Cowra solicitor Geoff Casey says retiring magistrate Peter Dare will be remembered for his compassion and common sense.
Magistrate Dare sat his final list day at Cowra Local Court on Wednesday, as the clock winds down on a 12 year tenure that includes the past seven years in South West NSW.
“The practitioners who have appeared before you have been impressed with your compassion and common sense,” Mr Casey said.
”Reflecting on the work you’ve done in the past 12 years the word eloquent comes to mind. And the practitioners have been delighted to hear the quality of your judgement with references to cases on all occasions and your commanding use of the English language, to hear that has been a privilege.”
Mr Dare started his career in the police force and started studying law part time.
He spent multiple years as a barrister and 17 years as a Crown Prosecutor before being appointed a magistrate.
“I started life locking people up, then defending them, then prosecuting them and now I sit in judgement of them,” Mr Dare said recently.
“There’s not much I haven’t done.”
Mr Casey spoke before the morning adjournment this week praising magistrate Dare’s ability to understand each respective matter.
“You recognise the special needs of rural people in relation to licences in particular,” Mr Casey said.
“Your Honor, you gained the respect of the profession and the community, not an easy balance. You deserve the riches of retirement and we hope you enjoy retirement for many years to come.”
Magistrate Dare thanked Mr Casey for his “kind words” – the first of many from each practitioner at the bar table on Wednesday.
“The time has come for me to move on. I would like to make the best use I can with the time I have left. Thank you very much as the senior member of the profession in these parts for your kind words.”
He added the chief magistrate had been in contact to see if he would be interested in some work “from time to time” but magistrate Dare said he won’t be venturing far from the south west.