InBrief

SEARCH ALL POSTS

Reminder: LC inquiry into decision making for people lacking capacity

Thu Aug 27 2009

The Legislative Council's Standing Committee on Social Issues is inquiring into provisions for substitute decision-making for people lacking capacity, and in particular whether any state legislation requires amendment to make better provision for the management of estates of people incapable of managing their affairs, as well as the guardianship of people who have disabilities. The committee will accept submissions until Friday, 18 September. To lodge a submission, or to view submissions already made, visit the committee's web site>

15 September 2009

NSW Women Lawyers Achievement Awards Gala Dinner

Wed Aug 26 2009

The NSW Women Lawyers Achievement Awards Gala Dinner will be held on Friday, 25 September at the WatersEdge, Sydney. The keynote speaker for the Awards Gala Dinner will be the Hon Justice Virginia Bell of the High Court of Australia. The Hon John Hatzistergos, attorney general of NSW, and the Hon Justice Jane Mathews AO of the Supreme Court of NSW, will be among the honoured guests.

The awards celebrate the success and achievements of women in law, and are supported by the Attorney General’s Department of NSW, the New South Wales Bar Association, the Law Society of New South Wales, the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association, and the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency.

Download a registration brochure to reserve your place. Tables of 10, with Corporate signage if required, are available at $1550. Places are limited so reserve your seating early to avoid disappointment.

26 August 2009

Mock Trial Competition: feedback and contributions from the bar are welcome

Wed Aug 26 2009

The Law Society's Interschool Mock Trial Competition was launched in 1981 to foster an understanding of legal principles in high school students. Robyn Cross, the programme co-coordinator, is keen to hear from any practitioners who have been involved in the competition, particularly as a student. She would value comments on how the competition can be improved, and the role the mock trials played in motivating students to practise law.

Twenty eight schools participated in the first year of the competition, which has grown to 260 schools in NSW and ACT. Typically, the trials are keenly fought and strongly supported by staff and parents.

In 1999 the competition expanded to include schools from the UK. The trials were held via video conference facilities provided by the Department of Education and Training.� In 2009, Penrith High School competed against Hangdong School from South Korea. It is planned to expand this competition to other Asian countries.

David Thiering, a barrister who has acted as a magistrate in the competition for many years and also judged a grand final, says:

"I firmly believe that the programme has, over many years, been a nursery for lawyers, encouraging high school students to develop an interest in law as a career� and which has been the starting point for academic and professional satisfaction for many who now practice.

The fact that all schools can participate and that in practice it is not restricted to affluent or city based schools, opens up the possibility of being a lawyer to many children from families with no culture of university study or idea of a professional career. Those responsible are to be congratulated and I only hope the competition continues to grow for many years to come."

In October this year, barristers will be asked to volunteer their time to assist the competition either as a coach or judge. To volunteer, or to forward your comments, please contact Robyn Cross at rnc@lawsoc.nsw.asn.au or David Thiering at thiering@bigpond.net.au

26 August 2009

Cases selected for reporting in FCR by V Kline

Wed Aug 26 2009

The following 18 cases have been selected by V Kline for reporting in FCR: Keo v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship� [2009] FCA 676 JMB Beverages Pty Ltd v Federal Commissioner of Taxation� [2009] FCA 668 Collett v Repatriation Commission� [2009] FCA 667 Inspector-General in Bankruptcy v McGushin� [2009] FCA 662 Re Venturex Resources Lt_d� [2009] FCA 677 _Conquo v Jackson� [2009] FCA 634 John Holland Pty Ltd v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (NSW Branch)� [2009] FCA 645

Elwood Clothing Pty Ltd v Cotton On Clothing Pty Ltd� [2009] FCA 633 Cassaniti v Tax Agents' Board of New South Wales� [2009] FCA 619 Blaze Asset Pty Ltd v Target Energy Ltd� [2009] FCA 698 AA v Board of the Australian Crime Commission� [2009] FCA 642 Rural Export and Trading (WA) Pty Ltd v Hahnheuser� [2009] FCA 678 Huntley Management Ltd v Australian Olives Ltd (No 2)� [2009] FCA 686 MW McIntosh Pty Ltd v Federal Commissioner of Taxation� [2009] FCAFC 88 Hill v Repatriation Commission� [2009] FCAFC 91 Waller v Freehills� [2009] FCAFC 89� Collins v Repatriation Commission� [2009] FCAFC 90 Murdaca v Australian Securities and Investments Commission� [2009] FCAFC 92�

26 August 2009

Call for submissions on draft bankruptcy legislation

Tue Aug 25 2009

Attorney-General Robert McClelland has released an exposure draft of the Bankruptcy Legislation Amendment Bill 2009. Members who would like to make a submission should send their written comments to bankruptcy@ag.gov.au by 14 September 2009.�

The objects of the bill, as provided by the explanatory memorandum, are:

1. to provide a more streamlined process for fixing trustee remuneration and a more transparent process for reviewing that remuneration; 2. strengthen the penalties for some offences and ensure these are in line with the penalties for other similar offences; 3. to remove the outdated concept of Bankruptcy Districts in order to provide more flexibility in personal insolvency administration; 4. to increase the minimum debt for a creditor’s petition to reflect changes in the economic environment; 5. to increase the stay period that follows a declaration of intent to file a debtor’s petition to allow debtors to better assess their options; and 6. to increase the debt, income and asset tests thresholds for debt agreements to ensure the thresholds keep pace with increasing wages and the increasing availability of credit.

25 August 2009

Diversity on the menu at the next WLA corporate lunch

Tue Aug 25 2009

Members are invited to the next Women Lawyers corporate lunch on Monday, 7 September 2009. The guest speaker, Lori Callahan, general manager of liability & third party claims at Allianz Australia, will discuss the implementation of diversity programmes. Download a registration flyer>

25 August 2009

The annual Supreme Court Concert

Tue Aug 25 2009

All members of the legal community are invited to an evening of music in the Banco Court, Queens Square, on Monday, 18 October 2010. Under the title "Baroque and Beyond", this year's concert features performances by chamber ensemble The Marais Project, Eva Kong, Anna Yun, Dora Armannsdottir, David Hidden and Julia de Plater. Learn more about the performing artists. Don’t miss out!� Book without delay to enjoy your first Spring concert for 2010. Download an invitation flyer >

28 September 2010

Memorial service for John McKenna

Tue Aug 25 2009

A memorial service will be held for John McKenna on Wednesday, 2 September 2009 at 11.00 am at St Marys Anglican Church, 240 Birrell Street, Waverley.

26 August 2009

15 Bobber: the Hon Justice David Davies and his Honour Judge Michael Bozic SC

Mon Aug 24 2009

The 15 Bobber to celebrate the appointment of the Hon Justice David Davies to the Supreme Court and his Hon Michael Bozic SC to the District Court a 15 Bobber will be held on Friday, 25 September 2009. Speaking for Justice Davies will be Phil Hallen SC and for Judge Bozic SC will be Mark Dempsey SC. The 15 Bobber will commence at 5.15pm with the speeches beginning at 5.45pm. Pre-registration is $15 and MUST be sent to the association by 3.00pm Thursday, 24 September. 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.

23 September 2009

President's interview on Sky News

Thu Aug 20 2009

The President of the New South Wales Bar Association, Anna Katzmann SC, was interviewed yesterday on the the Law TV programme on Sky News Business Channel. In the second segment of the programme, the interview covered topics such as life at the bar and the particular issues facing women barristers, along with dealing with depressive and related illness in the legal profession.

�

20 August 2009

�

�

Calling all participants in the Law Society Interschool Mock Trial Competition

Wed Aug 19 2009

In 2010 the� Interschool Mock Trial Competition will celebrate its 29th year. Robyn Cross, the programme coordinator, is keen to hear from any practitioners who have had experience with the programme over the years, particularly anyone who might have been a student who participated in the trials. She would value any comments on how the competition can be improved, and the role the mock trials may have played in nurturing a desire to become a lawyer. In October this year, barristers will be asked to volunteer their time to assist the competition either as a coach or judge.�

The Interschool Mock Trial Competition started in 1981 and was intended to foster an� understanding of legal principles in high school students. Twenty eight schools in NSW� participated in the first year. The competition has grown and now 260 schools in NSW and ACT compete each year.� Typically, the trials are keenly fought and strongly supported by staff and parents. In 1999 it was expanded to include an international competition with UK. The trials were held via video conference facilities provided by the Department of Education and Training.� In 2009 Penrith High School competed in the first international trial against Hangdong School in Korea. It is planned to expand this competition to other Asian countries.�

David Thiering a barrister who has acted as a magistrate in the competition for many years, and also judged a Grand Final says:

_I firmly believe that the programme has, over many years, been a nursery for lawyers, encouraging high school students to develop an interest in law as a career� and which has been the starting point for academic and professional satisfaction for many who now practice.

The fact that all schools can participate and that in practice it is not restricted to affluent or city based schools, opens up the possibility of being a lawyer to many children from families with no culture of university study or idea of a professional career. Those responsible are to be congratulated and I only hope the competition continues to grow for many years to come._

If you can assist, please contact Robyn Cross at rnc@lawsoc.nsw.asn.au or David Thiering at thiering@bigpond.net.au

19 August 2009

Book your place at the 36th Australian Legal Convention

Wed Aug 19 2009

Members are invited to attend the 36th Australian Legal Convention, which will be held in Perth at the Burswood Entertainment Complex from 17 to 19 September 2009. The convention will showcase leaders and decision-makers from the legal profession in Australia and across the world. The deadline to receive standard registration rates ends on 31 August 2009. Register before this date to receive a discount on your registration costs. The Australian Legal Convention, which only happens every second year, is the premier national CPD event on the Australian legal calendar. The business program features a range of topics of great relevance to the practising profession.� In particular, the business streams will deal with issues including legal professional structures, challenges to the rule of law in our region, and access to foreign law markets by Australian lawyers.� Featured speakers include the Hon Wayne Martin, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, Mr Jim Dunstan, executive partner – Asia, of Allens Arthur Robinson, Mr Andrew Grech, the managing director of Slater Gordon and Mr Ken Murphy, director general of the Law Society of Ireland.

Download a brochure

For the first time in the convention’s history it will incorporate the inaugural Australian Young Lawyers’ Conference. One of the highlights of the convention is the young lawyer’s stream - covering a number of relevant and diverse topics.

29 August 2009

David Ipp nominated to be next ICAC commissioner

Wed Aug 19 2009

New South Wales Premier Nathan Rees has announced that the Hon David Ipp AO will be the government’s nominee to become the next commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). Learn more >

19 August 2009

Parliamentary committee report on organised crime groups

Tue Aug 18 2009

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Crime Commission has issued a report on legislative and administrative approaches adopted in a number of jurisdictions to tackle both domestic and transnational crime. Of particular interest is South Australia and New South Wales, which have passed legislation to curb the alleged involvement of motorcycle clubs in serious and organised crime. The Serious and Organised Crime (Control) Act 2008 (SA) and The Crimes (Criminal Organisations) Control Act 2009 (NSW) have, in the words of the committee, "signalled a new approach to tackling serious and organised crime in Australia". View their report >

18 August 2009

Full Court of the Federal Court sitting dates for 2010

Tue Aug 18 2009

The chief justice of the Federal Court has approved the dates for the sitting of the full court in 2010. Subject to there being sufficient business, sittings of a full court of the Federal Court of Australia during 2010 will be held in all capital cities within the periods indicated below:

  • 8 February – 5 March 2010
  • 3-28 May 2010
  • 2-25 August 2010
  • 1-26 November 2010

Any urgent matter may be transferred to a place of sitting other than that at which the matter was heard at first instance. If the circumstances require it, a full court may sit to hear appeals on dates other than those listed. If you have any queries, please contact Philip Kellow on (02) 9230 8336.

18 August 2009

ALRC releases discussion paper on royal commissions and official inquiries

Tue Aug 18 2009

Executive inquiries, such as the Clarke Inquiry into the case of Dr Mohamed Haneef and the AWB Food-for-Oil Inquiry, have become a prominent feature of federal political and legal affairs and an important source of work for the bar. The Australian Law Reform Commission has released a discussion paper on Royal Commissions and Official Inquiries (DP 75). The draft proposals would� put what are now "ad hoc inquiries" on the same legislative footing as royal commissions.

ALRC president, Emeritus Professor David Weisbrot AM, said, "There is a need ... for the Royal Commissions Act to be amended—and renamed the Inquiries Act—to provide a new statutory framework for other official inquiries established by the federal government".

Commissioner in charge of the Inquiry, Prof Les McCrimmon, said that "the proposed new statutory framework would introduce another form of inquiry—called Official Inquiries—with similar advantages and outcomes to Royal Commissions, but offering more flexibility and less formality".

The closing date for submissions addressing proposals regarding the inquiry is 22 September 2009, with the final report due to be completed by 30 October 2009.To register your interest or to make a formal submission, visit the ALRC's web site.

18 August 2009

Latest report on PI and PL claims from the National Claims and Policies Database

Tue Aug 18 2009

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) today released the latest set of annual reports on policies and claims for public and products liability (PL) and professional indemnity (PI) insurance from the National Claims and Policies Database (NCPD). These reports include information on policies and claims as at 31 December 2009.

The NCPD was established by APRA in 2003 at the request of the Australian Government in consultation with the insurance industry and other stakeholders to provide insurers, the community and state and federal governments with a better understanding of PL and PI insurance and the ability to monitor trends in premiums and claim costs.

A copy of the NCPD reports may be obtained from the National Claims and Policies Database web site�www.ncpd.apra.gov.au�(registration is required, but is free of charge). View the APRA media release >

2 July 2010

Latest part of the NSWLR

Mon Aug 17 2009

_New South Wales Law Reports _Volume 72, Part 3, is now available to online and print subscribers. For a list of cases in the part, and other NSWLR parts and volumes, go to www.nswlr.com.au/reports

17 August 2009

Prosecutors do care about human rights - Cowdery AM QC

Mon Aug 17 2009

Last Friday, the director of public prosecutions, Nick Cowdery AM QC, was the special guest speaker at a lunch hosted by the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties. Under the title� "Prosecutors Do Care about Human Rights - Really!", Cowdery QC discussed three key issues: human rights and the role of the prosecutor; victims of crime; and Australia's anti-terrorism legislation.

He noted that "prosecutors have been increasingly required to incorporate into the execution of their difficult duties the observance and protection of the human rights of all involved in the criminal justice process and to do that in the application of the just rule of law."

On the subject of the government's review of victims' rights in the criminal justice system, the DPP emphasised the differences in approach between civil law systems and adversarial common law ones. Mr Cowdery said: "the most important action to take in relation to victims in our system... is consultation during the prosecution process – informing victims about what is happening, what is likely to happen and why and seeking the views of victims: not to form the basis of instructions, but to be included appropriately in the decision making process".

In respect of Australia's anti-terrorism laws, Mr Cowdery noted that such legislation "seems to have been received as a signal for the legislators to expand the operation of such measures into areas of what might be described as "ordinary crime" – to push the envelope of measures available to law enforcement with the anti-terrorism laws as a guide. I query the desirability, effectiveness or legitimacy of such a course".

17 August 2009

�

NSWLRC hands down new report on privacy

Mon Aug 17 2009

The NSW Law Reform Commission released a report on Invasion of Privacy (Report 120), which recommends that, as part of a uniform law initiative in Australia, New South Wales should amend the Civil Liability Act 2002 to provide a cause of action for invasion of privacy.

The chair of the NSW Law Reform Commission, the Hon James Wood AO QC, said that "the action is only applicable where an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy that is not� overridden by public interests such as freedom of speech. We advocate a common sense approach, whereby privacy interests are weighted against other important concerns such as the public's 'right to know' and the protection of national security".

Copies of Invasion of Privacy (Report 120) may be obtained from the NSW Law Reform Commission or downloaded from the commission’s website www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lrc

17 August 2009