Conduct of Admiralty and maritime work in the Federal Court of Australia

Tue Dec 23 2008

The Federal Court has issued a notice, the purpose of which is to set out the arrangements for the conduct of Admiralty and maritime matters in the Federal Court. This notice deals with the court’s national arrangements, the identification of Admiralty and maritime work covered by the arrangements, in personam proceedings, in rem proceedings, assisted dispute resolution, court annexed arbitration, the proper approach to Admiralty and maritime litigation and the conduct of cargo claims.� Learn more >

23 December 2008

Law Council welcomes Clarke recommendations on Haneef case

Tue Dec 23 2008

The Law Council of Australia has welcomed the long-awaited public release of the Clarke Inquiry’s report into the Haneef case. The report acknowledges many of the concerns raised by the Law Council in its written and oral submissions to the inquiry. In particular, the report recommends a thorough review of the provisions relating to the investigation periods in terrorism offences.

Law Council President Ross Ray QC said, “Like many others within the Australian community, the Law Council has been waiting to find out more about the Haneef case and the manner in which key government agencies understand and apply our anti terrorism laws in practice.” Learn more>

23 December 2008

Essential Christmas reading for the bar

Thu Dec 18 2008

Bar News Summer 08/09 edition is out now. All members should have received copies by now. If your chambers has not received its copies, please contact the Bar Association's publications manager.

The summer edition includes the usual mix of the informing and the distracting. It features articles on the criminal jurisdiction of the Federal Court, appearing before the duty judge in the Equity Division and a report on the Keble College Advocacy Course.

As well, there is the usual coverage of recent developments in the law, legal history, features on life at the bar, practice issues, interviews, book reviews and obituaries. There is also a report on Bullfry in Shanghai.

Bar News is a journal by members, for members. All contributions are welcome and should be addressed to the editor, Andrew Bell SC, DX 377 Sydney.

Good reading and merry Christmas. 18 December 2008

Commencement of regulations

Thu Dec 18 2008

The Criminal Procedure Further Amendment (Public Officers) Regulation 2008, the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Amendment (Police Integrity Commission Exemption) Regulation 2008 and the _Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Amendment Regulation 2008 _will commence tomorrow, 19 December 2008, following their gazettal.

The Criminal Procedure Further Amendment (Public Officers) Regulation 2008 amends the Criminal Procedure Regulation 2005 to declare the Police Integrity Commission to be a body whose officers and employees are public officers for the purposes of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986. The effect of this is to enable officers and employees of the Commission to commence and conduct prosecutions in NSW courts as public, rather than private, prosecutors, with the powers and certain of the protections conferred on public prosecutors.

The Drug Misuse and Trafficking Amendment (Police Integrity Commission Exemption) Regulation 2008 amends the _Drug Misuse and Trafficking Regulation 2006 _to provide that certain authorised officers of the Police Integrity Commission are exempt from a number of sections of the _Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 _relating to prohibited plants and prohibited drugs.

The Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Amendment Regulation 2008 amends the _Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Regulation 2005 _to decrease the age (from 16 years to 14 years) at which a child may give consent to an adult (other than a police officer) to be the support person for the child during police interviewing and questioning.

18 December 2008

New appointment to the Federal Court

Thu Dec 18 2008

Attorney-General Robert McClelland has announced that the Hon Justice Michael Barker, a judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia and president of the State Administrative Tribunal, has been appointed to the Perth registry of the Federal Court of Australia. Learn more>

18 December 2008

New president of the Defence Force Disciplinary Appeals Tribunal

Thu Dec 18 2008

Attorney-General Robert McClelland announced the appointment of Justice Richard Tracey RFD as president of the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal. The Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal hears and determines appeals from courts martial and Defence Force magistrates relating to service offences by Australian Defence Force personnel. Learn more >

18 December 2008

Applications welcome for the Justice Peter Hely Scholarship

Wed Dec 17 2008

Applications for the Justice Peter Hely Scholarship are now open. The scholarship was established by the University of Sydney Law School through contributions from the friends and colleagues of the late Justice Peter Hely to promote postgraduate study in the fields of commercial law and equity.

The scholarship is open to final year law students, law graduands and graduates of the University of Sydney, to enable them to undertake a postgraduate degree in the fields of commercial law and equity, either by research or coursework, at the University of Sydney or any other appropriate university. The value of the scholarship will be $14, 000.

Applications are now open and will close on Wednesday, 18 February 2009.

Download an application form from the Law School web site or contact Peter Finneran at the Sydney Law School for an application form and conditions of award.

17 December 2008

New Law Council Executive elected

Wed Dec 17 2008

Victorian lawyer Catherine Gale has been appointed to the Law Council Executive following elections at last month’s directors meeting and AGM in Canberra. The new Law Council Executive, effective from 1 January 2009, is as follows:

President: Mr John Corcoran -� Victorian solicitor (Russell Kennedy) President-elect: Mr Glenn Ferguson – Queensland solicitor (Ferguson Cannon Lawyers)

Treasurer: Mr Ken Martin QC – WA barrister (Francis Burt Chambers)

Executive member: Mr Alexander Ward – South Australian barrister (Edmund Barton Chambers)

Executive member: Ms Catherine Gale – Victorian Solicitor (Catherine Gale)

17 December 2008

Internet law conference in Niseko, Japan

Wed Dec 17 2008

Internet Law for Professionals is a CPD course run in Niseko, Japan, 19 January - 22 January 2009.� Richard Cobden SC will be speaking on his representation of rights holders in recent cases on the digital distribution of music and film.� Author of Administrative Law in Australia (Lawbook 2007), Professor Bill Lane, will be examining the nexus between privacy legislation and FOI obligations for digital data. It is not too late to enrol. Learn more>

17 December 2008

Farewell to the Hon Justice Virginia Bell

Tue Dec 16 2008

There will be a ceremonial sitting of the Supreme Court at 9.15am on Friday, 19 December 2008 in the Banco Court to farewell the Hon Justice Virginia Bell. New South Wales Solicitor-General Michael Sexton SC will speak on behalf of the bar.

16 December 2008

Bar Council business for October 2008

Tue Dec 16 2008

Matters reported elsewhere in In Brief are omitted from this summary of Bar Council business. Bar Council regularly considers requests by the attorney general, the courts and other agencies for advice on proposed legislation. Because that advice is sought on a confidential basis, it is not noted in this summary. Any member interested in a particular matter should contact the executive director for further information.

International Criminal Law Congress

The president indicated that she had attended and chaired a session at the congress, as well as attending the congress dinner.

Farewell to Justice Catherine Branson of the Federal Court

The president advised that she had spoken at the farewell ceremony for the Honourable Justice Catherine Branson.

Attendance at Sydney West Trial Court Complex, Parramatta

The president advised that she and the director, law reform and public affairs had visited the Parramatta trial court complex to inspect an example of the “flexible dock” in one of the courtrooms, accompanied by Richard Button SC, a public defender. The Bar Association had previously raised concerns with the attorney general in relation to the glass security dock used in the ongoing terrorism trial at that court, on the basis that it could create perceptions of guilt among jurors and that it hindered free communication between the accused and their legal representatives. The president indicated that further consideration would be given to the effect of flexible docks on the right of an accused to a fair trial.

Senior counsel scroll ceremony

The president advised that she and a number of bar councillors had attended the presentation of the scrolls to the new silks in the Common Room on 17 October 2008.

Meetings with silk applicants for silk � The president, the senior vice president and Mark Ierace SC have to date met with 10 of the unsuccessful applicants. The meetings will continue over the next month.

Judicial drinks

The president noted that the annual drinks with the judiciary had been held in the Common Room. The evening was a most enjoyable occasion; a number of judicial officers had expressed their appreciation for the decision to hold the event in the Bar Common Room.

Human Rights Committee submission - review of Commonwealth and New South Wales counter-terrorism laws

The council considered the paper prepared by the Human Rights Committee, and resolved that the paper be provided to the Commonwealth and New South Wales attorneys-general with a covering letter expressing the council’s concern that the provisions of Australian anti-terrorism legislation identified in the paper appear to be inconsistent with Australia’s human rights obligations.

It was further resolved that the Bar Council indicate to the Commonwealth and New South Wales attorneys-general its willingness to participate and contribute to any review of that legislation.

It was further resolved that the Human Rights Committee submission be provided to the Law Council of Australia and the Australian Bar Association for consideration.

Federal charter of human rights

The president advised that she had asked the Human Rights Committee for more detail on the rationale for that committee’s recommendation that a court declaration that a law was incompatible with rights protected under the charter should require a response from parliament, as opposed to invalidating the law. The president indicated that the issues would be taken to the discussion on this issue at the next meeting of the directors of the Law Council of Australia.

The president spoke of the address to be given by Lord Bingham on 11 December 2008 in the Banco Court.� The event is being co-hosted by the NSW Bar Association to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

Farewell to outgoing bar councillors

The president noted that this would be the last meeting of the Bar Council before the election of the 2009 Bar Council. She thanked all members of the Bar Council for their hard work and dedication over the last year. The president gave particular thanks to those councillors who had indicated that they will not be standing for re-election in 2009.

On behalf of the Bar Council, the senior vice president expressed his thanks to the president for her dedication and commitment to the work of the Bar Council and the association throughout the year. On behalf of the council, he also expressed his gratitude for the work done by the executive director, the director law reform and public affairs and all association staff over the past twelve months. The treasurer added his particular thanks for the support and assistance he had received from the finance manager.

16 December 2008

President welcomes appointment of Justice Virginia Bell to the High Court

Tue Dec 16 2008

On behalf of the�Bar Association, President Anna Katzmann SC has warmly welcomed the announcement that Justice Virginia Bell is to be appointed to the High Court of Australia.

Justice Bell was a leading criminal barrister then an eminent jurist who has served on the NSW Supreme Court with distinction since 1999 and I have no doubt that she will serve the High Court, and the wider community, with equal distinction.

In further comments made to the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review, the president paid tribute to Justice Bell, describing her�as "a leading criminal barrister and an eminent jurist who had served on the NSW Supreme Court with distinction since 1999".

"I have no doubt that she will serve the High Court, and the wider community with equal distinction", Katzmann SC concluded.

16 December 2008

Revised Practice Note to commence on 1 January 2009

Tue Dec 16 2008

Chief Justice J J Spigelman AC has issued an amended version of Practice Note SC Eq 3 (Commercial List and Technology and Construction List).�The revised Practice Note commences operation on 1 January 2009.

Attention is drawn to paragraph 28 which has been expanded and now reads:

Subject to an order of the Court or unless otherwise agreed between the parties, discovery of electronically stored documents and information is to be made electronically. Discoverable documents and information that are not stored electronically should only be discovered electronically if it is more cost effective to do so.

This Practice Note replaces the previous version of SC Eq 3 issued on 30 July 2007.

16 December 2008

Cases selected for reporting in FCR by V Kline

Tue Dec 16 2008

The following cases will be published in a forthcoming volume of FCR:������������������ ���������������������� SZEQH v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship [2008] FCA 1474 Deutsche Asia Pacific Finance Inc v Commissioner of Taxation (No 2) [2008] FCA 1570 Haslam v Money for Living (Aust) Pty Ltd [2008] FCA 1536 Sambo v Western Australia [2008] FCA 1575 Priestley v Godwin (No 3) [2008] FCA 1529

16 December 2008

Reminder: Spigelman Speeches Orders

Tue Dec 16 2008

This is your last chance before Christmas to order�Speeches of�a Chief Justice, an�elegant book of wisdom and wit. Launched last week by Lord Bingham of Cornhill, this edited collection of 42 of the best public speeches of� Chief Justice Spigelman over the last 10 years.

Order now>

16 December 2008

Justice Virginia Bell to be appointed to the High Court

Mon Dec 15 2008

Attorney-General Robert McClelland�has announced�the appointment of Justice Virginia Margaret Bell as a justice of the High Court of Australia, with effect from 3 February 2009. Justice Bell will be the 48th person, and the fourth woman, appointed to the High Court since federation.�Her Honour’s appointment will follow the retirement of the Honourable Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG. Learn more >

15 December 2008


Appointments to the Supreme Court of Norfolk Island

Mon Dec 15 2008

Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Minister for Home Affairs Bob Debus have announced the appointment of�the Hon Justice Peter Jacobson as chief justice of Norfolk Island and the Hon Justice Bruce Lander as a judge of the Supreme Court of Norfolk Island. Learn more>

15 December 2008


NSW Law Reform Commission consulation paper on jury directions

Mon Dec 15 2008

The NSW Law Reform Commission has released a consultation paper on jury directions.

“Jury directions will fail in their purpose if they are not delivered in a form which a jury made up of members of the general community can understand and apply”, said Chairperson of the LRC, The Hon James Wood AO QC.

“The purpose of the review”, Mr Wood said, “is to identify problem areas in the way that jurors have traditionally been instructed, and to identify a format that is more relevant for the current generation of jurors. If so, we might be able to avoid the experience that so many judges have encountered of jurors’ eyes glazing over when they give directions.”� The closing date for submissions is 13�March 2009.� View Consultation Paper 4: Jury Directions (December 2008)>

15 December 2008

Notice to practitioners - Federal Court (NSW Registry) Expedition List

Mon Dec 15 2008

Beginning on 2 February 2009, the first day of Law Term, the New South Wales District Registry of the Federal Court will introduce a system of expedited hearings and�judgment in appropriate cases.�The�new Expedition List will be�supervised by�the expedition judge, which, until further notice,�will be the Hon Justice Emmett.

The general nature of the new expedition r�gime is that a party will be able to request that a proceeding be entered in an “expedition list”, in which case the first directions hearing in the proceeding will take place before the judge in charge of the list. If the case is appropriate for the list that judge will ensure that the case is heard, and so far as possible judgment delivered, on dates and within times of which the parties will be aware from the outset. If the docket judge is not able to commit to the timetable because of other hearings or other commitments, the list judge will find another judge who is in a position to do so.

The new r�gime will depend for its success on a commitment of the parties through their legal representatives to its objectives. Particular features will be tight timetables, an absence or minimisation of interlocutory disputes, strict control of discovery (if any), and close liaison between the list judge and the judge who is to hear the matter. Learn more>

15 December 2008


Solicitors v Bar and Bench Golf Day

Mon Dec 15 2008

The annual Solicitors v Bar and Bench Golf Day is to be held for the first time at the magnificently rebuilt Elanora Golf & Country on Monday, 19 January 2009.�The cost for the day is $150.00 including dinner for non-Elanora members and $80.00� for Elanora members. As the Christmas Season is fast approaching, we would like responses to the invitation to play as soon as possible and, in any event, prior to the Christmas break.�

The event will be the usual 2 ball event with matches between the Bar and Bench v Solicitors based on their respective 2BBB score.� There will be a shot gun start at 12 noon.�We ask that you advise us if you have booked a cart so we can group you accordingly and send you to an appropriate tee.�

The organisers for the event are John Newnham and Glenn Thompson (ph: 9264 7788) for the Solicitors and Denis Flaherty (ph: 9233 3517) for the Bar and Bench.�Kindly return the�booking form with your remittance to the Solicitors Golfing Society, Law Society of NSW, Attention:� Robyn Cross, as soon as possible.

12 January 2009

Recent House of Lords decisions

Mon Dec 15 2008

Membership of 2009 Bar Association committees - call for applications

Thu Dec 11 2008

Each year the president reviews the need for the Bar Association’s various committees; the role of those committees; and their membership. I should be grateful if members (not just those holding a practising certificate) would let me know by COB on Monday, 15 December 2008 if they wish to be considered for appointment to one or more of the association’s committees.

I would also request existing members of committees who do not wish to continue on a committee to let me know by Monday, 15 December 2008. Otherwise I will assume that existing members of committees wish to continue on that committee.

It is fortunate that the association has many more volunteers for committees than can possibly be accommodated. I would therefore request members restrict their choice of committees to no more than two.

In confirming committee membership, the president ensures that all parts of the bar – geographically, practice areas and seniority – are represented on each committee.

Please note that until new committees are established and promulgated, the existing committees continue unchanged. The existing appointments to various working parties and representatives for the Bar Association continue unless and until the president determines otherwise.

Please complete the online application form, identifying the committees to which you wish to be considered for appointment. Alternatively, download and complete a hard copy of the form.

Acknowledgement of receipt will be e-mailed to you within 24 hours. If you do not receive an acknowledgement please contact or telephone Cindy Penrose on ph: (02) 9232 4055.

Thank you.

PA Selth Executive Director

11�December 2008


Closure of Cobham Children's Court

Thu Dec 11 2008

NSW Attorney General John Hatzistergos has approved the closure of Cobham Children's Court. The opening of the Children's Court in the Parramatta Justice Precinct in 2007 signalled the phasing out of Cobham and no matters have been heard there since 22 October 2007. The building will be converted into a facility for use by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

11 December 2008