The naming and shaming approach to professional conduct

Fri Nov 30 2007

The Law Society of England and Wales is challenging a radical proposal by the Legal Complaints Service to publish complaints records.

The Law Society has conducted polls and focus groups. The results�suggest that the proposed reforms would:

>> reduce access to justice for clients in areas of practice which traditionally generate more complaints; >> encourage firms to act defensively, thereby driving up costs; and >> fail to encourage a customer focused culture within the profession and instead encourage a compensation culture among clients.

Learn more>

30 November 2007

Speeches to note: Concurrent Expert Evidence, by Justice McClellan

Fri Nov 30 2007

In his keynote speech�delivered yesterday at�the Law Institute of Victoria's Medicine and the Law Conference, the Hon Justice Peter McClellan�argued�in favour of allowing�concurrent evidence. It was, he said "a modification to the adversarial system, but one which is worth making".

Justice McClellan defined concurrent evidence as "a discussion chaired by the judge in which the various experts, the parties, advocates and the judge engage in an endeavour to identify the issues and arrive where possible at a common resolution of them. In relation to the issues where agreement is not possible a structured discussion, with the judge as chairperson, allows the experts to give their opinions without constraint by the advocates in a forum which enables them to respond directly to each other".

A copy of the speech may be obtained from the Supreme Court web site>

30 November 2007

Fees owed to counsel

Fri Nov 30 2007

Pursuant to s623(2) of the Legal Profession Act 2004 (NSW), Andrew Brown has been appointed manager of the following practices:�

Pragma Legal Solicitors M D Nikolaidis & Co.

Counsel with outstanding fees should contact Mr Brown as soon as possible. Whilst Mr Brown has advised that he cannot guarantee fees outstanding would be paid in total or recover of any fee due from any source, he would do his best to assist counsel owed fees. Andrew Brown may be contacted on:

ph: (02) 9926 0321 fax: (02) 9926 0166 or via e-mail:

30 November 2007

NSW courts are keeping up with the workload

Thu Nov 29 2007

The Audit Office of New South Wales has published the Auditor-General's Report to Parliament 2007 Volume Five. In its commentary on government agencies, the state's auditor has reported on the efficiency of�the courts. It found that NSW courts had�a�clearance rate "close to or above 100 per cent in the majority of courts for both criminal and civil matters in 2005-06."

The clearance rate indicates whether a court is keeping up with its workload. It measures the number of cases finalised as a percentage of the cases registered in the same period. A clearance rate above 100 per cent indicates a court is clearing its backlog of cases.

The report is available from the�Audit Office web site�>

29 November 2007

New federal attorney general announced

Thu Nov 29 2007

Prime Minister-Elect Kevin Rudd has announced the new federal ministry. The new attorney-general will be Mr Robert McClelland MP, while the Hon Bob Debus has been named minister for home affairs and territories.

29 November 2007

Legal Aid web site updates its state civil law policies

Thu Nov 29 2007

Legal Aid NSW has amended its state civil law policies in relation to mental health matters. The amendments relate mainly to the commencement of the Mental Health Act 2007 (NSW). Information relating to the policies and the amendments is available on the Legal Aid NSW�web site�via "Info centre". The mental health policies and the tests which need to be applied are set out in Policy Online at 6.15.

Should you have any questions about the policies you can contact Aideen McGarrigle Legal Policy Branch, Strategic Planning and Policy Division, Legal Aid NSW on�

29 November 2007

Papers to note: survey of identity theft in the United States

Wed Nov 28 2007

The United States Federal Trade Commission has released its 2006 Identity Theft Survey Report. A total of 3.7 percent of survey participants indicated that they had discovered they were victims of ID theft in 2005. This result suggests that approximately 8.3 million US adults discovered that they were victims of some form of ID theft in 2005.

View the report>

28 November 2007

New forensic procedures regulations

Wed Nov 28 2007

The Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Amendment (Responsible Person and Corresponding Laws) Regulation 2007 will commence on 30 November 2007.�

The relevant provisions amend the Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Regulation 2000 to make amendments in the nature of law revision to the list of laws prescribed as corresponding laws and to declare the chief executive of the Sydney West Area Health Service to be the responsible person for the purposes of the DNA database system.

28 November 2007

2007 Surfabout

Tue Nov 27 2007

All surfing counsel, lawyers and members of the judiciary are invited to participate in the 2007 Surfabout, hosted by the Australian Lawyers Surfing Association Inc and the Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council. The Bar Association will host and provide a BBQ lunch for all participants.

Surfabout will take place at Queenscliff Beach (just south of the flags) on Wednesday,�19 December 2007 at 8am. More information >�

7 December 2007


Cases marked reportable by the Council for Law Reporting

Tue Nov 27 2007

__The following is a list of cases received and marked reportable by the Council for Law Reporting for New South Wales.

Vines v Australian Securities & Investments Commission [2007] NSWCA 75 (CA) (04.04.07) (40490/06)

R v Petroulias [2007] NSWCCA 134 (CCA) (16.05.07) (1152/2007)

Sasterawan v Morris [2007] NSWCCA 185 (CCA) (28.06.07) (707/2007)

ML Ubase Holdings Co Ltd v Trigem Computer Inc [2007] NSWSC 859 (Brereton J) (08.08.07) (ED 4646/2005)

Commissioner of Police v Ryan [2007] NSWCA 196 (CA) (09.08.07) (40761/2006)

27 November 2007

Media briefing: depression in the legal profession (part 2)

Tue Nov 27 2007

ABC Radio National's Life Matters programme has aired the second part of its series on how depression affects the legal profession.

In this morning's programme, Hugh Macken, senior vice-president of the Law Society, spoke about some of the initiatives being undertaken by the profession to combat the problem.

The Tristan Jepson Memorial Fund helps highlight the issues of mental illness across the legal profession, from students to judges.

Listen to a webcast of the Life Matters programme>�

The�first part of this examination of depression in the legal profession was broadcast on the Life Matters programme yesterday.

28 November 2007

Law Council appoints new secretary-general

Mon Nov 26 2007

The president of the Law Council of Australia, Ross Ray QC, has announced the appointment of Bill Grant AM as the LCA’s new secretary-general. Presently the CEO of the NSW Legal Aid Commission, Mr Grant is a past deputy director general of the NSW Attorney-General’s Department and a senior officer in the NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office.

View the Law Council's media release>

�26 November 2007

Bar Association of Queensland Annual Conference

Mon Nov 26 2007

The Bar Association of Queensland will hold its Annual Conference at�the Sheraton Mirage, Gold Coast from 15–17 February 2008.

The program has been designed to provide an outstanding conference of presentations to assist barristers with their continuing professional development needs.

Download a BAQ 2008 Conference brochure and program >

26 November 2007


Retirement of the Hon Justice Santow AO

Mon Nov 26 2007

The Hon Justice Santow AO will retire as a judge of appeal of the Supreme Court on 31 December 2007. A formal ceremony to mark this occasion will be held in the Banco Court at 9.30am on Friday, 14 December 2007.

26 November 2007

The Weak and Primitive Nature of International Law

Fri Nov 23 2007

Tonight, Chrissa Loukas will chair a CPD session on 'The�Weak and Primitive Nature of International Law', to be presented by Margaret Bateman. The seminar will begin at 5.15pm in the Bar Association Common Room. Learn more>

28 November 2007

Reminder: Depressive illness and the law

Thu Nov 22 2007

The�Hon Dr Geoff Gallop, former premier of Western Australia, will speak on the subject of depression in the legal profession tonight �at 5.15pm in the Common Room. Professor Gallop is director, the Graduate School of Government, Sydney University. Anna Katzmann SC will chair the seminar.

Learn more about the seminar>

27�November 2007

Lord Goldsmith's testimony on the British Government's latest counter-terrorism proposals

Thu Nov 22 2007

Former UK attorney-general, the Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith QC, and the head of the Crown Prosecution Service,�Sir Ken Macdonald QC have testified before the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee regarding proposals to extend beyond 28 days the period for detention of terrorism suspects without charge.

A web cast of Lord Goldsmith's testimony is available on the UK Parliament's web site>

22 November 2007

Bench & Bar Tennis Day 2007

Wed Nov 21 2007

This year's Bench & Bar competition for the Hon Bryan Beaumont Cup, the Barbour-Backhouse Cup and the Hon Susan Crennan Cup will be held on grass at the Royal Sydney Golf Club, Kent Road, Rose Bay on Tuesday, 18 December 2007. The Hon Susan Crennnan Cup will�be awarded to the best and fairest female member in the competition. Download an entry form�> 30 November 2007

2007 Great Legal Debate: Ruddock v Ludwig - webcast now available

Wed Nov 21 2007

The key legal event of the 2007 federal election campaign was the debate between Attorney-General Philip Ruddock MP and Shadow Attorney-General Senator Joe Ludwig, held on Tuesday, 6 November in the Theatrette at NSW Parliament House.

The debate was fully booked. For those who were not able to get a seat on the day, the entire debate is now available via a web cast from the UNSW Faculty of Law, Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law.

Visit the webcast page and select the format (audio, video dialup, video broadband) that suits your connection>

21 November 2007

Final reminder: applications for committee membership close on Friday, 30 November

Tue Nov 20 2007

The president annually reviews the need for the Bar Association’s various committees, the role of those committees, and their membership.

I should be grateful if members (not just those holding a practising certificate) would let me know by�COB, Friday, 30 November 2007 if they wish to be considered for appointment to one or more of the association’s committees.

I would also request existing members of committees who do not wish to continue on a committee to let me know by Friday, 30 November 2007. Otherwise I will assume that existing members of committees wish to continue on that committee.

The Bar Association is very fortunate that we have many more volunteers for committees than can possibly be accommodated. I would therefore request members restrict their choice of committees to no more than three.

In confirming committee membership, the president ensures that all parts of the Bar – geographically, practice areas and seniority – are represented on each committee.

Please note that until new committees are established and promulgated, the existing committees continue unchanged. The existing appointments to various working parties and representatives for the Bar Association continue unless and until the President determines otherwise.

A form listing the proposed 2008 committees is attached. Please return this form showing the committees for which you wish to be considered for appointment, or e-mail your committee preference to

Acknowledgement of receipt will be e-mailed to you within 24 hours. If you do not receive an acknowledgement please contact or telephone Cindy Penrose on 9232 4055.

View the�application form containing a list of proposed 2008 committees>

P A Selth Executive Director

27 November 2007

Bar Association vs Nationwide News Pty Ltd

Tue Nov 20 2007

The New South Wales Bar Association's proceedings against Nationwide News were concluded before Chief Magistrate Henson this morning in courtroom 5.6 of the Downing Centre.

Counsel for Nationwide News drew the court’s attention to the unreserved apology to referees for Dr Patrick Power published in the Telegraph on 7 July and acknowledged that those who provide such references perform an important function within the legal system.�He�stated that The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph accepted that the provision of character references is a normal and necessary part of our criminal justice system and that those who provide such references perform an important function within that legal system.�He added that the fact that a person provides a reference in a criminal case does not in any way mean that the person condones the criminal conduct to which the case relates.�He made it clear that the newspapers accepted that Dr Power’s referees were simply fulfilling this important function. � In the light of the statement made on behalf of Nationwide News, the Bar Association withdrew its application. The chief magistrate ordered that the application be dismissed with no orders as to costs. � A full transcript will appear in In Brief once it has been received from the Local Court.

20 November 2007