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Legislation to note: a new Bail Act

Tue Apr 30 2013

Attorney General Greg Smith SC gave notice to the NSW Parliament today that he would introduce a new Bail Act. Mr Smith said the legislation includes “unacceptable risk” as the primary decision making tool when police bail sergeants or courts determine if an alleged offender should be granted bail, or on what conditions.

“This legislation will put the safety of the community, victims and witnesses first, rather than focussing on the alleged offence according to a complex system of presumptions,” Mr Smith said

When passed, the new Bail Act is expected to come into operation next year, to allow time to train police and judicial officers who will be applying it.

In Brief will advise members when the bill is introduced.

30 April 2013

A notable novel: Me & Rory Macbeath, by Richard Beasley SC

Tue Apr 30 2013

Richard Beasley SC's novel _Me & Rory Macbeath _was published today and is now available in bookstores. Its official launch by Anne Summers will be at the Sydney Writers Festival. Her endorsement, which appears on the cover, reads:

Richard Beasley has written one of the best accounts of a trial I have ever read, and the fact it is a trial for murder provoked by domestic violence, seen through the eyes of a teenage boy, makes it both heart-wrenching and unforgettable.

30 April 2013

NCAT Project Update

Tue Apr 30 2013

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) will begin operations on 1 January 2014. A Corporate Services Coordinating Committee is working on the integration of corporate service functions of different tribunals. The fourth edition of the NCAT newsletter is out now which features, among other things, updates on the NCAT project, and meetings of the NCAT Reference Group.

29 May 2013

Tomorrow: ceremonial sitting to mark the start of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia

Mon Apr 29 2013

Tomorrow, 1 May at 9:30am, the chief judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia will preside at a special sitting of the court to mark the name change. The ceremony will take place in Courtroom 1, Level 21, Law Courts Building, Queens Square. President Phillip Boulten SC will represent the New South Wales Bar. Barristers should wear robes but wigs (full-bottomed or otherwise) are not worn in the Federal Circuit Court on any occasion. You can read the full version of the FCC attire policy here.

30 April 2013

Odgers SC opinion piece in the Daily Telegraph

Mon Apr 29 2013

The Daily Telegraph has published an opinion piece by Stephen Odgers SC, the chair of the Bar Association's Criminal Law Committee, regarding mandatory sentencing. Read his article here.

The article coincides with a push by the New South Wales Government to review the system of standard non-parole periods. In a media release issued today, Attorney General Greg Smith SC said: "More needs to be done to bring the system of sentencing into line with community expectations... The current system is inconsistent, and only applies to a small number of offences".

29 April 2013

Practising certifcate renewals update

Mon Apr 29 2013

All practising certificate renewal forms were sent in the post today. If you have not received your forms by next Tuesday, 7 May, or have any questions regarding its completion, please contact the certification officer Barrie Anthony on 9232 4055, or e-mail certification@nswbar.asn.au. Learn more here.

29 April 2013

TONIGHT: Tax and Administrative Law

Wed Apr 24 2013

Tonight at 5.15pm in Banco Court, two leading constitutional/administrative and taxation practitioners, Geoffrey Kennett SC and David Thomas, will explore the major issues, which are of critical importance both to tax and administrative law practitioners. The seminar has been organised by the Constitutional and Administrative Law Section and will be chaired by the Section Convenor, Neil Williams SC. For more details please click here.

Members are advised to arrive early to allow time to get through security at the courts.

30 April 2013

Papers to note: law and disorders

Wed Apr 24 2013

In its recent publication Updating Justice, the Law and Justice Foundation has published a working paper, which confirms a strong relationship between the experience of a broad range of everyday problems involving the law and long-term illness/disability. Read the working paper here.

24 April 2013

The Library Brief

Wed Apr 24 2013

The Bar Library has accessioned the following new titles into its collection. Learn more here.

24 April 2013

Redfern Legal Centre funds injection

Tue Apr 23 2013

The Australian Government has announced that the Redfern Legal Centre will receive a one-off funding boost of $60,000 to support its financial counselling credit and debt service. Learn more here.

23 April 2013

Bar FC season off to a flying start

Tue Apr 23 2013

NSW Bar FC continued its strong start to the 2013 Domain Soccer League season with a comfortable 2-0 win over perennial rivals Reserve Bank C in beautiful conditions this afternoon. Bolstered by the presence of debutants Ivan Griscti and Anais d'Arville and other new season recruits, Bar FC never looked in doubt after going 1-0 up early on, with Pouyan Afshar scoring after some great team play starting with an excellent cross from Rohan de Meyrick.

Dimichiel scored again early in the second half after following up a fumble by the opposition keeper from a great free kick driven in by Adrian Canceri. A few other chances to go 3-0 up went begging, while Bar FC's goal (protected by keeper John Harris) was never really threatened.

This was a really good team performance, with special mentions going to De Meyrick and Matthew Vickers, who both defended well.

NSW Bar FC now sit at the top of the table after two rounds, being the only team to have won both of their opening matches !

Their next match is on at 1:15pm on Thursday, 9 May against Transgrid.

23 April 2013

Legislative Council report on partial defence of provocation

Tue Apr 23 2013

The Legislative Council's Select Committee on the Partial Defence of Provocation has recommended a suite of reforms to the partial defence of provocation, which are designed to address concerns about the way the partial defence is operating. See the committee's report here.

23 April 2013

Positions vacant at the Workers Compensation Commission

Tue Apr 23 2013

The Workers Compensation Commission is seeking applications from suitably qualified persons to be considered for appointment as a sessional arbitrator. You must be a legal practitioner with skills, qualifications and experience relevant to the resolution of workers compensation disputes.

The Workers Compensation Commission is an independent statutory tribunal within the justice system of New South Wales. Our role, as part of a broader statutory scheme, is to resolve disputes about workers compensation claims between injured workers and employers.

What’s on offer?

• Various positions on a sessional basis for a period up to 30 June 2014. • Arbitrators may be based in Sydney or regional areas of New South Wales. • Intrastate travel may be required. • Remunerated under a fee schedule which is based on an hourly rate of $157.59 plus GST.

How to apply?

• Applications should include a current curriculum vitae and contact details of two referees • Email applications to annette.farrell@wcc.nsw.gov.au

For an information pack contact Ruth Moss by telephone on 8281 6481 or by email.

Inquiries may be made with Annette Farrell, A/Registrar by telephone on 8281 6489 or by email.

Closing date: 11.59pm on Sunday, 12 May 2013

7 May 2012

TONIGHT: Newcastle CPD seminar on the right to silence

Tue Apr 23 2013

The Evidence (Evidence of Silence) Amendment Bill 2013 and the Criminal Procedure Amendment (Mandatory Pre-Trial Defence Disclosure) Bill 2013 passed the Legislative Assembly on 19 March 2013 and the Legislative Council on 20 March 2013. They are currently awaiting Royal Assent. The Bar Council has organised a CPD seminar to be held in Newcastle so members can be familiarised with the requirements and practical implications of the Bills.

The seminar is to be held on Monday, 29 April at 4:15pm at University House, room UnH 241, Level 2, University House – Corner of King St and Auckland St (opposite Civic Park).

The panel of speakers is as follows:

Phil Boulten SC, president NSW Bar Association Stephen Odgers SC, Chair, NSW Bar Association Criminal Law Committee Simon Harben SC

No registration is required, however places are limited and solicitors and students at the university have also been invited to attend, so members should arrive at 4:00pm to secure a place.

29 April 2013

Competition Law Conference

Tue Apr 23 2013

This annual one-day conference will be held in Sydney on Saturday 4 May 2013 at the Shangri-La hotel. The conference, which has been held since 1989, continues to attract about 100 registrants, including Federal Court judges, judges from New Zealand, lawyers from both Australia and New Zealand, economists and academics. The Hon Dyson Heydon AC will address the conference as the Keynote Speaker on the topic: “After four decades, is the Act in competition with itself?”

For further details, and to download programs and registration forms, please follow this link or email Chris Hodgekiss SC.

23 April 2013

Changes to yoga classes

Mon Apr 22 2013

Tuesday's yoga class resumes tomorrow at 7.15am in the Common Room. Due to ANZAC Day on 25 April, Thursday's lunchtime class will be held tomorrow at 1.00pm instead and will be the last before a one-month hiatus while the Bar Practice Course occupies the Common Room. Thursday's classes will resume at 1.00pm on 28 May.

22 April 2013

Criminal law conference - online registration now available

Mon Apr 22 2013

The International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law will be holding its 26th annual conference, International Responses to Social and Justice Challenges, in Hobart, Tasmania from August 15 – 19 this year. Online registration is now available.

As in past years the conference will provide an opportunity for updates on various international criminal proceedings and international cooperative development. For the most part, however, the conference will look at a number of challenges that are confronting national, regional and international criminal justice institutions and governments on a variety of issues that are deeply grounded in the social fabric of societies.

This year’s conference will examine the challenges that vulnerable populations, particularly women and children, present as they come into contact with the criminal justice system as victims of violence and abuse, witnesses and as perpetrators of crime. Conference participants will also explore the relationships between mental illness and criminal behavior, including violence, and look at mentally ill people as victims of violence rather than just perpetrators. The conference will feature innovative and effective approaches for addressing the challenges associated with these populations from a criminal justice perspective.

Another matter in question that has sparked emotional debate as countries increase their efforts to reduce crime is that of firearms legislation and control. The conference will look at the desirability and effectiveness of firearm controls and legislation at the national level and explore the developments internationally to promote cooperation among States to prevent and eradicate the illegal manufacturing and trafficking in firearms.

Corruption is another complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Within the overarching theme of supporting international cooperation on all of the issues discussed the conference will look at the complexities of establishing viable anti-corruption regimes in view of the differing standards and processes that exist throughout nations.

The conference will provide a forum for judges, prosecutors, policy-makers, representatives of law enforcement agencies and concerned citizens to discuss these challenges from a range of perspectives and try to establish how we can best formulate the criminal law and policy response to these difficult situations moving forward. The ISRCL anticipates a forward-looking conference that recognizes international perspectives on these important issues and contributes to the development of a fair, evidence-based criminal justice and security agenda.

PLENARIES AND WORKSHOPS WILL FOCUS ON:

  • Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System
  • Women in the Criminal Justice System including Violence Against Women
  • Justice for Children
  • Threat of Corruption to Societies
  • Firearms

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: This conference will bring together the leaders of the legal and criminal justice systems including judges, legislators, lawyers, corrections officers, law enforcement representatives, academics and governmental officials – all who work actively in the administration of criminal justice in their own jurisdictions and internationally.

Online registration is available here.

26 June 2013

Lawyers Ski and Snowboard Race

Fri Apr 19 2013

The Lawyers' Ski and Snowboard Race weekend is an event organised and run on a non-profit basis by Lawyers Ski Race Inc., an incorporated association based in NSW. The association's Organising Committee comprises a group of Sydney-based lawyers who donate their time to organise the event. The event has been running for 23 years, held annually at Thredbo. This year’s event will take place on the weekend of Friday 2 August to Sunday, 4 August 2013.

The event attracts approximately 300 racers and supporters who attend the social events in Sydney and Thredbo and (if not actually racing) are spectators on course. Competitors are predominantly NSW and ACT lawyers and barristers but we have also had competitors from other States including Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. Further information is available at the event's website at www.lawski.com.au

19 April 2013

Changes to the NSW Legislation website

Thu Apr 18 2013

Access to information on the NSW Legislation website relating to paper reprints, regulations and EPIs has changed. The list of acts and regulations reprinted and the date of any reprint is now to be found under the Tables tab. The link is Historical Archive / Archive of superseded and miscellaneous tables / ... 1972-2010. This information was formerly provided at the end of the Historical Notes page of a principal act or regulation.

18 April 2013

NSW Bar FC starts the season as winners

Thu Apr 18 2013

The Domain Soccer League kicked off on 18 April 2013 with the NSW Bar Team led by Simon Philips defeating Corrs Chambers Westgarth convincingly, 3-1.

Canceri in mid field scored after some deft footwork. Magee scored a brace from free kicks on the edge of the area – both strikes would have left Alessandro Del Piero salivating.

Our next foray is against the Reserve Bank on Tuesday 23 April 2013 at 1.15 pm. All supporters, hecklers and lovers of the round ball game are welcome.

18 April 2013

BOCSAR update shows gun crime and other crime rates declining

Wed Apr 17 2013

The incidence of gun-crime in Sydney has begun to decline, according to the latest data released by NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR). In February 2010, incidents of discharge firearm into premises were running at an average of five a month. They peaked in August 2012 at an average rate of more than 11 per month. By December 2012, they were back down to around 6.7 a month. Other types of shooting incidents are also down from their peaks between 2001 and 2003. Read the BOCSAR media release here or the full report here.

17 April 2013

Replacement of Federal Court Practice Note CM 20 and Approved Forms 49 and 121

Wed Apr 17 2013

On 12 April 2013 the chief justice of the Federal Court revoked Practice Note CM 20 and Approved Forms 49 and 121 and replaced them with revised versions. The changes are confined to changing the name of the Federal Magistrates Court to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. The Practice Note and Approved Forms are available from the Federal Court’s web site at http://www.fedcourt.gov.au/

17 April 2013

Bar Council business for March 2013

Wed Apr 17 2013

Bar Council met on 21 March 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 March 2013 here.

17 April 2013

Common Law Practice Update 22

Tue Apr 16 2013

The Bar Association's Common Law Committee has released Practice Update 22, with case notes on ss 34, 92, 117 and 126 of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999, as well as foreseeability / duty of care, offers of compromise and false imprisonment.

16 April 2013

UNSW Justice Talks - The Human Sides of Law

Tue Apr 16 2013

Members are invited to attend the next instalment of the UNSW Law Justice Talks series. "The Human Sides of Law", will be presented by the Hon Keith Mason QC, former president of the NSW Court of Appeal, on Tuesday 7 May Tyree Room, in the John Niland Scientia Building, UNSW Kensington. There will be a cocktail reception at 6pm, before the lecture between 6.30-7.30pm. Register at www.law.unsw.edu.au/justicetalks

In this lecture, the Hon Keith Mason will concentrate upon the ways in which our common humanity affects what really happens when people, the law and justice intersect.

The rule of law (and not of lawyers) is not a myth. It is, however, a multi-faceted concept aspiring to fairness, consistency, factual truth, civility of discourse, and fidelity to statute and common law. Our system of government may be divinely instituted but its functioning depends on human (sometimes all too human) actors in their roles as witnesses, police, jurors, legislators, lawyers, judges and academics.

29 April 2013