Principal Solicitor
JD, BSocSc

Current practice

Retta provides and advice and conducts litigation for a variety of government clients, particularly in the areas of human rights, administrative decision-making, constitutional law, and public sector governance and integrity.  Retta is joint Chair of VGSO's Constitutional and Intergovernmental Relations Practice Group. 

Retta regularly provides advice to government departments and agencies on their obligations under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006, advises on policy and legislative development, drafts Statements of Compatibility, and conducts litigation in matters where human rights issues are raised.  She has a particular interest assisting clients to efficiently incorporate human rights functions into their decision-making processes in order to achieve high quality, effective, fair and robust administrative decisions.

In addition to her human rights work, Retta also maintains a broad public law practice.  In an advisory context, Retta routinely provides advice on questions of complex statutory interpretation across a range of areas (including corrections and youth justice, health, education, housing, governance of courts and tribunals, and environmental management). She also regularly advises and acts for the Attorney-General intervening under the Charter or in constitutional litigation.

Experience

Retta joined the VGSO in 2011 and has undertaken work for a wide range of State government clients in relation to the development, application and interpretation of legislation.  This has included advising on administrative decision-making, conducting civil litigation, and providing a range of legal services relating to the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.

She has considerable experience conducting litigation matters (including both judicial and merits review) across a variety of jurisdictions and has assisted clients to successfully resolve disputes without proceeding to a hearing.  She has also represented clients in responding to or appearing before various integrity bodies and other public inquiries, including IBAC and the Victorian Ombudsman.

Prior to coming to the VGSO, Retta worked for several years at a specialist community legal centre, providing assistance to individuals in relation to residential tenancy and consumer issues.