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Bar Association office hours

Fri Dec 20 2013

The office of the New South Wales Bar Association will close for the Christmas-New Year holiday at 4.00pm today. It will reopen on Monday, 6 January 2014 between 9.00am and 5.00pm. Normal office hours (8.00am to 6.00pm) will resume on 28 January 2014.

20 December 2013

NCAT News Update No.10

Fri Dec 20 2013

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) will begin operations on 1 January 2014. The tenth edition of the NCAT newsletter is out now and features a report on the NCAT seminar presented by Mark Robinson SC and chaired by NCAT president, Justice Wright, in the Bar Common Room on 4 December 2013.

20 December 2013

Two appointments to the Local Court

Fri Dec 20 2013

Attorney General Greg Smith SC has announced the appointments of deputy senior crown prosecutor Peter Barnett SC and DPP solicitor Kate Thompson as magistrates of the Local Court of NSW and as industrial magistrates. Learn more here.

20 December 2013

Bar Council business for November

Wed Dec 18 2013

Bar Council met on 21 November in the boardroom of the New South Wales Bar Association. 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. View the minutes for 21 November 2013.

18 December 2013

CPD in January to March 2014

Tue Dec 17 2013

To assist members in completing their CPD requirements before the 31 March cut-off date, a number of seminars and conferences have been organised.

Conferences will be held at:

North Coast, 22 February 2014

Orange, 1-2 March 2014

Newcastle, 8 March 2014

Personal Injury Conference, Sydney, 15 March 2014

Parramatta, 22 March 2014

Sydney, 29 March 2014

In addition to the above, seminars will be conducted in the Bar Association Common Room throughout February and March. For full details and the most up to date information on seminars as well as conferences, please refer to the Bar Association website.

The CPD Rules can also be found on the website.

14 January 2014

Common Law Practice Update 46 - bumper Christmas edition

Mon Dec 16 2013

The Bar Association's Common Law Committee has released Practice Update 46, which features case notes on ss 34, 81 and 92 of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW) and ss 3B, 5B and 45 of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW), as well as medical negligence, product liability, liability for injury from bullying and many more.

29 November 2013

Coming soon - Bar News Summer 2013-14

Fri Dec 13 2013

The Summer 2013-14 edition of _Bar News _is running a little late, but it's worth the wait. It includes feature articles on technology and a barrister's practice, an interview with Attorney General George Brandis QC, articles by Barker QC, Porter QC, Spigelman QC and Chief Justice French, as well as the regular columns on bar sports, book reviews and recent developments.

13 December 2013

The pink batts royal commission

Fri Dec 13 2013

The governor-general yesterday issued letters patent to appoint Mr Ian Hanger AM QC to lead the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program, which operated between February 2009 and February 2010. More Information about the royal commission and its terms of reference can be found here.

13 December 2013

Legalwise MCLE seminar program 2014 (ADVERTISEMENT)

Fri Dec 13 2013

The March 2014 Legalwise CPD program is now released – don’t miss out on the early bird registration discounts. Register and pay by 24 December 2014 and save $100 off every seminar PLUS choose any free past seminar paper (valued at $99). For a list of FREE past papers click here.

The Legalwise CPD program runs from 5 - 31 March 2014 and will be held at UNSW CBD Campus, Level 6, 1 O'Connell St, Sydney. However all our face to face seminars are also available as live web seminars which is a most convenient way to gain your CPD points as there is no time away from your chambers.

Let Legalwise also help you manage your CPD points. Just contact them and they can provide you with your summary of your CPD points earned with Legalwise Seminars since 1 April 2013. If you have any questions please call Legalwise on 02 9387 8133 or email info@legalwiseseminars.com.au

13 December 2013

Mentoring Program 2014

Thu Dec 12 2013

In 2014 the Bar Association, in conjunction with McCarthy Mentoring, will be offering junior members of the bar the opportunity to receive guidance and support from leaders in the profession. For senior barristers the program will be an opportunity to develop effective leadership skills and encourage and support emerging talent at the NSW Bar. Learn more here.

12 December 2013

Call for papers: World Indigenous Legal Conference 2014

Thu Dec 12 2013

The World Indigenous Legal Conference 2014 will be hosted by the Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland, from 23-27 June 2014, at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Australia. The theme of the conference is “Past, Present and Future”. The conference will incorporate the Australian National Indigenous Legal Conference 2014. To ensure that the conference is international in focus, the organising committee is seeking to attract a diverse range of local and international speakers who can bring to the conference a range of experiences, perspectives and insights on key Indigenous issues that will form the conference program. Accordingly, speakers are invited to submit an abstract of a maximum of 350 words by 7 February 2014.

12 December 2013

New Barristers Rules take effect on 6 January 2014

Wed Dec 11 2013

A new version of the New South Wales Barristers’ Rules was Gazetted on Friday, 6 December replaces the version gazetted on 8 July 2011. It mirrors the amendments made to the uniform national rules of conduct prepared and approved by the Australian Bar Association, the peak body for all Australian barristers.

The new Rules will take effect on 6 January 2014.

Click here to view the Rules in their entirety clearly showing the changes. A summary of the amendments and additions appear below.

Amendments

The new Rules incorporate amendments to clauses 17(f), 24B, 36, 78, 88A, 95(b), 95(j), 96(b), and 99(l), as follows:

Clause 17(f) – Addition of the words ‘commence proceedings or file or…’ before the words ‘…serve any process of any court’.

Clause 24B – Addition of the words ‘…or officer of a government department or agency whose usual duties include engaging lawyers…’ after the words ‘A barrister who proposes to accept instructions directly from a person who is not a solicitor…’

Clause 36 – Addition of the words ‘…any apparent…’ between the words ‘A barrister must inform the court of…’ and ‘…misapprehension by the court as to…’

Clause 78 – Deletion of the word ‘…learns…’ and addition of the words ‘…is informed by the client or by the witness…’ between the words ‘A barrister who, as a result of information provided by the client or a witness called on behalf of the client,…’ and ‘…during a hearing or after judgment…’.

Clause 88A – Deletion of the words ‘provided that…’ at the beginning of the clause. Addition of the words ‘…rule 88(c)…’ between the words ‘’…on any ground within…’ and ‘…(iii), (iv) or (v),…’. Addition at the end of the clause of the words ‘…unless the interests of justice would be harmed if such grounds were revealed to the opponent.’.

Clause 95(b) – Addition of the words ‘…or otherwise…’ between the words ‘the client’s interest in the matter…’ and ‘…is or would be in conflict with…’.

Clause 95(j) – Addition of the following at the end of the clause ‘…, unless the hearing is before the High Court of Australia sitting all available judges;’.

Clause 96(b) – Addition of the words ‘…or retaining…’ between ‘…approves of the barrister accepting…’ and ‘…the brief after the barrister…’.

Clause 99(l) – Addition of the words ‘…personal or business…’ between the words ‘…is to appear before a judge whose…’ and ‘…relationship with the barrister…’. Addition of the following at the end of the clause ‘…give rise to the apprehension that there may not be a fair hearing;’.

  Additional clauses

The new Rules incorporate the addition of new clauses 40A, 40B, 40C, 88(c)(v), 115, 116, and 117 and definitions in clause 119 for the terms ‘discrimination’, ‘sexual harassment’, and ‘workplace bullying’. The new clauses are set out below.

40A.It is the duty of a barrister representing a person charged with a criminal offence:

(a) to advise the client generally about any plea to the charge; and (b) to make clear that the client has the responsibility for and complete freedom of choosing the pleas to be entered.

40B. For the purpose of fulfilling the duty in rule 40A, a barrister may, in an appropriate case, advise the client in strong terms that the client is unlikely to escape conviction and that a plea of guilty is generally regarded by the court as a mitigating factor to the extent that the client is viewed by the court as cooperating in the criminal justice process.

40C. Where a barrister is informed that the client denies committing the offence charged but insists on pleading guilty to the charge, the barrister;

(a) must advise the client to the effect that by pleading guilty, the client will be admitting guilt to all the world in respect of all the elements of the charge; (b) must advise the client that matters submitted in mitigation after a plea of guilty must be consistent with admitting guilt in respect of all of the elements of the offence; (c) must be satisfied that after receiving proper advice the client is making a free and informed choice to plead guilty; and (d) may otherwise continue to represent the client.

88(c)(v) the prosecutor, having the responsibility of ensuring that the prosecution case is presented properly and presented with fairness to the accused, believes on reasonable grounds that the interests of justice would be harmed if the witness was called as part of the prosecution case.

115. A barrister shall not give an undertaking to the court on behalf of a solicitor or a client without express authority of the person concerned.

116. A barrister shall not disclose to the court, whether in submissions, examination, cross-examination or otherwise, any communication between the barrister and legal representatives appearing in the proceedings for any other party to the proceedings:

(a) except by consent; (b) unless what occurred resulted in the creation of some contractual or other legal relationship; or (c) unless it was expressly stated before or at the commencement of such communication that matters communicated should not be regarded as without prejudice or privileged from use or disclosure; or (d) unless disclosure is required by the Court.

ANTI-DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT

117. A barrister must not in the course of practice, engage in conduct which constitutes:

(e) discrimination; (f) sexual harassment; or (g) workplace bullying.

New definitions

‘discrimination’ means discrimination that is unlawful under the applicable state, territory or federal anti-discrimination or human rights legislation.

‘Sexual harassment’ means harassment that is unlawful under the applicable state, territory or federal anti-discrimination or human rights legislation.

‘Workplace bullying’ means behaviour that could reasonably be expected to offend, intimidate, degrade, humiliate, isolate or alienate a person working in a workplace.

20 December 2013

NSW Custody Statistics

Wed Dec 11 2013

The NSW prison population is rising rapidly, according to a new report released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. The NSW prison population increased by an additional 508 prisoners between July last year (9,492) and September this year (10,000). Learn more here.

11 December 2013

As the court tweets

Wed Dec 11 2013

The Supreme Court of NSW has opened a Twitter account (@NSWSupCt) with a tweet from Chief Justice Tom Bathurst: "The Supreme Court has succumbed to the Twittersphere. Looking forward to sharing our updates with you - Bathurst CJ".

11 December 2013

NSW AG announces appointment of new state coroner

Wed Dec 11 2013

Attorney General Greg Smith SC today announced the appointment of Magistrate Michael Barnes as the state coroner of NSW. Before his appointment to the Local Court, Magistrate Barnes served as the state coroner of Queensland for ten years.

11 December 2013

Legal Aid News for December 2013

Tue Dec 10 2013

The December 2013 edition of Legal Aid News is now available on the Legal Aid NSW website and features articles on working with culturally diverse communities, family mediation celebrates 20 years, access to justice inquiry, duty advice service starting in the south west, panel lawyers news, community legal education, courses and conferences.

10 December 2013

Personal Injury Common Law Conference, March 2014

Tue Dec 10 2013

The 2014 Personal Injury / Common Law Conference will be held on Saturday, 15 March 2014. The program includes the Hon Justice Peter Garling; Paul Menzies QC, Dr Andrew Morrison RFD SC; Mark Robinson SC, Richard Weinstein SC, Penelope Wass SC and Jackie Sandford. For full details download a registration form.

10 December 2013

Yoga Christmas break

Tue Dec 10 2013

The last yoga session of 2014 will be held on the morning of Tuesday, 17 December 2013. There will be no yoga next Tuesday lunchtime due to the UNSW pre-law open day being held in the Bar Common Room. Yoga will recommence on Tuesday, 4 February 2014, same times (morning and lunch times), subject to Bar Practice Course sessions and other events.

10 December 2013

NSWLRC review of parole in NSW

Mon Dec 09 2013

The NSW Law Reform Commission is conducting a review of the parole system in NSW. The commission has published Question Paper 6, which examines the role of the Children’s Court as a parole decision maker, the role of Juvenile Justice NSW, and also the interaction between the adult and juvenile parole systems. The NSWLRC is calling for submissions on Question Paper 6. The closing date is Friday, 31 January 2014.

9 December 2013

Bar Council business for October-November

Mon Dec 09 2013

Bar Council met on 24 October and 19 November in the boardroom of the New South Wales Bar Association. 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. View the minutes for 24 October 2013 and 14 November 2013.

9 December 2013

ABA welcomes national legal profession accord

Mon Dec 09 2013

The president of the Australian Bar Association, Michael Colbran QC, has welcomed Friday's announcement of a national Legal Profession Uniform Framework by the NSW and Victorian governments. View the media release here.

9 December 2013

Gazettal of amended New South Wales Barristers Rules.

Fri Dec 06 2013

A new, amended version of the New South Wales Barristers’ Rules were published in the NSW Government Gazette No. 168 at page 5703. They replace the version gazetted on 8 July 2011 and reflect the amendments made to the uniform national rules of conduct prepared and approved by the Australian Bar Association. The new rules will take effect on 6 January 2014.

The new rules incorporate amendments to clauses 17(f), 24B, 36, 78, 88A, 95(b), 95(j), 96(b), and 99(l). The new rules incorporate the addition of new clauses 40A, 40B, 40C, 88(c)(v), 115, 116, and 117 and definitions in clause 119 for the terms ‘discrimination’, ‘sexual harassment’, and ‘workplace bullying’.

6 December 2013