Attorney General Pays Tribute To Justice Johnson

Attorney General Pays Tribute To Justice Johnson

Western Australia Attorney General Michael Mischin

Justice Johnson Retires

Victor P Taffa

  • Former chair of Prisoners Review Board steps down from legal career

Attorney General Michael Mischin has thanked retiring Supreme Court Judge Narelle Johnson for her service to the Supreme Court and the Prisoners Review Board.

The Attorney General said Justice Johnson was due to return to the Supreme Court bench earlier this year after her term at the board expired, but had been forced to retire early because of ill-health.

Justice Johnson joined the then-Crown Solicitor’s Office in 1982, rising to the rank of Senior Assistant Crown Counsel. She joined the Independent Bar in 1994 and practised from Francis Burt Chambers for many years. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1998.

Among her many notable achievements, Justice Johnson was counsel assisting the Coal Contract Inquiry in 1994; junior counsel assisting the Easton Royal Commission in 1995; counsel assisting the Royal Commission into the City of Wanneroo in 1996 to 1997; the president of the Equal Opportunity Tribunal between 2001 and 2003; and was appointed to the bench of the Supreme Court in July 2003.

Justice Johnson also served the profession as president of the Women Lawyers of WA (1997 to 2000); director, Australian Women Lawyers in 2003; and as a member of the WA Bar Association Steering Committee on Women at the Bar (2000 to 2001). She was also a member of the WA Medical Board (2001 to 2002) and the Water Authority Board (1994 to 1996).

In 2009, she was appointed for a three-year term as second chair of the Prisoners Review Board.

Mr. Mischin said Justice Johnson had made a significant contribution to the WA justice system.

“As my predecessor remarked when appointing her to the board, Justice Johnson is an experienced and highly-capable Supreme Court judge.” Mr. Mischin said.

“She did a tremendous job in the difficult role of chair of the Prisoners Review Board over three years.”

“Her professionalism and worth ethic was extremely valued by the legal fraternity and she has every reason to be proud of her contribution to the administration of justice in this State and to the advancement of women in the profession. I wish her all the best in retirement.”

Fact File

  • Liberal-National Government passed laws to scrap the Labor government’s disastrous ‘truth in sentencing’ one-third discount that applied to every sentence delivered in WA
  • Since this reform, there has been an increase of 7% in the average length of overall sentences delivered