InBrief

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Expressions of interest sought - Workers Compensation Commission arbitrators

Thu Feb 25 2010

Applications are sought from legal practitioners or persons with skills, qualifications and experience relevant to the resolution of workers compensation disputes. The commission seeks applications from practitioners who are interested in being offered a full-time, part-time, or sessional contract of employment for 3 years commencing in or around May 2010. Positions will be offered in Sydney and various regional locations in New South Wales. The closing date for applications has been extended to 14 March 2010.

Further details about the positions, including terms and conditions, are contained in the Information Package available at: www.wcc.nsw.gov.au� Contact: Sian Leathem, Registrar, Ph: 02 8281 6350

9 March 2010�

Fee recovery assistance

Thu Feb 25 2010

The Bar Association assists members to recover unpaid fees from solicitors where the fees have been outstanding for more than three months but less than two years and where� members have complied with the fee disclosure requirements of the Legal Profession Act 1987 or the Legal Profession Act 2004.

The Bar Association will write to the solicitors requesting payment.� If the association’s efforts are unsuccessful the association can provide a list of solicitors who have indicated a willingness to undertake fee recovery work on behalf of members. Members contract directly with any firm of solicitors ultimately engaged. The Bar Association is not responsible for legal fees incurred by members nor does the association give any assurance in respect of the advice or service provided. �

Requests for assistance should be directed to the executive director, New South Wales Bar Association by post or e-mail (executivedirector@nswbar.asn.au) and headed Fee Recovery.

25 February 2010

Appointment of acting judge in the Supreme Court

Wed Feb 24 2010

The Hon William Victor Windeyer AM RFD ED has been appointed as an acting judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales for the period commencing on 15 March 2010 and expiring on 28 May 2010.

24 February 2010

More full-time arbitrators for the Workers Compensation Commission

Wed Feb 24 2010

The NSW Government is set to increase the number of full-time arbitrators and deputy presidents appointed to the Workers Compensation Commission. Attorney General John Hatzistergos today said the government has introduced legislation that will allow the restructuring of the commission following an independent review by management consultants recommending the appointment of full-time arbitrators.

Mr Hatzistergos said that as part of the restructure, legislation will enable:

  • up to 22 full-time arbitrators to be appointed to the commission for a five year term;

  • two new positions of senior arbitrator to take responsibility for mentoring, training, and appraising the performance of other arbitrators;

  • removing restrictions on the number of deputy presidents that can serve on the commission; and
  • the appointment of two more deputy presidents to assist with hearing appeals against the decision of arbitrators.

24 February 2010

Guest speaker: George Bizos SC on human rights - pre and post apartheid

Wed Feb 24 2010

The Bar Association and the Law Society will host a breakfast talk by renowned South African human rights lawyer George Bizos SC, to be held Monday, 8 March 2010 between 8.00am-9.00am in the Bar Association Common Room. George Bizos SC has been practising at the Johannesburg Bar since 1954 and has defended numerous accused against the might of the apartheid regime, including Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu and was a counsel in the inquest into the death of Steve Biko. More recently, he defended Morgan Tswangarai, leader of the Opposition in Zimbabwe, against a charge of treason.

This historic address will be chaired by John Griffiths SC, chair of the Bar Association's Human Rights Committee, with introductory remarks by Attorney General John Hatzistergos. Law Society President Mary Macken will propose the vote of thanks to Mr Bizos. Entry will be free and all members are welcome.

5 March 2010

New Commonwealth Bill to "comprehensively criminalise" people smuggling

Wed Feb 24 2010

Attorney General Robert McClelland has introduced the Anti-People Smuggling and Other Measures Bill 2010 into the Australian Parliament. The Bill amends a number of Acts, such as the Criminal Code Act 1995, the Migration Act 1958 and, more significantly, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979, together with legislation governing telecommunications interception and surveillance devices. In his second reading speech, the attorney general said that the bill "will ensure that people smuggling is comprehensively criminalised in Australian law with tough penalties for the most serious forms of this crime". View the explanatory memorandum >

24 February 2010

NSW Government to set up a relationships register

Tue Feb 23 2010

The NSW Government has announced it will introduce legislation to create the Relationships Register, making it easier for committed unmarried couples to access legal entitlements and prove they are in committed or de facto relationships.� Attorney General John Hatzistergos said the NSW Register will be modelled on key aspects of registers already in place in the ACT, Victoria and Tasmania. Learn more>

23 February 2010

Papers to note: Australian Government releases counter-terrorism white paper

Tue Feb 23 2010

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith have released the 2010 counter-terrorism white paper, Securing Australia, Protecting Our Community.

The white paper outlines the Australian Government's assessment of the threat from terrorism and how to respond to that threat. It is the first such white paper to bring together both the international and domestic elements of Australia's counter-terrorism policy.

23 February 2010

Silks of 2009 make generous donations

Mon Feb 22 2010

It is a long-standing tradition that each year’s new silks donate a gift to the Bar Association or, particularly more recently, to one or more charities. The 2009 silks have donated $52,646.00 to the The Benevolent Society ($15,697.50), The Sydney Children's Hospital ($22,010.50) and the Indigo Foundation ($14,938.00).

The Benevolent Society is an independent, non-religious, non-profit organisation with nearly 200 years experience. The Indigo Foundation is an independent Australian community development organisation, which provides assistance to improve the lives of people in marginalised communities in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, working in the areas of health, education, and agriculture. The foundation is currently supporting community development projects in Rote, Indonesia, Hazarajhat, Afghanistan, Solomon Islands and Tamil Naidu, India.

The Bar Association thanks the 2009 silks for their very generous donation to these worthy organisations.

22 February 2010

UNSW research into alcohol, race and eyewitness identification accuracy

Mon Feb 22 2010

Recent research by the School of Psychology at the University of NSW has found that, after consuming alcohol, experimental study subjects lost the ability to better recognise faces from their own race. The findings are reported in a paper� "Now Everyone Looks the Same: Alcohol Intoxication Reduces the Own-Race Bias in Face Recognition", in the journal _Law and Human Behaviour. _A printout of the article is held in the Bar Library.

22 February 2010

Sydney Family Law Courts' Liaison Meetings for 2010

Mon Feb 22 2010

The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrates Court will be holding its regular Family Law Liaison Meetings with the legal profession in 2010. Those meetings provide a valuable opportunity for the courts to brief the profession on recent developments in the courts and hear from the profession their views on issues. All practitioners are welcome to attend. The dates for this year's meetings will be:

  • Wednesday, 24 March at 5pm

  • Wednesday, 23 June at 5pm

  • Wednesday, 8 September at 5pm

  • Wednesday, 1 December at 5pm

All meetings will take place in Conference Room 1 on Level 8 Lionel Bowen Building, 99 Goulburn Street, Sydney. Reminders will also be sent closer to the date of each meeting.

22 February 2010

Legal history with a Canadian theme

Fri Feb 19 2010

Professor Jim Philips of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History will present a public lecture tonight on "Manitoba Fisheries v The Queen: The Origins of Canada's De Facto Expropriation Doctrine". The lecture will commence at 5:15pm in the Bar Association Common Room, and will conclude no later than 6:30pm. The lecture will be hosted by the Francis Forbes Society for Australian Legal History.

25 March 2010 �

Chief Justice French delivers the George Winterton Lecture

Fri Feb 19 2010

Chief Justice Robert French yesterday delivered at Sydney Law School the inaugural George Winterton Lecture on "The Executive Power". The chief justice commented on "the enduring tension between executive power and the rule of law". He continued:

That tension is not confined to the circumstances of war or civil strife.� It may arise in politically sensitive areas of executive decision making or where the executive government has a program of action including the implementation of legislation and limited time to put it in place between elections.� The tension between the imperatives of executive government and the rule of law is sometimes manifested in official impatience with legal processes and the view that they are an interference with and impose unnecessary transaction costs on good government.� A rather clear example of that view was seen in an argument put in the 2001 Tampa Case.�

...

Executive concern about the burdens imposed upon government by judicial review has from time to time been translated into legislation in the form of privative provisions seeking to prevent or limit access to the courts.� Such provisions have a long history in the United Kingdom and in Australia.� Generally they have failed to preclude judicial review of the lawfulness of executive decisions.� In Australia, which has a written Constitution with a distribution of powers between Commonwealth and State parliaments, no decision maker has carte blanche.� Unlimited power would be unconstitutional power. Moreover there is a constitutionally entrenched jurisdiction in the High Court to entertain applications for judicial review of the decisions of officers of the Commonwealth where mandamus, prohibition or an injunction is sought.�� In the United Kingdom and Australia privative clauses have been interpreted so as to limit considerably their impact upon judicial review.� These interpretive approaches reflect the concern that executive power without legal constraint would mean, as Lord Denning observed more than 50 years ago, "that the rule of law would be at an end".

Learn more>

19 February 2010

Enhance your professional presence with Style Express

Wed Feb 17 2010

The Women Lawyers Association of NSW invites members to 'Style Express', a networking cocktail event on Tuesday, 23 February 2010. Spice up your day by learning powerful skills to enhance your professional presence and your personal brand.

Looking great at any age is all about feeling good about yourself and letting your natural confidence shine through. In this fun and practical session, style & image expert Elena Reed, will entice your senses with bold ideas and curatorial perspective into how you can use your natural assets to gain more presence, hence more confidence.

Fast facts: Fun, educational, inspirational

Sneak peek: colour, style, hair, accessories, fashion, clothing, personality

When: 5.30pm for 6.00pm-7.30pm on Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Where: The Law Society of NSW, Level 9, 170 Phillip Street.

Cost: $25 members/$30 non-member - includes refreshments.

For more information, or to register, visit the WLA web site.

17 February 2010

Bar Council business for January 2010

Wed Feb 17 2010

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.

McAlary QC

The president advised of the death on 17 January 2010 of Frank McAlary QC. �

The Bar Council endorsed the Executive’s proposal that the Bar Association and Eleventh Wentworth jointly host a memorial function in the Common Room for McAlary QC.

Silk selection process

The president advised that the Hon R Gyles had agreed to review the silk protocol and selection process. To date there had been a limited response to the request of the bar for submissions. Accordingly Gyles QC had agreed to the consultation period being extended for a further two weeks. �

World Bar Conference 2010

The Bar Council noted that the fifth World Bar Conference is to be held in Sydney on 1-5 April 2010.

The Bar Council agreed that CPD points accrued in the period 1-5 April 2010 inclusive can be counted either in the current CPD year (2009/10) or in the 2010/2011 CPD year.

Priorities for Bar Council in 2010

The Bar Council discussed various issues that had been suggested by bar councillors that might be ‘priorities’ for 2010. The council agreed that:

  • issues concerning the silk selection process raised by bar councillors be referred to the Hon R Gyles QC;

  • the director of professional conduct prepare for the council’s next meeting a short report on ways in which the procedures followed in the handling of complaints might be simplified; and

  • a list of current delegations by the Bar Council be prepared for the current Bar Council’s consideration.

The president advised that the Hon Justice Kevin Lindgren had agreed to review the Bar Association’s legal education program following his retirement from the Federal Court later this year.

The president noted that he had asked the director of professional development for a paper on the ‘pros and cons’ of persons other than barristers attending the bars’ CPD seminars on a ‘user pay basis’.

The president advised that the director of professional development was arranging for an advocacy training sessions for senior juniors. He would be asked to also arrange a series of seminars on the origins, nature of and benefits (and disadvantages) of an independent bar.

The president emphasised the importance of the proposed Practice Development Committee. He intended to refer to that committee issues such as the suggested charitable arm that might be established by the Bar Association; how working conditions and practice opportunities might be improved for those who wish to adopt flexible working practices; and the cost and length of trials.

The Bar Council asked that the Common Law Committee prepare a note on what might be done to effect the reversal or amelioration of personal injury legislative provisions in the context of the upcoming 2011 New South Wales election. �

The Bar Council noted that a major priority for the year was the continuing erosion of the availably of legal aid.

The council noted that Gormly SC and the executive director would be considering how the Bar Association might be able to assist further those practising outside chambers. Gormly SC and the executive director would also be discussing the possibility of the association establishing additional premises outside the current premises.

National Legal Profession Reform Project

The executive director spoke to his memorandum on the National Legal Profession Project. He emphasised the need for the bars to have agreed and publish the proposed Australian Bar Association National Conduct Rules for barristers so that they might be available at the same time as the proposed national model legislation. �

Draft ABA Model Rules 2010

The president spoke to the proposed Australian Bar Association National Conduct Rules for Barristers. The president advised that the ABA Council would on the following Monday be giving further consideration to the proposed rules. It was the ABA Council’s wish to publish those rules immediately after that meeting and provide them to the Commonwealth and state attorneys general and to the National Legal Profession Taskforce. The ABA Council would consider possible amendments to those draft rules in light of submissions received from the bars and the public more generally in response to the publication of the draft rules. �

17 February 2010 �

Daily Telegraph publishes apology to Tania Evers

Wed Feb 17 2010

As members may be aware, in April 2008 The Daily Telegraph made certain allegations against Tania Evers, barrister. Among other things, The Daily Telegraph article said that a complaint had been made to the legal services commissioner in respect of Ms Evers. The complaint was subsequently dismissed.

As these matters were made public, the association is of the view that the terms of The Daily Telegraph’s apology to Ms Evers should also be publicised. The Daily Telegraph _published the following correction and apology to Ms Evers on its web site on 9 February 2010 and in _The Daily Telegraph on 10 and 17 February 2010:

_TANIA EVERS – CORRECTION AND APOLOGY

On 16 April 2008, The Daily Telegraph published an article about the conduct of Tania Evers as defence counsel in a criminal trial. There was also an editorial on the issue. Various criticisms were made of Ms Evers.

The Daily Telegraph acknowledges that criticisms made of Ms Evers were unjustified and that some of the facts asserted were incorrect. In particular The Daily Telegraph _accepts that Ms Evers was not warned by the trial judge about her conduct, and accepts that there was nothing wrong with her conduct. _The Daily Telegraph withdraws all criticism made of Ms Evers and unreservedly apologises to her._

17 February 2010

Tonight: a tribute to Frank McAlary QC

Wed Feb 17 2010

The Bar Association and Eleventh Floor Wentworth Chambers will jointly host drinks in memory of Frank McAlary QC, a life member of the association, today at 5.00pm in the Bar Association Common Room.

Short tributes in memory of McAlary QC will be delivered by James Poulos QC, Brian Rayment QC and John Maguire. All members are welcome.

31 March 2009

Speeches to note: ADR and the Commonwealth

Tue Feb 16 2010

Attorney-General Robert McClelland, in a speech at the Government Law Group Forum in Canberra, has spelled out a range of initiatives for promoting greater use of ADR in the federal justice system.

"As the biggest single litigator in the federal justice system, the Commonwealth and its agencies play an important leadership role in increasing the use of ADR in Australia", the attorney said.

In support of this goal, the attorney officially launched the AGS/LEADR training programme "ADR and the Commonwealth".

View the attorney's speech >

16 February 2010

Law Council launches policy statement on Indigenous lawyers

Mon Feb 15 2010

The Law Council today released its Policy Statement on Indigenous Australians and the Legal Profession, aimed at addressing Indigenous disadvantage and promoting Indigenous participation in the study and practice of law. Launching the policy statement in Darwin today, Law Council President Glenn Ferguson committed to working with Indigenous associations, Australian law schools, law practices and the state and territory law societies and bar associations to develop pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into legal practice.

"This is the first policy statement of its kind for the entire legal profession. It recognises that all Australian lawyers can play a part in addressing Indigenous disadvantage," Mr Ferguson said.

15 February 2009

2010 Australian Government - Rio Tinto NTRB scholarships

Fri Feb 12 2010

The Australian Government and Rio Tinto are once again offering two scholarships to lawyers currently working or interested in working at Native Title Representative Bodies (NTRBs) or Native Title Service Providers (NTSPs). Successful candidates will undertake a one-year Master of Laws (LLM) in Mineral Law and Policy at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) at the University of Dundee and must commit to work within an NTRB or NTSP for a minimum period of two years upon their return.

Candidates must be Australian citizens or permanent residents and reside in Australia and there is no age restriction for applicants. FaHCSIA also provides an additional AU$15,000 towards the living expenses of those recipients of the scholarship who are working within the NTRB system at the time they receive the scholarship.

Applications open from Monday, 22 February through to Friday, 19 March, 2010. Online applications will be open from Monday, 16 February through to Friday, 20 March 2010.

For further information on the LLM in Mineral Law and Policy Program please visit the University of Dundee's web site. The program commences in September 2010.

19 February 2010

Position vacant at the Guardianship Tribunal

Fri Feb 12 2010

The Guardianship Tribunal of NSW is currently seeking applications for persons wishing to be considered for appointment as a part-time member of the tribunal. Applications close on 26 February 2010. Learn more>

12 February 2010

Five upcoming seminars from the Commercial Law Association (ADVERTISEMENT)

Thu Feb 11 2010

Friday, 19 February 2010: Hot Issues in Intellectual Property Law A Commercial Law Association half-day seminar 9.15am to 12.30pm, Dixson Room, NSW State Library. CLA members $285; non-members $335 Register at www.cla.org.au

Speakers: Anthony Franklin SC, 4 St James Hall Chambers (chair) Carmen Champion, 4 St James Hall Chambers Jane Rawlings, 4 St James Hall Chambers Andrew Wiseman, Partner, Allens Arthur Robinson

Gain an insight into:

  • Ensuring that intellectual property by employees and contractors belongs to the employer/commissioning party

  • Losing IP rights: loose lips sink patens (and more)

  • The latest and greatest on copyright

  • Recent cases: Larrikin-Kookaburra sits on the old oat tree.iiNet

  • A free ride for online consumers? Monetising content and liberating artists in a digital world

Friday, 19 February 2010: Common Pitfalls in Pleading a Section 52 Case A Commercial Law Association lunchtime seminar 12.30 to 2.00pm, Dixson Room, NSW State Library. CLA members $59; non-members $99 Register at www.cla.org.au

Speaker:

Ian Tonking SC, 7 Selborne Chambers

It has long been common practice to plead s52 as an alternative cause of action in cases involving tort or contract claims, as well as in cases involving breaches of statutory or fiduciary duty and in many other areas. There may often be remedial, procedural, evidentiary or jurisdictional benefits in so doing. All too often however some of the elements or other prerequisites of a successful s52 claim are overlooked. These may be fatal, or at least difficult to cure, and may cause unnecessary distraction, cost and delay.� It is worth having a checklist which would include the elementary as well as the more arcane items that may need to be addressed. � Friday, 26 February 2010: _PPS: An Introduction to the _Personal Property Securities Act 2009 A Commercial Law Association halfday seminar 9.15am to 12.15pm, Friday, 26 February, Dixson Room, NSW State Library. CLA members $285; non-members $335 Register at www.cla.org.au

Speakers:

Bruce Whittaker, Partner, Blake Dawson (Chair) Diccon Loxton, Partner, Allens Arthur Robinson Patrick Lowden, Partner, Freehills Professor John Stumbles, University of Sydney

Gain an insight into:

  • History and rationale of the PPS Act 2009

  • The nature of security interest under the Act and the new concepts of investment entitlement, investment instrument, chattel paper and purchase money security interest

  • The new PPS priority and extinguishment rules and their impact on existing security structures

  • The new PPS Register: transitional arrangements, enforcement of securities and impact of insolvency

Friday, 26 February 2010: Mistake in Contract Formation and Performance. Remedial Options Under Australian Law. A Commercial Law Association lunchtime seminar 12.30 to 2.00pm, Dixson Room, NSW State Library. CLA members $59; non-members $99 Register at www.cla.org.au

Speaker:

Jeffrey Goldberger, Special Counsel, Blake Dawson

Gain an insight into:

  • Common mistake at law

  • Common mistake in equity

  • Unilateral mistake – equitable relief

  • Rectification of contracts for common mistake

  • Mistaken assumptions and estoppel by convention – the modern law

  • Recovery of money paid under a mistake of law or fact – the scope of the restitutionary remedy

Friday, 12 March 2010: The Challenging Pace of Australian Competition and Consumer Law. A Commercial Law Association lunchtime seminar 12.30 to 2.00pm, Dixson Room, NSW State Library. CLA members $59; non-members $99 Register at www.cla.org.au

Speaker: Russell Miller AO, Partner, Minter Ellison

Gain an insight into:

  • ACCC enforcement priorities

  • Upgrading consumer laws

18 February 2010