Simon Molesworth delivered his final judgment in the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales in May 2019. He was first commissioned to be a Judge of the LEC from January 2017. The Land and Environment Court of NSW was the first specialist environmental superior court in the world, when established in 1980. The judges of the Court have the same rank, title, status and precedence as the Judges of the Supreme Court of NSW. The Courtâ€™s jurisdiction includes merit review, judicial review, civil enforcement, criminal prosecution, criminal appeals and civil claims about planning, environmental, land, mining, water, heritage, valuation, compensation, Aboriginal land, tree disputes and related matters.
Molesworth, who in 2020 marks twenty-five years as a QC, had remained in active practice until his judicial appointment, regularly appearing before the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal and in the Supreme Court in Victoria in cases within his specialty. He is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the fields of environmental law, heritage law, natural resources law and the law and policy relating to climate change. After initially practicing as a solicitor (from 1978) with Blake & Riggall (now Ashursts), Molesworth became a barrister in Victoria in 1984 and was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1995.
Molesworth, qualified and experienced as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Australian Institute of Managers and Leaders and the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand, has led delegations to successive United Nations COP conferences. His advisory work increasingly focuses on climate change strategies, corporate governance, risk management and corporate social responsibility. Molesworth is uniquely positioned to advise corporate Australia and public sector entities on the development of strategies and policies, together with related risk and compliance issues, in a world required to adapt to and mitigate climate change. With experience chairing commissions of inquiry and a wealth of experience chairing and participating in consultative committees, Molesworth is well-skilled to be a mediator.
Amongst his previous legal appointments Molesworth, in the 1980s, was a Senior Legal Member of the Planning Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Victoria and a Senior Legal Member of the previous Victorian Planning Appeals Board. He was also in 1994 the Victorian State Mining Warden, a statutory appointment under the then Mineral Resources Development Act. He has chaired commissions of inquiry and advised successive governments and their authorities on legislative reform.