Reflections from a former County Court judge

August 21st 2019

We sat down with former County Court judge Ms Jane Patrick to hear her insights and reflections on the role.

Having studied law in university, Ms Patrick returned to it later in life after an initial career as a teacher.

After working at the Commonwealth Department of Prosecutions and the Equal Opportunity Commission, she practised as a barrister and then served eight years as a magistrate. Ms Patrick was then appointed to the County Court, where she served for ten years, until 2018. There she dealt with criminal cases, a large percentage of which involved sexual offending against children and significant violence.

"You cope by being objective about it, because that's what your job is... as a judge you have to protect yourself by distancing yourself from the subject matter."

Ms Patrick outlined the challenges of the role, including dealing with difficult material and the pressure of figuring out the right sentence, but emphasised that despite this, the role was very rewarding. "It's never boring, it's about people."

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