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Retirement age for magistrates to rise to 70

Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations

The Honourable Cameron Dick

25/05/2010

Retirement age for magistrates to rise

The Bligh Government will lift the retirement age for magistrates, bringing them into line with Supreme and District Court judges.

Attorney-General Cameron Dick said raising the compulsory retirement age for Queensland's magistrates from 65 to 70 also reflected the professional standing and capacity of the magistracy.

Mr Dick announced the change today at the annual Queensland Magistrates Conference in Brisbane.

"The decision to raise the retirement age for magistrates brings them into alignment with the retirement age for Supreme and District Court judges, so we will have consistency across the judiciary," Mr Dick said.

"It also more closely aligns Queensland magistrates with those in other states such as Victoria, where the retirement age is 70 years, and New South Wales and Tasmania, where retirement is compulsory at 72.

"The decision to lift the retirement age in Queensland is a mark of confidence in the professionalism and capacity of the modern magistracy."

Mr Dick said the legislative changes required to lift the retirement age were expected to be introduced into Parliament later this year, and would take effect once the laws were passed.

"While magistrates were once lay justices and public servants who lacked complete independence, they are now true independent judicial officers with substantial legal training and experience," Mr Dick said.

"These changes recognise the quality and professionalism of their appointments and their work."

Queensland currently has a full complement of 86 magistrates.

The Magistrates Court handled almost 300,000 matters in 2008-09.