to consult with the profession who we regard as our partners in this great endeavour which is the administration of justice.”
Member for Stafford James Sullivan represented the Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath at the ceremony, saying “it had been a bit of week (in government)”, passing on thanks of the outgoing Queensland Premier to the judiciary and profession.
Queensland Law Society Vice President Rebecca Fogerty reflected on the Society’s 150-year anniversary, saying the court was “only 12 years old” when the QLS was founded by 15 solicitors who met not far from the courthouse.
The following practitioners were appointed to King’s Counsel this year: Andrew Hoare, Angus Edwards, Jessica McClymont, Andrew Fraser, Matthew Jones, Philip O’Higgins, Andrew Stumer and Sally Robb.