District Court To Be Strengthened By New Appointments

District Court To Be Strengthened By New Appointments

Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie

Diverse Experience Bolsters District Court Ranks

Victor P Taffa

Queensland’s justice system will benefit from more than 130 years of combined legal experience, with five new appointments to the District Court, including Judge Administrator and an additional position in Cairns.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie today welcomed the appointments of Judge Paul Smith to Judge Administrator; and Helen Bowskill QC, Dean Morzone QC, Suzanne Sheridan, and Federal Circuit Court Judge Michael Burnett as Judges of the District Court.





“These five appointments to the District Court will bring extensive and diverse experience to the District Court.” Mr. Bleijie said.

“Judge Paul Smith was appointed to the Rockhampton District Court and Childrens Court in 2013 after more than two decades as a barrister. His mix of criminal and administrative experience made him the ideal choice to take on this senior and important role in the District Court.”

“After eight years of distinguished service to the Commonwealth in the Federal Circuit Court, Judge Michael Burnett will replace Judge Smith in Rockhampton. Judge Burnett’s extensive judicial experience also includes a decade as a Defence Force Magistrate and Judge Advocate.”

“Helen Bowskill QC is well known and respected for her extensive experience in native title, administrative and commercial law.” Mr. Bleijie said.

“The evidence of her dedication to the community and the law is held in the list of organisations of which she is member, including the Federal Court’s Native Title Committee, Australian Association of Constitutional Law, Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House (QPILCH) and the Bar Association’s Indigenous Students’ mentoring scheme.”

“Dean Morzone QC is a proud and committed Cairns local as well as an experienced Queen’s Counsel who will take on the additional position at the Cairns District Court.”

“From Coolangatta to Cooktown, all Queenslanders deserve equal and efficient access to justice and providing the far north with an extra judge is part of the Government’s commitment to revitalise frontline services.” Mr. Bleijie said.

“Suzanne Sheridan is a Principal solicitor with nearly 30 years of experience in insurance, health and administrative law.”

“She is admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court in most states and territories in Australia and she has also held a range of professional and leadership positions, including part-time Judicial Member of the Building Services Tribunal and part-time member of the Queensland Law Reform Commission.”

“The appointments follow extensive consultation with the legal profession and I congratulate and thank all our new members of the judiciary for agreeing to serve Queensland.”

“Becoming a Judge is a civic duty which carries great responsibility and it is heartening that such esteemed members of the legal profession have agreed to take on these important roles.” Mr. Bleijie said.