Refurbishment of Parramatta Courthouse begins

Thu Jul 31 2008

Parramatta Courthouse will be closed during�a $14 million upgrade, which began yesterday.�Court services�will be temporarily relocated to Parramatta Children’s Court, Sydney West Trial Courts and courthouses in Bankstown, Hornsby and Ryde. The revamped facility will comprise six local courtrooms, a drug court and a callover court. Work is due to be completed by June next year. Learn more>

31 July 2008

Recent House of Lords decisions

Thu Jul 31 2008

The following opinions of the lords of appeal are available on the House of Lords web site:

Van Colle (administrator of the estate of GC (deceased)) and another (Original-Respondents and Cross-appellants) v Chief Constable of the Hertfordshire Police (Original Appellant and Cross-respondent) Smith (Respondent) v Chief Constable of Sussex Police (Appellant)�[2008] UKHL 50�30 July 2008�

Caldarelli (Appellant) v Court of Naples (Respondent) (Criminal Appeal from her Majesty’s High Court of Justice)��[2008] UKHL 51�30 July 2008�

_R (on the application of M) (FC) (Respondent) v Slough Borough Council (Appellants)�[_2008] UKHL 52�30 July 2008�

R (on the application of Baiai and others) (Respondents) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant) and one other action (formerly R (on the application of Trzcinska and others) (Respondents) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant) and one other action�[2008] UKHL 53�30 July 2008�

Maco Door and Windows Hardware (UK) Limited (Respondents) v Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (Appellants)��[2008] UKHL 54��30 July 2008�

Yeoman’s Row Management Limited (Appellants) and another v Cobbe (Respondent)��[2008] UKHL 55��30 July 2008�

Gallagher (Valuation Officer) (Respondent) v Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Appellants)��[2008] UKHL 56�30 July 2008�

Doherty (FC) (Appellant) and others v Birmingham City Council (Respondent)�[2008] UKHL 57�30 July 2008�

R (on the application of Heffernan) (FC) (Appellant) v The Rent Service) (Respondents)�[2008] UKHL 58��30 July 2008�

McKinnon (Appellant) v Government of the United States of America (Respondents) and another �[2008] UKHL 59��30 July 2008�

R (on the application of Corner House Research and others) (Respondents) v Director of the Serious Fraud Office (Appellant) (Criminal Appeal from Her majesty’s High Court of Justice)�[2008] UKHL 60

For more information on House of Lords judgments, visit the Westminster Parliament's web site >

31 July 2008 �

Law Council urges changes to Haneef inquiry

Thu Jul 31 2008

The Law Council of Australia has�written to Attorney-General Robert McClelland, urging him to provide a proper statutory basis for the Haneef Inquiry, headed by John Clarke QC.��Law Council President Ross Ray QC said that�"under the current arrangements, what information is provided to Mr Clarke and on what terms is a matter entirely within the control of the agencies involved". View the LCA media release>

31 July 2008

High Court decision in barristers' professional indemnity case

Wed Jul 30 2008

A barrister, who failed to advise that a compensation claim be filed before an amendment to the New South Wales Workers’ Compensation Act barred the claim, was not entitled to insurance to cover the damages he would have to pay to his client, the High Court of Australia held today. View the court's�media release | View the judgment in CGU v Porthouse�>

30 July 2008

Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation Recital

Wed Jul 30 2008

Members are invited to the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation Recital at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on Sunday, 24 August 2008 at 3.00pm. The foundation aims to raise awareness of, and work�to remove, the stigma of mental illness amongst law students and within the legal profession. Learn more about the concert>


2009 Australian Bar Association Conference - Strasbourg and London

Wed Jul 30 2008

Expressions of interest are now being taken for the Australian Bar Association Conference to be held in Strasbourg and London between 26 June and 1 July 2009. The conference will commence in Strasbourg on Friday, 26 June 2009 for a full day session in the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. The London component will commence on the evening of Sunday, 28 June and conclude with a Gala Dinner at Lincoln’s Inn on Wednesday, 1 July 2009. Learn more>

31 October�2008

Prosecuting and Judging War Crimes in Emerging Courts

Tue Jul 29 2008

David Re, of Frederick Jordan Chambers, has been appointed to the position of international judge on the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that country's highest trial and appellate court. This seminar on�Thursday, 31 July, will cover recent developments in international humanitarian law and how countries deal with war crimes in the years following major conflicts. Download a flyer for full details of this event.

29 July 2008

Australian Government announces changes to immigration detention system

Tue Jul 29 2008

The minister for immigration and citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, today announced changes to Australia’s system of mandatory detention for unlawful non-citizens. Unauthorised boat arrivals will continue to be processed�at the�Christmas Island facility, but will now have access to legal assistance and an independent review of unfavourable decisions.

“The department will have to justify why a person should be detained. Once in detention a detainee’s case will be reviewed every three months to ensure that the further detention of the individual is justified,” Senator Evans said. “Children will not be detained in an immigration detention centre.”

The Law Council has issued a media release welcoming the move.

View the minister's media release� |� Download the minister's speech announcing the changes>

29 July 2008

Cases selected for reporting in FCR by V Kline

Tue Jul 29 2008

The following cases will be published in a forthcoming volume of FCR:

ASIC v P Dawson Nominees Pty Ltd�[2008] FCAFC 123�Heerey, Moore, Tracey JJ SZIZO v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship�[2008] FCAFC 122��Moore, Marshall, Lander JJ CFMEU v Hadgkiss� [2008] FCAFC 197 North, Lander, Buchanan JJ Evans v NSW� [2008] FCAFC 130�French, Branson, Stone JJ Hussain v Minister for Foreign Affairs [2008] FCAFC 128�Weinberg, Bennett, Edmonds�JJ�

29 July 2008


Funeral arrangements for Matthew Bracks

Tue Jul 29 2008

A funeral will be held for Matthew Bracks at 10.00am on Saturday, 2 August, in the school chapel at St Aloysius College,�47 Upper Pitt Street, Kirribilli.

30�July 2008

Attorney foreshadows simpler regime for access to court documents

Mon Jul 28 2008

Attorney General John Hatzistergos has announced�plans for a�new, simpler regime governing public and media access to court documents. The NSW Government will adopt the recommendations made by the Attorney General's Department in its Report on Access to Court Information.

"Documents classified as Open Access will be available to journalists and the public, and may include police fact sheets, evidence transcripts, affidavits and pleadings", the attorney said in his media release. "Those classified Restricted, such as medical and psychiatric reports, will only be available if the court grants leave or the statutory provision confers a right of access".

View the attorney's media release | View the report>

28 July 2008

Advanced skills training for mediators

Mon Jul 28 2008

Members who are attending the 9th National Mediation Conference in Perth on 10-12 September, may wish to�attend Jim Cyngler's advanced mediation training course, which precedes the conference. The�three-day course, to be held on 7-9 September, is suitable for mediators who have an interest in developing their conflict interaction skills and for non-mediators wishing to acquire high level mediation skills. Download an information and registration brochure�or visit�his web site>

26 August�2008

Federal, state and territory attorneys-general meet in New Zealand

Fri Jul 25 2008

The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG)�has�been meeting in New Zealand.�They��discussed more than�20 matters of substantive legal reforms for all jurisdictions and have issued a communique chock-full of proposals for further consideration. Foremost among these�are:

>> a scheme for a national judicial system that would allow judges to move between different jurisdictions; >> greater harmonisation of, and a national register of, suppression orders; and >> a national judicial complaints handling scheme.

View the communique and the summary of decisions>

25 July 2008

New South Wales Government proposes changes to workers' compensation death benefits

Fri Jul 25 2008

The New South Wales Government has announced that it will legislate during the next parliament to increase the lump sum paid if a worker dies from a work related incident. The amount will increase from $337,000�to $425,000. The improved death benefits will be paid to the families of workers who died as a result of their employment on or after 24 October 2007. Other measures in the proposed Bill will include:

  • broadening the circumstances in which the lump sum death benefit is available, by making it payable to the worker’s estate (currently the lump sum is only paid if the worker had financial dependants); and
  • ensuring that weekly payments for the dependant children of deceased workers are not reduced on the grounds of their having been partially financially dependant.

View Premier Morris Iemma's media release>

25 July 2008

Award for Excellence in Judicial Administration: call for nominations

Thu Jul 24 2008

To mark the 25th anniversary of its establishment, the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration will hold�a biennial AIJA Excellence in Judicial Administration Award. The award is intended to recognise individuals or organisations who have made an exceptional contribution to the administration of justice in Australia and New Zealand. Interested persons (including courts and other institutions) are invited to submit nominations for the 2008 award. Closing date: 31 July 2008. Learn more>

24 July 2008

Under Sixes Dinner: all welcome

Thu Jul 24 2008

The New Barristers Committee invites you to attend the 2008 Under Sixes Dinner. The dinner is an informal social event for members under six years call and those who would like to support the newer members of the Bar.�The dinner will take place on Wednesday, 20 August at Sky Phoenix. Dinner is $42 with drinks available at the venue's normal prices on the night.

Bookings are essential. Please complete the RSVP form and return it to Katie Hall at the Bar Association prior to Friday, 15 August 2008. For further information please contact Katie Hall on 9229 1720 or

24 July 2008

Freedom of information laws: changes are afoot

Tue Jul 22 2008

Cabinet Secretary, Senator John Faulkner today announced that Cabinet has agreed to abolish "conclusive certificates", allowing the�Administrative Appeals Tribunal to undertake a full merits review of a decision to claim an exemption. The legislation abolishing conclusive certificates will be introduced into the parliament this year. View Senator Faulkner's media release >

In a related development, the Australian Law Reform Commission�announced that an inquiry into freedom of information laws has been suspended, as part of the FOI reform process announced by Senator Faulkner. View the ALRC media release>

22 July 2008