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First Sri Lankan origin Muslim woman appointed to Victorian Magistrates’ Court

Melbourne, April 26: Attorney-General Martin Pakula today announced the appointment of Ms Urfa Masood to the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.

On the appointment note, Mr Pakula said that “Ms Masood has extensive experience in criminal law, child protection and family law, as well as with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, which will prove invaluable in her role as a magistrate.”

He congratulated Ms Masood on her appointment and “look forward to her continued contribution to the Victorian legal system.”

Ms Masood holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University, and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (Legal Workshop).

She commenced her career at the Australian Taxation Office. Whilst there she provided private binding rulings, advice to tax agents and undertook research, on the newly introduced GST and Ralph Reforms.

Ms Masood began practising as a criminal law solicitor in 2003 at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service.

During this time, she handled matters in all the metropolitan Magistrates Courts and the County Court, as well as all matters arising for VALS at Moe. This included conducting pleas, bail applications, committal mentions and County Court appeals.

In November 2004, Ms Masood was admitted to the Victorian Bar where she continued her criminal law practice and conducted contested hearings and committals.

She has also practiced in the Children’s Court jurisdiction and family law.

Ms Masood has conducted many interim and final hearings at the Children’s Court, as well as the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court.

Ms Masood has a lot of experience working with regulatory frameworks, and dealing with complex matters.

Since June 2012, she has been an adjunct lecturer at the College of Law, where she teaches advocacy.

Ms Masood is the first Muslim woman and of Sri Lankan background to be appointed to a Victorian Court.

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