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New Court Appointments To Ease Backlog

22 June 2021

The Victorian Government has appointed four judges to the County Court of Victoria, while also appointing a new Coroner in a move that will finalise more cases and ease pressure on the justice system.  

Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes congratulated David Ryan on his appointment in the Coroners Court and Sharon Burchell, Marcus Dempsey, Anna Robertson and Pardeep Tiwana on their new roles as County Court judges.    

The five appointees bring a significant amount of knowledge to their roles, with expertise in areas including criminal law, mediation and litigation – and for two of the appointees, experience in international jurisdictions. 

Before his appointment as Coroner, Mr Ryan was a judicial registrar of the Federal Court of Australia and held various longstanding positions at the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office, including in the role of managing principal solicitor. Mr Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Melbourne.

Ms Burchell’s appointment as a County Court judge follows a career as a barrister, including experience in the Victorian Bar, Western Australian Bar and in the Federal and High Courts of Australia.

Since 2015, Ms Burchell has been a judicial registrar in the commercial division of the County Court. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Economics from Murdoch University.

An expert in criminal law, Mr Dempsey joins the County Court after serving on the Victorian Bar and as a senior public defender at Victoria Legal Aid. Mr Dempsey holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Tasmania.

Ms Robertson has a wealth of experience to bring to the role of County Court judge following her work as a solicitor at Coadys Solicitors, a paralegal at Norton Rose in London and holds a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University.  

Mr Tiwana was previously a law clerk and solicitor at Paul Vale Criminal Lawyers and a criminal barrister at 4 Fountain Court Chambers/Citadel Chambers in the United Kingdom. He was admitted to the England and Wales Bar in 1994 and signed the Victorian Bar Roll in 2009. Mr Tiwana holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Wolverhampton.

Quotes attributable to Attorney General Jaclyn Symes

Our four new judges and coroner are experts in their fields and will bring significant knowledge to cases before the Coroners Court and County Court. I congratulate them on their new roles.”    

“We’re investing strongly and working with the courts to help drive down the backlogs caused by the pandemic – making sure more people can have their cases heard faster.”

“I’d like to thank retiring Judge Susan Pullen, Judge Rachelle Lewitan, Judge Kathryn Kings and Judge Christopher Ryan for their service to the Court and the community.”

Reviewed 22 June 2021

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