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Cairns
Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Magistrates to boost Cairns justice system

TWO hard-working acting magistrates with extensive experience in regional areas have been appointed permanently to the Cairns Magistrates Court as Magistrate Mandy Bowen and Magistrate Scott Luxton formally begin their roles next Monday.

One of the two positions is newly established, in recognition of the increasing demands on magistrate workloads.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Yvette D’Ath said the introduction of two new Magistrates to Cairns will greatly benefit the wider community.

“The new magistrate position in Cairns comes on top of the Government funding a new magistrate in July, specifically dedicated to the local Domestic and Family Violence court,” she said.

“At the same time, the Government provided funds for the creation of three new permanent coroner positions.

“Magistrates Bowen and Luxton bring a wealth of experience to the roles and will be great assets to the Cairns Magistrates Court.”  

Magistrate Bowen was admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2004 and worked as a criminal lawyer with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service Cairns office for 16 years.

Across that time, Her Honour spent more than a decade working in remote Cape York communities, including a number where English is a second language.

Magistrate Bowen shouldered a heavy ATSILS workload and regularly assisted and mentored junior lawyers.

Her Honour’s ability to manage busy courts and work well under pressure gained her the ongoing respect of peers. Her Honour has acted as a magistrate when required for the past two years.

Magistrate Luxton was admitted was as a solicitor in 1999 and gained extensive experience in court registries.

His Honour assumed acting magistrate duties in some smaller courts early in His Honour’s career and prior to His Honour’s permanent appointment had sat in 36 different centres across central, north and far north Queensland, and suburban Brisbane.

His Honour has implemented innovations at several courts in which His Honour has sat resulting in greater efficiency and access to justice.

Magistrate Luxton was heavily involved in community work in His Honour’s hometown of Charters Towers, including as a volunteer, committee or board member of the local cricket, tennis, rugby union and swimming clubs, and the Blackheath and Thornburgh College.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Council supports Cardwell Family Practice and Eyes out for stolen vehicles.

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