Justice Derek Price to retire as Chief Judge of NSW District Court


His Honour Justice Derek Price AO will retire as the Chief Judge of the District Court of NSW and President of the Dust Diseases Tribunal after a remarkable career of more than 35 years presiding on the bench of 3 NSW courts.

Justice Price graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Laws in 1972, before moving to Dubbo the following year to become a partner with Peacocke, Dickens and King. Justice Price obtained a Master of Laws with Honours in 1974.

He was appointed a magistrate of the Local Court of NSW in 1988 before being appointed as an acting judge of the District Court in 1999, which became permanent the following year.

His Honour was appointed Chief Magistrate of the Local Court in 2002 and became a Judge of the Supreme Court in 2006. During his 8 years in the Common Law Division, Justice Price presided over a number of high-profile murder trials.

Justice Price became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010 and was appointed Chief Judge of the District Court in 2014, as well as President of the Dust Diseases Tribunal. His Honour continued to sit in the Court of Criminal Appeal. He became an Officer of the Order of Australia in the General Division in 2020.

Justice Price has indicated his willingness to continue to sit on the Court of Appeal and this has been gratefully accepted by the Attorney General. Justice Price will retire on Friday 26 April.

Justice Price said:

“It has been an extraordinary privilege in my 35 years as a Judicial Officer to have been a Head of 3 jurisdictions, and a Justice of the Supreme Court”.

“I believe my career has shown that there can be successful promotion between all the courts and that the respective courts have much to learn from each other.”

Attorney General Michael Daley said:

“I wish to thank Justice Price for his extraordinary contribution to the judicial system of NSW.

“Derek Price is a thoroughly decent man who has shown what can be achieved through hard work and determination. His career has left an indelible mark on the judicial system of NSW. He has shown exceptional skill and talent to rise to the top of his profession. What a great story he is. He has shown that hard work and dedication really make a difference.

“Serving as head of 3 jurisdictions is a remarkable record to look back on and he has been a trail-blazer by showing it is possible to rise up through the ranks. He is an inspiration to all young members of the legal community by showing it is possible to reach the highest ranks, no matter where you start out.”

/Public Release. View in full here.