26 September 2023

Supreme appointments to Supreme Court

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Two new judges have been appointed to the ACT Supreme Court, bringing the court to a full complement of six ongoing judicial officers.

Announcing the appointments of Geoffrey Kennett (pictured) and Belinda Baker, Attorney-General, Shane Rattenbury said Mr Kennett had expertise in civil and administrative law, and Ms Baker had expertise in criminal law.

“Their skills and experience will complement the existing judiciary and bring the court back to a full bench,” Mr Rattenbury said.

He said Mr Kennett had over 30 years’ legal experience and worked in Canberra from 1985 to 1998, before moving to Sydney to practice at the bar.

“He is currently the Chair of the Administrative Law Committee of the Law Council of Australia and is a member of its Constitutional Law Committee,” Mr Rattenbury said.

The Attorney-General said Ms Baker, who had legal experience spanning over 20 years, was admitted as a legal practitioner in NSW in 2000.

“She is currently the Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor with the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions and has appeared in more than 200 criminal appeals since 2016, including in the High Court,” he said.

“Mr Kennett will fill the vacancy left by Justice John Burns who retired from the Court in August last year having served over 30 years in the ACT Courts.

“Ms Baker will replace Justice Michael Elkaim when he retires in December this year.”

Mr Rattenbury said Mr Kennett would commence his appointment next week (21 March), while Ms Baker would start in December.

ACT Chief Justice, Lucy McCallum welcomed the announcement, saying that both Mr Kennett and Ms Baker were known for their “huge intellects, their astute legal analysis and their prodigious capacity for hard work”.

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