Vale Robert Anthony Gray (1942 - 2007)

Mon Nov 19 2007

Robert Gray of the�Eleventh Floor Wentworth/Selborne Chambers died on Sunday, 18 November.�A requiem mass will be held on Thursday, 22 November at 10am in St Joseph's Catholic Church, No.8 Albert Street, Edgecliff.

19 November 2007

Congressional hearing on "enhanced" interrogration methods

Mon Nov 19 2007

Earlier this month the US House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary�conducted�an oversight hearing�entitled: "Torture and the Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment of Detainees: The Effectiveness and Consequences of “Enhanced” Interrogation".��

More information about�the testimony from witnesses and requests for further information from Attorney General Mukasey�>

19 November 2007

A threat to privilege? The ALRC discussion paper

Fri Nov 16 2007

The ALRC (Australian Law Reform Commission) has been investigating the abrogation of legal professional privilege. Some of the draft proposals of the ALRC raise issues of concern in connection with the ongoing watering down of the privilege.

This seminar, to be presented by Cameron Moore and Dr Ruth Higgins, discusses those proposals, and the abrogation of privilege more generally, including the implications of creeping abrogation for the practice of law.

This seminar will take place next week, tomorrow, 22 November. For more information, download a flyer>

21�November 2007�


Papers to note: Local Government Area Crime Report for Newcastle

Fri Nov 16 2007

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research today announced the release of the Local Government Area Crime Report for Newcastle. Each�report contains maps showing the location of all the major crime hotspots. It also contains graphs indicating what times of the day, days of the week and months of the year, crime rates in the area tend to peak.

The first in the series - Sydney Local Government Area� - was released through the BOCSAR web site on 9 November 2007.

16 November 2007

Legislation to note: Miscellaneous Acts (Local Court) Amendment Bill 2007 (NSW)

Fri Nov 16 2007

The Miscellaneous Acts (Local Court) Amendment Bill 2007 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly and was agreed in principle on 13 November. According to the explanatory note, the object of this Bill is to make amendments to various Acts and instruments as a consequence of the proposed enactment of the Local Court Act 2007.

Specifically, the Bill would replace references to "a Local Court" with "the Local Court", update references to the "Local Court Act 2007" and make other minor and consequential amendments.

16 November 2007

Legislation to note: Local Court Bill 2007

Thu Nov 15 2007

The Local Court Bill 2007�_was introduced into the New South Wales�Legislative Assembly and received its�agreement in principle�speech on 13 November 2007. According to the explanatory note, the Bill would repeal and replace the _Local Courts Act 1982�(NSW) in order to replace the separate Local Courts in New South Wales with a single Local Court, which would sit at various locations throughout the state.

The Bill:

>> contains provisions for the appointment of magistrates and other officers of the court; >> requires at least�five years’ experience as an Australian lawyer for appointment as a magistrate; >> brings the provisions for appointment of acting magistrates into line with those applicable to acting judges of the District Court; and >> continues the existing Local Court jurisdiction (the court, like the current local courts, will have a civil and criminal jurisdiction and a special jurisdiction relating to application proceedings).

View a copy of the Local Court Bill 2007 >

15 November 2007

New library system for recalling items

Thu Nov 15 2007

The Bar Library has installed a new system that automatically generates recall and overdue notices and distributes them via e-mail.

The rules for loans:

>> Books may be borrowed for up to one week (not the duration of a case). >> If, after three days, an item is�requested by another borrower, then it is is subject to immediate recall. >> Loans may be extended for a further week, on request to the library staff.

Please return items when they are due.

30�November 2007

Local Court Practice Note No.7 of 2007: Listing Procedure for Summary Criminal Trials

Wed Nov 14 2007

This Practice Note applies where a plea of not guilty is entered in respect of proceedings for summary offences, including proceedings for indictable offences that are being dealt with summarily. It applies to proceedings commenced after the enactment of the Criminal Procedure Amendment (Local Court Process Reforms) Act 2007. The amendment has not been proclaimed. Practice Note No. 2/2004 no longer applies to this category of proceedings.

View Local Court Practice Note No.7 of 2007>

14 November 2007

Congress passes law to protect client legal privilege

Wed Nov 14 2007

The United States House of Representatives has passed the Attorney-Client Protection Act, _which�is supported by the�_American Bar Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Bill, which is yet to be introduced to the Senate,�would prohibit federal prosecutors from pressuring corporations into waiving attorney-client privilege under threat of indictment. Learn more>

14 November 2007

Barristers welcome at the new Elizabeth Street Blood Donor Centre

Wed Nov 14 2007

To increase the convenience of donating blood the Australian Red Cross Blood Service�has opened a blood donor centre at 20 Elizabeth Street (near Channel Seven). Members of the Bar are invited to take up the challenge and donate soon. Blood donation is completely safe and won't take much time out of your busy working day. If you are time conscious please ensure you make an appointment; it's also best to avoid lunch times.

Pick up your Donor Questionnaire Form from donor reception. The form includes time sensitive information so please ensure it is filled out on the on the day of your donation.

Make a booking today at the Elizabeth St Donor Centre by calling 13 14 95 or visiting the donor centre reception. If you are interested in coordinating a group (chambers) donation please email Amy on

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service needs to collect 21,000 blood donations per week just to ensure there are adequate supplies of blood for those who need it.� Whilst only one in 30 of the Australian population currently donate, around one in three will require donated blood or blood products at some stage in their lifetime.�

Collection hours - whole blood and apheresis

Monday:�8.00am - 3.00pm� Tuesday:�11.00am - 6.00pm� Wednesday:�7.30am - 3.00pm� Thursday:�11.00am - 6.00pm� Friday:�7.30am - 3.00pm�

1st Saturday of every month 8.00am - 3.00pm

18 January 2008

Law Council Project to Encourage Family Law Dispute Resolution

Wed Nov 14 2007

A new Law Council initiative is encouraging parties involved in family law disputes to consider arbitration and mediation as an alternative method of resolving conflict. The LCA's Family Law Section recently launched the Melbourne Project, which has been designed to assist the Family Court in dealing with the back-log of cases. Learn more>

14 November 2007

Cases marked reportable by the Council for Law Reporting

Wed Nov 14 2007

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

Westbury Holdings Kiama Pty Ltd and Another v Australian Securities and Investments Commission [2007] NSWSC 466 (Barrett J) (11.05.07) (ED 6104/2006)

Cox v State of New South Wales [2007] NSWSC 471 (Simpson J) (14.05.07) (CLD 20198/2004)

His Eminence, Metropolitan Petar, the Diocesan Bishop of the Macedonian Orthodox Church of Australia and New Zealand and Another v Macedonian Orthodox Community Church of St Petka Incorporated [2007] NSWCA 150 (CA) (22.06.07) (40159/2007)

Baulkham Hills Shire Council v Wrights Road Pty Ltd [2007] NSWCA 152 (CA) (26.06.07) (40529/2006)

14 November 2007

Reminder: Lions in Conflict: Bacon, Coke and Ellesmere - Treason and Unity, by Chief Justice Spigelman

Tue Nov 13 2007

You are invited to�Chief Justice Spigelman’s second lecture in his series: “Lions in Conflict: Bacon, Coke and Ellesmere - Treason and Unity". It will�take place�on Wednesday, 14 November 2007 at the Banco Court,�Level 13, Law Courts Building, Queens Square at�5.30 pm.�

The first lecture may be found at (2006-2007) 28 Aust Bar Rev 254 or�the Supreme Court web site.


Amendment to the District Court Rules

Tue Nov 13 2007

The District Court Rules 1973 No. 1 (NSW) have been amended by the District Court Amendment (Entry and Recording of Judgments, Orders, Sentences, Directions or Recommendations) Rule 2007 No. 549 (NSW). The amending Rule allows any judicial recommendation, direction, order, judgment or sentence to be entered on the appropriate court file, computer record or indictment in the proceedings.

The amending Rule commenced on 9 November 2007. View the amending Rule>

13 November 2007

Reminder: swearing-in ceremony for Stuart Fowler AM, Friday, 16 November 2007

Tue Nov 13 2007

A ceremonial sitting of the Family Court will be held for the swearing in�and welcome of the Hon Justice Stuart Fowler AM on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 9.30am in the Full Court Courtroom, level 7 of the Lionel Bowen Building, Sydney. Wigs and robes are to be worn.

Anna Katzmann SC will speak on behalf of the Australian and New South Wales Bar associations.

13 November 2007

Late rush to join Vioxx class action

Tue Nov 13 2007

More than�1000 victims of the arthritis drug Vioxx�are said to have�joined an Australian class action in the wake of a $5 billion settlement for U.S. Vioxx users, according to a media release published by law firm Slater and Gordon. View the media release>

13 November 2007

New daily distribution of magistrates

Tue Nov 13 2007

His Honour Chief Magistrate Henson has released the new daily distribution of magistrates for 2008.�It�includes provision, commencing Monday, 21 January 2008, for�the magistrate's position previously headquartered at Cobham Children's Court to be shared between Mount Druitt Local Court and Parramatta Children's Court. On the first and third week of each month a third court will sit at Mount Druitt Local Court. The balance will sit at Parramatta Children's Court.

View the distribution of magistrates for 2008>

13 November 2007

Law Council releases submission on regulation of migration agents

Tue Nov 13 2007

The Law Council fo Australia has published its submission on the regulation of migration agents. A discussion paper on standards in the migration advice sector was released�in September�by the assistant minister for immigration and citizenship, the Hon Teresa Gambaro MP.�View the discussion paper>

The LCA recommended, among other things, that:

>> the regulator should be independent of all stakeholders but have representatives of the stakeholders on an Advisory Board (akin to the UK model);

>> lawyers with legal practising certificates should not be required to pay a registration fee in addition to their practising certificate fees, professional indemnity insurance premiums and fidelity fund contributions;

>> all complaints regarding lawyer agents should be referred by MARA or DIAC, or the relevant body, to the state or territory Legal Services Board, Law Society or Bar Association for investigation and, if necessary, punishment;

>> MARA, or the relevant industry regulator, must be required to provide information on its public register of migration agents indicating whether a registered lawyer/agent holds a legal practising certificate and specialist accreditation from a Law Society; and

>> lawyers with legal practising certificates should not be required to meet MARA’s continuing professional development (CPD) requirements in addition to their CPD load as lawyers.

View the Law Council's submission>

13 November 2007

Costs agreement and disclosure precedents

Mon Nov 12 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

Increase in interest on unpaid legal costs

Mon Nov 12 2007

At its meeting on�6 November 2007, the Reserve Bank Board decided to increase the cash rate by 25 basis points to 6.75 per cent.�Accordingly the rate of interest on unpaid legal costs, prescribed by clause 110A(3) of the Legal Profession Regulation 2005,�as of�7 November 2007, is 8.75%.

Section 321 of the Legal Profession Act 2004 ‘Interest on unpaid legal costs’ provides:

(1)�A law practice may charge interest on unpaid legal costs if the costs are unpaid 30 days or more after the practice has given a bill for the costs in accordance with this Part.

(2)�A law practice may also charge interest on unpaid legal costs in accordance with a costs agreement.

(3)�A law practice must not charge interest under subsection (1) or (2) on unpaid legal costs unless the bill for those costs contains a statement that interest is payable and of the rate of interest.

(4)�A law practice may not charge interest under this section or under a costs agreement at a rate that exceeds the rate prescribed by the regulations.

(5) ...

Clause 110A of the Legal Profession Regulation 2005 prescribes the relevant rate of interest. It provides:

110A�Interest on unpaid legal costs—section 321 (4) (b) of the Act

(1)�This clause is made for the purposes of section 321 (4) of the Act and prescribes the rate of interest in excess of which a law practice may not charge interest under section 321 of the Act or under a costs agreement.

(2)�The rate for the period commencing with 1 October 2005 and ending immediately before the date of commencement of subclause (3) is 9%.

(3)�The rate for the period commencing with the date of commencement of this subclause is the rate that is equal to the Cash Rate Target as at the relevant date, increased by 2 percentage points.

(4)�In this clause:�

Cash Rate Target means the percentage (or maximum percentage) specified by the Reserve Bank of Australia as the Cash Rate Target.

relevant date means the date the bill was issued by the law practice concerned.

The Cash Rate Target increased from 7 November 2007 (visit the Reserve Bank web site)

Accordingly the rate of interest prescribed by clause 110A(3) as of�7 November 2007 is 8.75%.

12 November 2007

Annual counsel fee review

Mon Nov 12 2007

The Office of Legal Services Coordination has announced a 4.3 per cent�increase in the approved rates for engagement of counsel by the Australian Government in new briefs received on or after 5 November 2007. Download a ready reckoner of fees showing rates before and after the rise. For further information, contact the OLSC on ph: (02) 6250 6424 or e-mail:

12 November 2007