Three new District Court Judges named

Published Friday, 08 September, 2023 at 12:25 PM

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

  • Carl Heaton KC, Joshua Treviño KC and Benedict Power KC have been named as the three new judges to sit in the District Court.
  • Mr Heaton KC has been appointed to Brisbane, Mr Treviño KC to Cairns and Mr Power KC to Ipswich.

Three exceptional King’s Counsel have been appointed as judges to the District Court of Queensland.


Current Director of Public Prosecutions Carl Heaton KC, Cairns based barrister Joshua Treviño KC and Brisbane and Innisfail based barrister and former Principal Crown Prosecutor Benedict Power KC, begin their formal appointments on Monday.


Mr Heaton KC has appeared in criminal trials and appeals at every level including regular appearances as an advocate in the High Court of Australia.


He began his 30-plus-year career as a Legal Officer with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) in 1989, spent three years as a Crown Prosecutor from 1992, and later became the Deputy Public Defender with Legal Aid Queensland for nine years.


Mr Heaton KC rejoined the ODPP as Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions in 2016 and was appointed as the Director of Public Prosecutions in 2020, where he managed more than 500 staff in addition to his prosecutorial duties.


Mr Treviño KC has been a defence lawyer in the Cairns region for the past 18 years, having been called to the Bar in 2005 and appointed Senior Counsel in 2020. 


Mr Treviño KC is Chair of the Regional Issues Committee of the Bar Association of Queensland and among a number of other roles has served on the sub-committee of the Bar’s Professional Conduct Committee for nine years.


Mr Treviño KC has also provided expert advice and advocacy services to his clients in a broad range of matters including commercial disputes, personal injuries, planning, succession, and family law.


Mr Power KC, a barrister for 26 years, spent the last eight years in private chambers which included appearing as Counsel Assisting in the Disability Royal Commission and at the Grantham Flood Inquiry.


Prior to that, Mr Power KC was the Principal Crown Prosecutor for the Mental Health Court chambers within the Brisbane office of the ODPP, after serving as Principal Crown Prosecutor for appeals to the Court of Appeal.


Mr Power KC spent three years with Legal Aid Queensland earlier in his career, studied for a Masters of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Oxford University in 2008, and dedicated 12 months working on a prisoners’ rights project with the Legal Aid Society of New York in the early 2000s.


Mr Heaton KC will sit in Brisbane, Mr Treviño KC in Cairns and Mr Power KC in Ipswich.


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


“The three new judges possess impeccable credentials and will be assets to the District Court.


“All three have gained tremendous experience over a long period of time and are richly deserving of their appointments.


“The appointments form part of the Government’s commitment of more than $34 million over the next four financial years to court operations and services.


“The three additional positions will assist the Court to give Queenslanders access to the justice system in a timely manner without unreasonable delays for defendants and victims.”