Crown Prosecutor Jeffery McLennan SC has been appointed as a judge and will sit full time in Armidale and Tamworth District Courts from mid-2017, Attorney General Gabrielle Upton, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson announced on Thursday.
“This is a history making victory for the community following the Judges for the Bush campaign and it is pleasing Mr McLennan has extensive experience working in regional NSW, including in Armidale,” Mr Marshall said.
Mr Anderson added: “Our region is continuing to grow so having a full time judge who lives and works in our community will help ensure justice is fast fair and accessible.”
Ms Upton said a new full time judge in the New England is part of the NSW Government’s $39 million Budget package over two years to tackle the District Court backlog.
“Delays put victims through undue stress and make it harder for witness to recall key details so these extra resources are going to make a real difference to the court and more importantly to people’s lives,” Ms Upton said.
The package will also fund a range of other initiatives such as targeted trial call-overs to bring parties together to resolve matters earlier, additional public defenders and initial plea discussions to identify early guilty pleas.
Prior to his appointment as a judge, Mr McLennan served as a Crown Prosecutor for the NSW Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Lismore for 14 years. He was appointed as a Senior Counsel in NSW in 2014.
He has prosecuted a wide range of serious criminal matters in the Supreme and District Courts in Lismore, Armidale, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Orange and Sydney.
During his 33-year legal career, Mr McLennan has also served as a Crown Prosecutor for the Queensland DPP and as a legal officer for the Commonwealth DPP.
He has experience on the other side of the bar table, having worked at a commercial law firm and as a senior counsel for Legal Aid Queensland.
Mr McLennan will be sworn in as a District Court judge on 22 August 2016 and will begin sitting at Armidale and Tamworth District Courts in July 2017.
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