Margaret McMurdo appointed Legal Aid Chair

Published Thursday, 04 May, 2017 at 01:02 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath has announced that Retired Justice Margaret McMurdo will be the new Chair of the Legal Aid Board of Queensland.

Mrs D’Ath said Queensland was extremely fortunate to have the ongoing services of such a widely-respected legal authority.

“Justice McMurdo was always going to be remembered as one of the greats of our justice system,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“The fact that in retirement she is willing to continue to dedicate her vast experience to public service is an enormous benefit for Queensland.”

Justice McMurdo retired in March after 25 years as a judge. She was a trailblazer for women in the legal system, simultaneously the first woman and the youngest judge ever commissioned in Queensland’s District Court in January 1991. 

She became the first woman to preside over an appellate court in Australia when she was appointed President of the Court of Appeal in 1998. 

“Legal Aid is a core institution of our criminal justice system, helping the most vulnerable and ensuring every citizen’s right to a fair trial,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“This latest appointment is somewhat of a full circle for Justice McMurdo, given she was the Public Defender’s Office’s first female paralegal in 1977, rising to become Assistant Public Defender until 1989.

“I sincerely thank her for taking on this role, in yet another example of her commitment to Queensland and to a life of public service.” 

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