InBrief

SEARCH ALL POSTS

Appointment of crown prosecutor

Wed Oct 15 2008

Mr Christopher Bradley Simpson has been appointed�as a crown prosecutor for the period commencing on 9 October 2008 and expiring on 8 October 2015.

15 October 2008

New Supreme Court Practice Note for Corporations List procedures

Wed Oct 15 2008

Chief Justice J J Spigelman AC has�issued an amended version of Practice Note SC Eq 4 (Corporations List) today.�The revised Practice Note commences operation on Friday, 17 October 2008. The Practice Note provides a general update of Corporations List procedures including references to a now daily list commencing at 9:15am.�

Clause 32 now relates to the Cross-Border Insolvency Act 2008�(Cth) procedures, the subject of amendments to the Supreme Court (Corporations) Rules today. This Practice Note replaces the previous version of SC Eq 4 issued on 1 May 2006. The amended Practice Note has been referred for web publication and gazettal.

15 October 2008

Female Bar Readers Welcome & Networking Lunch

Wed Oct 15 2008

The Women Lawyers Association of NSW invites you to join them, along�with the Hon Justice Jane Mathews AO and distinguished guests, for the Female Bar Readers Welcome & Networking Lunch. The event will take place on Friday, 24 October at�12:45pm - 2:00pm in the Buena Vista Cafe & Bar, Level 14, Supreme Law Courts Building. Non-reader attendees pay for own lunch - view menu on the Buena Vista Caf� web site.

Please register your attendance: executive@womenlawyersnsw.org.au to ensure adequate seating.

22�October 2008

Supreme Court (Corporations) Amendment (No 9) Rules 2008

Wed Oct 15 2008

The Supreme Court (Corporations) Amendment (No9) Rules�2008 have been approved by the Supreme Court Rules Committee. The object of these Rules, as provided by the explanatory note,�is to amend the Supreme Court (Corporations) Rules 1999 in relation to proceedings under the Cross-Border Insolvency Act 2008 (Cth). The amendments are uniform with those made to the Federal Court (Corporations) Rules 2000, which were noted in yesterday's�In Brief.�

15 October 2008

Recent House of Lords decisions

Wed Oct 15 2008

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

Van Colle (administrator of the estate of GC (deceased)) and another (Original-Respondents and Cross-appellants) v Chief Constable of the Hertfordshire Police (Original Appellant and Cross-respondent) Smith (Respondent) v Chief Constable of Sussex Police (Appellant)��[2008] UKHL 50�30 July 2008�

Caldarelli (Appellant) v Court of Naples (Respondent) (Criminal Appeal from Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice)��[2008] UKHL 51��30 July 2008�

R (on the application of M) (FC) (Respondent) v Slough Borough Council (Appellants)�[2008] UKHL 52�30 July 2008�

R (on the application of Baiai and others) (Respondents) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant) and one other action (formerly R (on the application of Trzcinska and others) (Respondents) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant) and one other action��[2008] UKHL 53�30 July 2008�

Maco Door and Windows Hardware (UK) Limited (Respondents) v Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (Appellants)��[2008] UKHL 54��30 July 2008�

Yeoman’s Row Management Limited (Appellants) and another v Cobbe (Respondent)�[2008] UKHL 55��30 July 2008�

Gallagher (Valuation Officer) (Respondent) v Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Appellants)��[2008] UKHL 56��30 July 2008�

Doherty (FC) (Appellant) and others v Birmingham City Council (Respondent)�[2008] UKHL 57��30 July 2008�

R (on the application of Heffernan) (FC) (Appellant) v The Rent Service) (Respondents)�[2008] UKHL 58��30 July 2008�

McKinnon (Appellant) v Government of the United States of America (Respondents) and another��[2008] UKHL 59��30 July 2008�

R (on the application of Corner House Research and others) (Respondents) v Director of the Serious Fraud Office (Appellant) (Criminal Appeal from Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice)�[2008] UKHL 60��30 July 2008

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

15 October 2008

Reinstate Racial Discrimination Act in NT, Law Council urges

Tue Oct 14 2008

The Law Council has welcomed a report which recommends that government actions affecting Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory must conform to the Racial Discrimination Act. Law Council President Ross Ray QC said, “The Racial Discrimination Act must be reinstated in respect of all legislation governing the Intervention, and it must be made clear that all actions carried out under the Intervention are subject to racial discrimination laws.” View the Law Council's media release > View the report of the NT Emergency Response Review Board>

14 October 2008

New CCTV facilities for Penrith Courthouse

Tue Oct 14 2008

New closed circuit television (CCTV) facilities have been installed in Penrith Courthouse, NSW Attorney General John Hatzistergos announced today. Two large plasma television monitors have been installed in Courtroom One at Penrith and will be used to screen live remote witness testimony as well as pre-recorded evidence. Electronic evidence can be played to the court on all major formats, including CD, analogue tape, DVD, VCR and laptop computer.

“Sexual assault victims are now able to testify via CCTV cameras from a new private and secure remote witness room,” Mr Hatzistergos said.

Courtroom One has also been fitted with an electronic filming device, called a Digital Presenter, which is used to zoom in on objects and project them on to the plasma screens.

14 October 2008

Legislation to note: cross-border insolvency rules take effect tomorrow

Tue Oct 14 2008

The Federal Court (Corporations) Amendment Rules 2008 (No 2) were registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments�today, 14 October 2008 and will commence on 15 October 2008.�They amend�the Federal Court (Corporations) Rules 2000 to give effect to the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (the Model Law).� The Model Law outlines a system of insolvency procedures to be used in cases where the insolvent party has assets in more than one country, or when there are foreign creditors present in a domestic insolvency proceeding. Learn more>

14 October 2008

Income tax returns: a notice from the Australian Tax Office

Mon Oct 13 2008

The Australian Tax Office has issued a gentle�reminder to members�of the legal profession to lodge 2007-08 income tax returns by the due date. If you have a tax agent, generally, you will be required to lodge by 15 May 2009. If you do not have a tax agent, your due date this year is 31 October 2008 unless you request, and are granted, an extension by the Tax Office. View the ATO letter and fact sheet >

13 October 2008

Reminder: book launch of Rediscovering Rhetoric

Mon Oct 13 2008

All members are�welcome to attend the launch of�Rediscovering Rhetoric: Law, Language, and the Practice of Persuasion, edited by JT Gleeson SC and Ruth CA Higgins. The book, which�is based on�the Rhetoric Series delivered�at the Bar Association throughout 2007,�will be launched by the Honourable�JJ Spigelman AC, chief justice of New South Wales, at 5.30pm on Friday, 14 November in the Banco Court.�All of the contributors will be in attendance and Federation Press will be on site to sell copies at $75 each ($10 less than the RRP). Complimentary wine and beer will be served in the foyer outside the court following the launch.

12�November 2008

Webwatch: new government sponsored ADR web site

Mon Oct 13 2008

The Australian Government established the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council as an independent body responsible for providing policy advice to the Commonwealth Attorney‑General on ADR.� It is also responsible for promoting the use and raising the profile of ADR.� The new web site (www.nadrac.gov.au) has been developed as part of the council’s charter obligation of promoting ADR to the broader community.

13 October 2008

Amendment of the Constitution of the New South Wales Bar Association

Mon Oct 13 2008

The Bar Council proposes a number of amendments to Constitution of the New South Wales Bar Association. The purpose of these amendments is to:

  • update references to the Corporations Act 2001 and make a number of amendments in line with requirements of that Act;
  • delete provisions relating to the Registered Clubs Act 1976;
  • simplify the procedure for removal of a member’s name from the register upon resignation of the member (clause 7.1.2);
  • delete provisions relating to honorary members (there are no honorary members of the Bar Association);
  • reduce the number of members required to form a quorum at a general meeting from 25 to 5 (clause 9.1.2) and in consequence delete clause 9.1.4; and
  • make a number of minor changes of a mechanical nature.

A marked up copy of the Constitution showing the proposed amendments� can be accessed on the Bar Association's web site.

Members who wish to comment on the amendments proposed should forward comments to the executive director of the Bar Association by e-mail executivedirector@nswbar.asn.au or mail by Friday, 28 November 2008.

All comments on the amendments received by the due date will be considered by the Bar Council before it settles the amendments to be put to a general meeting of the members of the association.

13 October 2008

Reminder: nominations for Bar Council

Mon Oct 13 2008

Members are reminded that nominations for the 2009 Bar Council must be received by the returning officer by 4.00pm on Monday, 20 October 2008. Nomination forms have been posted to all members.� The form is also available from the Bar Association’s Reception (ph: (02) 9232 4055; fax: (02)�9221 1149 or e-mail reception@nswbar.asn.au). All nominations are acknowledged by e-mail to the candidate within 24 hours of their receipt by the returning officer.� A candidate who has not received an acknowledgment within 24 hours of when they believe the nomination would have been received by the returning officer should immediately contact Ms Kim Kemp or Ms Corinne Brown at the Bar Association on ph: (02)�9232 4055, or e-mail kkemp@nswbar.asn.au or cbrown@nswbar.asn.au.

P A Selth Executive Director & Returning Officer

13 October 2008

Tonight: 2008 senior counsel presentation ceremony

Mon Oct 13 2008

Newly appointed senior counsel will be presented with their appointment scrolls tonight, at 5.00pm in the Bar Association’s Common Room, with the scrolls being presented by Chief Justice Spigelman AC�at 5.30pm. Members and their guests are most welcome to attend the function.

17 October 2008

UK Parliament committee rejects extension of pre-charge detention

Fri Oct 10 2008

The Westminster Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights has�rejected key provisions of the British Government's�latest Counter-Terrorism Bill and�called on the government to delete the provisions in the Bill which would extend the maximum period of pre-charge detention for terrorism offences to 42 days.�In the introduction to its report, the committee�cites as reasons for its decision:

  • the lack of any evidence which demonstrates that the level of threat from terrorism is growing;�
  • no pressing need to extend further the maximum period of pre-charge detention when the existing power to detain beyond 14 days is so rarely used and had not been used for well over a year;
  • the secretary of state's power to extend the maximum period of pre-charge detention to 42 days is too broad;
  • the proposed safeguards relating to the use of the power are insufficiently strong to meet the human rights concerns which have been raised; and
  • there is no need to make any provision for extending the maximum period of pre-charge detention beyond 28 days and, even if there were, the safeguards in the Bill are inadequate.

View the joint committee's report >

10 October 2008

�

Qarase and Others v Bainimarama and Others

Fri Oct 10 2008

Earlier this year, the ousted prime minister of Fiji, Laisenia Qarase, engaged Nye Perram SC (as he then was) and Rachel Pepper pro bono to appear before that nation’s High Court to challenge his removal and his replacement by the coup leader and self-appointed prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama. Yesterday, the court handed down its decision in Qarase & Others v Bainimarama & Others. It held that:

The decision of the president to ratify the dismissal of the prime minister and his ministers, to appoint Dr Senilagakali as caretaker prime minister to advise the dissolution of parliament, and the dissolution of parliament itself, are held to have been valid and lawful acts in exercise of the prerogative powers of the Head of State to act for the public good in a crisis...For the same reasons the further decision of the president to rule directly pending the holding of fresh, fair and accurate elections is upheld as valid and lawful.

View the full text of the High Court's decision >

10 October 2008

Victorian barrister appointed Tax Office special counsel

Fri Oct 10 2008

Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo�yesterday announced the appointment of Terry Murphy SC as special counsel for 2009, commencing 1 December 2008. Mr Murphy SC has practiced at the Victorian Bar since 1990. He is a member of the Committee of the Tax Bar Association, a member of the Taxation Committee of the Business Section of the Law Council of Australia and�a former state councillor of the Taxation Institute of Australia. Learn more >

10 October 2008

Women Barristers invite you to a celebration

Fri Oct 10 2008

The Women Barristers Forum and the Women Lawyers Association invite�members to join�them for cocktails at� the Moonshadow Grille on 6 November�to celebrate the appointment of Julia Baird SC and Donna Woodburne SC. Learn more>

5 November 2008

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

Fri Oct 10 2008

The Australian Law Reports reports�decisions of the High Court, the Federal Court and other courts throughout Australia in significant federal matters. Part 4 of 248 ALR includes: Copyright Agency Ltd v NSW [2008] HCA 35 – Intellectual Property – Copyright Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Broadbeach [2008] HCA 41 – Corporations – Winding up

Hearne v Street [2008] HCA 36 – Contempt – Contempt of court Imbree v McNeilly [2008] HCA 40 – Negligence – Standard of care McNeill v R [2008] FCAFC 80 – Criminal law – Directions to jury

10 October 2008

Robes and things for Fiji

Thu Oct 09 2008

On a recent visit to Fiji, Peter Maiden SC�was asked for assistance in providing robes, wigs�and textbooks to young members of the legal profession in that country. For further information, contact Peter on ph: (02) 9221 2041 or via e-mail: pmaiden@12thfloor.com.au

9 October 2008

Term 4 yoga classes begin next week

Thu Oct 09 2008

Term 4 yoga classes begin on Tuesday, 14 October and finish on Tuesday, 16 December. The cost for a full term is $150 (paid in advance). Partial term bookings are accepted at $15 per class pro-rata or $20 per class on a casual basis. To learn more about yoga at the bar, or to register, visit the Yogabowl web site. The programme requires a minimum of 10 students to register for a full term in order for classes to proceed.

9 October�2008

�

Decrease in interest on unpaid legal costs

Thu Oct 09 2008

At its meeting on 7 October 2008, the Reserve Bank Board decided to decrease the cash rate by 100 basis points to 6.0%, effective�8 October 2008. Accordingly the rate of interest on unpaid legal costs, prescribed by clause 110A(3) of the Legal Profession Regulation 2005, as of�8 October 2008, is 8.0%.

Section 321 of the Legal Profession Act 2004 ‘Interest on unpaid legal costs’ provides:

(1) A law practice may charge interest on unpaid legal costs if the costs are unpaid 30 days or more after the practice has given a bill for the costs in accordance with this Part.

(2) A law practice may also charge interest on unpaid legal costs in accordance with a costs agreement.

(3) A law practice must not charge interest under subsection (1) or (2) on unpaid legal costs unless the bill for those costs contains a statement that interest is payable and of the rate of interest.

(4) A law practice may not charge interest under this section or under a costs agreement at a rate that exceeds the rate prescribed by the regulations.

(5) ...

Clause 110A of the Legal Profession Regulation 2005 prescribes the relevant rate of interest. It provides:

110A Interest on unpaid legal costs—section 321 (4) (b) of the Act

(1) This clause is made for the purposes of section 321 (4) of the Act and prescribes the rate of interest in excess of which a law practice may not charge interest under section 321 of the Act or under a costs agreement.

(2) The rate for the period commencing with 1 October 2005 and ending immediately before the date of commencement of subclause (3) is 9.0%.

(3) The rate for the period commencing with the date of commencement of this subclause is the rate that is equal to the Cash Rate Target as at the relevant date, increased by 2 percentage points.

(4) In this clause:

Cash Rate Target means the percentage (or maximum percentage) specified by the Reserve Bank of Australia as the Cash Rate Target.

Relevant date means the date the bill was issued by the law practice concerned.

The Cash Rate Target decreased to 6.0% from�8 October 2008 (visit the Reserve Bank web site)

Accordingly the rate of interest prescribed by clause 110A(3) as of�8 October 2008 is 8.0%.

9 October 2008