19 August 2005

Family Court of Australia Chief Justice Diana Bryant today will formally welcome the Court's newest judge at a swearing-in and ceremonial welcome in Tasmania.

The Attorney-General recently announced Robert Benjamin as a Family Court judge to replace Justice Michael Hannon, who retires in September.

Justice Benjamin was born in Tasmania and spent his early childhood in Hobart and Launceston. He has practised family law since 1975, gaining much litigation and case management experience. He is a past president of the Law Society of NSW and has for many years been the chairman of the Society's Family Law Committee.

Chief Justice Bryant said she and other judges in the court looked forward to working with Justice Benjamin.

"Justice Benjamin's experience as an accredited specialist in family law will be of great benefit to the Court and its clients," she said. "He brings to the bench skills as a qualified arbitrator and mediator which complement the new directions the Court is moving in, such as less adversarial procedures for children's cases."

Justice Benjamin said he was honoured to receive a commission and was enthused to move back to Tasmania. "I feel very privileged and am really excited about this opportunity," he said.

"The Family Court is an innovative court. It's making some great new strides in a challenging environment. I think my new role at the court will really help Tasmanian families with the difficulties that come with family separation and breakdown."