Judge Stephen Norrish QC

(District Court of NSW)

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HIS HONOUR JUDGE STEPHEN NORRISH QC DCJ was a foundation member of the reconstituted Denman Chambers from 1994 until his appointment to the District Court in 2000.

Judge Norrish was admitted as a solicitor in March 1974 having graduated from Sydney University in Arts (1971) and Laws (1974). He practised as a solicitor in private practice, as an industrial officer for a trade union, and for five years with the Aboriginal Legal Service in country NSW and at Redfern, where he was Principal Solicitor from 1978 – 1980.

Judge Norrish was admitted to the Bar in June 1980, practising as a Public Defender from 1980 until 1988. He was appointed Queens Counsel in October 1987 and Deputy Senior Public Defender at the same time.

His Honour was senior counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, in NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania between June 1988 and December 1990, assisting The Hon J H Wootten QC. At various times he served on New South Wales Bar Association Committees concerned with Professional Conduct, Criminal Law, and Legal Aid, of which he was Chair for 5 years. From January 1991 until September 2000 he practised primarily in the area of criminal law at the private Bar.

On 3 October 2000 he was appointed a Judge of the District Court of New South Wales and an Acting Judge of the NSW Supreme Court in 2008.

He has written articles and/or presented papers for various publications and organisations including, “The Lawyers Practice Manual”, the College of Law, the CLE Centre, “The Judicial Officers Bulletin”, “The Judicial Review”, the New South Wales Law Society, and the NSW Bar Association, the Medico-Legal Society of New South Wales, the annual conferences of the Local and District Courts and the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW, the Land and Environment Court, the Criminal Law Reform Society, the Institute of Criminology of Sydney University, the National Indigenous and Alcohol Committee’s National Conference in 2010 and the National Indigenous Lawyers Annual Conference in 2011.

Prior to his appointment, Judge Norrish was a Commissioner of the NSW Legal Aid Commission from 1987 until 1996, representing the Commonwealth Attorney General, and was a Member of the National Legal Aid Advisory Committee from 1987 until 1995.

Judge Norrish was a member and then Chairperson of the NSW Judicial Commission’s Ngara Yura Committee between 2001 and 2012, promoting Aboriginal cultural awareness amongst judicial officers.   He was a member of the National Judicial College of Australia’s Indigenous Cultural Awareness Committee and is a member of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration’s  Committee.

Judge Norrish has been a member of the Steering Committee for the National Judicial College’s National Judicial Orientation Program since 2011.

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    Denman Chambers
    Level 7/185 Elizabeth St
    Sydney NSW 2000

    DX 185 Sydney

    T: 02 9264 6899
    F: 02 9264 5541

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