First female Muslim magistrate appointed to the bench in Victoria has experience in criminal law and family law
Victoria state has appointed its first Muslim woman to the bench.
Attorney-General Martin Pakula announced the appointment of Urfa Masood to the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, it is effective immediately.
“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 said.
“I congratulate Ms Masood on her appointment and look forward to her continued contribution to the Victorian legal system.”
Ms Masood began practising as a criminal law solicitor in 2003 at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service.
Prior to becoming a solicitor in 2003 Urfa worked with the Australian Taxation Office providing private binding rulings and advice to tax agents.
Attorney-General Martin Pakula shared this tweet regarding the appointment of Urfa Masood to the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.
The Magistrates Court will have its first Muslim woman Magistrate following the appointment of Urfa Masood https://t.co/Nfg5ykg4aF
— Martin Pakula (@MartinPakulaMP) April 26, 2016
Urfa is of Sri Lankan heritage and would be the first Muslim magistrate of any Victorian court. She started practising criminal law in 2003.
In November 2004, Ms Masood was admitted to the Victorian Bar where she continued her criminal law practice and conducted contested hearings and committals.
In June 2012 Ms Masood became an adjunct lecturer at the College of Law where she teaches advocacy.
The newly appointed magistrate 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 has worked in criminal law, family law and children’s court.
But why is it so important to mention her religion? Maryam El’s comment on Facebook offers answer:
“For those who are commenting on why this news is important or WHY her religion was mentioned: it’s because it inspires other young Muslim girls to follow in her footsteps. Not just Muslim girls- it sends a message to all girls that no obstacle will get in the way of being the best and achieving all that you can! When my daughter is old enough I can show her a picture of Urfa Masood and tell her that she can be like her if she wanted to.