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Retiring Vanstone linked to ICAC role

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Ann Vanstone, the Supreme Court judge who oversaw the biggest electoral boundaries shakeup in a generation, will retire this year and looms as a frontrunner to replace Bruce Lander as the state’s next Independent Commissioner Against Corruption.

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Vanstone – who has served on the Supreme Court since 2003, when she became just the third woman appointed to the SA bench – has told colleagues she will step down in coming months.

A spokesperson for Chief Justice Chris Kourakis confirmed to InDaily that Vanstone “will resign from the Supreme Court in the week commencing 10 June 2019”.

Prior to her elevation she was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1994 and later served as a District Court judge.

In 2015, she was assigned as chair of the Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission whose final report re-drew the state’s political map, turning four Labor-held marginals into nominal Liberal seats and prompting a failed Supreme Court appeal by the ALP.

She has been strongly linked by some in legal and political circles to the position of South Australia’s Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, with incumbent Bruce Lander contracted until September next year.

Lander told InDaily he would not be seeking an extension to his current term, but “I am not contemplating retirement”.

Bruce Lander. Photo: Tony Lewis / InDaily

Asked whether she had considered or approached Vanstone about taking over the ICAC role, Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said today: “I’m not prepared to make any comment in relation to Mr Lander’s replacement or otherwise.”

InDaily has sought comment from Vanstone.

Sources in the legal community said she would be an ideal appointment, describing her as “highly respected”, and highlighting her criminal law background and the fact she is “no shrinking violet”.

She is the sister-in-law of former federal Liberal frontbencher Amanda Vanstone.

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