FORMER Benalla solicitor and councillor Peter Dunn will be sworn in as a magistrate in Melbourne today.
Mr Dunn, 57, was one of two new magistrates announced by Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark on Tuesday.
The other is Rose Falla, long involved with the Office of Public Prosecutions and a leader in establishing the state’s first Koori courts.
Mr Clark said Ms Falla and Mr Dunn would bring great experience to the bench.
The Dunn family has a long involvement with the law. One brother, Phillip, QC, is one of the state’s most senior barristers and another, Jol, is the director of compliance at Victoria’s Law Institute.
Both will be present when he is sworn in following his resignation from the Benalla council this month after seven years.
He spent a period as mayor after the resignation of Bill Hill.
“I am very honoured to be given this position by my peers in the legal profession,” Mr Dunn said yesterday.
He said the people of Benalla had been kind enough to elect him a councillor three times.
Mr Dunn yesterday sat in the city court in Melbourne with another magistrate. He is likely to preside at courts in the metropolitan area.
Mr Dunn was a clerk of courts from 1975 to 1989 in Melbourne and gained his law degree from Monash in 1988.
He has practised as a solicitor for more than 20 years in Melbourne and the North East.
Mr Dunn has operated his own practice in Benalla for 12 years, handling diverse matters including intervention orders, child protection applications, civil litigation and coronial, family law and criminal proceedings.
He is the second North East solicitor appointed a magistrate in recent years.
Mr Clark appointed Ian Watkins, from Wangaratta, in 2011.
Mr Watkins, then 50, had been a partner at McSwineys for 22 years.
He had practised in the County Court, Children’s Court, Magistrates’ Court, Family Court, Supreme Court and the Federal Magistrates’ Court in civil, criminal and family law jurisdictions
He has since presided several times at North East courts.