Friday, October 22, 2021

Indian-origin barrister to become Supreme Court judge

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Leading Sydney barrister Hament Dhanji SC has been appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of NSW.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said Mr Dhanji brings three decades of legal experience to the Supreme Court bench.

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“I congratulate Mr Dhanji, whose ascension follows an accomplished career specialising in criminal law, appearing in various jurisdictions Australia wide,” Mr Speakman said.

The NSW Attorney General also made the announcement on Twitter.

Mr Dhanji will become the first Australian of Indian descent to serve on the NSW Supreme Court bench, having been admitted as a legal practitioner in 1990. He was called to the Bar in 1997 and took silk in 2010.

As a barrister in private practice at Forbes Chambers, he has appeared as lead counsel in a number of important cases in the High Court and has appeared in approximately 350 cases in the Court of Criminal Appeal. Mr Dhanji has also appeared regularly in criminal trials and sentence proceedings, including in complex corporate crime matters.

Mr Dhanji has conducted prosecutions on behalf of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, appeared as counsel assisting the coroner and represented clients before the Police Integrity Commission and the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption.

After completing his HSC at Meadowbank Boys High School, Mr Dhanji was awarded  Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts degrees by the University of Sydney before beginning his career as a solicitor for Legal Aid NSW.

“Mr Dhanji has maintained a strong professional connection with Legal Aid NSW throughout his career by continuing to provide legal services to people who are socially and economically disadvantaged,” Mr Speakman revealed.

Mr Dhanji, who will begin the role on 20 September, replaces the Honourable Justice Robert Beech-Jones, who on 31 August was elevated to Chief Judge of the Common Law Division of the Supreme Court and a Judge of Appeal.

READ ALSO: Priyanka Banerjee makes history at Melbourne Law School

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  1. It is so important to celebrate this moment for all Australians! Dhanji SC, now His Honour, is an excellent lawyer was a brilliant barrister and I have no doubt his contribution to the people of NSW as a judge of the Supreme Court of NSW will be impressive. As an immigrant from India and woman at the NSW Bar myself, I am feeling very inspired and empowered!


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