Four New Judges Appointed To The County Court

14 August 2018

The Andrews Labor Government has announced the appointment of Sarah Dawes, Dr Martine Marich, Scott Johns QC and David Sexton as four new judges of the County Court.

Sarah Dawes has been a magistrate since 2006, frequently hearing cases relating to serious criminal offending, including sexual offences and bail applications. She has also been a member of the criminal law and sexual offences committees of the Magistrates’ Court.

Before becoming a magistrate, Ms Dawes was a barrister practising mainly as a criminal trial lawyer. She was admitted to practice in 1990 and has a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from Monash University.

Dr Martine Marich has been the director of Dr Martine Marich and Associates legal practice for a decade, supervising a number of solicitors and specialising in complex criminal law cases and personal injury claims.

She has extensive advocacy experience in the criminal courts and before Royal Commissions, including appearing for survivors and whistleblowers at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Dr Marich has a Doctorate of Juridical Science, a Master of Laws, a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Science, all from Monash University.

Scott Johns QC has been a barrister for 15 years, specialising in criminal law. Prior to becoming a barrister, he was a Senior Public Defender in the Criminal Law Division of Victoria Legal Aid.

In 2001, he was a solicitor advocate for the North Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service. Prior to his work in the Top End, he spent almost a decade in a range of roles at the Office of Public Prosecutions in Victoria.

Mr Johns took silk in 2017. He has a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne, and a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University.

David Sexton has been a barrister since 2004, practising throughout Australia. He specialises in defence in prosecutions for sexual offences and appears regularly for the Secretary of the Department of Justice and Regulation in relation to post-sentence applications for serious sexual offenders.

Mr Sexton has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Jurisprudence from Monash University.

Three of the appointments are new positions, funded through the Government’s $128.9 million investment in courts in the Victorian Budget 2018/19 and as part of the Harper reforms. One of the appointees replaces Judge James Montgomery, who retired in May after almost a decade of service at the County Court.

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula

“These highly experienced legal professionals will make welcome additions to the County Court.”

“I would like to thank Judge Montgomery for almost a decade of service as a County Court judge.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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