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Well Respected Chief Judge Resigns

22 June 2015

Attorney-General Martin Pakula today thanked His Honour Michael Rozenes for his many years of exceptional service to the Victorian community as Chief Judge of the County Court of Victoria.

Judge Rozenes yesterday resigned as Chief Judge of the County Court after 12 years of outstanding leadership of the state's principal trial court.

Judge Michael Rozenes was appointed as the Chief Judge of the County Court on 25 November 2002. Since that time, he has worked tirelessly to reduce delay, improve the experience of court users and bring the benefits of modern technology into the Court.

Under his leadership, the County Court has seen the introduction of a series of innovations. These measures include the Sexual Offences List to manage the increasing number of cases coming through the system, and the Koori County Court, the only sentencing court in Australia for Aboriginal Australians in a higher jurisdiction.

More recently, the Court launched eLodgment in the criminal jurisdiction to improve the management and running of criminal cases.

The Andrews Labor Government congratulates Judge Michael Rozenes on his exemplary tenure as Chief Judge, following a highly distinguished career in criminal law.

He was admitted to practice in 1971, signed the Bar Roll in 1972 and was appointed a Queen’s Council in 1986. In 1992, he was appointed Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, a position he held for five years. He returned to the private Bar in 1997, and served as Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association of Victoria from 1998-2001.

In 2010, he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for “distinguished service to the judiciary, particularly as Chief Judge of the County Court of Victoria and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, and through contributions to law reform and legal education”.

Judge Rozenes has resigned following a serious illness. The Government wishes him and his family all the best for his recovery and beyond.

His Honour Judge Michael McInerney will continue to act as Chief Judge of the County Court until a new Head of Jurisdiction is appointed. The search for Victoria's next Chief Judge is underway.

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula

“The Andrews Labor Government thanks Michael Rozenes for his many years of outstanding service to the County Court, the justice system and the people of Victoria.’’

“Michael brought a warmth and generosity to the office of Chief Judge and will be sorely missed by all who worked with him. His considerable intellect and willingness to constantly improve and innovate have made the County Court a modern, progressive and more responsive institution.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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