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2009 senior counsel presentation ceremony

Wed Oct 14 2009

Newly appointed senior counsel will be presented with their appointment scrolls on Friday, 16 October 2009, at 5.15pm in the Bar Association’s Common Room, with the scrolls being presented by Chief Justice Spigelman at 5.45pm. Members and their guests are most welcome to attend the function.

14 October 2009

Australian Government announces initial response to ALRC report on privacy laws

Wed Oct 14 2009

The Australian Government� today announced its 'first stage response' to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s report into privacy laws. Cabinet Secretary Senatory Joe Ludwig said, in a speech before the International Association of Privacy Professionals, that the government will now be preparing exposure draft bill "which will be sent to a parliamentary committee for consultation early in 2010".

The response, titled Enhancing National Privacy Protection, addresses 197 of the ALRC report’s 295 recommendations to reform privacy laws, accepting 141 of them in full or in principle. The response is available from the Prime Minister and Cabinet Office's web site. The Australian Law Reform Commission and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner have welcomed it.

14 October 2009

ABA Advanced Advocacy Course

Wed Oct 14 2009

Registrations for the Australian Bar Associations's 4th Residential Trial Advocacy Course will close next Friday, 20 November 2009. This intensive advocacy program follows on from the previous successful courses held in Perth (2007) and Sydney (2008 & 2009). An outstanding faculty of coaches will be conducting the advocacy course. The venue for the training will be the Supreme and District courts in Brisbane and the social and residential aspects will be held at the Bar Common Room, the Sebel Citigate Hotel and other local venues. For further information or to make an expression of interest in the course please contact either Helene Breene or Celeste Baker.�

12 November 2009

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

Wed Oct 14 2009

The following cases will be published in a forthcoming volume of NSWLR:

Seiwa Australia Pty Ltd v Beard [2009] NSWCA 240 Perpetual Trustees Australia Ltd v Heperu Pty Ltd [2009] NSWCA 84 Heperu Pty Ltd v Belle [2009] NSWCA 252

Austral Monsoon Industries Pty Ltd v Pittwater Council [2009] NSWCA 154 Re Fenwick: Application of J R Fenwick; Re Charles [2009] NSWSC 530

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

14 October 2009

Nominations for 2010 Bar Council are due on Monday

Wed Oct 14 2009

Members are reminded that nominations for the 2010 Bar Council must be received by the returning officer by 4.00pm on Monday, 19 October 2009. Nomination forms have been posted to all members. The form is also available from the Bar Association’s reception (ph: (02) 9232 4055; fax: (02) 9221 1149 or e-mail reception@nswbar.asn.au). Learn more>

14 October 2009

First decisions by the new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Tue Oct 13 2009

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has replaced the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, the highest court in the land for more than 600 years. In Brief has learned that the first win in the new court goes to a member of New South Wales Bar Association, Geoffrey Robertson QC, who was representing media organisations seeking to publish the names of certain persons charged with terrorism related offences.

13 October 2009

LCA cautions against use of DIY pre-nups

Tue Oct 13 2009

The Law Council of Australia has cautioned couples to ensure any financial agreements they enter into before, during or after marriage are legally binding. Law Council President John Corcoran said, "DIY kits, currently being promoted, may initially appear cost-effective but could come at a great cost down the track, because you must have legal advice for an agreement to be enforceable." Learn more>

13 October 2009

Bows ceremony in the Family Court of Australia

Tue Oct 13 2009

A special sitting of the Family Court, at which Chief Justice Diana Bryant will preside, will be held on 27 October at 9.30am in Court 7C, 99 Goulburn Street, for the announcement of the new senior counsel. Families and clerks are welcome to attend the sittings and a morning tea will be held by the chief justice immediately following the sitting.

13 October 2009

Women Barristers Forum invites you to a celebration

Tue Oct 13 2009

The Women Barristers Forum, in association with the Women Lawyers Association of New South Wales, invite you to join them for cocktails on 12 November to celebrate the appointment of four women senior counsel for 2009: Janet Manuell SC, Anne Rees SC, Laura Wells SC and Dina Yehia SC. Join them at the Moonshadow Grille, Lobby Level, MLC Centre, Martin Place between 5.30pm and 8.00pm. Learn more>

4 November 2009

Collective Redress and Litigation Funding Conference (ADVERTISEMENT)

Tue Oct 13 2009

The Centre for Law and Economics at The Australian National University is holding a major Conference on Collective Redress and Litigation Funding in connection with a major research program it is currently co-ordinating. The Conference will bring together academics, policy analysts and legal practitioners to systematically review the status of collective litigation and litigation funding in their respective regimes, and debate outcomes to date. A number of keynote local and international speakers have already been confirmed.

The Conference will act as a follow-up to two previous conferences held in Oxford in 2007 and 2008 on the Globalisation of Class Actions, but will expand the focus to cover other forms of collective redress and litigation funding. The Conference in 2009 will be in Australia and consist of two sessions:

  • the first on Friday, 11 December at The Sydney Law School, University of Sydney;� with a focus on law and policy issues of interest to law professionals, regulators and policy makers; and
  • the second on Saturday, 12 and Sunday, 13 December at the ANU in Canberra, with a focus on the research agenda and collaboration opportunities to help advance research in the area internationally.

Please visit the CLE's web site for the conference flyer and registration form.

1 December 2009

Legislation to note: amendments to the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005

Mon Oct 12 2009

The Uniform Civil Procedure Rules (Amendment No 29) 2009 were published on the NSW Legislation web site on Friday, 9 October. The object of these Rules, as provided by the explanatory note, is to amend the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 so as: (a) to require claims for possession of land to include information as to existing tenancies under the Residential Tenancies Act 1987, and (b) to require an applicant for substituted service of originating process in proceedings for possession of land to file an affidavit as to the applicant’s knowledge of the defendant’s whereabouts and of any communications that have occurred between the applicant and the defendant, and (c) to enable a court to order that legal proceedings commenced by a person acting on behalf of another person under a power of attorney be carried on by a solicitor, and (d) to make other minor amendments.

12 October 2009

Bell J special guest at Toongabbie Legal Centre fund raising dinner

Mon Oct 12 2009

Members are invited to the Toongabbie Legal Centre's annual fund-raising dinner, to be held on Friday, 13 November 2009 at 6:00 pm (for 7:00 pm). The Hon Justice Virginia Bell of the High Court of Australia will be the special guest, and will be joined by the Hon Justice Margaret Beazley AO, who is patron of the Toongabbie Legal Centre Inc. The dinner will be held at Parra Villa Function Centre, 42 Campbell Street (behind Westfield Shopping Centre), Parramatta.

Cost: $50 (dinner & entertainment) Alcoholic beverages at bar prices.

RSVP by Friday, 6 November 2009. Contact: Susai Benjamin by e-mail at: coordinator@tlc.asn.au� or secretary@tlc.asn.au

Toongabbie Legal Centre is a not-for-profit community-based initiative supporting those in need in the Toongabbie and surrounding areas.

2 November 2009

AAL symposium on freedom from fear

Mon Oct 12 2009

Members are invited to attend an address by Chief Justice James Spigelman AC on "The Forgotten Freedom: Freedom from Fear", to be held on Wednesday, 18 November in the Banco Court, between 5.30pm – 7.30pm. The address is the latest in the Australian Academy of Law's 2009 Symposium Series. Confirmation of attendance is essential. Learn more >

27 October 2009

Constitutional law seminar on judicial review

Mon Oct 12 2009

Associate Professor Leighton McDonald (ANU) will present the next Australian Association of Constitutional Law seminar on "The Entrenched Minimum Provision of Judicial Review and the Rule of Law", on 22 October 2009 in Court 18A, Federal Court, Queens Square, at 5.30 pm. Professor McDonald's paper will identify and analyse a number of different statutory techniques aimed at restricting judicial review. The seminar will be chaired by the Hon Murray Gleeson AC.

This event is for members of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law only. Membership is inexpensive. For more information, visit the AACL web site >

19 October 2009

A Message from the President

Fri Oct 09 2009

Senior Counsel Protocol

Members will have received a letter from Greg Curtin concerning the Senior Counsel Protocol.�

Unfortunately, a number of the assumptions Mr Curtin makes are inaccurate and to the extent that he infers that he has any knowledge of� what any person may have said about his own applications, no such information was ever given to him by a member of the Silk Selection Committee.� No process could ever work unless the confidence of those who are consulted is respected .�

In addition, it must be said that senior counsel are not elected; they are selected after an extensive consultation process.� Therefore, the use of such language as "votes" and "voting" is inappropriate.��

The Senior Counsel Protocol is under continuous scrutiny both from within and without the Bar Council.� From time to time it has been varied as improvements are recommended. Furthermore, as Mr Curtin was informed, the Bar Council determined some time ago that it would conduct a further review of the Protocol and any proposals from members, including his own, would be put before the Council.� All suggestions for improvement are always welcome.

Anna Katzmann SC President

�9 October 2009

National Human Rights Consultation Report

Thu Oct 08 2009

Attorney-General Robert McClelland today released the much anticipated report of the National Human Rights Consultation Committee.� The report recommends that:

  • Australia should adopt a federal Human Rights Act or amend the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 (Cth) requiring all federal legislation to be interpreted in a way that is consistent with Australia’s human rights obligations;�

  • a Joint Committee on Human Rights should be established to review all Bills and relevant legislative instruments for compliance with Australia’s human rights obligations;

  • there should be a statement of compatibility for all Bills as introduced into the Australian Parliament, and at the third reading stage (so as to allow scrutiny of amendments) as well as legislative instruments as defined by the _Legislative Instruments Act 2003 (_Cth); and

  • an enhanced role for the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The committee recommends that any federal Human Rights Act extend to the High Court the power to make a "declaration of incompatibility" but if this should prove to be "impractical" it makes the alternative recommendation that "any federal Human Rights Act not extend to courts the formal power to make a declaration of incompatibility".

In his speech at the public release of the report, the attorney-general has said that the government will consider the recommendations carefully.

The report has been welcomed by the Law Council of Australia, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, the Australian Human Rights Commission and others.

8 October 2009

Free yoga trial next Tuesday

Wed Oct 07 2009

Yoga classes will resume in the new term, starting on Tuesday, 13 October **at 7:15am** (finishing 8:15am) in the Common Room when Yogabowl will run a free trial class. It's a great way for new students to try before committing. No booking is required for this class. No experience is necessary - beginners through to experienced students are all welcome. Just show up!

Why yoga?

Working in legal services isn’t just hard on your brain. It’s hard on your body too. Sitting all day weakens and tenses up the body, and dulls the mind. Combined with the competing demands of clients, the system, schedules - and you have a recipe for frustration, ill health and burnout. Yoga can help!

What others have said

I look forward to doing yoga each Tuesday. I am unquestionably more flexible. I love the sense of tranquillity I feel at the end of the classes. I feel much more at peace with the world when I head off to court. Our teacher is very encouraging and an inspiration to us all.

Venue: The Common Room - Lower Ground Floor, Selborne Chambers, 174 Phillip St. Your teacher will be Jolie Brook. � Regular classes begin the following week on Tuesday, 20 October at 7:15am (finishing 8:15am) and will continue through to and including Tuesday, 15 December 2009 (9 weeks / 9 classes).

Cost for full term = $135 - register online here � You can also attend part-term or casually - all details are on the Yogabowl web site.

7 October 2009

BOCSAR report shows increased rate of imprisonment for Indigenous offenders

Wed Oct 07 2009

The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) has released New South Wales Criminal Courts Statistics 2008, which finds, among other things, that: the percentage of convicted Indigenous offenders given a prison sentence for break, enter and steal increased by 15 per cent (from 59.1 per cent to 67.8 per cent); and the rate at which people are being convicted of illicit drug offences in the Inner Sydney statistical subdivision rose by 21 per cent.

7 October 2009

Nominations for 2010 Bar Council

Wed Oct 07 2009

Members are reminded that nominations for the 2010 Bar Council must be received by the returning officer by 4.00pm on Monday, 19 October 2009. Nomination forms have been posted to all members. The form is also available from the association’s reception (ph. 9232 4055; fax 9221 1149 or e‐mail reception@nswbar.asn.au).�Learn more>

7 October 2009

2009 Law and Justice Awards: commendation for the Bar Association

Tue Oct 06 2009

The Bar Association's Legal Assistance Referral Service (LARS) received a high commendation for its pro bono work when the 2009 Justice Awards were presented on 1 October at Parliament House, Sydney. The association was nominated for the Pro Bono Partnership award because of its role in the pilot of the Sexual Assault Communications Project, designed to protect the privilege of victims' medical records in sexual assault trials.� The Women's Legal Service, Blakes, Freehills, Clayton Utz and the DPP also participated in the scheme. Approximately 35 barristers volunteered to attend a training seminar and responded generously to requests for representation.

The Law and Justice Volunteer Award

Each year the Bar Association sponsors the Law and Justice Volunteer Award, which was awarded to the Southern Women’s Group for their work representing women and children on the South Coast who are the victims of domestic violence. President Anna Katzmann SC was at the ceremony to present the award.

The 2009 Law and Justice Address was delivered by the Hon AM Gleeson AC QC. Learn more about the Justice Awards by visiting the Law and Justice Foundation's web site>

6 October 2009

Legislation to note: Federal Court (Corporations) Amendment Rules 2009 (No.1)

Tue Oct 06 2009

The Federal Court (Corporations) Amendment Rules 2009 (No.1) have been published on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments. The Rules amend the Federal Court (Corporations) Rules 2000 by amending rule 15A.5 so that it is consistent with the terms of articles 19 and 21 of the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law which operates in Australia pursuant to the Cross-Border Insolvency Act 2009.

6 October 2009