Judge Robyn Tupman holds the degrees BA (1973), LL.B (1977) and Diploma of Criminology (1983) from the University of Sydney and was in practice in Sydney as a Solicitor and Barrister from 1978. During almost 20 years in practice she undertook a broad range of legal work, with a particular interest in the social impact of the law on women and children. At the Bar she was regularly briefed to appear on behalf of Government, particularly the Department of Community Services, in cases involving the welfare and rights of children, including landmark decisions involving sterilisation and also for the Central Authority in Hague Convention cases. She has presented at numerous conferences for over 30 years in the areas of child welfare law, criminal sentencing and court reforms to deal with the needs of vulnerable victims. She was a member of the Equal Opportunity Committee of the NSW Bar Association before her elevation to the Bench.
She was appointed as a Judge of the District Court of New South Wales, Australia in January 1996 and is now the most senior woman Judge on that Court, serving for the past 25 years, now sitting exclusively in serious indictable criminal matters, mostly involving Criminal Jury Trials. In 2015 she established the Child Sexual Assault Evidence Pilot Project in the NSW District Court, which mandates the prerecording of the whole of a child’s evidence in sexual assault trials and also introduced intermediaries for such children, the first time the latter had ever been used in Australia.
She was appointed a Life Member of the NSW Association of Women Lawyers in 2015 and was its Treasurer in 1978. Since 2006 she has been an active member of the Australian Association of Women Judges and the IAWJ, serving on the Committee of the AAWJ for several years before becoming President in 2012. She was elected to the Board of the IAWJ in May, 2016, as one of 2 Board Members from the Asia Pacific Region and will become Secretary/Treasurer of the Board from 9 May 2021. She has presented on behalf of the IAWJ at many International meetings, including on the topic of Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences at the Vatican in 2017.