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.
The president advised that in the past few weeks she had attended the following functions representing the association:
15 May 2009 â Welcome drinks for participants in the Bar Practice Course.
21 May 2009 â Opening of the new Banco Chambers in Chifley Square by Chief Justice Spigelman.
25 May 2009 â Swearing-in ceremony for the Hon Justice Michael Slattery at which the Hon John Hatzistergos MLC, attorney general, spoke on behalf of the bar.
26 May 2009 â Launch of 2009 Indigenous Literacy Project
The president attended the launch at Customs House of the 2009 Indigenous Literacy Project.ï¿½ The Indigenous Literacy Project is a partnership between the Australian Book Industry and The Fred Hollows Foundation. ï¿½
26 May 2009 â Meeting with Professor Gordon Parker of the Black Dog Institute.
Mark Ierace SC and Cindy Penrose, the associationâs project officer, had also been present.ï¿½ They had discussed issues concerning the management of depression-related illness at the bar.
28 May 2009 â Memorial service for the late Paul Byrne SC
The president advised that there had been a well attended function to celebrate the life of the late Paul Byrne SC. The president noted that the chief justice had graciously made the Banco Court available for the purpose and that the Bar Association had made the Common Room available for drinks after the Banco Court gathering. The costs of the evening were borne by some of Byrneâs friends. Bar Association staff donated their time to assist.
29 May 2009 â The president attended the Victorian Bar Association Bench and Bar Dinner and proposed a toast on behalf of the Australian Bar Association.
4 June 2009 â The first meeting of the 2009 Senior Counsel Selection Committee had been held in the morning.ï¿½ That evening the president and Mark Ierace SC, a member of the 2008 Selection Committee, had presented an information seminar on the senior counsel selection process. The seminar was designed to inform barristers who are interested in applying for silk about the selection process.
Executive directorâs report
The executive director advised that 2107 practising certificate renewal applications had been sent out.ï¿½ As of a few minutes before the Bar Council meeting, 1544 renewal applications with payment had been processed. Staff had worked through the long weekend to process the documentation that had been received. The executive director asked that bar councillors do all they could to encourage barristers who had not yet returned their renewal documentation to do so as a matter of priority.
Draft Submission to the National Human Rights Consultation
Bar Council resolved that the draft submission be adopted and forwarded to the National Human Rights Consultation Committee. The Bar Council asked that its thanks be conveyed to the following for the preparation of the submission.
Mark Ierace SC;
Professor Andrew Byrnes; and
Application to the Professional Standards Council
Bar Council resolved that the draft application for the continuation of the associationâs Professional Standards Scheme for the next five years be forwarded to the Professional Standards Council. The council expressed its appreciation for the work undertaken in relation to the application by the associationâs projects officer, Jo Wilton.
Law Week Trial of the Barristers in Schools Programme
Bar Council noted the report of the Law Week trial of the Barristers in Schools Programme prepared by Margaret Cunneen SC and Karen Conte-Mills.
Bar Council resolved :
(a)ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½that the president write to the Minister for Education to provide a report of the Law Week trial and seek approval for the extension of the programme;
(b)ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½that the need for greater preparation time for students for individual sessions be raised and worked through with the Department of Education; and
(c)ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½that the Working Party on the Bar and the Community give consideration to the best method of training potential presenters, after which the association call for expressions of interest from the bar.
The Bar Council asked that its thanks be communicated to Margaret Cunneen SC, Karen Conte-Mills and Andrew Martin for presenting the programme so successfully during Law Week.
28 July 2009