Law Council launches legal aid web portal

Fri Apr 30 2010

The Law Council has added to its campaign to seek additional funding to improve Australia’s legal assistance sector by launching a web portal aimed to garner support for crucial access to justice issues.

30 April 2010

Persuasion Power Workshops (ADVERTISEMENT)

Fri Apr 30 2010

Open Door Productions’ "Persuasion Power" Workshop Series focuses on how barristers can maximise their persuasive ability. In sessions akin to an ‘actors’ workshop’, participants practise and analyse persuasive and presentational strategies, tactics and techniques, using material that is both generic and legallybased, and is designed to enhance persuasiveness in many facets of legal work. Learn more>

1 June 2010

Position vacant: deputy senior crown prosecutor

Fri Apr 30 2010

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is seeking expressions of interest for the position of deputy senior crown prosecutor, Pos No. 2010/20. The total remuneration package is valued at up to $290,433 pa, including salary of $250,510 p.a., a conveyance allowance of $15840 p.a., employer’s contribution to superannuation and annual leave loading. The position is headquartered in Sydney West (based at Parramatta). Learn more >

30 April 2010

A brave new model for bar practice?

Wed Apr 28 2010

In response to the recession and cuts to legal aid, the Bar Council of England and Wales has published what it calls "a possible model for barristers to work together and with other professionals by means of a procurement company". This model has been given the "somewhat unglamorous yet descriptive title: ProcureCo". The new business model includes: partnerships; the capacity to conduct litigation (for example, in relation to the collection of evidence, the preparation of witness statements, the conduct of correspondence); and by removing restrictions on sharing premises.�

This follows rule changes made by the Bar Standards Board (BSB), which gave barristers and sets of chambers "increased flexibility in bidding for work in new and existing areas of practice".

28 April 2010

Common law claims survive Queensland WorkCover changes

Tue Apr 27 2010

The Queensland Government has announced changes to its WorkCover scheme, but has decided not to impose restrictions on access to common law compensation claims by injured workers. Premiums will rise but common law claims brought under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 will be harmonised with arrangements under the Civil Liability Act 2003 in terms of liability (standard of care), contributory negligence and caps on general damages and damages for economic loss.

In November 2009, the WorkCover Queensland Board reported to government growing financial pressures and recommended a number of changes including restricting injured workers access to compensation through the courts.

27 April 2010

Join the PILCH Walk for Justice

Tue Apr 27 2010

Join the Health, Sport and Recreation Committee for the PILCH 'Walk for Justice' on 17 May 2010. The Walk for Justice is the opening event of Law Week in NSW and is held on National Pro Bono Day. It aims to create public awareness of the unmet legal need in our community and to raise funds to support the work of the Public Interest Law Clearing House.

The Walk will start at 7:00 am on Monday, 17 May 2010, the first day of National Law Week. The five kilometre walk will start at the Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park and follow a beautiful 5km loop through the Domain and the Royal Botanical Gardens taking in views of the Opera House and harbour before returning to Martin Place at about 8:30 a.m. To register for the event please contact Cindy Penrose�

11 May 2010

Training for the Sydney to Wollongong Bike Ride 2010

Fri Apr 23 2010

The Bar Association's Health, Sport and Recreation Committee is organising a team to participate in the Sydney to Wollongong Bike Ride 2010. Whilst the committee welcomes all members of the bar, we particularly encourage beginner and recreational riders to become involved. This year the event will be held on 7 November 2010. Riders can choose to either participate in the full distance event (90km) or a shorter distance (usually 58 km). The course is very scenic, particularly those parts through the National Park. In order to assist members to prepare for the ride, the committee has organized training rides each month until the race. The next one will begin in Phillip Street this Sunday morning, 26 September, at 7.00am. Members who are interested in attending that training ride should contact Carlos Mobellan.� In 2009, the organisers of the Sydney to Wollongong Ride required that each rider organize a minimum amount of donations (in 2009 the figure was $200), with all funds raised going to the MS Society. 20 September 2010

Books for the homeless and needy

Fri Apr 23 2010

The Benjamin Andrew Footpath Library installs and stocks libraries in homeless hostels and community organisations. They currently give away around 1200 books a month to children and adults living on the streets and in refuges, and through organisations such as the Aboriginal Medical Service. They are urgently after excellent quality teen novels (13-18 years) as well as self help books. In respect for their clients we only accept books in very good condition. Books may be left at the Bar Library. 8 April 2011

Forbes and Selden societies to host a lecture by Bryson QC

Fri Apr 23 2010

The Hon John P Bryson QC will deliver a lecture on "Richard Anstey and the Sackville Inheritance" on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 at 5:15pm in the Bar Common Room. This Lecture is co-sponsored by the Selden Society and the Forbes Society, in conjunction with the Bar Association.

23 April 2010

Bar Association speaks out against retrospective legislation

Thu Apr 22 2010

The Bar Association has condemned cynical moves by the New South Wales Government to retrospectively extinguish important property rights of farmers, which were recently upheld by the Supreme Court in Brown & Anor v Coal Mines Australia. _Senior Vice-President Bernie Coles QC spoke on ABC 702, Radio National and ABC New England against the [_Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment (Land Access) Bill 2010]2, which was debated in both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. Transcripts of Coles QC's radio interviews are available in the Bar Library.

22 April 2010

It's all got to go! The great QLD Supreme Court Library clearance sale

Thu Apr 22 2010

The Supreme Court of Queensland Library is due to relocate in 2011. But floorspace will be limited in the new premises, so not all of the collection can be accommodated. In response, the enterprising law librarians have launched a "downsizing project" hoping to find good homes for old books. Grab a bargain from the list of books for sale. _Make them an offer! _They are happy to haggle. Members who may be interested in any of the titles for sale should contact Helen Jeffcoat via e-mail or ph: (07) 3247 4267.

22 April 2010

The Art of Persuasive Communication

Thu Apr 22 2010

Talking Brief teaches simple and powerful strategies to empower barristers to maximize their communication skills in court. Talking Brief’s learning environment is one of trust, creating an opportunity to explore underlying performance issues and how to overcome them. This full-day workshop will take place on Saturday, 1 May from 10.00am – 4.00pm in the Bar Association Common Room. For further information on the workshop please download the two-page flyer and registration form. Places are limited to 10. Registrations close at 5pm on Wednesday 28 April. Participation in this workshop will provide 5 CPD points in the Advocacy strand.

27 April 2010

Breakfast talks - What if I ‘hold the law in contempt and judge the law’? (ADVERTISEMENT)

Thu Apr 22 2010

This is the third in a series of five Thursday breakfast talks where Emeritus Prof Edwin Judge explores both the classical and biblical cultural traditions whose interaction have created the distinctive dynamic mix forming Western civilisation. The talk will be held on Thursday, 13 May.�

An ancient Greek magnate was advised to curb his ambition, otherwise he could easily overreach its rational limit, and such excessive success might provoke the gods to envy. Even if a person meant well by such excessive action, it only served to sharpen that person’s tragic doom. While the Israelite prophets also warned people not to ‘hold the law in contempt and judge the law’, there was nevertheless a possibility of blessing, and even a sinner might plead for God’s mercy.

Emeritus Prof Judge of Macquarie University is one of the leading academic figures in Australia.

Venue:� Silks Coffee Lounge, 170 Phillip St (next to Selborne Chambers).�

Breakfast from 7:20am, (at own cost), please order by 7.30am –�� talks commence 7:40am, conclude 8:20am.

Attendance at this event will attract 0.5 points under the Continuing Professional Development Programme

For more detail see:

For more information, contact: or or ph: (02) 9232 8700.

7 May 2010

NSW preventive detention law inconsistent with international human rights law

Wed Apr 21 2010

The United Nations Human Rights Committee have released their decision in _Tillman v Australia _No 1635/2007.� Tillman was sent to prison in 2007 under NSW legislation, the Crimes (Serious Sex Offenders) Act 2006, which allows the NSW Supreme Court to order that a person who has already served their sentence of imprisonment can be sent back to prison if they are judged to be a high risk of re-offending if released.� Tillman is presently in remand, awaiting a court decision in relation to alleged breaches of a supervision order under that law.�

The NSW legislation was modelled on a Queensland law, the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003, which was the subject of an unsuccessful constitutional challenge in 2004 (Fardon v Attorney-General (Qld) (2004) 223 CLR 575).

Tillman argued that although the Australian High Court had upheld the constitutional validity of the Queensland law, the NSW law inflicted arbitrary detention and double punishment contrary to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The arguments are set out in articles published in volume 16 of the journal Psychiatry, Psychology and Law (vol 16(2), pp 262-270) and volume 7 of the Melbourne Journal of International Law ((2006) 7 MJIL 407-424.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee, in an 11-2 decision, said that the further imprisonment of Ken Tillman under the NSW law was inconsistent with the Covenant, because:

The author had already served his 10 year term of imprisonment and yet he continued, in actual fact, to be subjected to imprisonment in pursuance of a law which characterises his continued incarceration under the same prison regime as detention.� This purported detention amounted, in substance, to a fresh term of imprisonment which, unlike detention proper, is not permissible in the absence of a conviction for which imprisonment is a sentence prescribed by law.�

The committee said that Australia is under an obligation to release offenders who have been re-imprisoned under these regimes.

The Australian Government, which lost the case, has been given 180 days to respond, indicating what measures have been taken to give effect to the committee’s decision.

To comply with the covenant, the four state governments, including NSW, will need to adopt preventive detention policies that do not use prison, which is punitive in character, as a venue for treatment.���

The UN communication was prepared by Professor Patrick Keyzer, a member of the NSW Bar.� For further information contact the Centre for Law, Governance and Public Policy at Bond University on (07) 5595 2087.

21 April 2010

Australian Government announces response to Human Rights Consultation

Wed Apr 21 2010

Attorney-General Robert McClelland has announced the federal government's response to the National Human Rights Consultation Committee Report. Australia’s Human Rights Framework provides for a number of measures to protect human rights in Australia, but not for a charter of rights - much to the dismay of the Law Council. The key measures include: establishing a new Joint Committee on Human Rights to provide greater scrutiny of legislation for compliance with international human rights obligations; requiring that each new bill introduced into parliament is accompanied by a statement of compatibility with our international human rights obligations; and combining federal anti-discrimination laws into a single Act. The attorney made the announcement during a speech at the National Press Club.

21 April 2010

Reappointment of acting judge in the Supreme Court

Wed Apr 21 2010

The Hon Acting Justice Bryson has been reappointed as an acting judge and acting judge of appeal of the Supreme Court for the period commencing on 1 May 2010 and expiring on 30 June 2010.

21 April 2010

Law Council warns: national legal aid funding reaching crisis point

Tue Apr 20 2010

The Law Council and its constituent bodies have urged the Australian Government to address the lack of legal aid funding in the 2010 Federal Budget. Law Council President Glenn Ferguson said the underfunding of legal aid affected all aspects of society.

Self-representation places enormous strains on litigants and the resources of the courts. A PricewaterhouseCoopers report commissioned by National Legal Aid recently revealed that for every $1 spent on Commonwealth legal aid services, up to $2.25 is saved within the justice system.

20 April 2010

The Bar Book Club

Mon Apr 19 2010

The next meeting of the Bar Book Club will be on Thursday, 20 May 2010 at 6.00pm and the book is Ransom by David Malouf. To promote interest in good books, the Bar Library has subscribed to the London Review of Books. Please come and read it in the library. 11 May 2010

Swearing in ceremony for David Degnan and Andrew Eckhold

Fri Apr 16 2010

A ceremonial sitting for the swearing-in of Andrew Eckhold and David Degnan as magistrates of the Local Court of New South Wales will be held on Monday, 19 April 2010 at 9.00am in Courtroom 5.2. Kate Traill will speak on behalf of the bar.

16 April 2010