In Legal Affairs

Victoria Attorney-General Robert Clark

New Appointments To The County Court

Victor P Taffa

Attorney-General Robert Clark today announced the appointment of Michael Macnamara, Bill Stuart SC and Barbara Cotterell as County Court judges.

Mr. Clark said all three appointees had demonstrated significant professional achievement in their legal careers and would bring considerable experience to their positions.

Michael Macnamara practised as a solicitor for 17 years prior to serving as the Deputy President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Victoria and the Acting Chairman of the Credit Tribunal of Victoria.

Mr. Macnamara has since held the position of Deputy President of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for the past 14 years.

Mr. Macnamara will be joined at the County Court by Bill Stuart SC, who has practised law for 34 years and was recently appointed as a Senior Counsel. Mr Stuart has also served on the executive of the Criminal Bar Association.

After joining the Victorian Bar, Mr. Stuart appeared in close to 300 trials, predominantly for the defence. This was followed by his appointment in 1998 as in-house counsel for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, where he specialised in fraud and drug cases, before returning to the Bar.

Acting Judge Barbara Cotterell served for 18 years as a Magistrate before being appointed an acting judge of the County Court in 2008.

Mr. Clark said Ms. Cotterell joined the Victorian Bar in 1973 and was a highly regarded barrister whose experience in a wide range of cases made her a valuable addition to the bench.

“Acting Judge Cotterell’s appointment as a tenured judge of the Court brings a welcome end to the disgraceful attempt by the previous government to introduce appointments of judges on a short term basis dependent on executive government and which undermined judicial independence.” Mr. Clark said.

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