Wednesday, 10 August 2016
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and NSW Attorney General Gabrielle Upton today announced the appointment of barrister Stuart Bouveng as a public defender for District Court trials in Tamworth and Armidale.
“This is another major boost for justice locally following the recent announcement that newly appointed District Court Judge Jeffery McLennan SC will be moving to our region in July next year,” Mr Anderson said.
“We’re working hard to make justice fast fair and accessible for our community and this appointment is an important part of meeting those goals.”
Mr Marshall added “Together, the community and I have campaigned strongly for additional court resources and the NSW Government has delivered exactly what we need to reduce the backlog.
“I look forward to Mr Bouveng taking up his permanent post in our region.”
Public Defenders are barristers independent of the government who appear in serious criminal matters for clients who have been granted legal aid.
Ms Upton said Mr Bouveng will begin working as a public defender on 15 August 2016.
“Mr Bouveng is an accomplished barrister who has worked extensively in regional areas and is looking forward to the opportunity to work as a public defender in the Northern Tablelands,” Ms Upton said.
During a legal career spanning more than 20 years, Mr Bouveng has practised almost exclusively in the criminal jurisdiction, appearing as counsel in matters before the Court of Criminal Appeal and in Local Court hearings, committals and sentences.
Since being called to the Bar in 2008, Mr Bouveng has appeared as counsel in more than 50 District Court trials. In most cases, he was defence counsel but he has also prosecuted trials for the NSW Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Earlier in his career, Mr Bouveng worked for private law firms in NSW and the United Kingdom, as well as NSW Legal Aid, NSW DPP and the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT.
The appointment of Mr Bouveng is part of a $20 million package announced by the NSW Government in December 2015 to slash the District Court backlog of criminal trials.
The government has committed a further $39 million over the next two years, as part of the 2016-17 Budget, to fund the appointment of three new District Court judges, including Judge Jeffery McLennan SC, as well as a range of measures and resourcing to help tackle delays in the District Court.