ACT Bar Association - Change of office holders

Fri Oct 05 2007

The Act Bar Association held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 20 September 2007, resulting in a change of office holders.

The ACT Bar Association's office holders are now:

President: George Peter Brzostowski SC

Vice President: Gregory Alan Stretton

Secretary: Stuart Hearne Pilkinton

Treasurer: Wayne Leslie Sharwood

Council Members: Harriet Louise Donohoe Amanda Tonkin Richard Christopher Refshauge SC Graeme John Blank Robert Peter Clynes

Senior Counsel 2007

Thu Oct 04 2007

I am pleased to announce that the following applicants have been appointed Senior Counsel for 2007. The successful applicants, in order of seniority, are:

Peter Charles TOMASETTI Martin Place Chambers
Peter James BARNETT Crown Prosecutors Newcastle - Mark Sherring Chambers
Graham Paul ELLIS 4th Floor St James' Hall Chambers
Brian Daniel DOOLEY 4th Floor Wentworth Chambers
Wayne Glendon ROSER Crown Prosecutors Chambers - Sydney
Anthony Peter COOK Carl Shannon Chambers
Gregory Peter McNALLY 9th Floor Wentworth Chambers
Kevin Michael CONNOR Maurice Byers Chambers
Mark McLeod HOBART Crown Prosecutors Chambers - Sydney
Margaret Mary CUNNEEN Crown Prosecutors Chambers - Sydney
David Russell PRITCHARD Third Floor St James' Hall
Kieran Peter SMARK Blackstone Chambers
Wayne Gordon MUDDLE Third Floor Wentworth Chambers
Gerard Paul CRADDOCK Maurice Byers Chambers
Sophie Jane GODDARD Nigel Bowen Chambers
Francois KUNC Eleventh Floor Wentworth/Selborne Chambers
Mark Alexander ASHHURST University Chambers
Stephen Carey George BURLEY 5th Floor Wentworth Chambers
Michael Andrew WIGNEY Third Floor St James' Hall
Graham Walter TURNBULL Forbes Chambers
Lloyd Adam BABB Crown Advocate's Chambers
Alwyn Ian TONKING 7th Floor Selborne Chambers
Alec LEOPOLD Eleventh Floor Wentworth/Selborne Chambers

Michael Slattery QC President

4 October 2007

Senior Counsel Protocol Further Information regarding appointees Media Release

Appointment of Senior Counsel

Thu Oct 04 2007

The appointment of Senior Counsel for 2007 will be announced at 1.00pm today, Thursday 4 October 2007.

A copy of the President’s announcement will be e-mailed to all members and clerks and posted both on the Bar Association’s notice board and webpage (

Individual letters to each applicant from the President may be collected from the Bar Association between 12.30pm and 1.00pm today. Clerks are asked to arrange for the envelopes for members of their floor to be collected. Applicants whose chambers are outside the CBD and who wish to have the President’s letter faxed to them are asked to telephone the Association’s Executive Assistant, Ms Jo Carlisle on 02 9229 1736 or e-mail

Clerks with successful applicants are asked to ensure the 2007 Silks gather in the Bar Association Common Room on Friday 19 October for the presentation of Senior Counsel scrolls by the Chief Justice at 5.30pm. Refreshments will be served from 5.00pm. Family and friends are most welcome.


P. A. Selth Executive Director

4 October 2007

Papers to note: Judge for Yourself

Wed Oct 03 2007

The Judicial Conference of Australia has produced a booklet as a free resource to members of the public who wish to gain a better understanding of the system of sentencing of offenders in Australia. Judge for Yourself: A Guide to Sentencing in Australia�is available through the Judicial Conference of Australia's web site.

Download a copy of Judge for Yourself >

9 October 2007

Law Council of Australia Executive 2007-2008

Wed Oct 03 2007

The Law Council of Australia has announced the election of its Executive for 2007-08. The 2007-2008 Law Council Executive is:

President: Ross Ray QC President-Elect: John Corcoran Treasurer: Glenn Fergusson Member: Ken Martin QC Member: Alexander Ward


Motor Accidents Authority - new approved forms

Tue Oct 02 2007

The Motor Accidents Authority has introduced new approved personal injury claim and accident notification forms. These forms have been updated to reflect amendments to the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 introducing coverage for victims of blameless accidents. The forms are approved pursuant to section 49 and section 74 of the Act, and are to be used for notifications/claims made from 1 October 2007.

Copies of the approved forms are available from the Motor Accidents Authority at

Ceremonial sitting to mark the first High Court sitting of the Hon Justice Susan Kiefel in Sydney

Tue Oct 02 2007

There will be a Full Court sitting of the High Court in Sydney on Friday 5 October 2007. This will be the first occasion on which the Hon Justice Susan Kiefel will sit in Sydney as a Justice of the High Court. The ceremonial sitting will take place at 9:15am on Friday 5 October 2007 in Courtroom 19A, Law Courts Building, Queens Square. Michael Slattery QC will speak on behalf of the New South Wales Bar.

Nominations for Election of 2008 Bar Council

Tue Oct 02 2007

Nomination forms for election of the 2008 Bar Council were posted on Friday to all members of the Bar Association eligible to nominate or be nominated.

Any member who has not received their nomination form by the morning of Friday 5 October 2007 and who wishes to nominate should contact the Association’s Executive Assistant, Ms Jo Carlisle, on ph 9229 1735 or [][1].

Nomination forms are also available from the Bar Association's reception and on the Bar Association's website

Nominations close at 4.00pm on Monday 15 October 2007.

P.A. Selth Executive Director & Returning Officer

2 October 2007 �

[1]: mailto:

More appointments by the federal attorney-general

Fri Sep 28 2007

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock�has announced�more appointments to organisations within his portfolio, including the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Australian Law Reform Commission, the National Native Title Tribunal�and the Family Law Council.

Steve Karas AO has been appointed as a part-time senior member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. View the media release>

The Hon Justice Berna Collier has been appointed as a part-time member of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC). View the media release>

Daniel O'Dea has been reappointed as a member of the National Native Title Tribunal. View the media release>

Family Law Council appointments

Professor John Wade has been appointed as the new chairperson of the Family Law Council. Professor Wade teaches law at Bond University. He was previously a member of the Family Law Council from 1988 to 1990.� His term as chairperson is for three years from the date of appointment.

Mr Ruddock also announced the re-appointment of Justice Garry Watts, Ms Nicola Davies and Mr Clive Price to the Council for a further term of three years.

View the media release>

28 September 2007

A series of Bar Council events

Fri Sep 28 2007

This circular serves as a preliminary notice for the forthcoming election of the 2008 Bar Council.�The election timetable includes dates for�opening and closing of nominations, as well as the annual general meeting. View the preliminary notice>

28 September 2007

Call for greater access to the Bar of England and Wales

Thu Sep 27 2007

The chairman of the Bar Council of England and Wales, Geoffrey Vos QC, has called for greater access to the Bar and has encouraged politicians to continue to recognise the importance of social mobility. An inquiry into entry to the Bar is being conducted by Lord Neuberger, with the working party expected to deliver its report at the end of this year. View the media release>

27 September 2007

Media briefing: Barristers' Rules and cross examination in sexual assault trials

Thu Sep 27 2007

President Michael Slattery QC�appeared on�three radio programmes yesterday,�in response�to the NSW Government’s request to change the Barristers' Rules regarding sexual assault trials. These�included ABC 702 Breakfast�at�07:11am and�2UE Breakfast�at 07:20am.�

The following is an extract from an interview with Sandi Aloisi on ABC Newsradio.

MICHAEL SLATTERY: All members of the Bar Association are immensely sympathetic to the ordeal that many victims of rape have to go through in giving their evidence.� It's a very difficult thing to do.�On the other hand there's�a fundamental problem: the court system�[has] to sort out those who are genuine victims from those who are not.

It's done by a process of testing evidence�and the reality is that sometimes it can be very difficult. Barristers try to do it responsibly, but it is a process where, if they have instructions to say that these events did not happen, the jury is the one�which has to decide upon a contest of evidence.�

SANDI ALOISI:�Yes, would it be right to say though that some barristers have been guilty of intimidating rape victims in the court room?

MICHAEL SLATTERY:�Well, can I put it this way?� We have a very open complaint system, and the legal services commissioner also supervises the Bar Association through an open complaint system authorised under the Legal Profession Act.� And there are very, very few complaints. The direct hard evidence of�complaints against the Bar is very, very low, actually.

But, that being said, we're still happy to look at this because all improvement is good.� But you've got to understand that the contest has to take place.� Many of the sexual assault trials, for example, involve children, or people who were children when the assaults are alleged to have occurred.�They may have taken place 20 or more years ago.�Sometimes sexual assault allegations are made in the course of a family breakup or separation.�There are all sorts of motivational issues that arise there.

The court system and juries and judges have got to sort that out.� And they can only do it�[by] testing of the evidence.� It's got to be done sensitively.�

A�few of the proposals that are being put up have got practical problems attached to them.� They're very hard to implement, and that's our concern.� We're having a talk with the attorney, but let me give you an example.

One of the suggestions is that counsel should refuse instructions if that would involve harassment of the witness.� Now, pure harassment is currently improper and judges should rule it out now, and no responsible barrister would engage in it.� But sometimes, if the instructions are that events didn't take place the way the alleged victim says they did, then, that's got to be tested, and that can be distressing.�Frankly, if the person is lying it's a humiliating process to be exposed as a liar.

Someone has to sort out the genuine cases from the ones that aren't.� And the reality is not every allegation is true.

Let's�focus on two things.� The rights and dignity of genuine victims, and the rights of a fair trial for the accused.� They're the two things that have got to be balanced.� And we welcome the ideas, but it's important to make them workable, and there's still a bit of discussion to take place on that.

For further information regarding the president's on air comments, contact the Bar Association's director of law reform and public affairs, Alastair McConnachie.

27 September 2007

More federal judicial appointments

Thu Sep 27 2007

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock�has announced appointments to the Family Court, the Federal Magistrates Court and the Defence Discipline Appeal Tribunal.

Peter Murphy SC has been appointed as a judge of the Family Court of Australia. View the media release>

Susan Purdon-Sully has been appointed as a federal magistrate, based in Brisbane. View the media release>

Justice Kevin Duggan AM RFD has been reappointed as a member of the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal. View the media release>

27 September 2007

Two barristers nominated for the Women Lawyers Achievement Awards

Thu Sep 27 2007

Kate Traill and Margaret Cunneen SC have been nominated for this year's NSW Women Lawyers Achievement Awards. For more information, visit the awards page of the WLA web site.

The Women Lawyers Association of NSW invites members of the Bar to attend their 2007 Awards Dinner. The guest speaker will be the Honourable Acting Justice Jane Mathews AO, and human rights lawyer and renowned playwright, Suzie Miller, will be the master of ceremonies for the evening.

Download a registration brochure>

Time: 7.30pm – 11.30pm Date: Friday 19th October 2007 Venue: Hilton, 488 George, Sydney

11�October 2007

New appointments to the Federal Court

Wed Sep 26 2007

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock today announced the appointments of four new judges to the Federal Court of Australia:�Dr Geoffrey Flick SC, Mr John Logan RFD SC, Mr Neil McKerracher QC and Mr John Reeves QC. View the media release >

26 September 2007


Major parties fall short on legal aid funding

Wed Sep 26 2007

Both major parties have failed to give any commitment to minimum increases in legal aid funding, despite Australia recording a combined budget surplus of $28 billion over the past two years.

Law Council President Tim Bugg said, “The budget surplus in 2006/07 was $17.3 billion; this year it is projected to be $10.6 billion – yet we’re supposed to accept that a fraction of this amount cannot be spared to assist less fortunate Australians pursue their right to justice.”

Read the Law Council's media release >

26 September 2007

Charter of Rights Options Paper: send us your comments

Wed Sep 26 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 your comments to Cindy Penrose at the Bar Association.


17 October 2007

ALRC releases discussion paper on client legal privilege and federal investigatory bodies

Wed Sep 26 2007

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) today released a Discussion Paper, Client Legal Privilege and Federal Investigatory Bodies (Discussion Paper 73), containing 42 proposals aimed ataddressing lengthy and costly disputes over client legal privilege in federal investigations.

View the ALRC's media release >� |� Visit�Austlii to obtain a copy of�Discussion Paper 73>

In June 2007 the Bar Association made a submission to the inquiry. Download a copy>

26 September 2007

2007 Forbes Lecture: The Life and Times of William Charles Wentworth

Wed Sep 26 2007

The Francis Forbes Society for Australian Legal History invites all members of the Bar to attend its annual lecture, to be held on Thursday, 8�November 2007�at 5pm in the Bar Association Common Room. This subject of this year's lecture, to be delivered by Andrew Tink, MP will be the career of William Charles Wentworth.���

Accepting the invitation to deliver the lecture, Mr Tink remarked that, "As a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly, I was confronted in the�parliament every sitting day for 19 years by an aggressive, larger than life portrait of William Charles Wentworth, a founder of the Bar, a free press, trial by jury and responsible government in NSW."

"Despite Wentworth’s achievements and his brilliant, volcanic personality – the product of a convict mother and a father who was the black sheep of one of Britain’s most distinguished families - no full length biography of him has yet been written", said Mr Tink.

After standing down as shadow attorney general and shadow leader of the House, Mr Tink accepted an offer from Allen and Unwin to write Wentworth’s biography.�

12 October 2007�

Tonight: A seminar on international practice

Wed Sep 26 2007
International practice

Tonight, the president of the NSW Bar Association, Michael Slatttery QC will introduce�the first of a series of�CPD seminars on international practice. This seminar will focus on coming to the Bar in England and Wales, covering issues such as:

  • overcoming the legal and practical obstacles to admission;
  • types of work that are realistically attainable; and
  • the speakers’ impressions and experiences in a jurisdiction. Leonard Levy SC will chair the session, as well as adding his own experiences and thoughts. For more information, [download a flyer][1]�> 26 September 2007 [1]:

The Bar Association supports beyondblue's Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month

Tue Sep 25 2007

The recent report from Beaton consulting and beyondblue regarding the mental health in the legal profession is the cause of considerable concern. The Bar Association supports the Anxiety and Depression Awareness (ADA) Month during October to raise awareness of anxiety and depression and help reduce the associated stigma. Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month Kits from beyondblue have been ordered for each chambers and will be distributed soon. 27 September 2007