Attorney General John Quigley is pleased to announce the appointment of Her Honour Judge Julie Wager as the new Chief Judge of the District Court of Western Australia.
Her Honour – a past president of the Criminal Lawyers Association of WA – replaces Chief Judge Kevin Sleight who retires on May 1. Mr Quigley paid tribute to Chief Judge Sleight’s longstanding and exemplary service to the Court.
Mr Quigley said Judge Wager’s extensive experience as a judicial officer, coupled with her renowned compassion and empathy, made her an excellent choice for the role.
Judge Wager was a criminal lawyer for 14 years before being appointed as the inaugural Magistrate of the WA Drug Court in 2000. She was appointed to the District Court in 2005 and has been President of the Children’s Court since March 2018.
Her Honour becomes the second woman to be appointed Chief Judge of the WA District Court and is one of 12 female District Court judges in the State.
Mr Quigley said Judge Wager is highly respected within Western Australia’s legal circles and has a reputation for fairness.
He is also pleased to announce the appointment of District Court Judge, His Honour Hylton Quail, as the new President of the Children’s Court of Western Australia.
As stated by Attorney General John Quigley:
“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Judge Wager to the role of WA’s Chief Judge of the District Court. Her Honour was a formidable advocate at law and has been an outstanding Magistrate, Judge and President of the Children’s Court.
“Judge Wager is a respected member of the WA legal profession and brings to her new role 15 years’ experience on the bench, coupled with a wealth of knowledge, empathy and compassion from her years as a criminal lawyer.
“Judge Wager’s outstanding legal skills are complemented by her empathy and compassion.
“I would like to extend my appreciation to retiring Chief Judge Kevin Sleight and to acknowledge his significant contribution to the administration of justice in WA since his appointment to the bench in 2005.
“His Honour oversaw the updating of a number of practice directions for the Court and held a number of educative roles, particularly in the area of making proceedings less challenging for child witnesses. I thank His Honour, on behalf of the WA Government.
“Judge Quail brings nearly 30 years of experience to the Children’s Court and a demonstrated commitment to the administration of criminal law in Western Australia.
“His Honour has presided over the Children’s Court in the past as the Acting President when the President has been on leave and has a good knowledge of the jurisdiction, practices and procedures of the Court. His Honour will take up his new position on March 15, 2020 for a term of two years.”