The legal profession yesterday paid tribute to WA's longest serving sitting Family Court judge, Justice Carolyn Martin, who has died aged 59 after a long battle with cancer.
Justice Martin, who died on Monday night, was the State's first female stipendiary magistrate when appointed in 1985 and the first woman to be appointed a judge of the WA Family Court bench in 1996.
Justice Martin's distinguished career, tireless dedication and sense of humour were among the many traits described by colleagues yesterday.
WA Family Court Chief Judge Stephen Thackray said Justice Martin was an astute judge with "a quick mind and ready wit" who would be greatly missed.
"She was loved and admired by her colleagues, by court staff, by the legal profession and by many litigants of this court," Justice Thackray said.
"Her Honour insisted on working until the very end, which reflected her tremendous commitment to her duties."
Justice Martin, who graduated from the University of WA with honours in law in 1974 and was admitted as a lawyer in 1977, joined the WA Family Court as a registrar in 1983.
A series of appointments culminated in her joining the bench in 1996.
"Although Justice Martin will forever hold her place in the history of the legal profession because of her long string of 'firsts', those who knew her will remember her unique personal qualities, her intellectual ability and the dedication she brought to her work," Justice Thackray said.
"Everyone at the Family Court extends their condolences to her sister Stella, brother-in-law Jay and nieces Alison and Emma, as well as to her enormous circle of friends."
Attorney-General Michael Mischin said Justice Martin had paved the way for women in WA to become judicial officers.