A NSW magistrate says she knew she must have been making mistakes on the job after she was appointed to a Mid North Coast court circuit in 2016 but she wasn't aware of what they were.
Dominique Burns has told a Sydney hearing she now realises she didn't properly understand her powers to revoke bail and detain, and she didn't always check maximum sentences.
She said she denied a handful of people procedural fairness by deciding their bail applications in chambers instead of hearing them in open court.
"I should never have not heard from the defendants, I should have always had that input and I was wrong," the magistrate said.
Ms Burns was giving evidence on Thursday before the NSW Judicial Commission conduct division as it hears a string of misconduct complaints against her.
She became a magistrate in February 2015, was appointed to the Port Macquarie Local Court circuit in January 2016, went off sick in March 2017 and was suspended in June 2017.
The conduct under review - which occurred between June 22, 2016 and February 23, 2017 - involved 17 cases which fell in seven broad categories of "serious departures from proper standards".
They included misuse of detention powers, imposing sentences exceeding maximum penalties for the crimes and trying to influence the police prosecutor to cause further charges to be laid against people.
The magistrate accepts she made mistakes but her barrister Arthur Moses SC contended that her crushing workload of a "tsunami" of cases contributed to mental health issues.
Ms Burns on Thursday said she knew she must be making mistakes simply because of the volume of cases but she wasn't aware of what they were.
She said she never made a decision without believing it was correct.
The hearing continues.
Australian Associated Press