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Queens Square Chambers (ADVERTISEMENT)

Thu Feb 28 2013

Queens Square Chambers has recently acquired more space in the Beanbah Building located next door to the Supreme Court and has a number of rooms available for licence. Please contact Mark Wilson on ph: (02) 9232 4671 for further details.

28 February 2013

Australian Bar Association conference 2013

Thu Feb 28 2013

The Australian Bar Association will hold its 2013 conference in Rome on 2-5 July. Among the Australian speakers will be the Hon Robert French AC, the Hon Justice Kiefel AC and topics will range from "Business structures for barristers in England" and "A quality assurance scheme for advocates" to "Judicial globalisation". You can view a conference brochure here and a registration form here. There is a separate brochure for the conference hotel and a booking form for travel arrangements, accommodation and tours.

In addition, a specialist conference on "Improving Litigation" will be held in Bologna on 26-27 June. It will consider how litigation can be made faster and cheaper in circumstances where ADR has been unsuccessful or where it is inappropriate. You can view a conference brochure here and a registration form here. There is a separate brochure for the conference hotel and a booking form for travel arrangements, accommodation and tours.

7 May 2013

Acting judge appointed to the District Court

Thu Feb 28 2013

Mr Grant Thomas Britton SC, a retired District Court judge from Queensland, has been appointed as an acting judge of the District Court of New South Wales for the period commencing on 28 February 2013 and expiring on 30 June 2013.

28 February 2013

NSW A-G introduces mandatory court costs levy

Thu Feb 28 2013

People found guilty of a summary offence in the NSW Local Court will be charged a levy to help pay for the cost of their court case, Attorney General Greg Smith SC announced today. It will apply to most people convicted of a criminal offence in the Local Court, but exempts those convicted in the Drug Court and Children’s Court, and offenders sentenced to prison. Learn more>

28 February 2013

Bar Council business for February 2013

Wed Feb 27 2013

Bar Council met on 7 February 2013 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>

27 February 2013

Rationality + Consciousness = Free Will: Legal and Philosophical Reflections

Wed Feb 27 2013

David Hodgson’s final book, Rationality + Consciousness = Free Will (Oxford University Press 2012), published in the year of his death, focuses on two of his most significant philosophical interests, consciousness and free will, but it also considers the significance of these topics for the law. On Saturday 4 May 2013, a conference will be held by the Julius Stone Institute of Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney, which sadly must mark his passing, but on a more positive note will critically analyse legal and philosophical themes in the book.

Often the topics of consciousness and free will have been treated in separate literatures. One of the interesting features of this book (and this conference) is the bringing together of these two areas of philosophy. The book, and David Hodgson’s work more generally, benefits from his work as a philosopher, and his career as a legal scholar, legal practitioner and ultimately a judge of appeal of the New South Wales Supreme Court.

Mr Dennis Mahoney QC will open the conference with some remarks about David Hodgson’s career.

The conference will be of interest not just to philosophers and legal scholars, but to solicitors, barristers and judges, as the sections of the book that consider the implications of Hodgson’s view for law will be a significant part of the conference. Other presentations will focus on the themes of consciousness and free will.

For more information and to register, click here.

1 May 2013

Legal Aid NSW specialist barrister panel - UPDATED CLOSING DATE

Wed Feb 27 2013

The closing date for applications for the Legal Aid NSW Specialist Barrister Panel (Complex Criminal Law) has been extended to 11 March 2013. The panel is open to junior counsel only. Information about the panel along with the link to the online application form are available at the Specialist criminal law barrister panels web page. Applicants who have already submitted an online application and wish to provide further information can also do so by 11 March 2013. Additional information can be sent by e-mail to panels@legalaid.nsw.gov.au.

27 February 2013

And the Oscar goes to ...

Tue Feb 26 2013

The results are in for the Bar Library Academy Awards Competition. And it's a four-way tie for first place. The winners are:

1. Maree Fitzgerald, NSW Bar Association 2. Polly Epov, 53 Martin Place Chambers 3. Michael Read, University Chambers 4. Katie Retford, NSW Bar Association

You can view the full results of the competition here. The winners should visit the Bar Library to collect their winnings.

26 February 2012

Swearing-in ceremony for Justice Emmett

Tue Feb 26 2013

The Hon Justice Arthur Emmett has been appointed as a judge of the New South Wales Court of Appeal. A formal ceremony to mark this occasion will be held in Banco Court, on Level 13, at 9.30am on Thursday, 7 March 2013. Attorney General Greg Smith SC MP will speak on behalf of the New South Wales Bar. Barristers should wear wigs and gowns. Senior counsel should wear full-bottomed wigs.

4 March 2013

Appointment to the International Court of Arbitration

Tue Feb 26 2013

Bruce Collins QC (Eleven Wentworth) has been appointed as the Australian representative on the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Court of Arbitration. The court meets monthly in Paris. The appointment is for three years.

26 February 2013

Star Grant submission deadline is this Friday

Tue Feb 26 2013

It's four days until the deadline for submissions in Round 3 of the Professional Standards Council's Star Grants. With grants of up to $100,000 available, the grants focus on improvements to professional occupational standards. Small steps for big ideas are especially welcome, either as pilot or scoping studies, because many good ideas start small. Projects relevant to regional or rural areas are also encouraged. Round three’s deadline is midnight, this Friday, 1st March 2013. If you have your entry ready on paper, please register your submission here so that they are aware of your intention.

For those of you who have already started an application, please make sure you officially submit it before the deadline. You will receive an authorisation email to your listed email address confirming that your application is being processed.

If you have any last minute questions to help start or complete your entry, the Professional Standards Councils’ Star Grants Officer is available. Please don’t hesitate to contact Mary McCrudden on 02 8688 7323 or 0419 288 322, or info@stargrants.com.au.

Please visit www.stargrants.com.au for any more information.

26 February 2013

Wanted: judges for the Macquarie University Law Society mooting competition

Tue Feb 26 2013

Macquarie University Law Society is seeking lawyers to assist in judging its competitions. In 2013 semester 1, there are three competitions for students: Senior Mooting, Junior Mooting and Client Interview. Each competition has three rounds, which will occur fortnightly over March and April.

In recent years, MULS Competitions has developed substantially. Internally, in 2011 student participation at least doubled in every competition. In 2012, there were 7 separate competitions that accommodated over 500 students. Externally, they have also experienced great success in recent years. In 2010 at the Australian Law Society Association (ALSA) Conference, Macquarie University were crowned the ALSA Mooting and Client Interview champions, beating over 42 law schools throughout Australasia. As a result, MULS sent teams to represent Australasia at the Commonwealth Law Moot in India and the International Client Consultation Competition in the Netherlands in 2011 with much success. In 2011, MULS was crowned the ALSA Negotiations Champions.

To accommodate the increase in participation in their internal competitions, they are in need of judges. To this end, any support that the bar can provide would be highly valued. Without the efforts of volunteers, they simply would be unable to run these competitions.

Registration can be found here

4 March�2013

Tomorrow - ACO at the Great Synagogue

Mon Feb 25 2013

Hear Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra perform in Sydney's Great Synagogue tomorrow, 26 February 2013. Doors open 6.00pm and the concert runs from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. Premium package $155; A Reserve $95; B Reserve $65 (restricted views. screen only). Seating is unreserved within each section and numbers are strictly limited. Details available on 9267 2477 or via email: eventstgs@gmail.com. Bookings can be made by visiting www.trybooking.com and searching for ACO.

25 February 2013

New office bearers for the Newcastle Bar Association

Mon Feb 25 2013

At its recent annual general meeting the Newcastle Bar Association elected new office bearers. Peter Cummings was elected unopposed as president and Michael Weightman as secretary. Mr Cummings takes over the position from Peter Harper who had held the office for four years. In accepting the position Mr Cummings paid tribute to his predecessor.

"Peter Harper lead the barristers of Newcastle with great commitment and energy. In particular he fought tirelessly to achieve some degree of consultation regarding the new state Court complex which is now underway. It was a difficult and thankless task and we are greatly indebted to him for achieving the best outcome possible for this region” he said.

Mr Cummings has been a barrister for seventeen years in private practice in Newcastle and a solicitor for twelve years before that. He sees the year ahead as potentially holding a number of challenges to which the legal profession will need to respond on behalf of the community, including in some critically important areas such as motor accident and criminal law reform.

The Newcastle Bar Association can be contacted as follows:

Peter Cummings ph: 02 49265811 Mobile: 0418 685 193 fax: 02 4929 5524 Email: pcummings@newcastlechambers.com.au

Michael Weightman ph: 02 4929 6788 fax: 02 4929 5524 mob: 0409 446 402 email: mweightman@newcastlechambers.com.au

Newcastle Chambers 38 Church St Newcastle NSW 2300 Clerk: Casey Sheather 492967681

25 February 2013

Common Law Practice Update 18

Mon Feb 25 2013

The Bar Association's Common Law Committee has released Practice Update 18, with case notes on ss73, 81 and 96 of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act, duty of care / intentional injury and Res Ipsa Loquitor. Learn more >

25 February 2013

Government remuneration bill an attack on judicial independence

Fri Feb 22 2013

Bar Association President Phil Boulten SC has criticised the New South Wales Government for introducing a bill into state parliament which will compromise the independence of the judiciary. The Statutory and Other Offices Remuneration Amendment (Judicial and Other Office Holders) Bill , effectively curbing future increases in judicial salaries to 2.5%, is at odds with the independent determination of the NSW Remuneration Tribunal made only in October last year. View the Bar Association's media release here.

25 February 2013

Life membership for Bernard Coles QC

Fri Feb 22 2013

At its meeting on 21 February 2013, the Bar Council resolved unanimously that Bernard Coles QC be made a life member for his exceptional service to the Bar Association and to the profession of the law.

22 February 2013

Tonight: Legal aid for criminal matters

Fri Feb 22 2013

Members are invited to Legal Aid for Criminal Matters, a seminar to be chaired by NSW Bar Association President Phil Boulten SC and presented by speakers from the Legal Aid Commission. Topics include specialist barrister panels, the Indictable Appeal Fee Scale and other recent developments in criminal law. The seminar will be held in the Bar Common Room at 5.15pm. Please click here for details.

25 February 2013

Tonight in CPD: Costs and Fees - Disclosure Requirements

Fri Feb 22 2013

Tonight's seminar is the first in a 4-part seminar series organised by the NSW Bar Association's Cost and Fees Committee. This initial seminar, presented by Jim Johnson and chaired by Mark Brabazon SC, will deal with the topic of disclosure requirements. Please click here for details.

27 February 2013

Web watch: the truth about CTP greenslips

Thu Feb 21 2013

The Bar Association opposes the NSW Government's proposed changes to the compulsory third party greenslip scheme. The association's viewpoint is set out on a new web page, which can be viewed here.

21 February 2013

Protect innocent victims of motor vehicle accidents

Thu Feb 21 2013

**The following is the full text of a letter to the editor of the Daily Telegraph, published on 21 February 2013.

**The NSW Government proposes harsh changes to the green slip scheme. The primary change is to strip benefits from the innocent victims of motor vehicle accidents. At present, innocent accident victims are covered for their full loss of wages and parents can be compensated for taking time off work to look after an injured child. Under these proposed changes:

  • 90% of accident victims will only receive medical expenses and lost wages for a short period (probably two years) and will then be thrown out of the scheme and become reliant upon Medicare and Centrelink.
  • This means that those who cannot afford expensive private income protection insurance will not be paid enough to cover their mortgage and risk losing their home.
  • Parents who have to give up work to look after injured children will receive no compensation for their lost wages.

These changes are a major punishment for innocent accident victims and motorists.

First, the innocent victims are losing benefits in order that the Government can provide payments to the drivers who caused their injuries. It is simply wrong to have innocent victims of accidents at risk of losing their home in order to provide a modest benefit to the injured driver who caused the accident.

Second, there will be no real saving to motorists. The small drop in green slip prices will be offset by the need for everyone who goes out onto the road (either as passenger or driver) to consider expensive income protection insurance to cover the lost wages the Motor Accidents scheme will no longer pay if they are hurt.

Third, the proposed changes are modelled on a Victorian system that pays minimal benefits and last year recorded a deficit of $1.4 billion. This isn’t much of a model.

Fourth, it must be acknowledged that NSW has more expensive premiums, but that is because we have better benefits. Unlike Queensland, we look after all the catastrophically injured. Unlike Victoria, we don't have the taxpayer underwriting the green slip scheme.

Finally, the scheme we have in NSW works. More than 50% of the premium collected goes back to the injured, whilst only about 5% goes to the lawyers who act for them to assist in recovering those benefits. The Government appears to want a scheme where the injured have to fight alone against an insurance company, without a lawyer to help them. We all know the lopsided result that will follow - cheap settlements with accident victims not getting their proper entitlements.

If the Government is serious about reducing Green Slip prices, the focus should be on the 35% of premium collection that currently goes to insurers in profits and administration costs. There is no need to slash benefits to accident victims in reforming the green slip scheme.

Phillip Boulten SC President

21 February 2013

New Supreme Court appointments

Wed Feb 20 2013

Two Supreme Court judges have been appointed to new roles and a Federal Court judge will join the bench of the Supreme Court, Attorney General Greg Smith SC announced today. Learn more>

20 February 2013

ABA Silks Dinner: photos available

Wed Feb 20 2013

The Australian Bar Association held its annual dinner in the Great Hall of the High Court, Canberra, on Monday, 4 February 2013. Learn more about ordering photos from the ABA dinner by contacting the Bar Association's reception via email or ph: (02) 9232 4055.

21 February 2013