InBrief

SEARCH ALL POSTS

Attorney-General Robert McClelland among the new members of the Bar Association

Fri Oct 31 2008

At a meeting of Bar Council on 2 October, the persons listed below were accepted as members of the New South Wales Bar Association.

Surname Given�name� Chambers� Class�
Ahmed Shahan Blackstone A
Ang Lishan Frederick Jordan A
Arunothayam Anuja 7 Selborne A
Averre Kenneth Forbes A
Beaumont Justine 10 Selborne/Wentworth A
Bouveng Stuart Seven Garfield Barwick A
Evers Anthony Frederick Jordan A
Jerram Mary State Coroner’s Court B
Leighton-Daly Mathew 6 and 7 St James’ Hall A
Locke Melanie Ada Evans A
McClelland The Hon Robert Attorney General’s Dept A
Muir Jane 5 Wentworth A
Priestley Simon Lismore A
Steward Robert 11 Garfield Barwick A
Stolier Elizabeth Frederick Jordan A
Tobin James 9 Wentworth Chambers A
Tronson Brenda 6 Selborne/Wentworth A
Ward The Hon Justice Julie NSW Supreme Court B
Wilkinson Genevieve 9 Selborne A
� � �

31 October 2008

Victorian Bar Council office bearers for 2008/2009

Fri Oct 31 2008

The following office bearers have been appointed at a Victorian Bar Council meeting, held on 23 October 2008:

Chairman John Digby QC Senior Vice-Chairman Michael Colbran QC Junior Vice-Chairman Mark Moshinsky SC Honorary Treasurer William Alstergren Assistant Honorary Treasurer Scott Stuckey Honorary Secretary Simon Pitt Assistant Honorary Secretary Stewart Maiden

31 October 2008

�

Bench and Bar Tennis Day 2008

Fri Oct 31 2008

The�2008 Bench and Bar Tennis Day�will be held on grass at the Royal Sydney Golf Club, Kent Road, Rose Bay on Tuesday,�23 December 2008.�One of the�prestigious�prizes awarded at the event,�the Hon Susan Crennan Cup,�will be�awarded�to the best and fairest female member in the tournament.�Organisers of this year's event would welcome entries from interested members.�Download an entry form>

16 December�2008

2008 Law and Justice Awards

Fri Oct 31 2008

The annual�Law and Justice Awards were presented on Wednesday, 29 October at Parliament House. The Bar Association sponsors the Law and Justice Volunteer Award, which was presented by President Anna Katzmann SC�to Mr James Condren, a young man who, drawing on his personal experience, brings a vital perspective to improving knowledge of how people with an intellectual disability interact with the criminal justice system. The 2008 Law and Justice Address was delivered by the Hon Justice Virginia Bell. Learn more about the Justice Awards by visiting the Law and Justice Foundation's web site>

31 October 2008�

Attorney-General Robert McClelland hints at consultation on Charter of Rights

Thu Oct 30 2008

Attorney-General Robert McClelland, in a speech delivered at a NSW Young Lawyers forum, has reviewed the Rudd government’s progress in implementing international human rights instruments and other items on�its agenda. The attorney foreshadowed a consultation process on human rights and responsibilities, including on a Charter of Rights.�He said:

We want to encourage a broad community debate on a range of human rights issues – not only on whether a Charter or Bill of Rights is necessary. From the cities to the bush, any new approach to human rights will be drawn from the views of the Australian people.

The attorney said that the consultation programme would be widely advertised across Australia and encouraged members of the legal profession to participate.

�View the attorney's speech>

30 October 2008

Canada inquires into detention of its citizens in Egypt and Syria

Thu Oct 30 2008

The detention abroad of Australian citizens David Hicks and Mamdou Habib has been the subject of considerable comment by the legal profession and the media. Similarly, in Canada, controversy has erupted over the detention and or torture of its citizens in Guantanamo Bay, Egypt and Syria.�The Canadian government has released the final report of an internal inquiry into�its responsibility in relation to the detention and torture of three�of its�citizens as a result of their alleged terrorist connections.

The report by the Honourable Frank Iacobucci QC, begins with a commissioner's statement, which notes that:

At its core, this Inquiry involves the appropriate response of our democracy in Canada to the pernicious phenomenon of terrorism, and ensuring that, in protecting the security of our country, we respect the human rights and freedoms that so many have fought to achieve.

This respect for rights and freedoms is a constraint on a democracy that terrorists do not share. Indeed by their very actions they repudiate these rights and freedoms. For the terrorist, the end justifies the means. A democracy, however, must justify the means to any end—including, in this case, its response to terrorism. Canada must choose means to deal with terrorism that are� governed by the rule of law and respect for our cherished values of freedom and due process. This is a balance that is easy to describe but difficult to attain. However, difficulty of achievement cannot be an excuse for not trying to achieve that equilibrium.

Visit the�inquiry's web site to�learn more about the its terms of reference, its key�findings or to download the final report (n.b. the report is 544 pages in length)

30 October 2008

Queensland appoints a new crown solicitor

Thu Oct 30 2008

Queensland Attorney-General Kerry Shine has today announced the appointment of�the new crown solicitor, Mr Greg Cooper. Mr Cooper takes over the position on Saturday, 1 November 2008, following the retirement of the current crown solicitor, Conrad Lohe.

“Greg has a long history with Crown Law, having started in 1975 as a clerk in the Prosecutions Branch", the attorney said. “Since then,�[he] has held a number of senior legal and management positions including executive legal consultant, crown counsel and deputy crown solicitor."

30 October 2008�

Mostly beyond reasonable doubt - usually

Wed Oct 29 2008

The overwhelming majority of jurors have little or no problem understanding judicial instructions on the law or the judge’s summing-up of evidence at the end of the trial, but would benefit from clearer instructions on the meaning of 'beyond reasonable doubt'. This is the key finding of a survey released today by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. Of the 1,200 jurors in criminal trials who took part in the survey, 22.9 per cent believed that the phrase means ‘almost sure’ the person is guilty; 11.6 per cent believed that it means ‘very likely’ the person is guilty; and 10.1 per cent believed it means ‘pretty likely’ the person is guilty. Learn more>

29 October 2008

Legislation to note: Civil Liability Legislation Amendment Bill 2008

Wed Oct 29 2008

The Bar Association's concerns�in respect of the Civil Liability Legislation Amendment Bill 2008�were aired during second reading�debate in the Legislative Council on Tuesday, 28 October. However, the Bill was passed without amendment and has since received its 'Agreed to in Principle' speech in the lower house. The�aims of the Bill, as provided by the explanatory notes�are as follows:

(a) to require a person who may have a claim for damages against a protected defendant (the Department of Corrective Services and certain other public sector defendants) in respect of an injury to an offender in custody:

(i) to notify the protected defendant within 6 months of the incident that gives rise to the claim, and

(ii) to provide certain information about the incident to the protected defendant,

(b) to provide that Part 2A of the Act (Special provisions for offenders in custody) extends to a claim in relation to a tort for which the protected defendant is vicariously liable,

(c) to make it clear that the general limitation on the Act’s application to intentional acts does not interfere with the operation of Part 2A (in particular the operation of that Part in respect of victim claims that involve intentional acts),

(d) to make changes to the system under which a victim of an offender can make a claim against damages awarded to the offender against a protected defendant, including:

(i) increasing the period within which a victim can make such a claim from 6 months from the date the offender was awarded damages to 12 months from that date, and

(ii) authorising the Commissioner of Police to provide information to the protected defendant about persons who may have a victim claim against the offender, and replacing the requirement that the protected defendant must notify victims within 28 days after damages are awarded to the offender with a requirement that the notification be given as far as practicable within 28 days (so as to facilitate the notification of victims who are identified outside the 28-day period), and providing that offender damages are to be held in trust by the Public Trustee (rather than the protected defendant),

(e) other minor and miscellaneous amendments.

The Bill also amends the Civil Liability Act 2002, the Motor Accidents Act 1988 and the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 to make it clear that damages are to be awarded for gratuitous attendant care services only if the services are provided (or to be provided) for at least six hours per week and for at least six consecutive months. The amendment overcomes the effect of the Court of Appeal decision in Harrison v Melhem [2008] NSWCA 67.

29 October 2008

Fees owed to counsel - Bob Chan Lawyer

Wed Oct 29 2008

Pursuant to s623(2) of the Legal Profession Act 2004 (NSW), the Law Society of New South Wales has appointed Mr Raymond Collins, solicitor, to manage the law practice of�Bob Chan Lawyer, Suite 12,�2 O'Connell Street, Parramatta. The operating status of the practice�has yet to be assessed. Counsel with outstanding fees should contact the manager as soon as possible.

Whilst the manager will do whatever can be done to assist counsel to recover fees, it is each counsel's responsibility to ensure the adequacy of his or her commercial arrangements with instructing solicitors and the manager may not be able to assist.

Mr Collins may be contacted on ph: (02) 9926 0240, fax: (02) 9926 0166; DX 362 Sydney or via e-mail: LXT@lawsocnsw.asn.au

29 October 2008

Appellate Advocacy Workshop

Wed Oct 29 2008

On 21-22 November the Australian Advocacy Institute will host the Appellate Advocacy Workshop, to be conducted by Professor the Hon George Hampel AM QC, the Hon Justice Mark Weinberg, Justice Nahim Mushin, Judge Felicity Hampel SC and Julian Burnside QC. Attendance qualifies for CPD points.

For more information, download a course flyer, or to register visit www.advocacy.com.au

29 October 2008

Webwatch: UN Audiovisual Library of International Law

Wed Oct 29 2008

The United Nations Office of Legal Affairs launched the Audiovisual Library of International Law, which�aims to provide free, scholarly resources to students and practictioners around the world, particularly in regions where there are few resources for the study of international law.� The website has three main parts:

The Historic Archives present documents, photos, and digital film footage relating to the UN role in the development of international law. This section includes the texts of treaties, some General Assembly declarations, and certain Security Council resolutions.� Each legal instrument also has a procedural history and/or related documents (travaux preparatoires).��

The Lecture Series contains lectures by leading scholars on topics in international law, and includes a bibliography of related materials.�The 100 lectures posted so far are each about an hour long and discuss various aspects of international law.�Most are in English, but other official languages of the UN are also represented. Certain scholars contribute introductory texts for the Historic Archives as well as lectures.�

The Research Library provides links to other web-based research resources in international law, including other UN sources, national treaty series, and selected scholarly articles provided by HeinOnline (still in pilot/beta).

The Office of Legal Affairs is digitising the English version of UN documents related to the procedural histories, and more will be added to the site as resources allow.

29 October 2008

DOCS arrangements for service of court applications

Tue Oct 28 2008

The Department of Community Services wishes to advise members of its arrangements for the service of court applications. Initiating documents for appeals and other applications to the District Court and the Supreme Court of New South Wales regarding children who are under the parental responsibility of the minister for community services should be served to the following address: Department of Community Services 4-6 Cavill Avenue, Ashfield� NSW 2131

For further information, contact Robyn Young on ph: (02) 9716 2062 or via e-mail: robyn.young@community.nsw.gov.au

�

28 October

Industrial dispute in correctional centres may affect legal visits and audiovisual links

Tue Oct 28 2008

The Public Service Association has organised a�protest rally�for Wednesday, 29 October 2008 against the reforms to correctional centres.�The PSA advises that there will be "unavoidable disruption" on 29 October 2008 to audiovisual links, legal visits and custody matters.�Many correctional centres in NSW will only be operating with minimal staff.�The only court escorts that can proceed, in the circumstances, will be those involving inmates in District or Supreme Court trials.�

Inmates that were required to attend the Local Court or District Court for other matters will be relisted by the courts concerned.�Matters where inmates were required to attend by way of audio visual Link will also be relisted.� Any legal practitioners wishing to visit their clients on 29 October 2008 are advised to contact the relevant correctional centre to verify that legal visits can proceed.

For further information, contact John Simon, executive director, legal services at the Department of Corrective Services, on ph: (02)�8346 1146.

28 October 2008

Papers to note: Sentencing Council report on penalties relating to sexual assault offences

Mon Oct 27 2008

The New South Wales Sentencing Council has released its first report into penalties relating to sexual assault offences and child pornography. The report examines whether the penalties currently attaching to sexual offences in NSW are appropriate. In response, Attorney General John Hatzistergos announced that the government would introduce during the current parliamentary session legislation to provide for new offences and increases in penalties. Copies of the report may be downloaded from the Sentencing Council's web site.

27 October 2008

US election results live in the Bar Common Room

Mon Oct 27 2008

Continuous coverage of counting in the US elections will be available via the big screen projector in the Bar�Common Room on Wednesday, 5 November. All members are welcome to come and�savour the excitement of this historic presidential race.

31�October 2008

2008 Law Society Council election results

Mon Oct 27 2008

The following members were declared elected as councillors of the Law Society of New South Wales by the secretary, in accordance with clause 8.3.7 of the Articles of Association of The Law Society of New South Wales, at the Annual General Meeting held on 23 October 2008.

City councillor (3-year term) Pamela Gaibrielle SUTTOR Large firm councillor (3-year term) Anne Caroline SULLIVAN Suburban councillor (3-year term) Terence Leland STERN Government councillor (3-year term) Douglas John HUMPHREYS

Councillors (3-year term) Roslyn Elizabeth EVERETT (3-year term) Penelope Jane WATERS (3-year term) John Francis EADES

Louise Anne JARDIM was appointed as the Young Lawyer councillor for a term of�one year in accordance with clause 8.1.8 of the Articles.

27 October 2008

Final meeting of 2008 Bar Council

Fri Oct 24 2008

The final meeting of the 2008 Bar Council before the upcoming election was held last night. I would like to thank all 2008 Bar councillors for their hard work and dedication over the last twelve months. In particular, I must express my appreciation to those councillors who have indicated that they will not be standing for re-election in 2009: Peter Garling SC, Stuart Torrington, Margaret Holz and Sandy Dawson. Each has made a significant contribution to the work of the council, some over a number of years.

They leave with my best wishes and deepest gratitude for all they have done on our behalf.

Anna Katzmann SC President

24 October 2008

Election of 2009 Bar Council - the ballot

Fri Oct 24 2008

Ballot papers for the election of the 2009 Bar Council will be mailed today to all those eligible to vote. Any member who has not received their ballot paper by the evening of Thursday, 30 October 2008 and who wishes to cast a vote should contact the association’s certification officer, Mr Barrie Anthony, on ph: (02) 9232 4055 or e-mail certification@nswbar.asn.au.

Please 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, 14 November 2008.

P A Selth Executive Director & Returning Officer

24 October 2008

American Bar Association publishes its "must-do" list for the next president of the United States

Thu Oct 23 2008

The American Bar Association has published what it calls a memorandum to the next president�of the United States, regarding his first thirty days in office. It begins: "Once you take office in January, Mr. President-elect, you will face all manner of challenges related to the rule of law—issues with dramatic impact on the day-to-day lives of all Americans and others who come into contact with the U.S. government." The action list includes:

  • immediate steps to�ensure that whenever a foreign person is captured, detained, interned or otherwise held within the custody of or under the physical control of the United States, or interrogated in any location by agents of the United States (including private contractors), he or she is treated in accordance with the minimum protections afforded by Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949;
  • ratification of the 1998 Rome Statute for an International Criminal Court; and
  • reform to the judicial selection and nomination process.

View the memorandum�on the ABA Journal web site >

23 October 2008

�

House of Lords decision on displaced Indian Ocean islanders

Thu Oct 23 2008

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

R (on the application of Bancoult) Respondent v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Appellant)��[2008] UKHL 61��22 October 2008�

Helow (AP) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and another (Respondents) (Scotland)��[2008] UKHL 62��22 October 2008�

R (on the application of RJM) (FC) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Respondent)��[2008] UKHL 63��22 October 2008�

EM (Lebanon) (FC) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent)��[2008] UKHL 64�22 October 2008�

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

23 October 2008

Cases selected for reporting in the Australian Law Reports (LexisNexis)

Thu Oct 23 2008

The Australian Law Reports provide reports of decisions of the High Court, the Federal Court and other courts throughout Australia in significant federal matters. Part 2 of 249 ALR includes:� Macedonian Orthodox Community Church St Petka Incorporated v His Eminence Petar The Diocesan Bishop of The Macedonian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand [2008] HCA 42 – Trust – Trustees –...

R v Tang [2008] HCA 39 – Criminal law – Offences –… Bodney v Bennell [2008] FCAFC 63 – Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders – Native Title –…

23 October 2008