Featured News JCU law grads join the judiciary

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Mon, 4 Jun 2018

JCU law grads join the judiciary

Entrance shot of the JCU Towsnville Bebegu Yumba Campus

Two James Cook University law graduates have been appointed to high legal office.

Terry Betts has been appointed as a judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and Viviana Keegan as a Magistrate at Toowoomba Magistrates Court.

Mr Betts is the first graduate of JCU to be appointed to the Federal judiciary. He is the second JCU graduate to be appointed as a judge, joining JCU alumnus Gregory Lynham who was appointed as a judge of the District Court of Queensland in 2017.

Mr Betts graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from JCU in 1993 and was admitted as a practitioner of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1995.

He joined the Queensland Bar in 2001 and the Newcastle Bar in 2015, and is a specialist in family law.

Viviana Keegan joins Cathy McLennan as the second JCU graduate to be appointed a magistrate.

Ms Keegan has been a barrister for 18 years, has worked as a Crown Prosecutor and also at the private bar where she practiced in civil litigation, criminal law and family law. She has experience in appellate work, is a Nationally Accredited Mediator and has volunteered her services at pro bono legal service LawRight.

JCU Vice Chancellor Sandra Harding said it was wonderful to see the continued success of JCU alumni.

“It’s a testimony to the strength of our graduates that they have been chosen to serve the community in such important ways. I look forward to seeing many more JCU graduates appearing in these types of leadership positions.”

Professor Elizabeth Spencer, Head of Law in the College of Business, Law and Governance at JCU, said the school was delighted to see these well-deserved appointments. “We are very proud that several graduates of JCU Law currently serve as leaders in the community through their distinguished positions in the judiciary,” she said.

Mr Betts took up his position in the Newcastle Registry on 30 May. Ms Keegan will take up her position in Toowoomba on June 11, before returning to Townsville Magistrates Court in a year’s time.