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Former Queensland judge to head NT inquiry

AAP logoAAP 1/08/2016 Jamie McKinnell

A former Queensland judge who made history by becoming the first woman to be appointed to the state's Supreme Court will lead an inquiry into the NT youth detention system.

Born in Victoria, Margaret White attended the Cabra Dominican Convent in Adelaide before graduating with a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Adelaide in 1966.

She spent more than five years as a research assistant, including at the International Law Association in Geneva in the mid to late 60s.

During the same period, Justice White was also a consultant to the governments to Guyana, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago in relation to their pre-independence treaties.

Justice White has three sons and one daughter with her husband Michael and has been a deputy chancellor and lecturer at the University of Queensland.

She became the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1992 and moved to the Court of Appeal in 2010.

Justice White was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2013 for "distinguished service to the judiciary and to the law particularly in Queensland, as a leading contributor to legal education and reform, and to professional development and training".

Justice White retired in June 2013 and the same year, was commissioned by the state government to head the Queensland Racing Industry Commission of Inquiry.

Accepting the role as co-commissioner investigating abuse in the Northern Territory youth detention system on Monday, Justice White said she was honoured to have been approached for the "difficult, if not challenging task".

Attorney-General George Brandis described her as "eminently well qualified" for the task.

"(Justice White) is well-known and highly-regarded among the judiciary and the legal profession throughout Australia," he said.

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