Vale Peter Esmond Cullen (1966-2009)

Fri May 29 2009

Peter Cullen of 8th Floor Wentworth Chambers died yesterday, 28 May 2009. Members will be advised of funeral arrangements as soon as they are made available.

29 May 2009

Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire for US Supreme Court nominee

Thu May 28 2009

How does one become an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court ? What should one expect during a� confirmation hearing before the US Senate? On 27 May, Chairman Patrick Leahy and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions released the bipartisan questionnaire that the Senate Judiciary Committee has asked Judge Sonia Sotomayor to complete in connection with her nomination to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Also part of the process is a peer review conducted by the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary (FJC), which evaluates the professional qualifications of all nominees to the Supreme Court of the United States, circuit courts of appeals, district courts (including territorial district courts) and the Court of International Trade. Sometimes the committee is asked to testify at a confirmation hearing of the US Senate Judiciary Committee and provide written submissions. It makes fascinating reading.

28 May 2009

Reminder: anti-money laundering provisions and potential problems for lawyers

Thu May 28 2009

The Hon Justice Ian Gzell, chairman of the Sydney branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), invites you to an address by the Honourable L J Priestley QC on "Anti-Money Laundering – Potential Problems for Australian Lawyers". The address will take place this evening at 5.30pm sharp, in the Banco Court, Queen’s Square. Refreshments will be served at 7.00pm. For more information, or to register, download a flyer>

17 June 2009

Swearing in ceremony for new Children's Court President

Thu May 28 2009

A ceremonial sitting will be held at the Children's Court in Parramatta at 9.30am on 1 June 2009 to mark the appointment of His Honour Judge Mark Marien SC as the inaugural president of the court. Attorney General John Hatzistergos will speak on behalf of the bar and Jane Needham SC will attend on behalf of the president.

28 May 2009

Papers to note: parliamentary report on altruistic surrogacy

Wed May 27 2009

The New South Wales Parliament's Standing Committee on Law and Justice has published its final report on 'altruistic surrogacy'. The background to the inquiry is contained in the executive summary, which notes that:

There is limited regulation of the practice of surrogacy in NSW. The Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2007 (NSW), when it commences, will prohibit commercial surrogacy, make surrogacy agreements legally void and unenforceable, and require assisted reproductive technology (ART) clinics to store genetic information relating to conceptions in a central register. Other pieces of legislation that impact on the practice of surrogacy include the Status of Children Act 1996 (NSW), under which there is a presumption of parentage in relation to children born through a ‘fertilisation procedure’ in favour of the birth mother, and the Adoption Act 2000 (NSW), through which intending parents in a surrogacy arrangement may apply to adopt the child born through the arrangement and thereby become recognised as the legal parents of the child.


The NSW Attorney General and Minister for Justice, the Hon John Hatzistergos MLC, referred this inquiry to the Standing Committee on Law and Justice on 22 July 2008. The terms of reference require the Committee to inquire into the role, if any, that the NSW Government should play in regulating altruistic surrogacy arrangements in NSW, the criteria that should be applied to parties to the arrangement, the legal rights and responsibilities of parties to the arrangement, including the child to be born through the arrangement, any legislative changes necessary to clarify the legal status of the child, and the interplay between state and federal legislation related to surrogacy.

View the committee's report >

27 May 2009

New acting judges in the District Court

Wed May 27 2009

Mr William Knight has been appointed as an acting judge of the District Court of New South Wales for the period commencing on 28 May 2009 and expiring on 30 June 2009.

The Hon Rodney Madgwick QC has been appointed as an acting judge of the District Court of New South Wales for the period commencing on 28 May 2009 and expiring on 30 June 2009.�

27 May 2009

15 Bobber: Justice Rachel Pepper and Judge Andrew Colefax SC

Tue May 26 2009

The 15 Bobber to celebrate the appointment of the the Hon Justice Rachel Pepper to the Land and Environment Court of NSW and his Hon Judge Andrew Colefax SC to the District Court a 15 Bobber will be held on Friday, 24 July 2009. Speaking for Justice Pepper will be Kelly Rees and for Judge Colefax SC will be the Hon Justice David Davies. The 15 Bobber will commence at 5.30pm with the speeches beginning at 5.45pm.

Pre-registration is $15 and MUST be sent to the association by 3.00pm Thursday, 23 July. Reservations made after this time and at the door will be $25.

Download a registration form and return it with payment to the New South Wales Bar Association, DX 1204 SYDNEY or fax 9221 1149.

Please contact Katie Hall on ph (02) 9229 1720 if you have any questions regarding the 15 Bobber.

21 July 2009

UN committee gives Australia a tick for human rights - sort of

Tue May 26 2009

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has released its report card following a review of Australia’s compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The committee commended Australia on recent initiatives and advances, including the national human rights consultation, efforts to combat violence against women, and the Apology to the Stolen Generations. The committee also, however, made 26 recommendations for Australia to improve its human rights performance, including by implementing comprehensive national human rights legislation.

26 May 2009

Reminder: honouring the memory of Paul Byrne SC, today 28 May

Mon May 25 2009

He's been called "the most outstanding criminal lawyer of his generation at the bar", and now colleagues and friends who wish to honour the memory of Paul Byrne SC can do so at a service to be held in the Banco Court today at 5.15pm. Among the speakers will be his Honour Judge Stephen Norrish SC, the Hon Michael Kirby, Ian Barker QC and Justice Peter Hidden. Speeches will be followed in the Bar Common Room by a celebration of his life.

28 May 2009

Reminder: Funeral service for David Grant Lukins

Mon May 25 2009

David Lukins, formerly of Edmund Barton Chambers, died on 22 May 2009. Family and friends are invited to attend a celebration of David's life, to be held in the Magnolia Chapel at Macquarie Park Crematorium, corner Delhi and Plassey roads, North Ryde on Thursday, 28 May at 2.00pm. In lieu of floral tributes, please consider a donation to the Cancer Council of NSW.

25 May 2009

Law Council fears attack on independence of Fiji’s legal profession

Mon May 25 2009

The Law Council has grave concerns about the future independence of the legal profession in Fiji after the Fiji Government today issued a decree removing the Law Society’s power to issue practising certificates. Decree 16 places the power to issue practising certificates in the hands of the chief registrar of the court – a government employee. View the LCA's media release>

25 May 2009

Australians believe crime is worse than it really is

Mon May 25 2009

The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) has released a report revealing misconceptions of crime and the severity of sentencing.��What Australians think about crime and justice: results from the 2007 Survey of Social Attitudes shows that people perceived crime to be increasing when it wasn’t, that they overestimated the proportion of crime that involves violence and underestimated the proportion of people who are charged, convicted and imprisoned. Learn more >

25 May 2009

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

Mon May 25 2009

The following cases will be published in a forthcoming volume of NSWLR: Baker-Morrison v State of New South Wales [2009] NSWCA 35 Hall v Poolman [2009] NSWCA 64 Avilion Group Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Police [2009] NSWCA 93 Bailey v Department of Land and Water Conservation [2009] NSWCA 100

For further information, please contact the Council of Law Reporting office:, phone 9266 0768.

25 May 2009

Remarks by President Obama about the closure of Guantanamo Bay

Fri May 22 2009

President Obama yesterday delivered a speech on the subject of his administration's attempts to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Andrew Sullivan, writing in the Atlantic Monthly, described it as "a thoughtful speech that deserves our time and reflection...[B]y his sobriety and balance, care and precision, Obama has sketched a way forward that is a function of both war and law."

President Obama said:

There is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America's strongest currency in the world.� Instead of building a durable framework for the struggle against al Qaeda that drew upon our deeply held values and traditions, our government was defending positions that undermined the rule of law.� In fact, part of the rationale for establishing Guantanamo in the first place was the misplaced notion that a prison there would be beyond the law -- a proposition that the Supreme Court soundly rejected.� Meanwhile, instead of serving as a tool to counter terrorism, Guantanamo became a symbol that helped al Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause.� Indeed, the existence of Guantanamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.

View the speech on the White House web site.

22 May 2009

Commencement of the Criminal Legislation Amendment Act 2009

Fri May 22 2009

The Criminal Legislation Amendment Act 2009 commenced on 19 May 2009.� The object of the Act is to make miscellaneous amendments to legislation relation to crimes, criminal procedure and other matters.� The Act amends a number of Acts. Learn more >

22 May 2009

NSW Supreme Court introduces new measures for disputed deceased estate cases

Fri May 22 2009

Disputes over the allocation of deceased estates will be resolved faster, more easily and with less expense in the NSW Supreme Court, thanks to a raft of initiatives to be formally introduced next month.

Under changes prescribed in the Equity Division’s new Practice Note SC Eq 7, to take effect from 1 June, applications under the Family Provision Act and the Succession Act will now:

•�� �require compulsory mediation; •�� �be case-managed online prior to hearing, if appropriate; and •�� �use a standard affidavit to provide a more efficient and cheaper resolution process.

Learn more >

22 May 2009

New deputy chief magistrate

Thu May 21 2009

Magistrate Jane Mottley has been elevated to the position of a deputy chief magistrate of NSW, Attorney General John Hatzistergos announced today. Mr Hatzistergos said Magistrate Mottley would replace Deputy Chief Magistrate Helen Syme who has been appointed a judge of the District Court of NSW. A swearing in ceremony will be held on Tuesday, 26 May at 9am in Courtroom 5.2 of the Downing Centre.�

21 May 2009

Reminder: swearing in ceremony for Michael Slattery QC

Thu May 21 2009

Michael Slattery QC has been appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. A formal ceremony for this occasion will be held in the Banco Court at 9.30am on Monday, 25 May 2009. Attorney General John Hatzistergos will speak on behalf of the bar. Barristers are to wear robes and wigs. Senior counsel should wear full-bottomed wigs.

21 May 2009

Does Australia need a Human Rights Act?

Thu May 21 2009

"Does Australia Need a Human Rights Act?" is an open community forum that will feature a moderated panel of highly distinguished speakers, who will discuss the state of human rights in Australia - from the experience of refugees and asylum seekers, to the effects of the anti-terrorism laws. Is it the case that if human rights aren't formally protected, they are at risk of being eroded?�


Dr Andrew Lynch (Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the University of New South Wales)


The Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser AC CH (Former Prime Minister of Australia) The Hon Keith Mason AC QC (Former President of the NSW Court of Appeal) Stephen Keim SC (Barrister for Dr Mohamed Haneef) Edward Santow (Director of the Charter of Human Rights Project, Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW)

Date: 1 June 2009 Time: 6:00-8:00 pm Venue: Law Theatre G04, Law Building, UNSW Cost: Free. All welcome. RSVP:


21 May 2009

CPD seminar tomorrow morning: everything you need to know about the Legal Aid Grants Online system

Thu May 21 2009

Have you learnt to use the new Legal Aid Grants Online system as yet? If not,� the Legal Aid Grants Online division will host a CPD seminar at the Bar Association Common Room at 8.00am-9.00am tomorrow, 3 June.� All members dealing with grants online – including care and protection, criminal, family and civil matters are encouraged to attend the seminar.

The seminar will cover the following changes with Legal Aid Grants:

  • Notification to counsel of a grant of aid

  • Payment of proforma invoices for counsel's fees

  • Trial Information Forms (TIFs)

  • Approval for extensions

  • Transfer of briefs between counsel

Further Grants Online training

An audio-visual tour of Grants Online will be available on the Legal Aid NSW website by the end of May. Members are encouraged to access this online tool from the Grants Online login page.� The topics covered include;

  • Navigation

  • Extensions

  • Claims

  • Duty Lawyer claims.�

The online tour will help you to become more familiar with the Grants Online system at your own convenience.

If you have any queries or require further information regarding legal aid applications, grants of aid and payments, please contact any of the key staff listed below:

Name Title �Phone
Richard Funston Executive Director, Policy and Grants �9219 5890
MaryWhitehead Business Development Manager � 9219 5114
Steve Doumit Senior Criminal Law Solicitor � 9219 5077
Ann Miller Criminal Law Solicitor � 9219 5142
Scott Kirkwood Criminal Law Solicitor � 9219 5168
Stephen Eccleshall Criminal Law Solicitor � 9219 5078
Kim Meredith Team Leader, Crime Team 1 � 9219 5101
Charles Lovell Team Leader, Crime Team2 � 9219 5767
Caroline Cuttance Team Leader, Crime Team3 � 9219 5030
Pip Brown Duty Lawyer, Payments � 9219 5093
�21 May 2009 � �


First Asian Mediation Conference

Thu May 21 2009

The Asian Mediation Association (AMA) is proud to present the 1st AMA Conference, "Mediation Diversity – Asia & Beyond", to be held in Singapore on 4-5 June 2009. The growing presence of Asia as a global centre for trade and industry, an understanding of dispute resolution cultures and practices in this part of the world is imperative.� The conference will feature cultural concepts like face in the Asian mediation framework, issues of topical interest like the role of mediation in the current economic crisis, and effective strategies for managing complex disputes in Asia and beyond.

Distinguished speakers from around the world, including Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States of America will explore these issues, and discuss best practices, trends and developments in dispute resolution. The Singapore minister for law and second minister for home affairs, Mr K Shanmugam, will be the guest-of-honour at the conference. Download a conference brochure and registration form>

26 May 2009