Appointments to the AAT

Wed Sep 09 2009

Attorney-General Robert McClelland has announced seven part-time appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Learn more >

9 September 2009

Bar Council business for July - August

Tue Sep 08 2009

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.

President’s report

The president advised in the past few weeks she has represented the Bar Association at the following functions.

  • 17 July: The president and the executive director had attended the Tutors and Readers Dinner, at which The Hon Murray Gleeson AC QC had been the guest of honour.

  • 20 July: The president attended the swearing-in ceremony for Michael Bozic SC as a judge of the District Court.� The president spoke on behalf of the bar.

  • 20 July: The president and the policy lawyer met with the federal attorney- general.� Matters discussed included the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation for which the attorney-general is to give 2009 address, ‘The importance of early intervention and the role the profession and service providers can play in encouraging lawyers to seek early treatment’, on 24 September 2009.

  • 22 July: Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation. The president advised that she and the president of the Law Society are directors of the foundation. The president outlined the work of the foundation.

  • 23 July: The president and the director, law reform and public affairs had met with the Sydney Morning Herald’s new legal affairs reporter, Joel Gibson.

  • 24 July: The ‘15 Bobber’ for Justice Pepper of the Land and Environment Court and his Honour Judge Andrew Colefax SC of the District Court.

  • 29 July: The president attended the swearing-in ceremony at the District Court for his Honour John North at which the treasurer had addressed the court on behalf of the bar.

  • 30 July: the president had been a guest of the Law Society of New South Wales� at the Law Society’s 125th Anniversary Dinner.

  • 31 July: The president and the director, care and assistance had been guests at a function arranged by Martin Place Chambers.

  • 7 August: The president attended the Medico-Legal Society’s 2009 Annual Dinner.

  • 10 August: The president had attended a boardroom discussion at Baker & McKenzie met with Dr Ines Alberdi, executive director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). UNIFEM Australia had used the opportunity of Dr Alberdi’s visit to Australia to discuss ideas for engaging corporate women in UNIFEM and the role UNIFEM can play in helping to drive gender equality in corporate Australia.

  • 10 August: The president and director, law reform and public affairs, had met with the Family Law Committee to discuss the attorney-general’s recent letter concerning cancellation fees charged by family law practitioners.� The committee is preparing a report to the Bar Council on this matter.

  • 11 August: The president had attended a meeting of the ADR Committee to discuss the president of the Court of Appeal’s recent address where he had queried whether the cab rank and sole practice rules were limiting the bars involvement with international arbitration. The committee had referred to the extensive international arbitration practice of the English Bar. The committee had discussed problems with the Australian Bar, and in particular the NSW Bar, developing a significant international arbitration practice.

  • 13 August: The president and the executive director had met with Alan Cameron AM and Lynn Ralph of Cameron Ralph Pty Ltd to discuss ways in which the governance of the Law Council of Australia might be improved (the LCA has engaged Cameron Ralph to prepare a report on this issue).

Executive director’s report

Renewal of practising certificates

The executive director advised that 2107 renewal notices had been posted to barristers who held a 2008-2009 practising certificate. A total of 2065 barristers had renewed their PC. Eight former barristers had not responded to a number of follow-up e-mails/letters/telephone calls. �

A total of 506 Class B members (non practising certificate holders) had so far renewed their membership.

As at 30 June, $150,978 had been donated to the Benevolent Fund ($129, 511 for year to 30 June 2008).� A further $73, 536 was donated to the Indigenous Barristers Trust during the past financial year ($60,407 for the previous year).

APEC Legal Services Initiative

The executive director advised that he had been a member of the Law Council of Australia’s delegation to the APEC Legal Services Initiative Workshop held in Singapore on 30 to 31 July 2009.

The key objective of the workshop was to bring together legal profession regulators, peak legal representative bodies, trans-national legal service providers and users to discuss different approaches to the regulation of foreign lawyers and related issues.� The aim was to discern the needs of APEC economies in identifying impediments to the provision of legal services and discuss a framework for information sharing and the development of best practice principles experiences and related issues on the regulation of foreign lawyers.

8 September 2009

Galileo Personal Training: introductory offer for barristers (ADVERTISEMENT)

Tue Sep 08 2009

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8 September 2009

LCA supports independent monitor of anti-terror laws

Tue Sep 08 2009

The Law Council has welcomed the release of a Senate report which supports its calls for an independent person to review the nation’s anti-terror laws. The report, released yesterday by the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee into the National Security Legislation Monitor Bill 2009, unequivocally affirms the need for a dedicated role for an independent reviewer of Australia’s national security legislation. Learn more >

8 November 2009

Bulletproof your securities using the Personal Property Securities Act (ADVERTISEMENT)

Tue Sep 08 2009

LexisNexis Professional Development would like to invite members of the Bar Association to attend the upcoming Personal Property Securities Act workshop day. Co-presented by Robert Patch, Principal Legal Officer, Personal Property Securities Branch, Australian Attorney-General’s Department and Maria Townsend, Partner, Hunt & Hunt, this comprehensive 1 day event has been structured to enable you to understand the principles and the implementation of this vital new legislation. Make sure you don’t miss out on hearing from the experts about Personal Property Securities Act. Click here for the full programme and to register or visit �

18 September 2009

Unelected judges do not cause a democratic deficit: French CJ

Fri Sep 04 2009

Chief Justice Robert French has delivered a speech on "The Common Law and the Protection of Human Rights" at a breakfast function of the Anglo-Australasian Lawyers Society today, 4 September 2009. In his speech, the chief justice took exception to one element in the ongoing debate over a charter of rights, specifically the references to a "democratic deficit" when "unelected judges" weigh up "important but competing societal values". Chief Justice French argued that:

The common law interpretive principle protective of rights and freedoms against statutory incursion retains its vitality ... It has a significant role to play in the protection of rights and freedoms in contemporary society, while operating in a way that is entirely consistent with the principle of parliamentary supremacy.�

4 September 2009

New District Court Practice Note to commence on Monday

Fri Sep 04 2009

The chief judge of the District Court, the Hon Justice R O Blanch AM, has issued Practice Note DC (Civil) No.1 Case Management in the General List. Issued under sections 56 and 57 of the Civil Procedure Act 2005 it is intended to "facilitate the just, quick and cheap resolution of the real issues in all proceedings before the court. It applies to all matters in the general list in the Sydney, Gosford and Newcastle registries commencing 7 September 2009".

4 September 2009

Book launch: Bench Book For Children Giving Evidence in Australian Courts

Thu Sep 03 2009

The Australian Institute of Judicial Administration (AIJA) invites members to attend the official launch on Wednesday, 7 October 2009 at 5.30pm of the _Bench Book for Children Giving Evidence in Australian Courts. _The launch will take place in the Judges' Dining Room on Level 13 of the Law Courts Building, Queens Square. The Hon Justice Virginia Bell, High Court judge and former president of the AIJA, will officially launch the publication. Due to security at the Law Courts Building, RSVP is essential. To attend, e-mail: or phone 03 9606 0366.

3 September 2009

Letter to the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald

Thu Sep 03 2009

The following is a letter to the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald from President Anna Katzmann SC, in response to yesterday's opinion piece by Bob Carr, "As you give Della a kick, remember his successes". Published 4 September 2009.

John Della Bosca was an accomplished minister and an astute politician. There is no doubt his departure is a major blow for the government. In these respects I agree with the remarks of Bob Carr in his opinion piece in today’s Herald.� However, I disagree with his view that reforms to workers compensation and tort law came only at the expense of "plaintiff lawyers" and not workers.

Benefits for workers whose injuries were caused by their employer’s negligence have been savaged. Workers who sue their employers do not now receive damages for non-economic loss, they forfeit forever any entitlement to damages for medical or like expenses and have to bear most of the cost of proceedings themselves.

Tort law reform deprived many deserving people of compensation for injuries caused by the fault of others. Few elderly people now have any remedy.� Many children miss out. Anyone injured through negligent action by government agencies is worse off. �

Only this week the Court of Appeal held that two policemen engaged in the rescue effort after the Waterfall train disaster, and who were commended by the commissioner for their courage, were not entitled to any damages for psychiatric injury they claimed to have suffered as a result of the negligence of State Rail. The heroic officers lost their cases because of the government’s tort law changes.

And what about those "plaintiff lawyers"? The vast majority wait until the outcome of a court case before they are paid and will not charge for their work unless their clients are successful.� Few others are willing to forfeit any reward for their labour or to wait sometimes for years to be paid. As government funding for legal aid has declined considerably, few people would be able to afford access to the justice system if it were not for "plaintiff lawyers".

It is high time the government reconsidered some of the Carr/Della Bosca reforms and restored some justice and fairness to the compensation system in NSW.

Yours sincerely


3 September 2009

Courts given greater say in sentences on appeal

Wed Sep 02 2009

The New South Wales Government has introduced the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Amendment (Double Jeopardy) Bill 2009, which will withdraw the principle of 'double jeopardy' as it applies to sentencing in Crown appeals. Attorney General John Hatzistergos said: "This change will allow the higher courts to impose much tougher sentences on appeal when the court has made an appealable error".�

The object of the Bill, as provided by the explanatory notes, is to amend the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001: (a) to enable a person acquitted of a serious offence in a retrial under the exception to the rule against double jeopardy to be again retried if the acquittal was tainted because of an administration of justice offence, and (b) to provide that an appeal court must not dismiss a prosecution appeal against sentence, or impose a less severe sentence than it would otherwise consider appropriate, because of any element of double jeopardy involved in the respondent being sentenced again.

2 September 2009

Appointment of commissioner at the Land and Environment Court

Wed Sep 02 2009

Attorney General John Hatzistergos has announced the appointment of Judy Fakes as a commissioner of the Land and Environment Court. Ms Fakes has been an Acting Commissioner of the court since early 2007 and will take up her seven year appointment on 2 October. Learn more>

2 September 2009

Today is Indigenous Literacy Day

Wed Sep 02 2009

Today is Indigenous Literacy Day, the major fundraising project of the Indigenous Literacy Project.� The aim is to raise urgently needed funds to address the literacy crisis in remote Indigenous communities. Tonight, Gleebooks will host a fundraiser, featuring readings, music and dance, in celebration of the life of Indigenous writer and activist, Oodgeroo Noonuccal (formerly Kath Walker). There will be readings of Oodgeroo’s work by Dr Anita Heiss, Rosie Scott and Debra Adelaide. Copies of the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature will be available at a special price. Tickets essential. Call 02 9660 2333 or book online.

Last year the ILP received a $65,000 donation from the silks of 2007.

2 September 2009

The Hal Wootten Lecture 2009

Tue Sep 01 2009

The 2009 Hal Wootten Lecture will be delivered by Pakistani human rights lawyer Hina Jilani on 17 September 2009 at 6.15pm at the Law Theatre, UNSW. The topic will be "Human Rights and International Peace and Security". Download a flyer or register online >

15 September 2009

LCA submission on Commonwealth serious and organised crime legislation

Mon Aug 31 2009

The Law Council of Australia has released its submission to the inquiry by the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs into the provisions of the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Serious and Organised Crime) Bill 2009 (Cth). The Law Council has raised a number of concerns, in particular, the introduction of "unexplained wealth" provisions, which place the onus on a person to demonstrate that his or her wealth was lawfully acquired. View the LCA submission >

31 August 2009

Final Cheap and Quick Bench and Bar Lunch for the year

Mon Aug 31 2009

The final Bench and Bar Lunch for 2009 will be held at 1 pm on 29 September 2009 at the Hyde Park Barracks, Macquarie Street. A selection of main courses will be offered with tea or coffee for just $25. To book a place, please send your name, e-mail address and $25 to Jeremy Gormly SC, Denman Chambers, DX 185 SYDNEY.� Payments can be made by cash or cheque (payable to ‘Jeremy Gormly’).� Please ensure that you send a confirmation e-mail to upon payment.� Unless you hear otherwise, your booking will be automatically confirmed. �

The service at the Barracks will be prompt and people who need to return to court will be given special preference to ensure that they can have their lunch comfortably within one hour. � Seating will be limited, so it is not too crowded or noisy and so people can move around more comfortably. �

Any enquiries about the lunches may be directed to Jeremy Gormly SC at, Joshua Knackstredt at or Kylie Day at

28 September 2009

New members of the Bar Association

Fri Aug 28 2009

At a meeting of Bar Council on 13 August, the persons listed below were accepted as members of the New South Wales Bar Association.

Surname Given name Chambers Class
Elder Anthony Owen Dixon Chambers (Melb) B
Guild Wayne Cronulla, NSW B
Mahmud Sarah 7 Selborne Chambers A
McEniery Patricia��� 16 Wardell Chambers A
McRae Peter Kogarah NSW B
Mowbray��� Jacqueline University of Sydney A
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�28 August 2009 � �
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