Get your tickets for IQ2 in 2014

Fri Nov 29 2013

St James Ethics Centre have now confirmed their debate motions for the 2014 IQ2 Debates. The debates will be televised in partnership with the ABC and BBC World, going out to a televised global audience of up to 70 million people! In Brief readers can get their tickets to the 2014 debates for a special price of $125 for tickets to all 5 debates.

Next year’s series will feature topics as diverse as foreign investment in Australia and the place of technology in modern life. With the debates held at City Recital Hall in Angel Place (just off Martin Place) on Thursday evenings, it’s a great after work event with close proximity to bars and restaurants.

29 November 2013

Human Rights Awards: new event for 2013

Fri Nov 29 2013

The Human Rights Commission will celebrate International Human Rights Day this year by presenting the Human Rights Awards at a not-to-be-missed cocktail event on **Tuesday, 10 December at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

**The Chaser’s Craig Reucassel is the event’s MC, so expect a little irreverence. And there’ll be great food, sparkling conversation and a jazz trio to further enhance the mood. Ten awards will be announced on the night, including the Human Rights Medal and the Law Award.

Ian Thorpe, who won last year’s Human Rights Medal for his work with Indigenous children, will be on hand to present the medal to this year’s winner.

“We received a record number of nominations for this year’s awards, which made it more difficult than ever to select the finalists for each award category,” said Commission President, Professor Triggs.

“But after intense debate and much deliberation, we have a shortlist of outstanding nominees from the community sector, business, law, the media and non-fiction literature.

“Please come and join us for the 2013 Human Rights Awards.

“The evening provides a wonderful opportunity to show your support for human rights and to celebrate International Human Rights Day with good friends and colleagues.”

Tickets and further details are available online.

4 December 2013

Changes to the MAA Claims Assessment Guidelines

Fri Nov 29 2013

Following the NSW Court of Appeal decision in Smalley v Allianz [2013] NSWCA 318, the Motor Accidents Authority has advised the Association that changes to the Claims Assessment Guidelines may be introduced shortly (as early as mid-December).

The changes proposed are significant. No longer will cases where breach of duty or liability is denied or contributory negligence of greater than 25% alleged be automatically exempted. Rather, all such matters may now have to be submitted to CARS for determination of whether there should be a discretionary exemption or whether the cases can be kept within the CARS system.

The Bar Association has prepared detailed submissions which have been sent to the MAA. The Bar Association is meeting with the Motor Accidents Authority to urge moderation of their proposal.

A copy of the Bar Association submission can be seen here.

It should be noted that the guideline changes would apply to all exemption applications lodged from the date of gazettal of the proposed changes. That could be as early as mid-December.

Barristers may wish to consider advising their solicitors as to this proposed change and the limited opportunity that may currently be available to lodge an Application for Exemption in relevant cases whilst the exemption can be obtained as of right, rather than as a discretionary determination of a CARS assessor.

5 December 2013

Common Law Practice Update 45

Fri Nov 29 2013

The Bar Association's Common Law Committee has released Practice Update 45, which features case notes on s 108 of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW), ss 5I and 5L of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) and legal professional privilege.

29 November 2013

ABA Silks Dinner in the High Court, Canberra - RSVP by 17 January

Thu Nov 28 2013

The Australian Bar Association will hold its annual dinner on the night of the new silks taking their bows in the High Court. The dinner will be held in the Great Hall of the High Court in Canberra on Monday, 3 February 2014 at 7.00pm for 7.30pm. All judges and barristers, not just the new silks, and their partners are invited to attend. Dress for the evening is formal and the cost for the dinner is $200 per person (including GST). Members of the judiciary and friends of counsel who wish to attend the dinner should complete the RSVP form and forward it, together with the appropriate payment, by Friday, 17 January 2014.

14 January 2014

This week in CPD: NCAT

Thu Nov 28 2013

On Wednesday, 4 December, Mark Robinson SC will present a seminar on The New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal, due to commence operation in 2014. The Honourable Justice Robertson Wright, President of the New South Wales Civil and Admistrative Tribunal, will chair the seminar.

This seminar has been organised in conjunction with Thomson Reuters. For full details, please download a flyer here.

2 December 2013

Chess Terrey Shaw Memorial Shield 2013

Thu Nov 28 2013

On Thursday, 14 November 2013 the annual Bench and Bar v Solicitors chess tournament took place, hosted by Allens. On this occasion the solicitors team was successful but there were a number of very closely fought matches and the result was in the balance right to the end. There have been four draws in the 21 years and the overall score now stands 11 – 10 in favour of the Bench and Bar. For the 21st time the players were privileged to have International Arbiter Morris Needleman preside. Tim Reilly's win on board one for the Bench and Bar was in the opinion of the captain, Rob Colquhoun, the best played game.

28 November 2013

NCAT launch in 2014

Wed Nov 27 2013

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) will begin operating on 1 January 2014 as the "new one-stop-shop for specialist tribunal services in NSW". NCAT has published a flyer to inform the public and the legal profession.

27 November 2013

Developments in relation to admiralty or maritime disputes

Wed Nov 27 2013

The Federal Court of Australia has opened a US currency account with Westpac Bank as a litigants’ fund under Division 2.5 of the Federal Court Rules. The court has also entered into an MOU with Customs, which will provide assistance with the arrest of ships under the Admiralty Act 1988 (Cth). Learn more here.

27 November 2013

Vale Jackie Moser

Tue Nov 26 2013

Jackie Moser, former clerk of Second Floor Selborne Chambers, died this morning. Members will be advised of funeral arrangements as soon as they are known.

26 November 2013

TONIGHT: Dealing with In-House Counsel

Tue Nov 26 2013

Wednesday, 27 November. Panel featuring Alexandra Rose (Benevolent Society), Ian Hemmings SC and Nick Tiffen and discussion led by Richard McHugh SC. For full details, please click here.

27 November 2013

Registering on Biometrics

Tue Nov 26 2013

Beginning December 2013 legal practitioners will be required to register on the Biometrics system to gain access to a correctional centre fitted with this equipment. Registration is open today and on Thursday, 28 November 2013. Learn more here.

26 November 2013

Electronic court files in the Federal Court

Mon Nov 25 2013

The Federal Court of Australia will transition to electronic court files within the next 18 months. By the end of 2014, the court will no longer create a paper file for each proceeding started. This transition aligns with the objectives of the court’s long established eServices strategy.

The court’s transition from paper to electronic file is in response to a steadily increasing use of electronic documents by practitioners and developments in technology. This shift will enable the court to achieve better information management and to better serve its users in the years ahead.

The Federal Court Rules 2011 have been amended by the Federal Court Amendment (Electronic Court File Measures No.1) Rules 2013, which is now available (together with the explanatory statement) from the ComLaw database.

For information about the court’s transition, visit the Federal Court’s website. This page provides responses to initial questions practitioners may have.

25 November 2013

Position vacant: Workers Compensation Commission

Mon Nov 25 2013

The Workers Compensation Commission is seeking expressions of interest from qualified persons for appointment as registrar of the Workers Compensation Commission for a fixed statutory term of up to five years that may be renewed.

The position holder is appointed as a member of the commission under the Work Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998. Appointees must be eligible for appointment under section 369 of the Work Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 and meet the selection criteria specified in the advertisement (see

Closing date for applications: 11:59pm on Friday, 20 December 2013

For further details about the position go to or contact Mary Walsh on ph: 02 8281 6342 or via email:

2 December�2013

Save the date: 2014 Bench & Bar Dinner

Mon Nov 25 2013

The 2014 Bench & Bar Dinner will be held on Friday, 2 May at the Hilton Sydney. The guest of honour is the Hon J L B Allsop AO, chief justice of the Federal Court of Australia. Further details and booking information will be available in 2014. If you have any questions, please contact Katie Retford on 9229 1720 or

25 November 2013

Zoe's law passed by the NSW lower house

Fri Nov 22 2013

The Crimes Amendment (Zoe's Law) Bill (No. 2) 2013 (NSW) has passed the Legislative Assembly. The Hansard record of the second reading debate and division can be viewed here.

22 November 2013