One of Melbourne’s most acclaimed barristers and dedicated defender of human rights, Cypriot Australian George Georgiou SC has been appointed as judge of the Country Court of Victoria, the state government announced last week.
Mr Georgiou, along with newly-appointed judge Elizabeth Brimer SC, will be filling vacancies created by the retirement of Judge Duncan Allen and Judge Howard Mason.
“Both Ms Brimer and Mr Georgiou are well-respected Senior Counsel, with wide-ranging expertise and experience across various legal fields and jurisdictions, which will serve them extremely well in this important role,” Attorney-General Jill Hennessy said, thanking Judges Allen and Mason for their work and dedication to the Court.
Since being admitted to practice in 1986, Mr Georgiou worked as a solicitor and spent a year practising in London before being admitted to the Victorian Bar in 1990. He boasts years of experience in the field of criminal law, both through private practice and roles in the legal aid sector.
Between 1994 and 2001, he worked as the Principal Legal Officer of the Alice Springs Office of the Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission and subsequently served as a Senior Public Defender for Victoria Legal Aid, until he returned to the Bar in 2007.
As he said in a past interview with Neos Kosmos, he realised at an early stage of his career criminal law was the right fit for him as he was passionate about defending the disadvantaged and representing the underdog.
After all, one of the core professional values he developed since then and will surely serve him in the new role is his commitment to being objective and keeping his personal thoughts aside when it comes to work.
“Whether I agree or disagree with people’s beliefs doesn’t matter, it’s irrelevant[…] My role is to ensure they have a fair trial.”
Mr Georgiou was appointed Senior Counsel 2012 and has appeared in high-profile cases around Australia, most recently representing as lead counsel three survivors of childhood sexual abuse before the Royal Commission hearings on the Retta Dixon Home in Darwin. Among others, he has served as president of the voluntary organisation defending and campaigning for civil liberties and human rights, Liberty Victoria.