SHE may now be one of the Federal Circuit Court’s most experienced judges, but it was in Rockhampton where Judge Anne Demack began her legal career.
Now she’s returned, and will be based in Rockhampton as the city’s first ever permanent Federal Circuit Court Judge.
Judge Demack, a former North Rockhampton State High School student, became a barrister in 2000 and had a private practice here before being appointed as a judge in 2008 and moving to Brisbane.
For the last few years she has travelled to Rockhampton, spending six to eight weeks a year here, managing local cases in her role as a Federal Circuit Court Judge based in Brisbane.
Now that she’s based in Rockhampton she said the level of court service available to Central Queenslanders had expanded.
“Of course this is, I think, an access to justice issue,” she said in Rockhampton yesterday after her appointment was announced.
“People need to be able to have the same or commensurate level of service in regional Australia as they do in the capital cities. To me, that’s what’s important.
“No two cases in family law are the same, each needs to be dealt with on an individual basis on its merits. If I’m here I can be more responsive to that.”
While Judge Demack will also deal with other federal law issues like migration and bankruptcy, she will also handle 95% of Central Queensland’s family law matters.
She said while each individual matter is dealt with on a case by case basis, the most important thing was looking after the best interests of any children involved.
She said local family law practitioners had been working well in the current system.
However, she also said that resources in the federal court system right across Australia were stretched.
By Rachael Conaghan
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