Evidence essentials.

Chief Judge Peter Kidd

Friday 19th July 2024

Half Day EVENT | 9:00 AM-1:30 PM


A perennial favourite, this event provides judicial officers with the opportunity to hear from experienced judicial officers and experts on complex areas of evidence law.

Evidence law is at the heart of the judicial process. This program will provide judicial officers with an opportunity to:

  • Refresh their knowledge of fundamental rules of evidence including relevance, opinion, hearsay and hearsay exceptions.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of tendency evidence, including practical strategies to identify and assess tendency evidence.
  • Develop an understanding of ways to approach and respond to complex evidentiary issues.


Justice Peter Kidd
Chief Judge Peter Kidd was appointed as Chief Judge of the County Court of Victoria on 28 September 2015. Before becoming Chief Judge, his Honour worked for more than 20 years as a criminal lawyer in Australia and overseas, mostly as a barrister and Senior Crown Prosecutor in Melbourne. Chief Judge Kidd is also a justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria and sits on the Court of Appeal from time to time.
Supreme Court of Victoria 
Justice Stephen O’Meara
Justice Stephen O’Meara was appointed to the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2021. He signed the bar roll in 1998 and took silk in 2011. He appeared regularly in the Court of Appeal and in complex litigation, including the coronial inquest into the 2017 Bourke Street incident, the Royal Commission into the Victorian Mental Health System and the Kilmore and Murrindindi bushfire class actions.  He shares responsibility for each of the personal injury lists in the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court of Victoria
Justice Michael McDonald
Justice McDonald was appointed to the Supreme Court of Victoria in September 2014, where he is the Judge in charge of the Property List and the Employment and Industrial List. His honour holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Melbourne and signed the Bar roll in 1989, later being appointed Senior Counsel in 2005.
County Court of Victoria
Judge Andrew Palmer
Judge Palmer was appointed to the County Court of Victoria in 2023, where he currently sits in the criminal division. Prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Palmer served as senior counsel at the Victorian Bar, specialising primarily in regulatory crime. As an Associate Professor at Melbourne Law School, he taught and authored works on the law of evidence, proof, and advocacy. His Honour won the Supreme Court Prize at Monash University and the Vinerian Scholarship at Oxford University during his student years.
County Court of Victoria
Judge Sarah Leighfield
Judge Sarah Leighfield was appointed to the County Court in June 2020. Prior to her appointment her Honour had worked as a solicitor advocate in criminal law at Galbally & O’Bryan before signing the bar roll in 2004. Her Honour's work at the bar was predominantly in criminal law, with an occasional foray into quasi-crime matters. In 2016, her Honour was appointed as a Magistrate, and spent much of her time in that role as a country magistrate working in the Loddon-Mallee region.
County Court of Victoria
Judge Julie Clayton
Judge Julie Clayton was appointed to the County Court in January 2021 where she sits in the Common Law Division and is the Judge in Charge of the Defamation List. Prior to her appointment her Honour was a solicitor for more than 20 years at Slater & Gordon, working primarily in medical negligence and personal injury class action litigation. She was appointed as a Judicial Registrar in the Common Law Division of the Supreme Court in 2017.
Magistrates’ Court of Victoria  
Magistrate Michelle Hodgson 
Magistrate Michelle Hodgson was admitted in 1993 and worked as a Solicitor Advocate at Victoria Legal Aid, the Fitzroy Legal Service, and the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service. She signed the Bar Roll in 1998, and from 2005 to 2006 worked as in-house counsel for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. In 2008 she was appointed a Magistrate and has worked at the Children’s Court (2016 to 2018), as a Coroner (2018 to 2020) and as a judicial member of the Adult Parole Board (2017 to 2020).