Saturday, July 13, 2024

New WA District Court Judge appointed

WA Attorney General John Quigley has named experienced Magistrate Felicity Zempilas as a new Judge of the District Court of Western Australia.

Ms Zempilas (pictured) has been a Magistrate for 14 years and her appointment bolsters the benches of the District Court as it manages a substantial workload, said Mr Quigley.

“She is highly regarded in the legal profession and has performed exceptionally well as a Magistrate across diverse settings,” he said.

“Ms Zempilas played a key role in the success of the Start Court, which recently marked 10 years since inception, and her distinguished long service makes her ideal for the new position.

“In addition to her commitment as a lawyer and a Magistrate, she has made contributions to the community including as a director on the board of PeopleKind Group.”

As Resident Magistrate at Joondalup Magistrates Court since last year, she has presided over a range of criminal and civil matters.

In 2017, Ms Zempilas was awarded a Churchill Fellowship, enabling her to gain exposure to and insight into the United States of America’s mental health courts.

She then served as Magistrate of the Start Court and Intellectual Disability Diversion Program Court, for adults in the justice system with mental health issues or cognitive impairment.

Ms Zempilas was instrumental in the development of guidelines and protocols for the Start Court, which offers eligible offenders a chance to take part in a therapeutic program which provides access to mental health support and services.

She was also previously Magistrate of the Magistrates Court, Children’s Court, Warden’s Court and Coroner’s Court in Kalgoorlie.

Prior to her extensive career as a Magistrate, Ms Zempilas worked as Counsel Assisting the State Coroner for over six years, conducting inquests into reportable deaths.

She is due to commence in her new role on 26 September.

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