Papers to note: a digest of changes to the Family Law Act 1975

Tue Aug 26 2008

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Library has released Family Law Amendment (De Facto Financial Matters and Other Measures) Bill 2008, _a bills digest examining the legislation that extends federal jurisdiction under the _Family Law Act 1975 to financial matters arising out of the breakdown of de facto relationships, including both opposite sex and same sex relationships. View the digest>

26 August 2008

Correction: fees owed to counsel

Mon Aug 25 2008

Yesterday's In Brief published a notice that pursuant to s623(2) of the Legal Profession Act 2004 (NSW) a manager�had been appointed to the practice of�Paul Murphy, solicitor.

The notice should have specified that it referred to the practice of the late Paul Kevin Murphy of 5 Stanley Street, Lemon Tree Passage and NOT Paul Murphy and Associates Lawyers�of 900/185�Elizabeth Street Sydney.

In Brief unreservedly apologises to Mr Paul Murphy and regrets any confusion the announcement may have caused.

26 August 2008

Issues in Commercial Construction

Mon Aug 25 2008

Journal of Contract Law 20th Anniversary Conference: Issues in Commercial Construction,�31 October 2008 Opening address: the Hon Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE Session 1: THE CONCEPT OF COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION. Chair: Justice Kevin Lindgren Paper 1: Plain Meaning and Commercial Construction. Is Codelfa still a good law? Speaker: Professor David McLauchlan.

Session 2: COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION AND CONTRACT FORMATION. Chair: Justice Keith Mason Paper 2: Letters of Intent and Other Preliminary Agreements. Speaker: Professor Michael Furmston Paper 3: The Fourth Category of Masters v Camercon. Speaker: Bret Walker SC

Session 3: COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION AND CONTRACT PERFORMANCE. Chair: Tony Coburn Paper 4: Commercial Construction and Good Faith. Speaker: Professor Woody Hunter Paper 5: Implies Terms. Speaker: Professor Elisabeth Peden

Session 4: THE IMPACT OF COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION: LITIGATION PERSPECTIVES AND CONTRACT DOCTRINE. Chair: Dr Greg Tolhurst Paper 6: Force Majeure Clauses. Speaker: Donald Robertson Paper 7: Commercial Construction and Contract Doctrine. Speaker: Professor John Carter Closing address: Hon Sir Gerard Brennan

Member: $695.00 Non-Member: $795.00 Dixson Room, NSW State Library, 9.30am-4.45pm

For bookings visit the CLA web site or�phone: (02) 9979 1364

For general enquiries contact:

Max Wilson Chief Executive Officer Commercial Law Association of Australia Ltd Phone: (02) 9979 1364� |� e-mail:� | fax: (02) 9979 1599 GPO Box 5186, Sydney 2001� |� DX 1285 Sydney

14 October�2008

District Court changes 2009 and 2010

Mon Aug 25 2008

Beginning July 2009 two District courts will transfer from Penrith to the new Trial Court Complex at Parramatta; and from February 2010 two District courts will transfer from Campbelltown to Parramatta. The net result will be one District Court at Penrith and one District Court at Campbelltown doing short matters and some short trials, and�eight District courts sitting at Parramatta in the Trial Court Complex.���

These changes will also impact on the courts to which committal matters are sent. When the changes are implemented, magistrates presiding over committals will be asked to refer cases arising in the local area commands from Blacktown, Holroyd, Mt Druitt, Quakers Hill and St Marys to Parramatta District Court.�

Matters arising from local area commands at Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Penrith are to be committed to Penrith DC.

Matters arising from local area commands at Fairfield, Bankstown, Green Valley, Liverpool and Cabramatta are to be committed to Campbelltown DC; matters from Campbelltown, Camden and Macquarie Fields are to be committed to Campbelltown District Court.

25 August 2008

Indigenous art exhibition in the Bar Association Common Room

Fri Aug 22 2008

You are invited to an exceptional exhibition of fine Indigenous art from the Papunya Region and Utopia people of Central Australia. Ars Musica Australia (AMA), together with the Indigenous Barristers Trust, are hosting an Indigenous Art Exhibition at the Bar Association Common Room. Learn more>

27 August 2008

Proposed merger of Constitutional and Administrative Law sections

Fri Aug 22 2008

It is proposed to merge the Constitutional Law and Administrative Law sections of the New South Wales Bar Association. If the present members of those sections have any comments on this proposal please let either Stephen Lloyd or Kate Richardson know promptly, preferably by e-mail. If any member of the bar wishes to ensure that their name is on the mailing list please e-mail Alan Robertson’s secretary at

28 August 2008

Work in progress at the Law Courts Building

Thu Aug 21 2008

During the weekend of Saturday, 23 and Sunday, 24 August 2008, the Law Courts Building will undergo a partial electrical shutdown. For urgent duty judge applications prior to 12:00 noon Saturday please call Law Courts Security on 0415 486 482. For urgent duty applications after 12:00 noon please call Law Courts Security on ph: (02) 9230 8025.

21 August 2008

Vale the Hon David Tonge

Thu Aug 21 2008

The Hon David Tonge, former judge of the Family Court of Australia and past chairman of the Family Law Council, died on 14 August. The funeral was held today.

21 August 2008

Family Court ceremonial sitting for the Hon Justice Mullane

Thu Aug 21 2008

The Hon Justice�Graham Mullane of the Family Court's Newcastle Registry will retire soon. To mark this occasion, there�will be�a ceremonial sitting in the Newcastle Court complex on 26 September 2008 at 4.00pm. John Hamilton will speak on behalf of the New South Wales Bar.

21 August 2008

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

Thu Aug 21 2008

The following five cases will be published in a forthcoming volume of the _New South Wales Law Reports:

[_Wollongong City Council v Ensile Pty Ltd; Wollongong City Council v Hogarth (No 4)][1] [2008] NSWLEC 149 (Jagot J) Erect Safe Scaffolding (Australia Pty Ltd v Sutton [2008] NSWCA 114 (Giles JA, Basten JA, McClellan CJ at CL)

Cadia Holdings Pty Ltd v State of NSW [2008] NSWSC 528 (Hamilton J) McHugh Holdings Pty Ltd v Newtown Colonial Hotel Pty Ltd [2008] NSWSC 542 (Brereton J)� Levy v Bergseng [2008] NSWSC 294 (Rothman J)

For further information, please contact the Council of Law Reporting office:, ph:(02) 9266 0768.

21 August 2008

Queensland Government announces reform of FOI laws

Wed Aug 20 2008

Nation-wide momentum for the reform�of�freedom of information�laws gathered pace today. The Queensland Government has announced significant changes to its FOI regime, including�better access to Cabinet documents. Premier Anna Bligh today released the Qld Government's response to Dr David Solomon's report into Freedom of Information, promising to�"beak down bureaucratic barriers and make us the most open and accountable government in Australia." View the premier's media release>

20 August 2008

Crikey! The Bar Library expands its browsing collection

Wed Aug 20 2008

The Bar Library would like to encourage members to come and take a break and enjoy the new reading areas. To that end, the library's browsing collection now includes copies of the major daily newspapers and subscriptions to BRW, Crikey(online), The Economist, Harper's, The Monthly, Quadrant and Justinian.�The librarian�reminds users�to leave the magazines behind when�exiting the library.

20 August 2008

Inaugural NSW Bar v Victorian Bar football match

Wed Aug 20 2008

The inaugural NSW Bar v Victorian Bar football match will kick off at St Andrews Oval, University of Sydney, at 3.00pm on Saturday, 6 September 2008.

The curtain-raiser will be a game between the NSW Bar and the NSW Solicitors,� to contest the Sir Arthur George Challenge Cup. The last challenge (won by the NSW Bar) was in 1988. That game will kick-off at 1.00pm.

The matches will be followed by drinks/dinner in the Grandstand Bar and presentations of each of the perpetual trophies. For further information, contact Anthony Lo Surdo on ph: (02) 9223 3181 or Simon Philips on ph: (02) 9223 8233.

2 September�2008

Urgent ethical guidance for members

Tue Aug 19 2008

Barristers may require urgent ethical guidance such as during an adjournment at court. Barristers are reminded of the current system in place which is available to members of the association allowing for assistance over the telephone. 1. Barristers may telephone senior counsel currently serving on the association's professional conduct committees. 2. The names and telephone numbers of senior counsel can be obtained by telephoning the association's Professional Conduct Department:�ph: (02)�9232 4055. 3. As soon as practicable after speaking with senior counsel, if the barrister wishes to have a record of his or her discussion with senior counsel, he or she should send a letter to senior counsel recording the facts and the guidance given. 4. A copy of the letter to senior counsel may also be sent to the director, professional conduct. 5. However, any decision and all responsibility is that of the individual barrister. The role of senior counsel is to provide an opportunity for discussion to assist members in reaching a conclusion, not to give advice or a ‘ruling'. A previous system for providing ‘ethics rulings' to barristers (both urgently and non-urgently) was reviewed by the Bar Council some time ago and is no longer in place. Section 81 of the Legal Profession Act 2004 provides: (1)�Practice as a barrister is subject to the barristers rules. (2)�Practice as a barrister is not subject to any other rules, practice guidelines or rulings of the Bar Association or Bar Council. Ethical guidance in non-urgent circumstances Members requiring ethical guidance in non-urgent circumstances may contact senior counsel on the association's professional conduct committees. The names of senior counsel currently serving on the association's professional conduct committees can be obtained:

  • from the Bar Association's web site: [][1]
  • by contacting the association's Professional Conduct Department: call 9232 4055 As with urgent matters, if the barrister wishes to have a record of their discussion with senior counsel, he or she should send a letter to senior counsel recording the facts and the guidance given. A copy of the letter may also be sent to the director, professional conduct. However, any decision and all responsibility is that of the individual barrister. The role of senior counsel is to provide an opportunity for discussion to assist members in reaching a conclusion, not to give advice or a 'ruling'. In matters in which a conflict of interest or potential breach of confidentiality is alleged, members should always err on the side of caution. When there is any practical potential for breach of Barristers' Rule 107, consideration of the matter should always begin with the view that the brief should be returned. Members should, of course, make themselves familiar with the New South Wales Barristers' Rules, which are published on the Bar Association's web site: [][2] 19 August 2008 [1]: [2]:

Register now for the Stamp Duties Symposium

Mon Aug 18 2008

Australia's leading stamp duties event, the Stamp Duties Symposium, will be held on 27-28 November�2008�at the�Radisson Plaza Hotel in Sydney. Now in its 21st year, the Stamp Duties Symposium is renowned amongst industry practitioners for the value and experience gained at� this event. The two day program will feature commentary from leading practitioners in the field.

As with previous years, the Symposium promises to deliver a mix of cutting edge technical information, analysis and reviews of the most important stamp duty developments. For more information, or to register online, visit the conference web site>


Reminder: swearing in ceremony for the Hon Justice Robert Macfarlan

Mon Aug 18 2008

On Monday, 8 September 2008 there will be a ceremonial sitting for the swearing-in of Robert Macfarlan QC�as a judge of the New South Wales Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. The ceremony will be held in the Banco Court, Queens Square. President Anna Katzmann SC will speak on behalf of the Bar. Barristers are to wear robes and wigs. Senior counsel should wear full-bottomed wigs.

26�August 2008

Law Council president urges lawyers to support AustLII

Mon Aug 18 2008

The president of the Law Council of Australia, Ross Ray QC, has written to encourage members of the Australian legal profession once again to make contributions to AustLII. Ray QC describes AustLII as "an essential tool for many lawyers" and a major source of free legal information for any member of the public.� View�the letter�from the LCA >

18 August 2008

Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence Guest Speakers Program

Fri Aug 15 2008

The Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney Law School presents its Semester Two Guest Speakers Program:

11 September 2008: Dr Grant Lamond - ‘Coercion’

2 October 2008: Dr Dale Smith - ‘(Mis)understanding Dworkin’

23 October 2008:�Professor Tom Campbell - ‘Rescuing Human Rights (from Human Rights Lawyers)’

13 November 2008:�Professor Martin Krygier - ‘Ideals in the World: An Appreciation of Philip Selznick’s Humanist Science’

5 December 2008: Professor Nicola Lacey - ‘Psychologising Jekyll, Demonising Hyde: The Strange Case of Criminal Responsibility’

Download a�full program and RSVP details.

Forthcoming conference

‘Free Will: Moral Responsibility and Legal Responsibility’, Saturday, 15 November 2008, Sydney Law School. Speakers will include Justice David Hodgson and Dr Chris Birch SC.

Further details will be posted on the JSI web site as they become available.

10 September 2008

Mediators and arbitrators: call for applications

Fri Aug 15 2008

Expressions of interest are sought from members of the Bar wishing to become an accredited mediator as well as those wishing for their names to be provided to the District Court for consideration for appointment to its 2009-2010 mediators and arbitrators lists.� Learn more>

15 August 2008