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Victoria’s Newest Coroner And County Court Judges

15 September 2023

The Victorian Government has appointed a new coroner to the Coroners Court of Victoria and two new judges to the County Court of Victoria.

Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes has announced the appointments of Ingrid Giles as coroner commencing 4 July 2023 and Suzanne Kirton and Andrew Palmer SC as judges of the Country Court commencing 5 September 2023.

Judge Kirton and Judge Palmer take over from Judge Hampel who has served the County Court of Victoria since 2005. Coroner Giles succeeds Coroner Bracken who has dedicated more than 20 years as a barrister in Australia and overseas.

Coroner Giles has worked as senior legal counsel at the Coroners Court for the past three years, advising coroners on complex coronial cases, appearing as counsel assisting in inquests, and advising on Supreme Court matters.

Coroner Giles has represented marginalised women in criminal law and related civil matters in the Magistrates’ and County Courts, including through her work with the Law and Advocacy Centre for Women and Koori Courts. She holds a Master of Law in Human Rights Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales.

Judge Kirton has specialised in construction law and property disputes for almost 30 years and has also been head of the Building and Property List at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) since 2021. She was appointed as a senior member to VCAT in 2018 and was a barrister at the Victorian Bar from 2000 to 2018.

Judge Kirton holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University and is an Honorary Senior Fellow with the University of Melbourne, teaching the postgraduate Residential Construction Law course.

Judge Palmer has primarily practised in government regulation and enforcement, and corporate compliance and offending. He was admitted to practise in 1991, joined the Bar in 1999 and was appointed as a Senior Counsel in 2018.

Judge Palmer holds a Bachelor of Civil Law (Honours) from Oxford University, a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from Monash University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes

“I congratulate Coroner Giles, Judge Kirton and Judge Palmer on their appointments and look forward to seeing the valuable impact they make to Victoria’s judiciary.”

“Thank you to Judge Hampel and Coroner Bracken for their service to Victoria’s legal system.”

Reviewed 15 September 2023

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