Two new District Court Judges appointed

South Australia’s District Court will soon welcome two new judges, with the appointments of experienced lawyers Jo-Anne Deuter and Michael Durrant confirmed today.

Ms Deuter and Mr Durrant have been appointed as District Court judges, replacing Judge Gordon Barrett, who retires later this month, and Judge Susanne Cole, who has resigned to take up a position interstate.

Mr Durrant will begin his role on 28 February and has been designated as a Judge of the Environment, Resources and Development Court, sitting primarily in that jurisdiction, while Ms Deuter commences on 6 May.

Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman said today that both Ms Deuter and Mr Durrant are experienced and respected members of the legal profession.

“Prior to joining the independent bar in 2005, Ms Deuter was a Partner with the law firm Minter Ellison. Ms Deuter is currently practising within Anthony Mason Chambers,” Ms Chapman said.

“Jo-Anne is regarded as one of Adelaide’s leading barristers in the area of personal injury litigation, acting for both injured plaintiffs and defendants, with significant experience in civil litigation,” she said.

“Mr Durrant has more than 25 years’ experience in commercial litigation, particularly within the environmental and local government jurisdictions, and specialising in energy and resources litigation. Michael is currently the National Head of Energy and Resources at the law firm HWL Ebsworth.”

“I congratulate and welcome them both to the District Court.”

Ms Chapman also announced that the Chief Judge of the District Court, Michael Evans, would be appointed as Senior Judge of the Environment, Resources and Development Court of South Australia to cover the position created by Judge Cole’s departure.

The ERD Court Act requires there to be a Senior Judge of the ERD Court, being an existing District Court Judge, to oversee its administration.

“I would also like to thank Judge Barrett for his long contribution to the District Court over many years and wish him well in retirement, and also congratulate Judge Cole as she continues her career as the new Deputy President of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT),” Ms Chapman said.