Best Practice Guides for administrative decision makers

Mon Oct 29 2007

The Administrative�Review Council publishes _Best Practice Guides,�_a�five-part series�covering all key stages in the administrative decision-making process.

The subject areas covered by the Best Practice Guides are:

For�further information about the ARC or the Guides,�visit the Administrative Research Council web site or contact the secretariat on ph: (02) 6250 5800 or via e-mail:

30�October 2007

Appointment of silk in Victoria

Fri Oct 26 2007

There will be�a general meeting of counsel of the Victorian Bar on 1 November 2007. The following proposed motions regarding the appointment of senior counsel will be discussed.

For additional background information, download 'The Appointment of Senior Counsel in Victoria: Summary of Current Process' by the chief justice of Victoria and the Victorian Supreme Court's consultation document on the senior counsel selection process.

26 October 2007

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

Fri Oct 26 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.


Appointment of acting judges of the Supreme Court

Fri Oct 26 2007

The following persons have been appointed as acting judges of the Supreme Court of New South Wales for the periods shown:

>> the Hon Justice Biscoe: 5 November 2007 to 30 November 2007 >> his Honour Judge Walmsley SC: 5 November 2007 to 14 December 2007 >> his Honour Judge Berman SC: 5 November 2007 to 14 December 2007

26 October 2007

Events to diarise: Great Bar Boat Race and 2008 Bench and Bar Dinner

Thu Oct 25 2007

2007 Great Bar Boat Race The date for the 2007 Great Bar Boat Race has been confirmed as Monday, 17 December. The Registration Form will be sent via In Brief next week.� � 2008 Bench and Bar Dinner The 2008 Bench and Bar will be held on Friday, 9 May 2008 at the Hilton Sydney.

25 October 2007

Legislation to note: Jury Amendment Bill 2007

Thu Oct 25 2007

The Jury Amendment Bill 2007 was introduced in the Legislative Assembly on 23 October. The object of this Bill, as stated in the explanatory notes,�is to amend the _Jury Act 1977 _to:

(a) enable up to 3 additional jurors to be selected for certain criminal trials in the Supreme Court or District Court, and (b) ensure that only 12 members of a jury that is expanded with additional jurors may retire to consider the jury’s verdict.

View the Bill >� |� View the explanatory notes >� |� View the agreement in principle speech>

25 October 2007

Speeches to note: Mergers and Acquisitions 2007, by the Hon Justice RP Austin

Thu Oct 25 2007

The Hon Justice Austin, in�a speech delivered yesterday at the University of New South Wales, has spoken about private equity transactions, specifically the issue of executive directors of the target participating in a bidding consortium, as well as�some current issues in merger schemes. In doing so, the judge discussed�the current state of Australian statutory company law and in particular, what he describes as "a deplorable trend in the drafting of legislative amendments".

View the speech>

25 October 2007

Reminder: Legal aid conference on this afternoon

Thu Oct 25 2007

The Bar Council, together with the Legal Aid Commission of NSW, has decided to convene a legal aid conference that will consider the present and future relationship between the commission and the profession.

The conference will be held�today, 29 October from 4.30pm - 6.30pm in the Bar Association Common Room. Michael Slattery QC will introduce the session, with Geoff Lindsay SC acting as chair. Speakers include Bill Grant, director, Legal Aid NSW, Brian Sandland, director, criminal law, Legal Aid NSW, Anita Anderson, director, grants, Legal Aid NSW, Tim Game SC, Phillip Boulten SC and Nicole Caroll.

Download a conference flyer>

29�October 2007

2007 Bar Council elections and AGM

Thu Oct 25 2007

Ballot papers for the election of the 2008 Bar Council have been mailed to all those eligible to vote. Members should take care to complete the ballot paper in accordance with the instructions provided.� If any member has a query concerning the completion of the ballot paper they should contact the Bar Association for assistance. The ballot closes at 1.00pm on Friday 2 November 2007. The AGM will be held at 1.00pm in the Common Room. More information >

31�October 2007

Memorial service for Mr Peter Twigg

Wed Oct 24 2007

The Family Court of Australia will hold a memorial service to honour Mr Peter Twigg, a solicitor advocate who appeared in the family law jurisdiction for in excess of 50 years, who�passed away recently.

The brief sitting will be held at 9.45 am on Thursday, 25 October 2007 in Court 7B, Goulburn Street, to mark his passing and his contribution to the jurisdiction.

24 October 2007


Crown Law Officers Legislation enters the lower house: Greg Smith MP

Wed Oct 24 2007

The Crown Law Officers Legislation Amendment (Abolition of Life Tenure) Bill 2007 has been introduced in the lower house. The shadow attorney general, Greg Smith MP,�described the "wilful blindness, sheer incompetence or blatant political prejudice that is driving the Iemma government to undermine the independence that successive directors of public prosecutions and crown prosecutors have enjoyed in this state for over 20 years".

View the Hansard proofs of the�agreement in principle speech by�Mr Greg Smith MP>

25 October 2007

Diarise for next week: The Great Legal Debate

Wed Oct 24 2007

Members�are invited to attend the key legal event of the 2007 federal election campaign – a debate between Attorney-General Philip Ruddock MP and Shadow Attorney-General Senator Joe Ludwig. The debate will explore the policies of the major parties as they affect the Australian legal system and legal profession.

The debate will be chaired by Dr Andrew Lynch of the University of New South Wales, with questions from a panel composed of representatives from the media, legal profession and academy. There will be no ‘worm’!

The debate will be held from 9am to 10am on Tuesday, 6 November in the Theatrette at NSW Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney.

Entry is free but seating is strictly limited. If you would like to attend, please book a place by contacting Belinda McDonald on 02 9385 2257 or

The Great Legal Debate has been organised by the Australian Financial Review and the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW.

1 November 2007

South Australia passes proceeds of crime legislation aimed at David Hicks

Wed Oct 24 2007

The South Australian Government has amended the Criminal Assets Confiscation Act 2005 to prevent David Hicks from profiting from any "account of his exploits". It provides for serious offences should be amended to include any foreign offence declared by the regulations to be a serious offence.

View the Criminal Assets Confiscation (Serious Offences) Amendment Bill 2007 which passed the SA upper house last night > | View the SA attorney general's second reading speech>

24 October 2007

New 'on the spot' infringement notice scheme

Wed Oct 24 2007

New South Wales Police will roll out a new state-wide system of Criminal Infringement Notices (CINs) from 1 November 2007. The police media release describes the�Criminal Infringement Notice�as "an alternative legal process to the arrest and processing of suspects and involves an “on-the-spot” fine for a range of minor criminal offences. It has been trialled in 12 Local Area Commands since 2002." Learn more about the CINs>

The president of the Bar Association, Michael Slattery QC, appeared on ABC Radio Newcastle�this morning to voice concerns about the proposal. He said, "It has some problems.�First, it obviously involves reduced court intervention in minor crime...Coming before a magistrate can be extremely beneficial [if]�the offender may be suffering a mental illness that needs treatment, or that needs some sort of attention".��

"Secondly, they are transferring an idea that comes from negligent driving offences, which do not involve any intentional dishonesty on the part of the offender [and which]�can be dealt with by infringement notices.� But what they're going to do here is to bring outside the court system, intentional dishonesty, or intentional anti-social behaviour.�

"Now that's something that I think the community might be rightly concerned about...The court system fills a very important function as an independent arbiter of that sort of conduct, either to record a conviction, issue a penalty, or looking at the circumstances to issue a bond, or whatever the result is, and this will now be left up to the discretion of a police officer, which is essentially unreviewable.�

"The beauty of the court system is the magistrate can look at every case, consider the circumstances, and give a fine that reflects the penalty, and reflects the circumstances.� Here, that can't be done.�

"They're trying to budget to save money by, in effect, withdrawing people from the justice system.� Now really, what they should be thinking about is funding the justice system further, including the police, the director of public prosecutions and the legal aid system, not taking this kind of short-cut."�

24 October 2007

Legislation to note: Courts Legislation Amendment Bill 2007

Tue Oct 23 2007

The Courts Legislation Amendment Bill 2007 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 19 October 2007,�and was the subject of�an agreement in principle speech on the same day. The objects of the�Act�include to:

  • amend certain Acts with respect to courts, court procedure and jurisdiction;
  • amend the Land and Environment Court Act 1979 to ensure consistency with the Civil Procedure Act 2005;
  • and for other purposes.

View the Courts Legislation Amendment Bill 2007 > | View the�explanatory notes>

24 October 2007

New Zealand chief justice to deliver the 2008 Maurice Byers Address

Tue Oct 23 2007

The 2008 Maurice Byers Address will be delivered by the Right Honourable Dame Sian Elias on 24 April 2008 in the Bar Association Common Room.

**About the lecturer

**She graduated from Auckland University with an LLB honours degree in 1970 and was admitted to the New Zealand Bar the same year. She studied at Stanford University, from which she graduated in 1972 with a master’s degree in law.� Following her return to New Zealand, Dame Sian worked first as a solicitor and then as a barrister in Auckland.� In 1984-1989 she was a member of the Law Commission working particularly on the reform of company law.

In 1988, Dame Sian was appointed a queen’s counsel.� She appeared in a number of significant cases, including cases concerning the Treaty of Waitangi. She was awarded a Commemorative Medal in 1990 in recognition of services to the legal profession.

In 1995, Dame Sian was appointed judge of the High Court in Auckland.�On 17 May 1999, she was appointed�as the 12th chief justice of New Zealand, the first woman to be appointed to that office.�She was made a dame grand companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.�In 2001 she sat on the Privy Council, the first woman to do so.

When in 2003 the Supreme Court Act established a final Court of Appeal in New Zealand, the chief justice became the head of the new Supreme Court.�That court began sitting in July 2004.

About the Sir�Maurice Byers Address

In early 2000, Bar Council resolved to establish an annual address in honour of Sir Maurice Byers. In recognition of Sir Maurice's principal areas of work, it was decided to make the focus one of constitutional or public law. More information about the Maurice Byers Address>

24 October 2007

Cases to note

Tue Oct 23 2007

List of cases received and marked reportable by the Council of Law Reporting for New South Wales

Chaina v The Presbyterian Church (NSW) Property Trust and Others [2007] NSWSC 353 (Howie J) (19.04.07) (20472/2002)

Azzi and Others v Volvo Car Australia Pty Ltd (Costs) [2007] NSWSC 375 (Brereton J) (20.04.07) (ED 50146/2003; 50156/2003)

Ryledar Pty Ltd t/as Volume Plus and Another v Euphoric Pty Ltd [2007] NSWCA 65 (CA) (20.04.07) (40067/2006; 40068/2006)

Torrac Nominees Pty Ltd v Karabay; UWS Macarthur Sports & Recreation Association Inc v Karabay [2007] NSWCA 96 (CA) (02.05.07) (40223/2006; 40242/2006)

23 October 2007

International practice: the New Zealand Bar

Tue Oct 23 2007

Following last week's seminar on practice at the New Zealand Bar, conducted by Mr Jim Farmer QC, those members who wish to seek further details about the requirements of and practical ideas for practising in New Zealand can contact the New Zealand Bar Association.

The NZBA�may be able to assist in arranging door tenancies in suitable chambers in New Zealand. Queries can be addressed to Ms Monique Pearson, executive director of the New Zealand Bar Association,�via e-mail:�

23 October 2007

Legislation to note: Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill (UK)

Tue Oct 23 2007

The House of Commons has been debating�the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill. The Commons report describes it as "a very wide-ranging Bill, drawing together a large number of disparate and sometimes controversial policy issues".

The Bill�includes measures on youth justice, sentencing and�provisions on criminal appeals, allowing non-legal staff to prosecute in magistrates’ courts. There are also provisions relating to compensation payable for miscarriages of justice and international cooperation in criminal matters.

View the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill as introduced, as well as subsequent amendments�>� |� View the explanatory notes & the House of Commons research paper>

23 October 2007

Web update: GlobaLex research guides to international, comparative and foreign law

Tue Oct 23 2007

GlobaLex is a product of the Hauser Global Law School Program at New York University Law School, providing specialty research guides in the areas of international, comparative, and foreign law, with nearly every foreign state included.�

Examples of topics covered include Researching International Marine Environmental Law , European Union Legal Materials: An Infrequent User's Guide� and � la Recherche des Travaux Pr�paratoires: An Approach to Researching the Drafting History of International Agreements

The entire site and all guides are fully searchable.�

Visit GlobaLex>

24 October 2007

Legislation to note: Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment Bill 2007

Tue Oct 23 2007

The Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment Bill 2007 was introduced by Attorney General John Hatzistergos in the NSW Legislative Council on 17 October 2007. Debate was adjourned for�five calendar days. The object of this Bill is to amend the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 as follows:

(a) to provide for a number of new aggravating factors that may be taken into account by a court in sentencing a person for an offence,

(b) to change the circumstances in which the remorse of an offender may be taken into account as a mitigating factor in sentencing,

(c) to establish standard non-parole periods for a number of offences,

(d) to increase the standard non-parole period for the offence of aggravated indecent assault of a child under 10 years of age,

(e) for statute law revision purposes.

View the explanatory notes > | View the Bill>

23 October 2007