Four new Magistrates ensure Queenslanders have access to Justice

Published Friday, 07 July, 2023 at 10:00 AM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

  • Palaszczuk Government appoints four Magistrates to the bench
  • Regional and north Queensland to benefit from new appointments

Four new Magistrates have been appointed to the Magistrates Court and will sit in regional and north Queensland for the next 3 years.

The new appointees, Mary Buchanan, Leanne Scoines and Michael Holohan, will be sworn in on 10 July, and Michael Dalton, will be sworn in on 24 July.

Ms Buchanan has been an acting Magistrate in Gladstone since January and has an extensive legal career dating back more than two decades, including working as a lawyer for Legal Aid Bundaberg.

Ms Buchanan has also provided duty lawyer services for adults and children in other regional areas and acted on behalf of children as an Independent Children’s Lawyer in the Family Law jurisdiction and as a Separate Representative in the Child Protection jurisdiction.

She has been appointed to Gladstone for three years.

Ms Scoines’ appointment follows working as an acting Magistrate for four years across various regions including Southport, Mackay, Gladstone, Dalby, Mt Isa and Cairns.

She has legal expertise in areas of child protection, youth justice and domestic violence, has been a volunteer solicitor for Women’s Legal Services and has a Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) from the University of Queensland.

Ms Scoines has been appointed to a three-year tenure in Cairns.

Michael Dalton was admitted as a solicitor in 1995 before being called to the Bar in Queensland in April 2010.

His legal experience includes working as a solicitor in private practice in Cairns for nearly a decade, as a Senior Crown prosecutor in England, working for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and as a barrister in private practice for the past decade.

Mr Dalton has been appointed to Cairns for three years.

Finally, Mr Holohan has been an acting Magistrate since July 2022, which follows a career in the law and criminal justice fields, dating back to being a scientific officer with Queensland Police Service in the early 1990s.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from QUT in 2003 and was admitted to the Bar in 2009 where he specialised in criminal and family law and forensic, medical and digital expert evidence.

Mr Holohan will serve his first five months in Brisbane before relocating to Mt Isa for two years.

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Yvette D’Ath:

“The four appointees are among the best and brightest in law and their appointment as new Magistrates ensures all Queenslanders have access to Justice.

“I am sure all four new magistrates, who have highly impressive and extensive legal backgrounds in various fields, will serve their communities well.

“Their initial appointments are serving regional and north Queensland and I wish them well in their judicial careers.”


Media contact: Cullen Robinson - 0418 170 474