Justice Dina Yehia becomes first Greek Egyptian sworn into NSW Supreme Court


Solicitor, barrister, District Court Judge and now a Supreme Court Justice, Her Honour Dina Yehia, has become the first person of Greek Egyptian descent to sit on the Supreme Court of NSW on Monday.

Addressing a packed Banco Court in Sydney, Her Honour pointed to her arrival in Australia in 1970 from Egypt as a seven-year-old girl unable to speak or understand English.

“As a woman and an immigrant, I encourage diversity in the profession,” the newly sworn-in Supreme Court Justice said.

“Diversity on the bench is an essential component of a fair and impartial judiciary. If our institutions are to remain strong and independent, they must reflect the community they represent.

“Some of you have shared with me your uncertainty about whether you belong in this profession. I hope today gives you some confidence that you do belong. You have much to offer the profession, you bring to it your lived experience your capacity for hard work, your resilience.”

NSW Attorney General, Mark Speakman, spoke about Justice Yehia’s rich career in law, noting that she is the Chair of the Ngara Yura Committee and the Walama Working Group, as well as a member of the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration and the National Judicial College of Australia.

Justice Dina Yehia is of Greek-Egyptian heritage with a strong passion for advocacy on behalf of the marginalised

Over her career, Justice Yehia has defended thousands of Indigenous people and presided over complex trials including serious charges of sexual assault, attempted murder, drug supply, importation and fraud.

“Your leadership and legal acumen have provided NSW with an innovative and compassionate form of justice to improve the lives of many people,” Mr Speakman said.

President of the NSW Law Society, Joanne van der Plaat, also described Justice Yehia’s life as “full of journeys, both literal and metaphorical.”

“As a young immigrant coming to Australia; as a newly-admitted lawyer crossing the Great Dividing Range; or as a woman of colour ascending to the bench – your Honour’s life has been full of journeys, both literal and metaphorical,” van der Plaat said.

WATCH Justice Dina Yehia’s welcoming ceremony here:





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