New District Court Judge named

Former Legal Aid Queensland Public Defender Katarina Prskalo KC has been appointed as a District Court Judge. Photo: LAQ

Legal Aid Queensland Public Defender Katarina Prskalo KC has been appointed as a District Court Judge and will start today.

Ms Prskalo has previously served as Acting District Court Judge from May to November 2022, adjudicating on matters in the civil applications list and presiding over sentences, trials, pre-trial hearings and appeals in the criminal trial division.

She was admitted as a solicitor in 1997, and joined Legal Aid Queensland in 1998, practising in criminal law.

After being called to the Bar in 2004, Ms Prskalo practised as regional circuit counsel in the District Court.

Ms Prskalo has extensive experience as counsel and has appeared across all criminal law jurisdictions, notably including the Mental Health Court, the Court of Appeal, and the High Court of Australia.

As part of the Legal Aid Queensland team for more than two decades, Ms Prskalo demonstrated an unwavering commitment to efficiently providing quality specialist legal advocacy services to disadvantaged Queenslanders, those in remote communities and First Nations peoples.


She also mentored and supported the professional development of junior barristers in the Public Defender Chambers and at the private bar. She has also made notable contributions to law reform as a member of the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council.

In 2022, she was appointed King’s Counsel in recognition of her excellent advocacy, legal and leadership skills.

In 2023, Ms Prskalo was appointed the Legal Aid Public Defender, having previously served as Deputy.

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said: “Throughout her lengthy career at Legal Aid Queensland, Katarina Prskalo KC has conducted herself with integrity, independence, and fairness and will no doubt bring those excellent qualities to her judicial role.

“As an Acting District Court Judge, Ms Prskalo’s courtesy and calm authority inspired the respect and confidence of those appearing before her.

“Her appointment to the District Court is richly deserved and I wish her well in this important role.”

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