Two New Magistrates Appointed

  • Attorney-General

The Andrews Labor Government has today announced the appointment of two new magistrates to the Victorian Magistrates’ Court.

Suzette Dootjes and Shiva Pillai have years of diverse legal experience and will begin their judicial appointments on 30 April 2019.

Ms Dootjes was admitted to the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1983 and has worked for the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) in several roles since 1987. She has been involved in prosecuting a number of different crimes including culpable driving, sex offending and family violence cases.

In 2016, Ms Dootjes became the trial division manager at the OPP, leading 45 solicitors and administrative staff across three teams. She has a Master of Laws from Monash University, a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Melbourne, and a Diploma of Management from Swinburne University of Technology.

Mr Pillai has been working as a criminal law barrister since 2007 and was admitted to the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1999. He has also been admitted to the ACT, NSW and New Zealand Supreme Courts respectively.

Mr Pillai has a Bachelor of Laws from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and was admitted as a barrister and solicitor to the High Court of New Zealand in May 1997.

From 2001 to 2007, Mr Pillai worked as a criminal lawyer for Victoria Legal Aid, providing legal assistance in criminal, civil and family law proceedings.

The appointments of Ms Dootjes and Mr Pillai follow the retirements of Margaret Harding in November 2018, and Thomas Barrett in January 2019.

As stated by Attorney-General Jill Hennessy

“Both Mr Pillai and Ms Dootjes have decades of experience in the legal profession in a number of roles, which make them perfectly suited to deal with the different matters handled by the Magistrates Court.”

“I also want to thank retiring magistrates Margaret Harding and Thomas Barrett who both have years of distinguished service.”

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