Natasha Rudra June 18, 2012
Newly appointed magistrate to the ACT Magistrates Court Dr Bernadette Boss. Photo: Jay Cronan
The territory’s newest magistrate, Bernadette Boss, has been welcomed to the bench with praise for her warmth and her accomplishments as a pioneering military lawyer.
Canberra’s legal fraternity turned out for a special ceremonial sitting in the ACT Magistrates Court this morning to welcome the British-born criminal barrister.
Dr Boss is the second military addition to the territory’s lower court after Colonel Peter Morrison was appointed earlier this year.
In her 25-year defence career she became the first female commanding officer of the Sydney University regiment and the first female officer to conduct an inquiry into the combat death of a soldier after she investigated the death of Lance Corporal Jared McKinney in Iraq in 2010.
ACT Bar Association president Philip Walker said Dr Boss’ genuine warmth and respect for others was both a small thing and an important trait.
He praised Dr Boss’ work as a defence lawyer, saying she had the capacity to put things into words that ordinary soldiers could understand.
Law Society president Noor Blumer said the new magistrate had a reputation for punctuality, preparedness and thoroughness.
She told the gathering that Dr Boss had previously contemplated the idea of a judicial position but believed she was too young at the time.
“We are very grateful that you have aged so quickly,” she quipped.
In a brief speech, Dr Boss said she intended to work with “compassion for human frailty” and to maintain community standards.