President publishes opinion piece on incorporation of practices

Mon Sep 23 2013

President Phillip Boulten SC wrote an article for last Friday's edition of The Australian, summing up for the benefit of readers the arguments against incorporation of barristers' practices. The result of the ballot was, he said, a declaration that "any substantial change to the way we will provide our services should bring about identifiable public benefits". Learn more here.

23 September 2013

Common Law Practice Update No.40

Fri Sep 20 2013

The Bar Association's Common Law Committee has released Practice Update 40 which features case notes on sections 33,34,62,63 and 73 of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW), sections 3B and 5R of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) and more.

14 October 2013

Two new silks in South Australia

Fri Sep 20 2013

The chief justice of South Australia, the Hon Chris Kourakis, today announced Tom Cox and Mark Norman had been appointed senior counsel. Learn more here.

20 September 2013

15 Bobber for His Hon Judge Stephen Hanley SC

Fri Sep 20 2013

The 15 Bobber to celebrate the appointment of his Honour Judge Stephen Hanley SC to the District Court of New South Wales will now be held on Friday, 6 December 2013. Speaking for his Honour will be Simon Buchen. The 15 Bobber will commence at 5.30pm with the speeches beginning at 5.45pm. Pre-registration for the 15 Bobber is $15 and MUST be received by the association by 3.00pm Thursday, 5 December. Reservations made after this time and at the door will be $25. Download a registration form and return it with payment to Katie Retford at the New South Wales Bar Association, DX 1204 SYDNEY, e-mail

4 December 2013

Local Court Practice Note Crim 1

Thu Sep 19 2013

The Local Court of NSW has released Practice Note Crim 1, as amended from 16 September 2013. Paragraph 12.4(a)(ii) has been amended following a change in the eligibility criteria for the Magistrates’ Early Referral Into Treatment (MERIT) program to remove an exclusion on participation by those charged with "offences involving significant violence".

19 September 2013

Changes to practice and procedure at the AAT

Thu Sep 19 2013

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has made changes to its practice and procedure which are of particular relevance to the review of decisions under Commonwealth workers' compensation legislation. It has issued two new practice directions and revised its Guide to the Workers Compensation Jurisdiction.

The Practice Direction Relating to the Use of Video Surveillance Material sets out when parties will usually be required to lodge and exchange such material in proceedings in the tribunal. The general requirement to disclose video surveillance material on which a party intends to rely in advance of a hearing will apply to applications in which a hearing is listed to commence on or after 28 October 2013.

The Practice Direciion Relating to Release from the lmplied Undertaking sets out when a request to be released from the undertaking that may apply to documents provided to the AAT under compulsion will be required and how such requests should be made.

The tribunal has also issued a revised version of its Guide to the Workers' Compensation Jurisdiction which sets out how the tribunal manages applications for review.

19 September 2013

Alterations to Local Court sittings for 2014

Thu Sep 19 2013

The Office of the Chief Magistrate has written to the president concerning alterations to Local Court sittings for 2014 as a result of funding reductions for a number of magistrate positions on the Local Court Bench and planned building works, setting out the following proposed changes.

Penrith Local Court

Penrith Local Court will close from 24 December 2013 for approximately six months, court user forums have already been held and the planned arrangements on and from Monday 6 January 2014 are:

3 Magistrates will sit full-time at Blacktown Local Court

3 Magistrates will sit full-time at Mount Druitt Local Court

1 additional Magistrate will sit each Monday at Katoomba Local Court

6 Local Court Magistrates will sit full-time at Parramatta Local Court

The Parramatta Coroner’s Court will sit at either the John Maddison Tower or Downing Centre Local Court in the Sydney CBD.


Springwood LAC – To Bail to Katoomba Local Court

Penrith LAC – To Bail to Blacktown Local Court

St Mary’s LAC – To Bail to Mount Druitt Local Court

DPP matters to be listed (Centralised) at Parramatta Local Court

Domestic Violence List

Springwood LAC - to be listed at Katoomba Local Court

Penrith LAC – to be listed at Blacktown Local Court

St Mary’s LAC – to be listed at Mount Druitt Local Court

Civil Claims

Civil work to be filed at Parramatta Local Court. Small claims hearings to be listed before Assessor at Parramatta.

Parramatta will take some defended work from Blacktown and/or Mount Druitt as required.

Fresh custodies

Springwood LAC - to Katoomba Local Court

Penrith LAC – to be dealt with via AVL at Blacktown Local Court

St Mary’s LAC – to be dealt with at Mount Druitt Local Court via AVL or in person. (A decision regarding this will be made in the near future.)

Justice Health will look at making arrangements for the Mental Health Nurse to be at the Corrective Services Facilities in order to see persons in custody.

Ryde Local Court

Ryde Local Court - the last sitting day will be Friday 20 December 2013. All work is to be redirected to Burwood Local Court. Court User forums will be held to determine the specific details in relation to those listings.

North Sydney, Manly and Hornsby Local Courts

The building works at Manly Local Court are scheduled to complete at the end of this year and sittings to recommence on and from Monday 6 January 2014. It was to be the case that upon the completion of those works, Hornsby would close to allow for further building works, however the Chief Magistrate has now received advice that Hornsby Local Court will not need to close in order for those works to be carried out.

In these circumstances and as a result of the reduction of judicial resources on and from 6 January 2014, no Magistrate will be allocated to sit at North Sydney Local Court. Hornsby and Manly Local Courts will sit with one full-time Magistrate each. Courts User Forums will be held to determine the appropriate listing of North Sydney work at the Downing Centre Local Court.

Future Sitting Changes

Further advice will be forthcoming from the Chief Magistrate in relation to the scheduled adjustments to these sittings:

Wollongong closure – due to close as a result of building works upon the completion of Penrith Building works in mid 2014

Camden sittings are scheduled to cease from 7 July 2014

Kogarah, Balmain and Windsor are also scheduled for alteration from July 2015.

19 September 2013

TONIGHT: Demonstration of TimeBase online legal research

Wed Sep 18 2013

Members are invited to a presentation of TimeBase services TONIGHT, 25 September 2013 at 4.30pm in NSW Bar Common Room. Nickie Zammit, TimeBase's national sales director, will conduct the presentation. Since July, practising members of the NSW Bar have been eligible for a special subscription to the TimeBase LawOne with Cases service plus any three of our unique Point-in-Time services for only $880.

Nickie will be demonstrating TimeBase's Premium National Legislation Service - LawOne, which contains: full text legislation across all nine Australian jurisdictions including amending, subordinate and repealed legislation; full text bills for all jurisdictions; explanatory memoranda and second reading speeches along with detailed legislative histories; assent, notification, commencement, amendment, repeal details; relevant cases that assist interpretation of legislation; daily updating; alerting; and activity reporting.

Nickie will also be showcasing TimeBase's unique Point-in-Time service, which gives users the ability to view legislation at today's date or at a date you specify with in the database range. Users can research through time to see how the law has changed and easily compare versions using the compare function.

25 September 2013

Swearing-in ceremony for Mark Williams SC

Wed Sep 18 2013

Mark Williams SC will be sworn in as a District Court judge on Monday, 23 September 2013 at 9.30am in Court 21A of John Maddison Tower. President Phillip Boulten SC will speak on behalf of the New South Wales Bar. Barristers should wear wigs and gowns. Senior counsel should wear full-bottomed wigs.

18 September 2013

Swearing-in ceremony for Dr Melissa Perry QC

Wed Sep 18 2013

Dr Melissa Perry QC will be sworn-in as a judge of the Federal Court at a ceremonial sitting on Monday, 23 September 2013 at 9.30am in Court 1, L21, Queens Square. Jane Needham SC will speak on behalf of the New South Wales and Australian bar associations. Barristers should wear gowns but not wigs.

18 September 2013

Results of the ballot conducted at the Bar Association General Meeting

Tue Sep 17 2013

At the General Meeting of the Bar Association held on 17 September 2013 a ballot was held on the following motion:

This meeting expresses its support for changes that would permit barristers who choose to do so to practise through single member, sole director companies, and the meeting further requests that the Bar Council seek the necessary changes.

The result of the ballot is as follows:

For: 374 Against: 745 Abstain: 6 Invalid: 1

Therefore, the motion was defeated.

17 September 2013

Reminder - Supreme Court Concert 2013

Tue Sep 17 2013

Seats are still available for the Supreme Court Concert 2013. The concert will be held in the Banco Court on Monday, 21 October 2013. Drinks will be served in the foyer at 5.15 and the concert will take place from 6.15pm to 7.30pm. Bookings are essential. Learn more here.

15 October 2013

Art Gallery NSW evening tours

Mon Sep 16 2013

Members are invited to join a trial guided tour of the NSW Art Gallery 6.30pm, Wednesday, 25 September 2013, to see the Sydney Moderns Exhibition. That night is the 10th anniversary of the gallery being open on a Wednesday night and there will be performers around the gallery. The price will be $20.00. For further information, contact Nicholas Newton,

16 September 2013

Incoming PM announces ministry

Mon Sep 16 2013

Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott has announced his first federal ministry. You can view the list of portfolios here.

16 September 2013

Procedure at today's General Meeting on Incorporation of Barristers Practices

Mon Sep 16 2013

As indicated in the Notice of Meeting dated 2 August 2013, a general meeting of the Association will be held in the New South Wales Bar Association Common Room, commencing at 5.15pm, on Tuesday 17 September to consider and vote on the issue of incorporation of barristers’ practices. To assist in the smooth running of the meeting, set out below are procedural matters relating to the General Meeting.

I have been notified by Mr Hyde Page, the proposer of the motion included in the notice of meeting, that it is proposed to modify the motion in the following terms:

“This meeting expresses its support for changes that would permit barristers who choose to do so to practise through single member, sole director companies, and the meeting further requests that the Bar Council seek the necessary changes”.

Any amendment to that modified motion or any other motion that is sought to be considered by the meeting will have to be one that can be put validly to the meeting, having regard to requirements of notice, and established meeting practice and procedure.

As indicated previously, I have also received notice that it is likely that a vote by ballot (rather than show of hands) will be demanded at the meeting in accordance with the Constitution.

The Bar Association will be making arrangements for the conduct of a vote on the modified motion by ballot, which will necessitate each member registering their attendance on arrival, and being issued with a form of ballot. As part of this process, each member will be required to provide a form of photographic identification. It is anticipated that the registration process will take some time. Accordingly, members are requested to arrive at 4.30pm for registration so that we can start the meeting on time. Please note that the meeting will start as soon as a quorum is present at or after 5.15pm.

To ensure an orderly registration process, members should enter via the Selborne Chambers entrance to the Common Room. The Wentworth Chambers entrance will be closed prior to the meeting.

The Bar Council has resolved to appoint the Executive Director as the Returning Officer for the ballot, and the Association's auditors as scrutineers.

It is proposed to allow one hour for debate before members cast their ballots. I propose to put the matter to a vote at 6.15 pm, as some members who wish to attend the meeting and vote have family commitments etc.

The mover and seconder of the substantive (modified) motion will be allowed to speak for a maximum of 5 minutes each. The mover will also be allowed three minutes at the end of the debate to sum up.

During the debate on the motion, other speakers will be allowed a maximum of three minutes each. I intend to enforce strictly these time limits. I will endeavour to ensure that the views of those in favour and those against the motion are represented equally in the debate.

I intend to give preference to those wishing to speak who are eligible to vote. As indicated previously, only NSW Practising Certificate holders who are also members of the Association or Life Members have the right to vote at the General Meeting or to appoint a proxy, although Class B members are, of course, welcome to attend the meeting.

If members who have lodged a proxy form now wish to attend and vote at the meeting in person, it would be greatly appreciated if they could withdraw their proxy appointment in advance by contacting the Certification Officer at or on 9229 5740. Any withdrawal must be in writing.

Members should be aware that, pursuant to Clause 9.5.7(a) of the Association’s Constitution, an instrument purporting to appoint a proxy is not effective unless it is received by the Bar Association at least 48 hours before the General Meeting. The time for the casting of valid proxies has now expired.

Phillip Boulten SC 17 September 2013

Coming up in CPD: Stress and Vicarious Trauma for Legal Professionals

Mon Sep 16 2013

On Saturday, 16 November, Professor Stephen Woods will be presenting a workshop entitled Stress and Vicarious Trauma for Legal Professionals. The workshop has been designed to assist legal practitioners in recognising and managing these very challenging aspects of the profession and to apply appropriate measures of self-care for sustained high performance.

This half day workshop has been organised through Southern Cross University's School of Law and Justice and will be presented by Professor Stephen Woods. Professor Woods has provided specialist consultancy for, among others, the ICC, Europol, Interpol, the UK Home Office, the US Department of Justice and the United Nations. Professor Woods is also a member of both the NSW Mental Health Tribunal and the APS Professional Development Advisory Group and has provided training to prosecutors, judges and legal professionals in Australia and abroad.

Places are strictly limited and registration is required. The workshop will attract 3 CPD points in the practice management and/or ethics strands. For full details and the registration form, please click here.

11 November 2013

The Annual Bar Football Challenge and Sports Law Conference

Fri Sep 13 2013

The 6th Annual Bar Football Challenge (against teams from the bars of Victoria and Qld) and the 3rd Annual Sports Law Conference will be held in Sydney on 21 September 2013. The theme for this year’s conference, to be chaired by the Hon Justice Geoff Lindsay, is Anti-Doping in Sports. Speaking are John Marshall SC on "Aspects of the Peptide Inquiry Announced 7 February 2013", Michael Gleeson on "The Role of the Criminal Law and Doping in Sport", Simon Philips on "Corporate Governance and Potential Liability for Sporting Organisations in the light of the Peptide Inquiry" and Graham Turnbull SC.

The conference, which qualifies for CPD units, will be held at the 12 Wentworth Selborne Chambers meeting facilities on 3rd Floor, 174 Phillip Street, Sydney commencing at 8:30 AM with registration from 8 AM. A nominal fee of $75 (cash) will be charged with the proceeds to be donated to "Canteen".

Places at the conference are strictly limited.

The Football Challenge will be held at St Andrews College Oval at the University of Sydney commencing at 1 pm with presentations and drinks at The Grandstand Bar from 5 pm.

All members of the Bar and Bench are welcome to attend the conference and to support NSW Bar FC at St Andrews Oval in their quest to wrest the silverware from the Queenslanders.

Please direct any enquiries about the Conference or the Football Challenge to Anthony Lo Surdo SC (; 9223 3181)

13 September 2013

Videostreaming of High Court proceedings

Fri Sep 13 2013

Beginning 1 October 2013 the High Court of Australia will make available to the public audio-visual recordings of its hearings. Recordings will be made available from an archive on the court’s website, initially likely to be a few business days after hearings. The recordings will cover all full court hearings heard in Canberra, other than applications for special leave.

13 September 2013

NSW Recorded Crime Statistics June 2013 Quarterly Report

Thu Sep 12 2013

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has released its latest quarterly crime report. It shows, among other things, that significant downward trends for break and enter non-dwelling (down 7.6%), motor vehicle theft (down 11.0%) and malicious damage to property (down 5.3%). Shooting offences (unlawfully discharge firearm, unlawfully discharge firearm into premises, shoot with intent to murder and shoot with intent other than to murder) have remained stable.

12 September 2013

Government announces plans to reconstitute the IRC

Thu Sep 12 2013

The New South Wales Government has announced that the Industrial Relations Commission will be "transformed" when four of its judges retire without replacement early next year. In response, Greens upper house member David Shoebridge MLC has warned that the government's decision takes them "one step closer to the abolition of the independent umpire". Labor says the announcement has realised its concerns about the long term sustainability of the court following changes to its jurisdiction in 2011.

13 September 2013