After practicing law for more than two decades in Launceston, Ken Stanton was sworn in as a magistrate on Monday.
Mr Stanton will replace Magistrate Peter Dixon, who had been temporarily appointed to ease backlog within the Launceston Magistrates Court. His journey into law began at Monash University in Melbourne, where he studied combined law and science degrees.
He went on to complete his Articles of Clerkship with Maurice Blackburn before practicing as a barrister for nearly five years in Victoria.
After relocating to Tasmania, Mr Stanton began work with Launceston firm Shields Heritage where he eventually became a partner.
During his time with the firm he mostly practiced civil and commercial litigation.
More recently he served as a criminal injuries compensation commissioner, evaluating financial assistance claims for violent crime victims and was a member of the Mental Health Tribunal and the Guardianship and Administration Board.
“I particularly enjoyed my time as a member of the Mental Health Tribunal and the Guardianship and Administration Board,” he said.
“I enjoyed it for two reasons, the first was playing a part in helping to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our community, something I think I will continue to do in my role as a magistrate, particularly in areas of family violence.
“The second reason is I find great satisfaction in the interaction between the psychology of human beings and the law.”
Taking on the challenge of sitting as a magistrate for the first time in his career, Mr Stanton said he was looking forward to “getting stuck in and doing the work that needs to be done”.
“This is a busy court, I’m looking forward to using my skills to advance the administration of justice in this city that I now call home,” he said.
Describing a “good magistrate”, Mr Stanton said an understanding of human nature, decisiveness, patience and a mix of firmness and compassion were important attributes.
“And a genuine interest in the work and a desire for the well-being of the people who come before [the court] and a desire for the well-being of people who are affected … particularly by the behaviour of criminal defendants,” he said.
“Also a desire to see conflict resolved in an efficient and fair way.”
Outside of the court room, the father-of-six keeps busy by reading, spending time with his family and playing the flute in the University of Tasmania Wind Orchestra.
Mr Stanton is also the holder of a commercial pilots license and is building his own aircraft, which he has already spent 13 years working on.