Judy Swan appeared for eight different clients in eight murder cases in South Africa as a barrister between 1988 and 1989 prior to the abolition of the death penalty, seven of whom were acquitted of all crimes and one who was convicted of common assault. Judy’s success as a criminal barrister led to her acting as a criminal lawyer in South Africa almost wholly and solely between 1989 until 1994. Judy would appear in numerous courts daily in relation to various crimes and criminal charges. Judy extended her proficiency in Criminal Law in New South Wales when she worked as a solicitor for Holman Webb. Judy appeared as an advocate for her clients in District Court proceedings on sentences and successfully defended various clients on varying charges without any person being sentenced to jail.
Judy’s forte is in pleas in mitigation – in a nutshell – sentencing. Judy is able to produce to the court all factors in mitigation which allow the Judicial Officer to appreciate and understand the background of her client, to the crime and the fact that an imposition of the lightest sentence would be appropriate. As recently as 15 September 2015 and reported in the Australian Newspaper on 16 September 2015, Judy managed to spare a mother who tried to falsely obtain passports for her two children in order to flee the country after a family court order stopped her from seeing her children, from facing jail. Judy’s astonishing results in the area of sentencing has resulted in outcries from Alan Jones and favourable reports in newspapers.