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The Hon Justice Michael Kirby resigns

Thu Dec 11 2008

Attorney-General Robert McClelland has been advised that the Hon Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG�yesterday met with the governor-general, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC, and advised Her Excellency of his intention to resign from the High Court of Australia, effective midnight on the evening of Monday, 2 February 2009.

View the attorney-general's media release>

11 December 2008

Member appointed to the Tasmanian Office of the DPP

Thu Dec 11 2008

John Cauchi of Henry Parkes Chambers in Canberra�will shortly be appointed to the position of principal crown counsel [criminal prosecutions] in the Office of the DPP for Tasmania.�He will be based in Launceston from February of 2009. Mr Cauchi has been a�member of the NSW Bar Association for 20 years,�and formerly practised at Garfield Barwick Chambers and the Trust Chambers.

He spent ten years working as senior crown counsel in Tonga, senior advisor and state prosecutor in Vanuatu, as a crown prosecutor and the director of public prosecutions in Solomon Islands and as a senior prosecutor in the ACT before joining Henry Parkes Chambers.

11 December 2008

WA Bar Council election results

Thu Dec 11 2008

As a result of the Western Australian Bar Association elections, the following members were elected to Bar Council:

President� Mr CG Colvin SC�
Vice-president� Mr GR Donaldson SC�
Ordinary members Mr BW�Ashdown�
� Ms FCE Davis
� Mr JJ Hockley
� Mr J McGrath
� Mr P Mendelow
� Mr JA Thomson
Members of less than three years' standing Mr K Dharmananda�
� Ms EC Hensler
Non WA Bar Chambers Ltd members Mr RE Birmingham QC
� Ms J Seif
� �
�11 December 2008 �

Hal Wootten AC QC made a life member of the Bar Association

Thu Dec 11 2008

At a recent meeting of the Bar Council,�it was resolved to appoint the Hon J H Wootten AC QC a life member of the Bar Association in recognition of his exceptional service to the profession of the law.

11 December 2008

Postions vacant at the Qld Crime and Misconduct Commission

Wed Dec 10 2008

The Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) is seeking to recruit experienced lawyers to fill the following senior roles. The vacancy period closes at 5.00 pm on Monday, 22 December 2008.

Deputy Director, Misconduct

This position leads major investigations into significant complaints of misconduct in the Queensland public sector. The role manages ad hoc multi-disciplinary teams and provides high level legal, operational and policy advice to senior management on complex legal issues. Total remuneration package: $158,409 to $164,190 pa (includes full private use of a vehicle)

Executive Legal Officer, Misconduct Investigations

This position leads and manages a multi-disciplinary team responsible for investigating complaints of misconduct in the Queensland public sector. The role provides legal and operational advice to the investigative team and to senior management. Total remuneration package: $114,282 to $119,100 pa.

Further information about the work of the CMC and these positions can be found at www.cmc.qld.gov.au�Prospective applicants may contact Mr Russell Pearce, director, misconduct investigations on�ph: (07) 3360 6100 or by e-mail at russell.pearce@cmc.qld.gov.au

Applications may be emailed to hr@cmc.qld.gov.au or posted to the human resources manager, Crime and Misconduct Commission, GPO Box 3123, Brisbane QLD 4001.

10 December 2008

ALRC calls for submissions in review of secrecy laws

Wed Dec 10 2008

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) yesterday released Issue Paper 34: Review of Secrecy Laws. The closing date for written submissions is 19 February 2009. ALRC commissioner, Professor Rosalind Croucher�commented that: "Mapping all of these secrecy provisions and penalties has been a massive task for the ALRC, but has demonstrated the critical need for rationalisation and harmonisation of these laws”. View the ALRC media release>

10 December 2008

Wanted: volunteers for inter-school mock trial competition

Wed Dec 10 2008

The Law Society of New South Wales is inviting members of the NSW Bar to provide voluntary assistance to the Inter-School Mock Trial Competition. The competition aims to introduce year 10 and 11 students to the law and to give them an understanding of the legal system that governs the society in which they live.�

The Law Society� provides the teams with coaches and magistrates, together with a complete set of the case materials and Competition Manual.� Coaches teach the students about court procedure and advocacy techniques.� It is anticipated that only two to three hours of coaching will be needed before each trial, although it is up to each coach to decide the level of individual participation.� The cases are confined to simple criminal and civil matters heard in the Local or District Court. Volunteers must download a registration form, together with the consent to a�background check and other documentation necessary for working with children>

2 February 2009

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Retirement of the Hon Justice Michael Watt

Wed Dec 10 2008

The Hon Justice Michael Watt will retire on Monday, 15 December 2008 after 10 years on the bench of the Family Court of Australia. Chief Justice Diana Bryant has issued a media release, in which she�said: “Justice Watt’s steady and thoughtful approach while helping to pioneer what has become the standard approach to children’s cases helped to extend the process from Sydney and Parramatta to Melbourne.

"He will be particularly remembered for his patience and rapport with self represented litigants,” she said.

There will be no retirement ceremony for Justice Watt and no speeches on behalf of the bar.

10 December 2008

National Guide to Counsel Fees to take effect in the new year

Wed Dec 10 2008

The registrar of the Federal Court has issued�an�updated National Guide to Counsel Fees. The guide has effect from 1 January 2009. As explained in the preamble to the guide, its purpose is to assist taxing officers of the court when making an estimate pursuant to Order 62 rule 46 of the Federal Court Rules or upon taxation of a party and party Bill of Costs. The amounts listed in the guide are not, however, to be regarded as limiting the taxing officers’ discretion to allow higher or lower fees if it is considered appropriate.

For further information,�contact Philip Kellow�on (02) 9230 8336 or by email to Philip.Kellow@fedcourt.gov.au

10 December 2008

Changes to Legal Aid NSW civil law policies

Mon Dec 08 2008

Legal Aid NSW would like to advise members of amendments to its civil law policy in relation to personal injury and medical negligence matters. Previously, legal aid has been available for these matters when the applicant is at a special disadvantage. From 1 December 2008, applicants will also have to show that there are exceptional circumstances and that the applicant would suffer undue hardship if legal aid was refused. For more information, visit the Legal Aid NSW web site or contact Lyndsay Brooker, manager, legal policy, on ph: (02) 9219 5859.

8 December 2008

Cases selected for reporting in the CLR and FCR

Mon Dec 08 2008

Cases selected for reporting in CLR by J D Merralls QC

Master Education Services P/L v Ketchell [2008] HCA 38.

Cases selected for reporting in FCR by V Kline

Commonwealth v Leigh [2008] FCA 1513 McAleer v University of Western Australia (No 3) [2008] FCA 1490 Fesl v Delegate of the Native Title Registrar (No 2) [2008] FCA 1479 Dowling v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd [2008] FCA 1470 Surfing Hardware International Holdings Pty Ltd v McCausland [2008] FCA 1522 Fesl v Delegate of the Native Title Registrar [2008] FCA 1469 Commissioner of Patents v Sherman [2008] FCAFC 182

8 December 2008

AG McClelland to open NSW Bar Dispute Resolution Centre

Mon Dec 08 2008

The NSW Bar Dispute Resolution Centre will be opened by Attorney-General�Robert McClelland on 10 December 2008.� Located at level 1, Selborne Chambers, 174 Phillip St, Sydney, it is the most convenient dispute resolution centre for barristers, solicitors and parties in the CBD. The centre is an important development in promoting ADR and positioning barristers in the ADR sphere.

Formerly the National Dispute Centre, the centre has been recently refurbished, is specially designed and has all necessary facilities for mediations, arbitrations, expert determinations, conciliations and other forms of dispute resolution as well as round table conferences.� Learn more>

8 December 2008

Evidence Amendment Act to commence on 1 January 2009

Mon Dec 08 2008

The Evidence Amendment Act 2007 (NSW), and the Evidence Amendment Act 2008 (Cth) will commence on 1 January 2009.�The amendments implement the model Uniform Evidence Bill endorsed by the Standing Committee of Attorneys General on 26 July 2007. The Model Bill is, in turn, based on the recommendations of the Australian, Victorian and NSW Law Reform Commissions, in their 2005 Report on uniform evidence law.

8 December 2008

Speeches of a Chief Justice: James Spigelman 1998-2008

Mon Dec 08 2008

Members are reminded about the book launch this Wednesday, 10 December 2008 at 5.00pm in the Banco Court by Lord Thomas Bingham of Cornhill of the special edition volume of speeches of Chief Justice Spigelman AC to mark his tenth anniversary.

Learn more >

8 December 2008

Solicitors v Bar and Bench Golf Day

Mon Dec 08 2008

Change of venue

The annual Solicitors v Bar and Bench Golf Day is to be held at Elanora Golf Club on Monday, 19 January 2009. Details of times and cost will be posted in the near future. Contact Flaherty ph: (02) 9233 3517.

8 December 2008

Position vacant: full-time senior commissioner Land and Environment Court

Mon Dec 08 2008

$233,540 per annum plus conveyance allowance of $15,840 per annum

Attorney General John Hatzistergos is seeking expressions of interest from qualified persons for appointment as the full-time senior commissioner of the Land and Environment Court of NSW for a period of seven years.�Commissioners exercise the jurisdiction of the court to determine certain of its cases, either by conciliation or hearing on the merits.�The senior commissioner is also required to assist in administering the business of the court.

Selection Criteria: Appointees must have at least one of the qualifications detailed in section 12(2) of the Land and Environment Court Act 1979.� These include special knowledge of and experience (and, in some cases, formal qualifications) in such fields as local government administration, town or country planning, environmental planning, environmental science, land valuation, architecture, engineering, surveying, building construction, the management of natural resources and Crown land, or urban design or heritage.� The Courts and Crimes Legislation Further Amendment Bill 2008 expected to be enacted soon adds “Australian lawyer” as another qualification for appointment.

Inquiries: Ms Susan Dixon, Registrar, (02) 9113 8210.

Expressions of interest, accompanied by a detailed curriculum vitae and the names of at least two referees, should be emailed to appointments@agd.nsw.gov.au by 19 December 2008.� Expressions of interest may also be posted to the statutory appointments officer, Locked Bag 5111, Parramatta NSW 2124.

8 December 2008

Position vacant: full-time assessor, Small Claims Division, Local Courts

Mon Dec 08 2008

$162,720 per annum

Attorney General John Hatzistergos is seeking expressions of interest from qualified persons for appointment as an assessor under the Local Courts Act 1982 on a full-time basis.�The appointed officer will be required to travel to court locations throughout the Sydney metropolitan area.

Selection Criteria: Interested persons must be Australian lawyers; be conversant with the law and procedures applied in the Local Courts of NSW; have a sound understanding of the Local Courts Act 1982; have a working knowledge of the procedures of the jurisdiction, including experience in small claims matters; have relevant training and experience in alternative dispute resolution processes; and have high level communication and negotiation skills.

Inquiries: Chief Magistrate Graeme Henson or Deputy Chief Magistrate Paul Cloran, (02) 9287 7615.

Expressions of interest, accompanied by a detailed curriculum vitae and the names of at least two referees, should be e-mailed to appointments@agd.nsw.gov.au by 19 December 2008.� Expressions of interest may also be posted to the statutory appointments officer, Locked Bag 5111, Parramatta NSW 2124.

8 December 2008

Law Council welcomes recommendations on charities and not-for-profit organisations

Fri Dec 05 2008

The Law Council has urged the�Australian Government to implement reforms recommended in a Senate Committee report released yesterday on the regulation of charities and not-for-profit organisations. In its submission earlier this year to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics inquiry into disclosure regimes for charities and not-for-profit organisations, the Law Council highlighted the economic and social importance of the not-for-profit sector and called for a number of key legislative changes. Learn more>

5 December 2008

Personal Injury Conference on 7 February 2009

Fri Dec 05 2008

The New South Wales Bar Association will hold its inaugural Personal Injury Conference on Saturday, 7 February 2009 at The Westin Hotel, Sydney. We are privileged to welcome the Hon Justice M J Beazley AO, the Hon Keith Mason AC QC and the Hon Justice I G Harrison, as well as members of the NSW Bar to speak at the conference. For more information, download a programme and registration form. Full attendance at the conference will attract 6.5 CPD points.

Please contact Katie Hall�ph: (02)�9229 1720) or Jo Musumeci�ph: (02)�9229 1722 for more information. Please note, registrations will only be accepted when accompanied by full payment.

16 January 2009

Review of unresolved claims from the Voyager tragedy

Fri Dec 05 2008

Attorney-General Robert McClelland and�Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon today announced the results of the review into the unresolved claims from the HMAS Voyager tragedy.�Jeremy Gormly SC was appointed�in July 2008 to review the mediation of the outstanding damages claims, and assist in the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process.

“I am now pleased to say that through Mr Gormly’s energy and expertise, 24 of the remaining 25 cases have been resolved,” Mr Snowdon said.

The collision between HMAS Voyager and HMAS Melbourne off the southeast coast of Australia in 1964 cost 82 lives. Learn more >

5 December 2008

Papers to note: Law Council of Australia's 2008 annual report

Thu Dec 04 2008

The Law Council of Australia is the peak national representative body of the Australian legal profession. The New South Wales Bar Association is a constituent body of the LCA. 2007-08 has been a challenging�time for the organisation, with�a change in federal government in late 2007 resulting in new inquiries and an increased workload. View the LCA's annual report for 2007-2008>

4 December 2008