Charter of Rights Forum #2: Arguments for and against a charter of rights for NSW

Mon Nov 05 2007

The second seminar in a two-part series on a Charter of Rights will be held�tonight, 5 November 2007 at 5.00pm in the Common Room. Tonight's seminar�will will provide members with arguments 'for' and 'against' the issue of a charter of rights in NSW. Professor Hilary Charlesworth, chair of the ACT Government's inquiry into an ACT Bill of Rights and Noel Hutley SC will debate the pros and cons.

At the conclusion of the presentation members of the Bar will be invited to join in the debate and offer further comments and insight on this issue.

5 November 2007

The Bar Library has moved

Mon Nov 05 2007

The Bar Library has relocated to the Common Room whilst�renovations take place over the Christmas/New Year break. A limited service will be in operation until 12 noon on Friday, 21 December 2007 and from Monday, 14 January 2008 to Friday, 25 January 2008 inclusive. The library will be open from 10am to 4pm between these dates.

There will be NO hard copy materials available during this period so please avoid visiting the library in person if possible. The library will provide a service from available electronic materials. Please telephone or e-mail requests for assistance.

Please do not return any items to the library during this period.

The library will be closed from 12 noon Friday, 21 December 2007 to Friday, 11 January 2008 inclusive. It will resume�regular opening hours in the normal premises (8:00am to 6:00pm) on 29 January 2008.

14�December 2007

Welcome to the new readers

Mon Nov 05 2007

The New Barristers Committee will host drinks to welcome the new readers on Wednesday, 7 November 2007 at 5.30pm in the Verandah Bar, 60 Castlereagh Street.��

Join the committee as they welcome the latest readers in their first week.

For the diary

New Barristers Committee Christmas drinks will be held on Wednesday, 5 December 2007. For further information, contact Katie at the Bar Association on ph: (02) 9229 1720.

23�November 2007

New MAA Guidelines for the Management of Acute Whiplash-Associated Disorders (WAD)

Fri Nov 02 2007

The Motor Accidents Authority (MAA) of NSW has released updated guidelines for the management of acute WAD. The 2nd edition of the guidelines incorporates the latest research into WAD that has been published since the release of the 2001 guidelines.

The guidelines offer an evidence-based approach for medical and health professionals, insurers and consumers on how best to manage WAD in the first 12 weeks following a motor vehicle accident.

They build on the 2001 guidelines by providing more ways to deal with complex cases by:

  • Alerting primary care practitioners to adverse prognostic indicators which may indicate the need for early referral or more intensive treatment
  • Confirming that the diagnosis of a fracture or dislocation warrants immediate referral to an Emergency department or a medical specialist
  • Providing indications of when referral to specialists or a multidisciplinary pain team or rehabilitation providers should be considered

There are six WAD publications to suit different needs:

  • Guidelines for the Management of Acute Whiplash-Associated Disorders - for Health Professionals 2nd Edition 2007
  • Summary Guidelines� for the Management of Acute Whiplash-Associated Disorders- for Health Professionals 2nd Edition 2007
  • Compulsory Third Party Claims Guide for the Management of Acute Whiplash-Associated Disorders – An Insurer’s Guide 2nd Edition 2007
  • Your Guide to Whiplash Recovery in the first 12 weeks after the accident – For consumers
  • MAA Whiplash Guidelines – GP Summary
  • Technical Report Guidelines for the Management of Acute Whiplash-Associated Disorders 2nd Edition 2007

All publications may be downloaded from the MAA website�and click on Whiplash Guidelines.

2 November 2007

An introduction to Roman law

Thu Nov 01 2007

The New South Wales Bar will be holding a continuing professional development seminar entitled “An introduction to Roman Law”.� The seminar will be presented by the Hon R P Meagher AO QC and chaired by the Hon Justice A R Emmett on Tuesday 20 November 2007.�

The Hon R P Meagher QC was Challis lecturer in Roman law at the University of Sydney until the mid 1980s when he was succeeded in that position by the Hon Justice A R Emmett.� This seminar is an introduction to the subject but should be of broad interest to any member of the Bar who seeks deeper insight into the parts of the common law that are derived from Roman law or who contemplates any study of civil law systems.�

The seminar will be held in the Common Room at 5.15 pm.� All are welcome.

15 November 2007

Wigs and robes for musical production

Thu Nov 01 2007

The producers of a new musical,�The Hatpin, would like to borrow wigs and robes (for both barristers & judges) in exchange for opening night tickets and the opportunity to meet the cast.

The Hatpin is billed as�"the true story of a single mother who advertised her baby in a newspaper trading column in the hope of saving his life...and ended up embroiled in one of the most captivating criminal trials in Australian history."

For further information, contact Martin Kinnane via e-mail:�or�or via mobile: 0419 202 731

1 November 2007

2007 Law and Justice Awards announced

Thu Nov 01 2007

The 2007 Justice Awards were held last night�at the Strangers' Dining Room in Parliament House. The Bar Association sponsors the�Law and Justice Volunteer Award, which was presented to Brenda McKinnon of the�Albury Wodonga Community Information Referral Centre.

The 2007 Law and Justice Address was delivered by the Hon Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE.

Learn more about the Law & Justice Foundation's 2007 Justice Awards>

1 November 2007

Reminder: ceremonial welcome for Federal Magistrate Orchiston

Thu Nov 01 2007

A ceremonial welcome�will be held for Federal Magistrate Orchiston on 30 November at 4.30pm in courtroom 21A, Level 21, Law Courts Building, Queens Square.� Margaret Cunneen SC will speak on behalf of the New South Wales and Australian bar associations.

21 November 2007

Latest cases marked reportable by the Council for Law Reporting

Wed Oct 31 2007

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

Mullins v Lillyman [2007] NSWSC 407 (Buddin J) (02.05.07) (CLD 14815/2006)

Zorom Enterprises Pty Ltd v Zabow and Others [2007] NSWCA 106 (CA) (04.05.07) (40477/2006

Australian Hardboards Ltd v Hudson Investment Group Ltd [2007] NSWCA 104 (CA) (04.05.07) (40570/2006)

Valceski and Another v Valceski and Another [2007] NSWSC 440 (Brereton J) (04.05.07) (ED 6133/2006)

31 October 2007

New Legal Services Act for England and Wales

Wed Oct 31 2007

The UK Parliament has passed the Legal Services Bill 2006-2007. The object of the Bill, as expressed in the explanatory notes, is to�establish a new framework for the regulation of legal services in England and Wales. It makes provision for:

>> The establishment of the Legal Services Board: a single oversight body, independent from both government and approved regulators (Bar Council and Law Society)

>> The establishment of an independent Office for Legal Complaints (OLC): a body with statutory power to handle complaints about services provided by persons subject to oversight regulation by the Board, and to award redress in appropriate circumstances. It is expected to address concerns about the quality, independence, and consistency of complaints handling by the legal professions.

>> Alternative Business Structures (ABS) will enable lawyers and non-lawyers to work together on an equal footing to deliver legal and other services. External investment will be possible, and new business structures are expected to give legal providers greater flexibility to respond to market demands, within the UK and overseas. Licences will be conferred by licensing authorities and various safeguards will be in place.

Visit the UK Parliament's web site to view the Bill, explanatory notes and all information related to its progress >

31 October 2007

Legal Aid Commission appointment

Wed Oct 31 2007

Expressions of interest are sought for appointment to the Civil Law Sub-Committee of the Board of Legal Aid NSW, pursuant to s68 of the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979.� This nominee, together with the Law Society of New South Wales nominee, will provide the Legal Aid NSW Board with expert advice.

Please send expressions of interest to Cindy Penrose�at the Bar Association.

6 November 2007 �

Request for Information regarding the Corrective Services Department

Wed Oct 31 2007

Representatives of the legal profession, including the Bar Association, Public Defenders, New South Wales Law Society, NSW Legal Aid Commission and the Aboriginal Legal Service, are now meeting on a regular basis with the Department of Corrective Services in order to address many issues of concern to practitioners.� These include visiting hours, facilities, information about lock-downs, protocols for visits (for example, what can and cannot be taken into prisons), minimum safety standards, telephone communications, video-conferencing and use of “law clerks”.���

It would facilitate this process if members who have experienced specific problems in their dealings with the Department of Corrective Services in relation to such matters, or have specific constructive suggestions, passed them on in writing to the Criminal Law Committee (attention: Cindy Penrose�at the�NSW Bar Association) if possible by 9 November.

7 November 2007

Review of UK judicial appointments process

Tue Oct 30 2007

The UK Ministry of Justice�has published a consultation paper on judicial appointments. The Governance of Britain: Judicial Appointments seeks views on whether the role of the independent Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) is appropriate, or whether more�should be done to limit ministerial involvement.

View the report>

30 October 2007

Diarise for next week: swearing in ceremony for Greg Keating

Tue Oct 30 2007

Gregory Michael Keating will be sworn in as a District Court judge on Tuesday, 6 November, 2007 at 9.30 am in Court 21A John Maddison Tower, level 21, 86-90 Goulburn Street. Attorney General Hatzistergos will speak on behalf of the Bar.

30 October 2007

Online Court in the Common Law Division

Tue Oct 30 2007

Online courts are now available in the Common Law Division.�The types of matters suitable for an Online Court include relatively straightforward matters where all parties are legally represented, for example consent directions. The service is available only to legal practitioners (and support staff nominated to post messages on the practitioner’s behalf), not to litigants or non-parties. Learn more >

30 October 2007


Web update: The Guantanamo Testimonials Project

Tue Oct 30 2007

The Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas (CSHRA) at the University of California, Davis, has launched The Guant�namo Testimonials Project. The goal is to gather testimonies of prisoner abuse in Guant�namo, organise them by the source of the testimonies given and by the type of the abuse alleged.

Visit the Guantanamo Testimonials Project>

30 October 2007

Papers to note: Some Legal Aspects of Climate Change

Mon Oct 29 2007

On Wednesday, 24 October, the Bar Association hosted a CPD seminar on legal aspects of climate change. Michael Slattery QC chaired the�seminar and papers were presented by the Hon Murray Wilcox QC and Dr Jane McAdam. The seminar examined emission trading rights, climate-induced displacement and other significant legal issues likely to arise out of climate change.

View the paper by Dr Jane McAdam >� |� View the paper by the Hon Murray Wilcox QC>

29 October 2007

Speeches to note: McKenzie Stuart Lecture, Cambridge University

Mon Oct 29 2007

On�25 October 2007 Britain's lord chancellor and secretary of state for justice, Jack Straw, laid out plans for the future of British human rights legislation in the annual Mackenzie Stuart Lecture at Cambridge University's Faculty of Law. In the speech, he said, "If you read certain newspapers you might be forgiven for thinking that human rights were an alien imposition foisted upon us by 'the other'. It is a misconception that has regrettably taken root."

"A central theme of my lecture this evening is to explode this myth, and to demonstrate how far from being some European imposition, Britain has been at the forefront of the political and legal development of human rights across Europe and across the world", he said.

View the McKenzie Stuart Lecture>

29 October 2007


Unprofessional conduct earns rebuke from Ohio Supreme Court

Mon Oct 29 2007

The Ohio Supreme Court has overturned a record-breaking $30 million medical malpractice award, citing, among other courtroom misbehavior, a theatrical closing argument by the controversial Michigan attorney representing the brain-injured plaintiff.

Attorney Geoffrey Fieger's courtroom antics, including his assumption at closing of the persona of his client, when he allegedly was an oxygen-deprived baby during the delivery process, were inappropriate and tainted the jury's decision, the supreme court held yesterday in a 6-1 ruling.

At one point, while in character as the baby, Fieger told the jury: "Doctors, nurses, I'm suffocating. Please help me to be born. I want to play baseball. I want to hug my mother. I want to tell her that I love her. Help me." Learn more>

29 October 2007


Employment Opportunity: Public Interest Law Clearing House (Vic) Inc

Mon Oct 29 2007

The Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH), a leading not-for-profit organisation in the Victorian legal sector, is seeking applications for an all encompassing senior level operations role supporting the executive director.

PILCH is currently the largest facilitator of pro bono resources in Australia, and is committed to furthering the public interest, improving access to justice and protecting human rights by facilitating the provision of pro bono legal services and undertaking law reform, policy work and legal education. In carrying out its mission, PILCH specifically seeks to address disadvantage and marginalisation in the community, to effect structural change to address injustice, to foster a strong pro bono culture in Victoria and to increase the pro bono capacity of the legal profession.

Operations Manager

Financial management including budget analysis and financial reporting; organisational development and evaluation of services; assisting with coordination of current projects and establishment of new projects and; assisting with recruitment and professional development and training of staff.

The candidate for the position should have excellent financial management skills (accounting degree preferred but not essential), experience in project development and evaluation and an understanding and interest in the legal, community and access to justice sectors.

Download the full position description and selection criteria>

Applications, including CV, covering letter and response to the selection criteria, should be submitted to the Executive Director, Public Interest Law Clearing House (Vic) Inc, Level 1, 550 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000 or by e-mail to by 12 November 2007. Please direct inquiries about the position to Rachel Brown at PILCH on (03) 9225 6680.

29 October 2007