Leading Sydney barrister Hament Dhanji SC has been appointed as the first Indian-origin a judge of the Supreme Court of NSW.
Mr Dhanji was awarded Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts degrees by the University of Sydney before beginning his career as a solicitor for Legal Aid NSW.
He was admitted as a legal practitioner in 1990, called to the Bar in 1997 and took silk in 2010.
Attorney General Mark Speakman said Mr Dhanji brings three decades of legal experience to the Supreme Court bench.
“I congratulate Mr Dhanji, whose ascension follows an accomplished career specialising in criminal law, appearing in various jurisdictions Australia wide.”
As a barrister in private practice at Forbes Chambers, Mr Dhanji has appeared as lead counsel in a number of important cases in the High Court.
He has also appeared in approximately 350 cases in the Court of Criminal Appeal that include criminal trials, sentence proceedings, and complex corporate crime matters.
Mr Dhanji has conducted prosecutions on behalf of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
He appeared as counsel assisting the coroner and represented clients before the Police Integrity Commission and the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Attorney General Mark Speakman adds:
“Mr Dhanji has maintained a strong professional connection with Legal Aid NSW throughout his career by continuing to provide legal services to people who are socially and economically disadvantaged.”
Australia’s High Commissioner to India, the Hon. Barry O’Farrell, congratulated Mr Dhanji via Twitter:
The Asian Australian Lawyers Association (AALA) also congratulated Mr Dhanji on his appointment.
In a media release AALA said:
“This is a significant appointment as he is the first Australian of Indian descent to be appointed to the NSW Supreme Court and one of only a few Australians with Asian heritage to be appointed as a judge of an Australian superior court.”
Mr Dhanji will begin the new role on 20 September 2021.