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Appointment to the Local Court

Tue Nov 03 2009

Attorney General John Hatzistergos today announced the appointment of Bruce Williams to the bench of the Local Court of New South Wales. Mr Williams will be sworn in as a magistrate on 23 November. Learn more >

3 November 2009

A helping hand for the Solomon Islands: In Brief readers respond generously

Mon Nov 02 2009

In early October _In Brief _published a call for help from the Public Solicitors Office of the Solomon Islands, which was in desperate need of reference materials, such as law reports. The response from readers has been magnificent. Sarah Bradley, of Maurice Byers Chambers, is delighted to report that barristers, academics and judges (both serving and retired) have donated more than 100 boxes of up-to-date reports, textbooks and other materials. She extends a heartfelt 'thank you' to all. For further information, contact Sarah Bradley.

2 November 2009

Wanted: vacation employment opportunities for Indigenous law students

Mon Nov 02 2009

As part of the Bar Association's Indigenous Barristers Strategy, all barristers, clerks and chambers are encouraged to identify employment opportunities for December 2009 through to February 2010 for Indigenous law students. Ideally, this would be for work on a regular basis doing loose-leaf filing, administrative, clerical tasks or research or end of year cleaning up chambers, returning briefs etc. Where possible, the position should include some mentoring and guidance for the student. The work could be for several weeks or for a few days each week during the summer break.

The related weekly part-time work initiative has been highly successful for a number of Indigenous law students. Both programs need the ongoing support of more members of the Bar to ensure its continued success. Contact with the bar as well as some financial security significantly contributes to the success of the student at their law studies. There are a number of students currently looking for an opportunity.

Please contact Chris Ronalds SC on ronalds@fjc.net.au or ph: (02) 9229 7378 if you have any openings.

2 November 2009� �

Pink Ribbon Breakfast – thank you!

Fri Oct 30 2009

The Association would like to thank all those who attended the Pink Ribbon Breakfast this morning in the Bar Common Room. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. While we are still waiting for some money to come in, the first estimate from attendance, the raffle, guessing competition and donations is that we have raised over $1,000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, so thank you. Every dollar counts towards finding a cure. � It was fantastic to see so many of you participating in the games as well. The results from the games were as follows.

RAFFLE

��������� 1st prize Philip B and Joolz� ‘I’m dreaming of a white Christmas’ gift set, including a string of perfect pure white pearls and pure Italian white truffle hair products - Valued at $540 – won by Patricia White – congratulations! This prize was kindly donated by Rosemary Hamilton from Medusa Concepts.

��������� Look after yourself, Pink Ribbon Pack - Professor R Croucher

��������� Yering Station Pinot Noir Rose – Liz Picker

��������� NBCF beach towel - The Hon John Hatzistergos MLC

GUESSING COMPETITION

There were 197 lollies in the jar (47 red frogs, 41 strawberry and creams, 99 jaffas and 10 kit-kats) and the closest guess without going over the number was Margaret Holz.

Thank you again to everyone that attended, made donations prior to and at the breakfast and participated in the games.

30 October 2009

Speeches to note: the Chief Justice and the Governor-General

Fri Oct 30 2009

Last night Chief Justice Robert French addressed the Melbourne University Law Review Annual Dinner on the topic "The Chief Justice and the Governor-General".

In his speech the Chief Justice French reflects upon the role of the Chief Justice in relation to the tendering of advice to the Governor-General and the analogous position of State Chief Justices and Governors. View the Chief Justice's speech

30 October 2009�

Change to Federal Magistrates Court Fair Work – Form 3

Fri Oct 30 2009

The Principal Registrar of the Federal Magistrates' Court has advised the Association that, in regard to applications in the Fair Work Division of the Federal Magistrates' Court, a minor amendment has been made to Form 3. View the new Form 3

The Principal Registrar has advised that the change to Form 3 is to Part 1, which concerns "required documents".

The wording of Question 27 has changed from:

"A certificate issued by Fair Work Australia under s 777 of the Fair Work Act must accompany your application and claim" to "A certificate issued by Fair Work Australia under s 777 of the Fair Work Act must accompany your application and claim, unless you are seeking an injunction as to all or part of your claim".

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30 October 2009

Swearing in ceremony for Anna Katzmann SC

Fri Oct 30 2009

President Anna Katzmann SC has been appointed as a judge of the Federal Court. A formal ceremony for this occasion will be held at 4.30pm on Tuesday 2 February 2010.

Further details will be provided when they come to hand.

30 October 2009

Letters to the editor - The Daily Telegraph and the Sydney Morning Herald

Fri Oct 30 2009

The following is a letter to the editor of the Daily Telegraph from Senior Vice-President Tom Bathurst QC concerning media coverage of the recent decision to grant parole to Phillip Choon Tee Lim. Published 30 October 2009. _The Senior Vice-President also wrote _an unpublished letter to the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald on the same issue. That letter is also set out below.

Letter to the Daily Telegraph

The current public debate concerning the State Parole Authority's initial decision to release Phillip Choon Tee Lim presents the disturbing spectacle of the Government, Opposition and elements of the media seeking to find ways to overturn its decision in response to perceptions of public outrage, without regard to the rule of law.

The murder of Dr Victor Chang was a tragedy; the perpetrators were rightly convicted and imprisoned.

But criticism, express or implied, of the Parole Authority's decision to grant parole in an individual case undermines our system of justice. A democratic society governed by the rule of law demands that the sentencing role of the courts and the parole function of the Authority be respected, and not be subjected to needless and uninformed attack.

The Parole Authority has a job to do, that is to assess prisoners' eligibility for parole according to certain defined criteria. In this case it appears that that is exactly what the Authority has done.

Calling for popular votes on the subject in an individual case (as The Daily Telegraph has done) is irresponsible.

TOM BATHURST QC Senior Vice-President

Letter to the Sydney Morning Herald (Unpublished)

The current public debate concerning the State Parole Authority 's initial decision to release Phillip Choon Tee Lim presents the disturbing spectacle of the Government, Opposition and elements of the media seeking to find ways to overturn its decision in response to perceptions of public outrage, without regard to the rule of law.

The murder of Dr Victor Chang was a tragedy; the perpetrators were rightly convicted and imprisoned.

But criticism, express or implied, of the Parole Authority's decision to grant parole in an individual case undermines our system of justice. A democratic society governed by the rule of law demands that the sentencing role of the courts and the parole function of the Authority be respected, and not be subjected to needless and uninformed attack.

The Parole Authority has a job to do, that is to assess prisoners' eligibility for parole according to certain defined criteria. In this case it appears that that is exactly what the Authority has done.

The Herald is to be congratulated for yesterday's editorial 'Not A Matter of opinion', which rightly states that 'political self-interest must not be allowed to put at risk due process'.

TOM BATHURST QC Senior Vice-President

30 October 2009

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Law Council slams decline in legal aid funding

Thu Oct 29 2009

In evidence provided this week to a Senate inquiry into access to justice, the Law Council highlighted that the Commonwealth’s share of legal aid funding has fallen by about 20 per cent between 1996/97 and 2009/10. Learn more>

29 October 2009

Election for the Bar Council of 2010

Thu Oct 29 2009

The ballot for the election of the 2010 Bar Council will close at 1.00pm on Friday, 13 November 2009. Members should take care to complete the ballot paper in accordance with the instructions provided.� If any member has a query concerning the completion of the ballot paper they should contact the Bar Association for assistance. Learn more>

29 October 2009

Law Council symposium on environmental law

Thu Oct 29 2009

The Law Council will hold a symposium on 'The Future of Environmental Law' to mark the contribution of Paul Stein in environmental and planning law. This symposium, to be held on Thursday, 10 December, between 9.00am and 5.15pm in the Westin Sydney, brings together judges, lawyers and academics to acknowledge his contribution and also to examine the state of environmental law in Australia today.

29 October 2009

Correction: swearing in ceremony for Yates SC will be on 2 December

Wed Oct 28 2009

The ceremonial sitting for the swearing-in of David Yates SC will be held on Wednesday, 2 December 2009, at 9.30am in courtroom 18D, Queens Square - not 30 November, as published yesterday. _In Brief _apologizes for any confusion or inconvenience it may have caused.

24 November 2009

Some bar council election results

Wed Oct 28 2009

Michael Colbran QC has been elected the new chairman of the Victorian Bar Council. The Bar Council election was held on Wednesday, 14 October, and the office bearer positions were finalised by a vote on Thursday, 22 October. Learn more. Meanwhile, the General Council of the Bar of England and Wales has announced the election of its new office bearers for 2010, with Nicholas Green QC being elected as the new chairman.

28 October 2009

Case management amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act

Wed Oct 28 2009

The New South Wales Government has introduced into the Legislative Assembly the Criminal Procedure Amendment (Case Management) Bill 2009. The object of this Bill, as provided by the explanatory note, is to amend the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 to make further provision in relation to the management of cases to reduce delays in proceedings on indictment, including provision in respect of pre-trial disclosure, pre-trial hearings and pre-trial conferences; and to extend section 130A of that Act to all proceedings on indictment and to orders whether or not they are pre-trial orders. Learn more >

28 October 2009

Papers to note: Challenges in Mainstreaming Specialty Courts

Tue Oct 27 2009

Specialty courts have become a common feature of the Australian justice system. In some cases, such as drug courts, they were established to dispense 'therapeutic justice'. Some have suggested that such courts may herald a radical shift in the way the justice system operates in modern, democratic societies. This paper by the Australian Institute of Criminology, Challenges in Mainstreaming Specialty Courts, looks at the potential pitfalls of bringing the practices of problem-oriented courts into the mainstream system of justice.

27 October 2009

Mediation Masterclass with Sir Laurence: tips and techniques from an expert

Tue Oct 27 2009

Members are invited to attend "Mediation Masterclass" with Sir Laurence Street, which will be held in the Common Room at 5.15 on Monday, 2 November.� Hear from a� renowned expert in the field and stay for the in-depth question and answer session, to be moderated by Angela Bowne SC, chair of the Bar Association's ADR Committee. This is an important opportunity for mediators and those with a particular interest in mediation to have an in-depth session with Australia’s most experienced mediator. Share his experience in resolving complex or novel issues in mediation.

Sir Laurence Street AC KCMG KStJ has played a leading role in introducing and practising commercial� mediation and conciliation in Australia. He has conducted well over 1,500 successful mediations/conciliations in commercial and other disputes, often involving sensitive matters, international parties and issues, multiple parties and very substantial monetary or property issues. Sir Laurence has just returned from San Francisco where last week he was a member of a five person discussion panel, including four North American mediators, called ‘The Titans of ADR’ for the Licensing Executive Society (USA and Canada). The week before, under the auspices of the Australian Institute of Building, he conducted a five day lecture tour of five New Zealand cities. Attendance will attract 1.5 CPD points in the Advocacy Strand and 1.5 CPD points towards accreditation or re-accreditation as a mediator under the National Standards.

27 October 2009

Local Court swearing-in ceremony next Monday

Mon Oct 26 2009

A ceremonial sitting will be held in the Local Court on Monday, 2 November 2009 at 9.00am in courtroom 5.2 to mark the swearing-in of Ian Cheetham and John Chicken as magistrates of the Local Court of New South Wales. Phil Boulten SC will speak on behalf of the bar.

26 October 2009

Disqualified drivers to lose their licence until appeal is finalised

Mon Oct 26 2009

In March 2009 In Brief reported that the New South Wales Government had legislated to prevent, among other things, disqualified drivers who appeal against their sentences from getting their licence back until their case was finalised.

Schedule 1 [15] of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Amendment Act 2009 _will commence on 1 November 2009. Currently, section 63 of the _Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001 provides that, on the lodgement of an appeal, certain sentences and penalties are automatically stayed until the appeal is finally determined. Schedule 1 [15] amends section 63 to provide that the automatic stay does not apply in respect of the suspension or disqualfication of a driver's licence if the licence was, immediately before the suspension or disqualification, suspended under Division 4 of Part 5.4 of the Road Transport (General) Act 2005� for the offence to which the appeal relates.

The Schedule also provides that the appeal court may order that any such suspension or disqualification be stayed if the court considers it appropriate in the circumstances.�

26 October 2009

Appointments to the AAT

Mon Oct 26 2009

Attorney-General Robert McClelland announced fifteen part-time appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). Learn more>

26 October 2009

Victoria and Commonwealth announce first dual federal-state judicial appointment

Mon Oct 26 2009

Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls have announced their intention to make Australia’s first dual federal-state judicial appointment. Mr Hulls said such an arrangement would allow both the Commonwealth and Victoria to 'jointly utilise the experience and expertise of appointees across jurisdictions'.

The Victorian Government will move to amend relevant state legislation to seek the reappointment of Justice Dodds-Streeton to the Victorian Supreme Court to enable her to hold a dual commission with the Federal Court, Mr Hulls said. The New South Wales Government introduced its enabling legislation, the Judicial Officers Amendment Bill 2009 in the Legislative Assembly on Friday. Learn more >

26 October 2009