The Andrews Labor Government today announced the appointment of Letizia Torres, Jacqueline Billings, Randall Kune and Stephen Ballek to the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.
Letizia Torres is a barrister with more than two decades’ experience appearing in a wide range of criminal matters in the Magistrates’ County and Supreme courts.
She has appeared extensively for the Department of Health and Human Services in both the County and Supreme courts in reviews and applications under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997.
Ms Torres holds a Bachelor of Laws from the Australian National University.
Jacqueline Billings has been a solicitor for more than 25 years, practising in family law, family violence matters, child protection and crime. She specialises in family law as an independent children’s lawyer, and has appeared before the Family and Criminal Divisions of the Children’s Court.
From 1999–2005, Ms Billings was President of the Gippsland Law Association. She has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Economics from Monash University.
Randall Kune has been a barrister for 17 years, practising primarily in the Criminal and Family Divisions of the Children’s Court, appearing for parents, children and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Since 2012, Mr Kune has also been a senior fellow at Monash University Law School, where he has taught since 2001. He is the co-author of Advocacy Manual: The Complete Guide to Persuasive Advocacy.
Mr Kune has a Master of Laws and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Melbourne.
Stephen Ballek is Principal Solicitor Advocate at the Office of Public Prosecutions. He has held a range of roles at the Office since 2005, including Directorate Manager of the Specialist Sex Offences Unit.
From 1994–2000, Mr Ballek was a barrister specialising in criminal law. He holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Science from Monash University.
These appointments add three additional magistrates to the Magistrates’ Court, while one appointment replaces former magistrate Sarah Dawes, who was appointed as a judge of the County Court in August 2018.
Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula
“The four new magistrates bring many decades of collective experience to the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. I congratulate them on their appointments.”
“I also thank Sarah Dawes for her service at the Magistrates’ Court and wish her well in her new role.”