New Chief Judge of the County Court Peter Kidd. Photo: Craig Abraham
The new Chief Judge of Victoria’s County Court has promised to “fiercely” defend his fellow judges and take the court’s work directly to the community.
Chief Judge Peter Kidd on Monday delivered a pointed intention that the court “must explore new ways of communicating our work to the public”.
He also reiterated a point made in defence of judges often criticised for being out of touch with public sentiment that they engaged directly every year with hundreds of diverse people in “terribly dramatic circumstances”.
At his formal welcome, Chief Judge Kidd said engaging openly and directly with the community also recognised that the “justice this court dispenses is dispensed on behalf of the community”.
“I will be a fierce advocate for the judges of this court,” he told the formal welcome, packed to standing room with many of his new 60-odd colleagues, the senior judiciary, barristers and solicitors.
“I want to do what I can to ensure that the community better understands the judges of this court are intensely connected to the community they serve.
“Every year through their work, judges of this court have contact with hundreds of ordinary members of the community, from all walks of life, often in terribly dramatic circumstances.”
He said that “today, more than ever, I think, in this brave new technological world” the County Court “must explore new ways of communicating our work to the public”.
It would, he believed, “enhance the public’s understanding of the important work we do”.
Chief Judge Kidd acknowledged the presence of his predecessor, Michael Rozenes, who made his first public appearance since falling ill in April.
He told Mr Rozenes it was clear the court he had joined was an “efficient, progressive and modern” one that was “imbued with your innovative spirit and values”.