Swearing-in of Margaret Cassidy FM
May it please the Court.
On behalf of the Queensland Bar Association and the Australian Bar Association, it is my pleasure to congratulate your honour Federal Magistrate Cassidy upon your appointment to this Court.
Your qualifications have been mentioned in detail by previous speakers and it is not necessary for me to repeat them. Of course I endorse those comments. Apart from the obvious importance of your role as a State Magistrate, I would especially mention the significance of your some 12 years or so of successful practice at the private Bar and, in particular, your strong familiarity with Family Law, a significant aspect of the broad jurisdiction of this Court.
As has been mentioned by Mr Slipper, in addition to your more conventional legal qualifications for appointment, your honour has academic and practical qualifications in science. This additional qualification led a former President of the Bar Association of Queensland, the then Mr Glen Martin SC, when speaking at your swearing-in as a Magistrate for the State in January 2005, to speculate that your time at the Bar had been part of a larger experiment, apparently concerning a comparison between lawyers and laboratory rats.
Given that your Honour has elected to accept an appointment to a place where — hopefully – you are again likely to encounter many more lawyers than rats, the result of that scientific experiment was plainly favourable to lawyers. We look forward to your resulting scientific publication putting the quietus to the familiar jokes.
Since your appointment as a Queensland Magistrate, in 2005, you have continued your former practice, whilst at the Bar, of contributing to the profession and therefore to the community, notably by lectures in continuing legal education seminars. I record our thanks for those valuable contributions, covering the whole period since you came to the Bar. I also note with pleasure that your honour joins a court which, although relatively young, has already built a strong tradition of contributing to continuing legal education, for which we record our thanks.
The Bar warmly welcomes your honour to this significant and very busy federal court, and we wish you an enjoyable and fulfilling career.
Hugh Fraser QC