August 2017 - New Chief Justice for Victoria; Appointments in WA and Federal Appointments

Friday 11 August 2017 @ 12.23 p.m. | Judiciary, Legal Profession & Procedure | Legal Research

There have been some significant appointments around the country for the month of August 2017. These include a new Chief Justice for the Victorian Supreme Court; New Chief Executive of the Australian Financial Security Authority and Inspector-General in Bankruptcy in Commonwealth; Reappointment of the ACCC Deputy Chair; New Western Australian Police Commissioner and New Chair of Legal Aid WA.

New Chief Justice in Victoria

On 8 August 2017, Attorney-General Martin Pakula announced the appointment of the Honourable Justice Anne Ferguson as the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Justice Ferguson was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2010 and to the Court of Appeal in 2014. Prior to her appointment as a judge, Justice Ferguson was a partner at law firm Allens Arthur Robinson, working in insolvency and commercial litigation.

Justice Ferguson will be the twelfth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria. She is the first solicitor to be appointed Chief Justice and the second woman in the role. Her appointment to chief justice will continue the line of strong women holding senior judicial roles in the nation, including High Court chief justice Susan Kiefel and fellow High Court judges Virginia Bell and Michelle Gordon, Queensland Supreme Court chief justice Catherine Holmes, NSW Court of Appeal president Margaret Beazley, Justice Ward, and Family Court chief justice Diana Bryant.

Attorney-General Martin Pakula said:

“Justice Ferguson has a legal career spanning more than three decades and has a wealth of experience working as a judge of the Court of Appeal and as a leading solicitor. I congratulate her on this appointment.”

Justice Ferguson, a Victorian Court of Appeal judge, will take up her appointment in early October 2017, replacing retiring Chief Justice Marilyn Warren.

New Chief Executive of Australian Financial Security Authority and Inspector General in Bankruptcy

On 11 August 2017 (today), Attorney-General for Australia, Senator George Brandis, announced  the appointment of Mr Hamish McCormick as Chief Executive of the Australian Financial Security Authority and Inspector General in Bankruptcy.

Mr McCormick was a senior officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and has worked extensively on international trade and economic issues across government including at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Austrade and as an adviser to the Minister for Trade. Mr McCormick's term will commence on 14 August 2017 for a period of five years.

Reappointment of ACCC Deputy Chair

On 10 August 2017, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims welcomed the Federal Government’s reappointment of Delia Rickard as Deputy Chair of the ACCC for a period of five years. Delia is a member of the ACCC’s Enforcement Committee, Adjudications Committee, Communications Committee and Compliance Committee. She is also Co-chair of the ACCC’s Consumer Consultative Committee. Delia was appointed to the position of Deputy Chair of the ACCC in June 2012 for a period of five years. Delia brought extensive public service experience in the area of consumer protection.

New WA Police Commissioner

On 1 August 2017, the Minister for Justice (WA), The Hon Michael Keenan MP, announced the appointment of Mr Chris Dawson APM as the new Western Australia Police Commissioner:

"I wish to express my gratitude for Mr Dawson's leadership as Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) for the past three years...I personally head-hunted Mr Dawson to spearhead the merger of the Australian Crime Commission and CrimTrac to establish the ACIC − marking a significant and historic milestone in Australia's response to crime."

New Chair of Legal Aid WA

Jane Crisford SC has been named as the new chair of the Legal Aid Commission of Western Australia, making her the first woman to hold the state role. The silk and former judge was appointed to chair WA’s Legal Aid Commission for a three-year term commencing from 19 July 2017.

WA Attorney-General John Quigley said that Ms Crisford brought to the role extensive experience in the judiciary, as well as high regard among the legal community from her time as as senior counsel, and work at the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia:

“Ms Crisford has substantial prejudicial experience as a barrister and solicitor, a partner of Dwyer Durack and as the solicitor in charge of the Kimberley Office of the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA."

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