Former Chief Justice to lead Law Reform Commission

Former Chief Justice of NSW, the Honourable Tom Bathurst AC QC, has been appointed to lead the State’s independent law reform advisory body from 1 June 2022.

Announcing the appointment, Attorney General Mark Speakman said Mr Bathurst’s legal acumen and vast experience will be great assets to the NSW Law Reform Commission.

“The NSW Law Reform Commission plays an important role in independently scrutinising the operation of our laws and justice system to ensure these remain fit for purpose, and advising on reform,” Mr Speakman said.

“Mr Bathurst is eminently qualified to take on this role, having served with distinction as Chief Justice for more than 10 years and as a legal practitioner for almost 40 years before joining the bench.

“He is a respected advocate for the rule of law and the administration of justice.

“He has also held other esteemed roles in the legal profession, including as the President of the New South Wales and Australian Bar Associations.

“The NSW Government is committed to ensuring our laws and legal system continue to best promote access to and the administration of justice.

“Good law reform requires both inquiring legal minds and detailed knowledge of our laws, the justice system that upholds them and the community the justice system serves.

“As Chief Justice, Mr Bathurst oversaw a number of reforms, including to the way the courts engaged with technology.

“I am delighted that the Law Reform Commission and the people of NSW will now benefit from his intellect, leadership skills, and sound judgement.

“I look forward to Mr Bathurst’s contribution and guidance in this new endeavour.”

Mr Bathurst said he was honoured to take on the role, which will provide an opportunity to look at the law from a different perspective.

“The NSW Law Reform Commission undertakes significant work in researching, interrogating the law and advising on reform,” Mr Bathurst said.

“It is a privilege to be appointed Chairperson of an institution with such a respected record of reform and advice work.

“I look forward to the opportunity to consider the law in a new light,” Mr Bathurst said.

The NSW Law Reform Commission is an independent statutory body constituted under the Law Reform Commission Act 1967 (NSW). It provides legal policy advice to Government on issues referred by the Attorney General, including comprehensive analytical reports and recommendations for legislative reform.

Mr Speakman thanked outgoing Chairperson Alan Cameron AO for his service, leadership and thoughtful contributions to the NSW Law Reform Commission’s work over the past seven years.

Mr Bathurst’s appointment will run until 31 May 2025.

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