Australia’s first woman Supreme Court chief justice to retire

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Australia’s first female Supreme Court chief justice, Marilyn Warren AC, will be retiring on 1 October.

Warren, who is also the longest-serving of all present Australian chief justices, state and territory, has served as a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria for more than 18 years, more than 13 years as chief justice.

She is described by the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) as a role model and distinguished leader.  The Victorian Bar said Warren’s term has been one of extraordinary achievement.

“While treasuring the heritage value of one of Victoria's most beautiful buildings, she fought for the Supreme Court's modernisation to better serve the needs of victims of crimes, witnesses, and others who come in contact with the courts,” said Belinda Wilson, LIV president. “Chief Justice Warren has given outstanding service and has provided exceptional leadership at a state, national and international level to make sure all Victorians have full confidence in our legal system.”

Warren was admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria 42 years ago. She first firmed for 10 years in Victorian Public Service, including as senior policy advisor to the attorney-general and as assistant chief parliamentary counsel.

After practicing for more than 13 years at the Victorian Bar, she was appointed Queen’s Counsel and she served as silk for nearly a year before being appointed to the Supreme Court of Victoria.

She presided over the establishment of Court Services Victoria and over the introduction of judicial administration that for the first time in the 175 years of the court saw it become independent of the executive government, the Bar said. She also oversaw the establishment of the Commercial Court, the reforms to the court’s criminal appeals framework and information-technology policies, the enhancement of the divisional structure and committees of the court, and the refit of the court’s historic main building.

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