Senior Lismore prosecutor made a judge of District Court

MOVING ONTO THE BENCH: Julia Baly SC has been appointed a Judge of the District Court of NSW.
MOVING ONTO THE BENCH: Julia Baly SC has been appointed a Judge of the District Court of NSW. Cathy Adams

A SENIOR Lismore prosecutor who worked for the United Nations and prosecuted crimes in Bosnia will be appointed a NSW District Court Judge.

After graduating from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Laws, a Masters in Public International Law and a Bachelor of Arts, Julia Baly was admitted as a solicitor in 1987 and as a barrister in 1995.

Her first role was with the Aboriginal Legal Service, where she instructed counsel in the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1988.

Straight out of law school, Ms Baly said she encountered a steep learning curve as an ALS solicitor in Grafton.

"I made lifelong connections there and I am still in touch with some of my former ALS colleagues," Ms Baly said.

From there she went to Europe and worked as a trial attorney with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia.

"The work for the United Nations was very rewarding because I got to prosecute big international cases and war crimes including genocide."

When she returned to Australia, Ms Baly worked as a prosecutor for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, before taking leave to work on prosecuting war crimes.

In 2005, in the Bosnian State Court in Sarajevo, Ms Baly prosecuted crimes committed during the Bosnian conflict.

In 2008, Ms Baly was part of a team of prosecutors in the case against Liberian president Charles Taylor, who was jailed for 50 years for sponsoring atrocities in the Sierra Leone civil war.

"All of the jobs that I have had have led to enhanced skills as an advocate and prosecutor."

For the past 12 years, Ms Baly has been a DPP Crown Prosecutor, more recently based in Lismore in the role of Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor for country NSW.

Prosecuting cases including murders and rapes has taken its toll over the years, but Ms Baly said having supportive colleagues to chat with helped her cope with grief.

Ms Baly will be sworn in as a District Court judge on Monday, at Sydney's John Maddison Tower.

Topics:  law

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