Seminar six in the Bar Association

Tue Jul 31 2007

Seminar six in the Bar Association's Rhetoric Series, "The Rise (and Fall?) of the Barrister Class", will be held on Monday, 20 August 2007. The presenter will be the Hon Michael McHugh AC QC and the session will be chaired by the Hon Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG. Seminars start at 5.15pm in the Bar Common Room.

31 July 2007

Read the Human Rights Committee

Fri Jul 27 2007

The Bar Association resolved on 4 May 2006 to support the previous attorney general’s call for a community consultation with respect to a charter of human rights for NSW. It sought from its Human Rights Committee an options paper considering the models that are available and which one the committee recommended. Read the committee's options paper >>� | Send comments to Cindy Penrose at the Bar Association.


13�August 2007

Rule of Law: The Challenges of a Changing World

Thu Jul 26 2007

Defending the rule of law in the face of global terrorism, political instability and the expansion of the powers of executive government is one of the greatest challenges facing the legal profession today. The Law Council has been pleased to work closely with the Queensland Law Society, the Bar Association of Queensland and LAWASIA in the organisation of the Rule of Law Conference, to be held in Brisbane, Friday 31 August — Saturday 1 September 2007. This conference will bring together respected legal minds from Australia and beyond to discuss important aspects of the rule of law and the role the legal profession can play in its preservation. Download a conference registration brochure >>


ABA Residential Advocacy Course: registrations now open

Thu Jul 26 2007

The Australian Bar Association is now accepting registrations for its�highly acclaimed Residential Advocacy Course, to be held in Sydney on 21-25 January 2008 at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management. Modelled on the demanding and intensive advocacy training offered each year by the South Eastern Circuit Bar at Keble College, Oxford, this course provides participants with a valuable opportunity to gain intensive, practical advocacy instruction.

The inaugural course, which featured in the April edition of the AFR Magazine, was held at the University of Western Australia in January 2007. The twenty barristers who gathered in Perth were instructed by 12 senior practitioners, including nine silk from across Australia and one, Edwin Glasgow QC, from the United Kingdom.

The format was the preparation of three Federal Court motions. Thereafter, there were exercises around the trial of a commercial case: the opening, examination in chief, cross-examination, closing.�

Upon presentation of the prepared exercise, the coaching consisted of an on-the-spot critique by one, or sometimes two, of the silks.� This was followed by further review of the video recording of the performance.� So, for each advocacy performance, there was an abundance of tuition, critique and valuable learning imparted.���

Noelle Hurley, from the South Australian Bar, was one of the participants who found the course professionally very rewarding.

"The Perth residential advocacy course provided a unique forum to experiment with different techniques and be critiqued in a constructive way, without adverse impact on ‘the client’. It was an incredible opportunity to refine advocacy skills and build professional confidence and self esteem", said Ms Hurley.

The Sydney course will differ in some respects. There will be more places: room for 42 barristers, with a coaching faculty comprised of 21 senior Australian and overseas advocates, including Edwin Glasgow QC from the United Kingdom. The course has been designed for barristers with at least two years seniority at the Bar. There will be no motions, but more case analysis and cross-examination.�

The cost

The registration fee for the 2008 course will be $3,000 (inc. GST) , which includes accommodation, food and drinks.


Registrations for the Sydney course opened on 1 August 2007. Positions are reserved for barristers from each state and territory, with eleven spots for those from New South Wales. If, by 31 August, the reserved positions have not been taken, then they will allocated to other Australian barristers who have registered their interest on a first-in basis.

For further information, contact the course director, Phil Greenwood SC, on ph: 02 9235 2874 or via e-mail:�or Julia Baird on ph: 02 9231 6731 or via e-mail:

To obtain a�registration form, contact Katie Hall at the New South Wales Bar Association on ph: 02 9229 1720 or via e-mail: �



Reminder: Private Equity and Corporate Control: a Supreme Court / Law Society Conference, 28 August 2007

Wed Jul 25 2007

The Supreme Court and the Law Society are holding a joint seminar at the Banco Court on Tuesday, 28 August from 2.00pm – 6.00pm.� “Private Equity and Corporate Control Transactions” is the title of this year’s conference.�The chief justice, the Hon JJ Spigelman AC, will open the conference and will chair the first session entitled “Private equity as a commercial phenomenon”. More information >>

20�August 2007


Charter of Rights Forum, Wednesday, 8 August 2007.

Wed Jul 25 2007

The Bar Council is interested in promoting informed debate on the issue of a Bill of Rights. On Wednesday, 8 August 2007, the Hon Michael McHugh AO QC will address members of the Bar on the topic “Does Australia need a Bill of Rights?” This is the first in a two-part series that will allow members of the Bar to contribute to and participate in that debate.�

The forum, to�be chaired by Anna Katzmann SC, will begin at 5.15pm in the Bar Association Common Room.� Download a forum flyer >>

The second forum,�to take place on Wednesday, 5 September, will debate the pros and cons of a Charter of Rights in NSW.

Members are encouraged to attend both seminars. Time will be allocated at the end of each session for questions and comment.

6 August 2007

Law Council Releases Final Report from Guantanamo Bay

Tue Jul 24 2007

The�final report into proceedings earlier this year in Cuba against David Hicks was released in Melbourne today. Lex Lasry QC travelled to Guantanamo Bay to observe the proceedings brought by the United States Government against Mr Hicks.�As the Law Council’s independent observer, Mr Lasry was witness to Mr Hicks’s arraignment, guilty plea and the examination and acceptance of that plea, conviction and sentence. View the report >>

24 July 2007

Conference on sentencing: a call for papers

Mon Jul 23 2007

The National Judicial College of Australia and the ANU College of Law are jointly presenting a conference on sentencing in Canberra from Friday 8 February to Sunday 10 February 2008. Papers are sought which address the following general themes:

  • sentence indication
  • discounting sentences
  • suspended sentences
  • indefinite detention
  • Crown appeals against sentence and double jeopardy
  • national consistency in sentencing
  • sentencing in magistrate courts
  • Indigenous offenders and customary law
  • human rights charters and sentencing
  • offenders perspectives
  • bias - hidden or unconscious bias in sentencing
  • juries - a role in sentencing?
  • community orders
  • particular offenders (mental illness, intellectual disabilities, children)

The aim is to�build on the success of a multidisciplinary conference on sentencing in February 2006 attended by over 300 participants, including 70 members of the judiciary.

The 2008 conference will be of interest to people with an interest in sentencing and its aftermath. This includes the judiciary, legal practitioners, health and welfare professionals involved in court proceedings, academics, media representatives , community representatives, corrective services officers and the public generally.

If you would like to be a contributor then please send� an expression of interest by 27 July 2007 by e-mail to Cindy Penrose at�

Please indicate a proposed topic or topics.

23 July 2007

Meet the Press: Law Council president to discuss the case of Dr Haneef

Fri Jul 20 2007

On Sunday, 22 July 2007, the president of the Law Council of Australia, Tim Bugg, will be appearing on Channel Ten's Meet the Press to discuss the detention of Dr Haneef. Meet the Press airs live from 8.00am,��and will feature Jennifer Hewett from The Australian and Philip Clarke from 2GB on the panel of journalists.

20 July 2007


Reminder: Seminar Five in the Bar Association Rhetoric Series

Wed Jul 18 2007

Seminar�Five in the Bar Association Rhetoric Series, "Changing Rhetoric of Barristers over the Last Century", will be held on Monday, 23 July 2007.�Seminars start at 5.15pm in the Bar Common Room.

There will�be a discussion with a panel comprising the Hon. Justice Branson, Tom Hughes QC, Tom Bathurst QC, Bret Walker SC and Sharron Norton SC, with Lucy McCallum SC acting as interlocutor.

The members of the panel will be presented with:

  • practical rhetorical challenges arising from the presentation and argument of posited legal claims; and
  • theoretical rhetorical challenges arising from substantive questions from the convenor and the audience.

The aim of the seminar is to allow leading members of the Bar to demonstrate the unwitting, the witty and the carefully crafted arts of persuasion in both prepared and unprepared contexts.

Learn More About the Rhetoric Series >>

APEC security update: a message from the president

Tue Jul 17 2007

The APEC Task Force has released details of security arrangements for the Sydney CBD during the APEC Conference period in late August /early September 2007. The area from King Street�north to Bridge Street forms part of a "declared area". It appears that there will be a higher police presence and traffic restrictions in this area during the conference period. This area would include the Law Courts Building and surrounds, and many chambers in and around Phillip Street.

It is understood that additional arrangements will apply in "restricted areas", where police and security personnel may require identification in order to enter. At this stage it appears that the Queens Square/ Phillip Street Street legal precinct will not form part of the restricted area, which will run north from Bridge Steet.

There is, of course, a foreseeable possibility that these arrangements may change before the conference and that additional restrictions may apply in the Queens Square/Phillip Street area. On this basis, it would be advisable for those members and staff who work in this area to carry a�Bar Association photo ID, driver's licence or other appropriate identification with them during the APEC Conference period. � The Bar Association is represented on an ongoing APEC Working Group convened by the New South Wales Attorney General's Department, and members will be kept informed of further developments leading up to the conference.�

The APEC 2007 Taskforce publishes the latest information about changes to transport and access to the Sydney CBD during the September conference. Visit and�print�the Sydney Bulletins�or view�the Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs).�

Michael Slattery QC **17 July 2007**

Reminder: Federal Court seminar on litigation funding

Tue Jul 17 2007

The Corporations and Insolvency Panel of judges in the Sydney Registry of the Federal Court will hold a seminar on litigation funding from 5.00pm to 7.00pm on Monday, 13 August 2007 in the Federal Court Conference Room, Level 17 Law Courts Building, Queens Square, Sydney.

A panel of members of the profession will address some of the questions raised in the May 2006 Discussion Paper of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG).

More information about the seminar >>

All legal practitioners are welcome to attend. As seating is limited, however, please RSVP by 8 August 2007 to Mr Peter Pholi by telephone (9230 8277) or by e-mail: If there are any specific issues or areas which a legal practitioner would like addressed at the seminar, please advise Mr Pholi.

30�July 2007

Reminder - funeral for John Coombs QC

Mon Jul 16 2007

John Coombs QC,�life member and former president�of the Bar Association, died�on Sunday, 15 July 2007. His funeral will be held at 10.00am on Friday, 20 July 2007 at Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium, cnr of Delhi and Plasseau roads, Macquarie Park.

The cemetery's web site includes a map and location guide.

A personal notice will be published in the Sydney Morning Herald, tomorrow, 18 July 2007.

18 July 2007

Life membership: the Hon Justice Ian Callinan AC

Fri Jul 13 2007

� Justice Callinan, who is to retire from the High Court on 31 August 2007, has been a member of the Bar Association since February 1985. At its meeting on 12 July 2007 �Bar Council resolved that Justice Callinan be made a life member for exceptional service to the profession of the law.

Other life members >>

13 July 2007

Costs agreement and disclosure precedents

Wed Jul 11 2007

The Bar Association's web site now�includes�precedents for barristers' costs agreements and disclosures. They�are offered in response to requests for precedent costs disclosure documents and costs agreements under Part 3.2 of Legal Profession Act 2004.�

The precedents include variations for conditional costs agreements (s323) and also for cases where a ‘sophisticated client’ exemption from disclosure applies (ss302, 312(1)(c) & (d) and related provisions).

It is assumed that a barrister using the precedents will be a member of the NSW Bar Association and obliged to publish the usual professional standards endorsement. It is also assumed that the jurisdictional requirements of Part 3.2 are satisfied.�

No precedents are offered for disclosure without costs agreement, but the precedents may be adapted if a barrister wishes to follow that course. Costs agreements are not mandatory, but they provide greater certainty than mere compliance with statutory disclosure requirements (s319).�

No precedents are offered for disclosure or agreement where an uplift fee is charged (s324).�

These documents were last revised on 1 July 2007

For more information, visit the Guidance on legal costs and billing page >>

12 November 2007

Diarise for next week: ceremonial sitting for the Hon Justice Richard Conti

Tue Jul 10 2007

A ceremonial sitting will be held in Sydney on Friday, 17 August 2007 to mark the retirment, from 19 August 2007, of the Hon Justice Richard Conti as a judge of the Federal Court of Australia. The ceremonial sitting will be held at 9.30am, Courtroom 21A, Law Courts Building, Queens Square. Anna Katzmann SC will speak on behalf of the Bar.

10�August 2007