Two new magistrates appointed

Published Friday, 08 December, 2023 at 09:25 AM

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

  • Mr Michael Wood and Dr Lance Rundle have been appointed as magistrates.
  • Mr Wood will sit in Roma.
  • Dr Rundle will sit in Pine Rivers and Rockhampton.

Two outstanding legal minds have been appointed to the Magistrates Court to help ensure access to justice in regional Queensland.

The new appointees, Mr Michael Wood and Dr Lance Rundle, will both formally commence their roles on 11 December.

Mr Wood will serve in Roma for three years.

Dr Rundle will first serve in Pine Rivers before moving to Rockhampton.

Highly regarded Western Downs solicitor Michael Wood brings extensive experience to the role, including as a sessional member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) and as a legal member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT).

At QCAT, he has presided over many significant and sensitive matters including guardianship for adults – including those affected by elder abuse and domestic violence – children’s matters, building dispute hearings, blue card appeals and administrative appeals.

As a member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal, Mr Wood has been responsible for orders and authorities under the Mental Health Act 2016.

Mr Wood has undertaken risk assessments of patients, including those residing in medium and high secure mental health services, and assessing the risk posed to the community by serious violent offenders.

Within the Dalby community, Mr Wood is respected for his pro bono work, which has included free legal advice through Catholic Care.

He has also served on boards and committees of sporting organisations, including the Dalby Cricket Association and Dalby Rugby Club.

Dr Rundle is an academic and Legal Aid Qld Legal Practitioner with a wealth of experience in Family Law, Corporations Law, Criminal Law, Consumer Law and Competition and Business Law.

At Legal Aid Queensland Rockhampton, Dr Rundle has had diverse responsibilities, including representing clients in children and property order applications, and responses in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

He has represented parties in applications and hearings in the domestic violence (DFV) court, has been appointed as a Separate Representative in child protection matters, and served as a duty lawyer in the Magistrate Court Children Court, DFV court and child protection callover at the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

As an academic, Dr Rundle has been a lecturer with CQUniversity Australia (CQUni) since 2005, lecturing in Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Business and Master of Professional Accounting courses.

He received his PhD this year, successfully completing his thesis on duress, undue influence and unconscionable conduct in family law financial agreements under the Family Law Act 1975, identifying practice recommendations and legislative reform that could better protect vulnerable people entering financial agreements.

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

“I congratulate our newest Queensland magistrates and wish them every success in their judicial careers.

“Mr Wood and Dr Rundle are exceptional additions to the Bench, with impressive legal backgrounds and close links to the communities they will serve.

“Our magistrates courts are among the busiest in the nation and are the court Queenslanders are most likely to encounter at some stage in their lives.

“I have no doubt that Mr Wood and Dr Rundle will be great assets to the courts and they will serve the community to the highest degree.”