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A New South Wales Justice of the Peace dealing with a misconduct listening to has conceded she made errors, however was coping with a “tsunami”-sized workload on the time.
- Port Macquarie Justice of the Peace Dominique Burns was suspended final yr
- She is dealing with a Judicial Fee over alleged misuse of powers
- Fee will think about whether or not Ms Burns’ conduct warrants a report back to Parliament or Chief Justice of the Peace
Port Macquarie Justice of the Peace Dominique Burns is showing earlier than the Judicial Fee in Sydney after being suspended in June final yr.
She is accused of remanding alleged offenders in custody with out following correct course of and inappropriately attempting to counsel additional fees be laid.
Counsel aiding the fee Kristina Stern SC informed the listening to that on one event, Ms Burns ordered a person be positioned within the dock, “to present him a little bit of a scare”.
In one other case, described by Ms Stern because the “clearest attainable instance” of a judicial officer appearing inappropriately, Ms Burns is alleged to have urged a police prosecutor pursue additional fees in opposition to an accused offender.
“In lots of situations the accused have been susceptible members of the group,” Ms Stern informed the listening to.
“Precise injustice could be seen to have been occasioned on account of her honour’s conduct.”
Ms Burns’ lawyer, Arthur Moses SC, informed the listening to the Justice of the Peace didn’t deny she had made errors however that they needed to be examined, “by means of the prism of what was a crushing workload”.
He mentioned there have been already greater than 1,000 instances pending when Ms Burns began in Port Macquarie in 2016 and she or he didn’t obtain the assist she wanted.
“That may be described as a tsunami, not simply an enormous caseload,” Mr Moses mentioned.
He mentioned Ms Burns was affected by psychological well being points corresponding to despair and anxiousness. He mentioned that was an evidence for her conduct, not an excuse.
Judicial officers in NSW can solely be sacked if each homes of State Parliament determine they need to be eliminated.
The fee will think about whether or not Ms Burns’ conduct warrants a report back to Parliament or to the Chief Justice of the Peace.