Land and Environment Court

Judicial officers and decision makers    

 

To contact a judicial officer or decision maker, please see their contact details.

Judges

Judges have the same rank, title, status and precedence as the Judges of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. Judges preside over all Class 3 (Aboriginal land claims) matters, most Class 3 (land tenure and compensation) matters, Class 4, 5, 6 and 7 matters, and can hear matters in all other Classes of the Court’s jurisdiction.

The Judges, in order of seniority, are as follows:

Chief Judge

The Honourable Justice Brian John Preston SC
Graduated BA LLB (first class honours) (1982) from Macquarie University. Practised as a solicitor 1982 - 1987. Practised as a barrister 1987 - 2005. Appointed Senior Counsel 1999. Appointed Chief Judge 14 November 2005.
Contact Information | Speeches and papers

Judges

The Honourable Justice Terence William Sheahan AO
Graduated BA (1967) LLB (1970) from the University of Sydney. Practised as a solicitor 1970 - 1975 and 1988 - 1997. Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) 2002. Appointed Judge 9 April 1997.
Contact Information | Speeches and papers

The Honourable Justice Nicola Hope Margaret Pain
Graduated BA (1982) LLB (1984) SJD (2000) from the University of Sydney. Graduate Diploma (Int Law) (1999) from the Australian National University. Practised as a solicitor 1985 - 2002. Appointed Judge 18 March 2002.
Contact Information | Speeches and papers

The Honourable Justice Rachel Ann Pepper
Graduated BA (1992) LLB (first class honours) (1994) from the Australian National University. Practised as a solicitor 1995-1996. Practised as a barrister 1997-2009. Appointed Judge 1 May 2009.
Speeches and papers

The Honourable Justice Tim Moore

Graduated LLB (1977) from the University of New South Wales. Practised as a barrister 1997-2002. Appointed Commissioner of the Court in 2002. Appointed Senior Commissioner of the Court in 2009. Appointed Acting Judge 23 June 2015 - 18 December 2015. Appointed Judge 4 January 2016.

Contact Information | Speeches and papers 

The Honourable Justice John Ernest Robson

Graduated B. Ec (1978) LLB (1982) from the University of Sydney. Practised as a solicitor 1982 - 1988.  Practiced as a barrister 1989 - 2016. Appointed Senior Counsel 2004.  Appointed Judge 5 July 2016.

Contact Information | Speeches and papers

Acting Judges

The Hon. Acting Justice Simon Molesworth AO

Contact Information | Speeches and papers


Commissioners

Suitably qualified people may be appointed as commissioners of the Court. The qualifications and experience required for a commissioner are specified in s 12 of the Court Act and include the areas of:

  • administration of local government or town planning
  • town, country or environmental planning
  • environmental science, protection of the environment or environmental assessment
  • land valuation
  • architecture, engineering, surveying or building construction
  • management of natural resources or Crown Lands
  • urban design or heritage
  • land rights for Aborigines or disputes involving Aborigines
  • law.

People may be appointed as full-time or part-time commissioners for a term of seven years. An individual may also be appointed as an acting commissioner for a term of up to 12 months. Acting commissioners are called upon on a casual basis to exercise the functions of a commissioner as the need arises.

The primary function of Commissioners is to adjudicate, conciliate or mediate merits review appeals in Classes 1, 2, and 3 of the Court’s jurisdiction. On occasion the Chief Judge may direct that a Commissioner sit with a judge, or that two or more commissioners sit together to hear Class 1, 2 and 3 matters.

A commissioner who is an Australian lawyer may also hear and determine proceedings in Class 8 of the Court’s jurisdiction (when they are called a Commissioner for Mining).

The Commissioners are:

Commissioners

Senior Commissioner Rosemary Martin
Appointed Senior Commissioner 17 October 2016 - 16 October 2023.
Biography | Contact Information

Commissioner Graham T Brown
Appointed Commissioner 30 June 2011 - 29 June 2018
Appointed Acting Senior Commissioner 25 February 2012 - 10 August 2012 and 23 June 2015 - 18 December 2015.
Biography | Contact Information

Commissioner Susan A Dixon
Appointed Commissioner 6 July 2016 - 5 July 2023.
Biography | Contact Information

Commissioner Susan O'Neill
Appointed Commissioner 30 January 2012 - 29 January 2019.
Biography | Contact Information 

Commissioner Danielle Dickson 
Appointed Commissioner 18 July 2016 - 17 July 2023.

Contact Information​​

​Commissioner Michael​ Chilcott
Appointed Commissioner 25 July 2016 - 24 July 2023.

Contact Information​​

Commissioner Jennifer Smithson
Appointed Commissioner 1 August 2016 - 31 July 2023.

Biography | Contact Information

Commissioner Joanne ​Gray 
Appointed Commissioner 18 April 2017 - 17 April 2024.

Biography | Contact Information

Commissioner Sarah Bish 
Appointed Commissioner 28 June 2017 - 27 June 2024.

| Contact Information​​

Acting Commissioners

Acting Commissioner Paul Adam
Botanist and Ecologist
Appointed Acting Commissioner 26 February 2017 - 27 February 2018.
Biography | Contact Information

Acting Commissioner Megan Davis
Member of the Aboriginal community and lawyer
Appointed Acting Commissioner 26 February 2017 - 27 February 2018.
Biography | Contact Information

Acting Commissioner Judy A Fakes
Appointed Acting Commissioner 2 October 2016 - 27 February 2018.
Biography | Contact Information

Acting Commissioner David Galwey
Arboricultural consultant
Appointed Acting Commissioner 26 February 2017 - 27 February 2018.
Biography | Contact Information

Acting Commissioner Jeffrey Kildea
Expertise in Aboriginal land rights and Aboriginal Claims and Lawyer
Appointed Acting Commissioner 26 February 2017 - 27 February 2018
Biography | Contact Information

Acting Commissioner Norman Laing
Member of the Aboriginal community and lawyer
Appointed Acting Commissioner 26 February 2017 - 27 February 2018.
Biography | Contact Information

Acting Commissioner John Maston
Lawyer
Appointed Acting Commissioner 26 February 2017 - 27 February 2018.
Biography | Contact Information

Acting Commissioner Craig Miller
Valuer and mediator
Appointed Acting Commissioner 26 February 2016 - 25 February 2017.
Biography | Contact Information

Acting Commissioner David Parker
Valuer
Appointed Acting Commissioner 26 February 2017 - 27 February 2018.
Biography | Contact Information

Acting Commissioner Bob Smith
Environmental management consultant (regional, national and international)
Appointed Acting Commissioner 26 February 2017 - 27 February 2018.
Biography | Contact Information

     
Acting Commissioner Ross Speers
Civil and structural engineer
Appointed Acting Commissioner 26 February 2017 - 27 February 2018.
Biography | Contact Information


Registrars

The Court registrar has the overall administrative responsibility for the court, as well as exercising quasi-judicial powers such as conducting directions hearings and mediations. The Chief Judge directs the registrar on the day to day running of the Court.

The Court is a business centre within the Department of Attorney General and Justice . The registrar, as Business Centre Manager, has reporting and budgetary responsibilities to the Director General of that department.

The registrars are:

Registrar

Ms Sarah Froh
| Contact Information

Assistant Registrar

Ms Maria Anastasi
| Contact Information​   


Past Judicial officers and decision makers

Past Judges

Past Chief Judges

The Honourable Justice PD McClellan
Appointed Chief Judge 25 August 2003 – 1 September 2005.
Speeches and papers

The Honourable Justice ML Pearlman AO
Appointed Chief Judge 6 April 1992 - 3 July 2003.
Speeches and papers

The Honourable Justice JS Cripps
Appointed Judge 18 August 1980 - 2 June 1985.
Appointed Chief Judge 3 June 1985 - 1 April 1992.

The Honourable Justice JR McClelland
Appointed Chief Judge 14 April 1980 - 2 June 1985.

Past Judges

The Honourable Justice Malcolm Graeme Craig
Appointed Judge 2 March 2010 - 5 June 2016.

The Honourable Justice Peter Meldrum Biscoe
Appointed Judge 13 March 2006 - 12 March 2016.

The Honourable Mr Justice D H Lloyd
Appointed Judge 5 February 1997 - 22 January 2010.

The Honourable Justice J M Jagot
Appointed Judge 1 February 2006 - 2 September 2008.

The Honourable Justice R N Talbot
Appointed Acting Chief Judge 2 September 2005 - 13 November 2005.
Appointed Judge 22 April 1992 - 30 January 2006.
Appointed Acting Judge 31 January 2006 - 29 August 2007.

The Honourable Justice NR Bignold
Appointed Acting Judge 1 August 1984 - 2 June 1985.
Appointed Judge 3 June 1985 - 13 March 2007.
Appointed Acting Chief Judge 4 July 2003 - 24 August 2003.

The Honourable Justice DA Cowdroy OAM
Appointed Judge 1 July 1999 - 12 March 2006.

The Honourable Justice PL Stein AM
Appointed Judge 3 June 1985 - 7 April 1997.

The Honourable Justice CJ Bannon
Appointed Judge 12 August 1991 - 27 November 1996.

The Honourable Justice NA Hemmings
Appointed Judge 12 October 1987 - 28 June 1991.

The Honourable Justice ET Perrignon
Appointed Judge 18 August 1980 - 11 October 1987.

Past Acting Judges

The Honourable Acting Justice David Henry Lloyd
Appointed Acting Judge 5 March 2012 - 10 August 2012

The Honourable Acting Justice M F Moore
Appointed Acting Judge 3 October 2011 - 16 December 2011.

The Honourable Acting Justice PJ McEwen
Appointed Acting Judge 12 June 2001 - 31 August 2001.

The Honourable Acting Justice HG Murrell
Appointed Acting Judge 2 December 1996 - 17 January 1997.

The Honourable Acting Justice TW Waddell
Appointed Acting Judge 1 June 1994 - 31 December 1994.

The Honourable Acting Justice KJ Holland
Appointed Acting Judge 4 July 1988 - 16 December 1988.

Past Commissioners

Past Senior Assessors and Senior Commissioners
Neal Bignold
Frank Hanson
Peter Jensen
John Roseth

Past Assessors and Commissioners
Graham Andrews
John Bailey
Trevor Bly
Professor Catherine Bull
Stan Chivers
Trefor Davies
Joan Domicelji
Judith Fitz-Henry
Frank Hanson
Phillip Hewett
Kevin G Hoffman
Robert R Hussey
Heather Irish
David Johnson
Kenneth Jurotte
Susan I Morris
Jan Murrell
Anthony Nott
Francis O'Neil
Bryce O'Neile
Linda Pearson
Stephen Phillips
Kenneth Riding
Alan Stewart
Mark Patrick Taylor
Annelise Tuor
Stafford Watts
 

 

 

This website is being updated to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.