New Judge Appointed To The Supreme Court

16 April 2019

The Andrews Labor Government today announced the appointment of Melinda Richards SC as a judge of the Supreme Court.

Ms Richards has been Crown Counsel for Victoria since 2015, where she has advised and appeared for the Victorian Government on a wide range of matters.

She also assisted the Government by participating in two major reviews, including the review of the Charter of Human Rights in 2015 and the Access to Justice Review in 2016.

Previously, Ms Richards was a barrister specialising in equal opportunity and human rights cases, industrial and employment law, inquiries, public law and personal injuries matters.

She has participated in several high-profile independent inquiries, including as senior counsel assisting the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry in 2014.

From 1998 to 2000 she was junior counsel for Lorna Cubillo and Peter Gunner in the Northern Territory “Stolen Generations” case in the Federal Court, and was junior counsel assisting the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.

Ms Richards holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne. She was admitted to legal practice in 1993 and joined the Victorian Bar in 1996. She was appointed Senior Counsel in 2013.

She is also a Senior Fellow at Melbourne University Law School, where she teaches the Melbourne Law Masters subject Royal Commissions and Public Inquiries.

Ms Richards replaces Justice Jack Forrest at the Supreme Court, who retired in March after more than ten years as a Supreme Court judge.

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula

“Ms Richards has many years of legal experience, both as Crown Counsel for Victoria and as a barrister in several major public inquiries, and I know she will make a significant contribution as a judge of the Supreme Court.”

“I’d like to thank Justice Jack Forrest for his decade of service to the Supreme Court and the Victorian community, and particularly his service during the complex court proceedings arising from the Black Saturday bushfires.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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