MAGISTRATE Penelope Hay has come a long way since gaining her inspiration to enter the law profession from the famous judicial character Atticus Finch.
Magistrate Hay, who was officially sworn in to her new judicial role on Wednesday, will move to the bench after 13 years as a barrister for the prosecution and defence.
After an initial stint in the Richlands Magistrate Court, Magistrate Hay will move to Gladstone Magistrates Court and will also sit in Biloela and Monto.
Using a quote from To Kill a Mockingbird, which first inspired her to enter law, - "The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in the court room" - Magistrate Hay said the justice system was something to be proud of.
"I love the law and all it has to offer our society," she told a courtroom full of magistrates, colleagues and family.
"I accept that it is imperfect in its ability solve all …problems
"However, I honestly believe our system of justice is one that we should be very proud."
The new magistrate will help process the increasing workload passing through Queensland's court system.
According to newly-appointed Deputy Magistrate Ray Rinaudo, case lodgements involving adult defendants in Queensland magistrate courts had increased by 5% compared to last year.
Domestic violence lodgements increased by 8%.
During her swearing-in ceremony in Brisbane, fellow legal professionals paid tribute to Magistrate Hay's loyal, diligent and hardworking nature.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie pointed out her love of fine wine, coffee and team sports lined her up for a successful judicial career.
"With Magistrate Hay I have been assured with the exception of a tendency to insert bad puns into a conversation being a compulsion rather than a hobby, she is ideally suited to this new role," he said.
"A keen participant in team sports, a lover of fine wine and someone who has been described as the best coffee companion, Magistrate Hay has all the qualities which point towards a successful judicial career. "
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