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11th International Criminal Law Congress, 8-12 October 2008

Fri May 30 2008

This biennial International Criminal Law Congress in Sydney in 2008 will address the investigation, prosecution, defence, adjudication and punishment of crime and the challenges raised in the 21st Century. In the evolving electronic age, an age of terrorism, the internationalisation of crime, assaults on privacy and alternatives to traditional trial and punishment regimes, practitioners must adapt.

A forum like this provides an opportunity to hear of recent developments in many jurisdictions, to discuss and debate issues with colleagues and to identify and adopt effective practice for the future.

Participants in this Congress will include policy and law makers, law enforcers, prosecutors, defenders, the judiciary, corrective officers and the academy. Theory and practice will be examined in the formal sessions and discussed in the margins where social events will provide further valuable opportunities for the informal exchange of views.

Topics will include cybercrime, law enforcement powers, forntiers of evidence, illegal movements of funds, dealing with people with a mental illness, Aboriginal people and criminal justice, environmental crime, sexual offences, terrorism, juries, sentencing and alternatives, the media and its involvement in the criminal process.

Learn more>

19�August�2008

Information session on new national standards for accreditation of mediators

Fri May 30 2008

On 22 May 2008, the Bar Council declared the NSW Bar Association to be a Recognised Mediator Accreditation Body under the Australian National Mediator Accreditation System Standards, which came into effect on 1 January 2008.� A copy of the report on National Mediator Accreditation and the practice standards and approval standards are available on the ADR page of the association’s web site.

Only those barristers who are accredited under the National Standards will be selected in future for the District Court and Supreme Court mediators’ panels, (barristers must also have at least the experience as mediators that has been required in the past for inclusion on the panels).

The Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee will hold an Information Seminar on the National Standards and accreditation at 5.15 pm on Thursday, 19 June 2008 in the Bar Association Common Room.�

Learn more>

30 May 2008

Cases selected for reporting in NSWLR by the Editor, Bret Walker SC

Fri May 30 2008

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

City of Canada Bay Council v Bonaccorso Pty Ltd [2007] NSWCA 351 (Mason P, Tobias JA and Young CJ in Eq)) Thaina Town (On Goulburn) Pty Ltd v City of Sydney Council [2007] NSWCA 300 (Spigelman CJ, Mason P, Beazley JA Giles JA and Ipp JA)

Perpetual Trustees Victoria Ltd v Ford [2008] NSWSC 29 (Harrison J) CSR Ltd and Another v Eddy [2008] NSWCA 83 (Hodgson JA, McColl JA and Basten JA)

For further information, please contact the Council of Law Reporting office: office@nswlr.com.au, phone 9266 0768.

30 May 2008

UK Government moves to ban computer-generated images of child abuse

Thu May 29 2008

The UK Ministry of Justice has unveiled proposals�to ban the�possession of non-photographic visual depictions of under-aged children engaged in sexual activity. This is�partly in response to�suggestions that paedophiles could be circumventing the law by using computer generated images to manipulate real photographs or videos of abuse into drawings or cartoons.

'This is not about criminalising art or pornographic cartoons more generally, but about targeting obscene, and often very realistic, images of child sexual abuse which have no place in our society', said the parliamentary under-secretary of state for justice.

It�is not yet a criminal offence in the United Kingdom�to possess drawings and computer generated images of child abuse.�The proposals announced�yesterday will create a new criminal offence to possess drawings and computer-generated images of underaged children in sexual activity.

Learn more >

29 May 2008

Ceremonial sitting for Mason P

Thu May 29 2008

In a late change to proceedings, President Anna Katzmann SC will speak on behalf of the Bar at the�formal ceremony to mark the retirement of the Hon Justice Keith Mason AC as the president of the Court of Appeal.

The ceremony will�be held in the Banco Court at 9.30am on Friday, 30 May.�Barristers are to wear robes and wigs. Senior counsel should wear full-bottomed wigs.�

On the following Monday, 2 June 2008, there will be a ceremonial sitting of the Supreme Court for the swearing-in of the Hon Justice Allsop as president of the New South Wales Court of Appeal. The ceremony will be held in the Banco Court. Attorney General Hatzistergos will be speaking at that occasion.

29 May 2008

Victorian Law Reform Commission launches report of its Civil Justice Review

Thu May 29 2008

The Victorian Law Reform Commission has released the report of its Civil Justice Review. The commission was asked, under the terms of reference, to�identify objectives and principles that would modernise the rules�of civil procedure;�reduce of the cost of litigation; and�promote�the principles of� transparency, quality, efficiency and accountability.

In presenting its report, the commission was asked to identify areas of the civil justice system and rules of civil procedure that might form the basis of a later and more detailed review. Such areas may include, but are not limited to, the rules and practices relating to:

  • pre-commencement options
  • pleadings
  • discovery
  • summary judgment
  • expert witnesses
  • class actions
  • abuse of process
  • alternative methods of dispute resolution, including alternative dispute resolution undertaken by judicial officers
  • judicial role in case management and listing practices, including docketing systems.

View the VLRC Civil Justice Report>

29 May 2008

Latest case notes from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Thu May 29 2008

Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis, has today released seven new case notes:

A v Private School [2008] PrivCmrA 1 - refusal to give access to personal information held by a private school. B v Hotel [2008] PrivCmrA 2 - Improper disclosure of personal information by an organisation.

C v Health Service Provider [2008] PrivCmrA 3 - Disclosure of personal information by a health service provider. D v Health Service Provider [2008] PrivCmrA 4 - Unauthorised access to and security of personal information. E v Insurance Company [2008] PrivCmrA 5 - Improper disclosure of personal information. F v Australian Government Agency [2008] PrivCmrA 6 - Failure to keep personal information secure. G v Financial Institutions X and Y [2008] PrivCmrA 7 - Improper disclosure of personal information and accuracy of personal information.

For more information about the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and its complaint case notes, summaries and determinations, visit their web site>

29 May 2008

Legislation to note: Evidence Amendment Bill 2008 (Cth)

Wed May 28 2008

Attorney-General Robert McClelland�has introduced the Evidence Amendment Bill 2008�(Cth). The object of the Bill, as provided by the explanatory memorandum, is to amend the Evidence Act 1995 to implement the majority of the recommendations made by the Australian Law Reform Commission, New South Wales Law Reform Commission and the Victorian Law Reform Commission in their inquiry into the operation of the uniform Evidence Acts. The report, entitled Uniform Evidence Law, was released on 8 February 2006.

View the attorney-general's second reading speech>

28 May 2008

Legislation to note: Crimes Amendment (Rock Throwing) Act 2008

Tue May 27 2008

The Crimes Amendment (Rock Throwing) Act 2008 commenced by proclamation on 23 May 2008. The object of the Act, as provided by the explanatory notes to the Bill, is to�amend the Crimes Act 1900 to provide for a new offence of intentionally throwing an object at, or dropping an object on or towards, a vehicle, vessel, railway or navigable waters. It will not be necessary to prove that the accused was aware that his or her conduct risked the safety of a person or that the object concerned actually made contact with the vehicle or vessel.

View the Bill as passed by both houses of parliament>

27 May 2008

Have you registered for the National Indigenous Legal Conference yet?

Tue May 27 2008

The 2008 National Indigenous Legal Conference�will bring together lawyers, judges, barristers, policy makers, service providers, Community Elders and many other stakeholders. In particular, the conference will focus on topical issues such as native title, the Stolen Generations, Indigenous issues at the United Nations, and the Northern Territory Intervention. Bookings are essential.

Date: Friday, 12 September 2008 Venue: RACV Club, 501 Bourke Street, Melbourne Time: 10.00 am - 6.00 pm. Drinks from 6.00 pm RSVP: By 29 August 2008.

Cost: $275 - 2 day conference (rate for all delegates) $165 - 1 day of conference only (All costs include GST)

Download the PDF brochure for this event>

Updates

  • Ex-Brisbane and St Kilda AFL player Gilbert McAdam will be a speaker on Saturday, 13 September, discussing the issue of sports law and social justice.
  • For legal professionals: Up to 10 CPD points are available to claim for the two day conference
  • Victorian Magistrate Jelena Popovic is a new speaker on the Koori Court in Victoria panel.
  • Well known Victorian Indigenous band ‘The Stray Blacks’ will be the final musical act at the Brian Willis Indigenous Legal Ball.
  • An excellent accommodation rate is available for conference delegates at ‘Oaks on Collins’ in Melbourne’s CBD.�� Oaks on Collins is situated right in the heart of the city, opposite the Rialto Towers and is a fabulous apartment hotel.� Luxuriously appointed Studios with either Collins St views or a balcony (limited views) are available.� Each studio features contemporary design and state of the art kitchen facilities with stainless steel appliances.� Room only: $150 per room per night OR B&B for $165 per room per night including one buffet breakfast.� Additional breakfast is charged at $16.95 per person.� These rates are NETT and valid between 11-14th September 2008 – subject to availability.� For all bookings please call 03 8610 6444 or email oaksoncollins@theoaksgroup.com.au and quote “NILC” (National Indigenous Legal Conference) to access the rates.

If you would like further information, contact:

Aislinn Martin Coordinator Tarwirri� (Indigenous Law Students & Lawyers Association of Vic) 470 Bourke Street GPO Box 263C Melbourne VIC 3001 Ph 03 9607 9474 | Fax 03 9607 9438 | M 0413 009 072 | amartin@liv.asn.au�| ww.tarwirri.com.au

6 August�2008

Web watch: Judicial Information Research Service (JIRS)

Mon May 26 2008

The Supreme Court library has completed phase one of its unreported judgments scanning project, which comprises NSW Court of Appeal unreported judgments 1988-1998 scanned into PDF format.

This collection has been made available to the Judicial Commission of NSW and has been loaded on to the JIRS database. It is called "Judgments Archive - CA judgments from 1988 to 1998" and will be found on the Court of Appeal Judgments page.

The Bar Library is a subscriber to JIRS.

26 May 2008

Legal practitioners’ scale of costs: deadline for submissions draws near

Mon May 26 2008

In April 2008 the High Court, Federal Court, Family Court and Federal Magistrates Court� established a Joint Advisory Committee (JCAC) to inquire into, and make recommendations on, any variations in the quantum of costs allowable to legal practitioners which should be contained in the scale of costs in the rules for each court. The deadline for submisstions is 6 June.�

Learn more>

26 May 2008

A Message from the President: Amendments to the Barristers Rules concerning cross-examination

Fri May 23 2008

Following the conclusion of the consultation period for the revised changes proposed to the New South Wales Barristers’ Rules on 16 May 2008, the Bar Council has now had the opportunity to consider all the additional submissions it received on the proposed amendments to the rules.

Bar Council’s final consideration of this issue has come at the end of a lengthy process.

In accordance with the procedures laid down in the Legal Profession Act 2004, on 29 February 2008 notices appeared in the NSW Government Gazette, Sydney Morning Herald and Daily Telegraph advising of proposals to amend the New South Wales Barristers’ Rules (rules 35 & 35A) and inviting comments and submissions by 25 March. Notice of the proposed amendments was forwarded to the Legal Services Commissioner and circulated to the Bar by way of an In Brief.� Submissions were� received, mostly from members of the Bar, but also from members of the community. In response to requests from a number of barristers for further consultation, a general meeting of the Bar was held on 7 April and the deadline for submissions was extended to 14 April.

Following the general meeting on 7 April, I established a sub-committee of the Bar Council to consider all written submissions on the draft rules as well as the comments of those who spoke at the general meeting and to then make recommendations to the Council concerning the most desirable course of action.

The result of that process is that the sub-committee formulated amended draft rules, which were first presented to the Bar Council and then circulated to the Bar for comment for an additional two-week period which ended on 16 May 2008.

Bar Council has now considered the amended draft rules and all the submissions. At its meeting of 22 May Council resolved to approve the amended draft rules.

The amendments remove the changes that were originally suggested to rule 35 so that rule 35 would be unaltered from its present form and add new rules 35A and 35B.

Rule 35A is directed solely to the cross-examination of complainants who make allegations of sexual assault, whether the proceedings are criminal or civil.� Rule 35B qualifies the operation of the rule and picks up the substance of s275A (3) of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 which the yet to be commenced s41(3) of the Evidence Act 1995 will soon replace.

Now that Bar Council has approved the final form of the rule changes, the intention is to publish the changes in the Government Gazette on 30 May 2008 pursuant to s709 of the Legal Profession Act 2004, with the new provisions to commence on 1 July 2008.

The Association is organising a series of professional development seminars to bring the proposed changes to the attention of the Bar. Members will be notified of these seminars in the coming weeks. A copy of the new rule changes will also be provided to all members of the Bar with their 2008 – 2009 practising certificates

I would like to thank all members who took the time to comment on the proposed changes.

Anna Katzmann SC President 23 May 2008 �

�

Papers to note: Law Council submission to the Clarke Inquiry

Fri May 23 2008

The Law Council of Australia has released its submission to the Clarke Inquiry into the case of Dr Mohamed Haneef. The LCA expressed concern that, "throughout the Haneef case, police were operating in the general shadow of Australia’s anti-terror laws, guided more by a vague notion that those laws authorised a different and extraordinary approach than by the precise content of the actual laws pursuant to which they were exercising their powers".

View the Law Council submission>

23 May 2008

Speeches to note: Coming in from the Cold

Fri May 23 2008

Attorney-General Robert McClelland has re-affirmed the Australian Government's�commitment to international human rights law.�Speaking at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission today, the attorney general announced that�Australia will�become a party to a number of key international instruments opposed by the former government,�such as�the Optional Protocol to the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

View the attorney-general's speech>

23 May 2008

Commonwealth announces changes to legal purchasing and tendering

Fri May 23 2008

Attorney-General Robert McClelland has�foreshadowed�changes to�Australian�Government tendering and contracting for legal services. The changes,�outlined in a media release,�will include:

>> standard tendering and contracting documents for agencies and legal firms tendering for Commonwealth work; >>�a standard reporting format for legal expenditure by Commonwealth agencies; and >> amendments to the Legal Services Directions to promote alternative dispute resolution.

The attorney's media release also noted that amendments to the Legal Services Directions will provide that firms which undertake pro bono work against the Commonwealth must not be discriminated against by Commonwealth agencies in procurement.

23 May 2008

Conscience: do lawyers need one?

Thu May 22 2008

Cardinal George Pell will be presenting on the topic "Conscience: Do Lawyers Need One?" at the UTS Annual Lawyers and Ethics Eminent Speakers' Series. The lecture will take place on Wednesday, 28 May 2008, between 1.00pm-2.30pm�at the UTS Haymarket Campus, CM05B, Level 1, Block B, Moot Court.

The lecture series is designed�to raise the profile of moral and ethical issues amongst university students. Each year, an eminent intellectual with a public profile is invited to address students and staff on a challenging topic that raises questions and debate about the moral dimension of practicing law in Australia.

For further information about the lecture, the location, or�to register online, visit the UTS web site>

22 May 2008

Breakfast Talk series: The origins of human rights law

Thu May 22 2008

Members are invited to�attend the final presentation in the Breakfast Talk series on�Thursday, 29 May. Entitled "Why condemn those who only acted ‘according to the law’� - origins of human rights law" by historian Professor Edwin Judge, it will�address issues relating to law and gospel in Western culture.

Must common law fail at the bar of truth? Why condemn those who only acted according to the law?�In the second century, the rule of law was idealised. As such Celsus criticized the Christians for acting in breach of the law in refusing to sacrifice before public images. In contrast, Origen argued for the right to form associations against the law for the sake of a wider concept of truth. The Judeo-Christian (pacifist) refusal to disobey Mosaic law (by sacrificing to idols) for two and a half centuries gave rise to the western concept of ‘freedom of association’ which is part of the basis of our ‘open and free’ western culture.

Emeritus Professor Edwin Judge of Macquarie University is one of the leading academic figures in Australia. Professor Judge will be speaking at Silks Coffee Lounge, 170 Phillip St (next to Selborne Chambers). Breakfast from 7:20am, (at own cost), please order by 7.30am –talks commence 7:40am, conclude 8:20am.

Attendance at this event will attract 0.5 points under the Continuing Professional Development Programme.

See the flyer for the series

For more detail see: http://citybibleforum.org/content/blogcategory/28/41/�

For more information, contact: polly@ecom.org.au or 02 9232 8700 (Peter Kaldor or Polly Seidler).

22 May 2008

Speeches to note: 2008 Mabo Lecture

Wed May 21 2008

The minister for indigenous affairs, Jenny Macklin MP, has delivered the 2008 Mabo Lecture�today at James Cook University in Townsville.�Entitled "Beyond Mabo: Native Title and Closing the Gap", the minister's speech outlines the Australian Government's vision for�amending the Northern Territory Aboriginal Land Rights Act, reforming native title�and�negotiating "comprehensive settlements as an alternative to the convoluted claims processes currently in place". View the speech>

21 May 2008