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Support the Arts Law Centre of Australia

Fri Aug 23 2013

To support the work of the Arts Law Centre of Australia, Hearts for Arts Law invites you to a special screening of the acclaimed documentary, The Crossing, at 7pm on Tuesday, 24 September 2013 at Chauvel Cinema, Paddington. A private Q&A with the filmmakers will follow the screening with Andrew O’Keefe as MC. Further details and tickets available here

23 August 2013

Mediation accreditation and re-accreditation 2014-15: applications close today at 5.00pm

Fri Aug 23 2013

Expressions of interest are sought from members of the bar who hold a current practising certificate and have 5 years’ experience wishing to become an accredited mediator or be re-accredited as a mediator as well as those who may wish for their names to be included on the Bar Association’s list of Supreme Court mediators for 2014-2015. The current list expires on 31 December 2013. Learn more about accreditation here then download an application form.

19 September 2013

LCA warns legal aid cuts creating an "injustice system"

Fri Aug 23 2013

Research conducted by the Law Council of Australia indicates thousands of Australian citizens could be the victims of major injustice due to their inability to access legal representation from Legal Aid Commissions. Learn more here.

23 August 2013

Incorporation of barristers' practices (including advice from James Nolan)

Fri Aug 23 2013

As members would be aware, a General Meeting of the Bar will be held in the Common Room on Tuesday 17 September 2013 at 5.15pm.

I have been notified that an amendment to the motion in the Notice of Meeting will be moved at the General Meeting 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”.

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. The Bar Association will be making arrangements for the administration of a ballot vote, which will necessitate each member registering their attendance on arrival, and being issued with a form of ballot. This process could take some time, so I encourage you to arrive early so that we can start the meeting on time. Registration can take place from 4.45pm.

A few weeks ago, before the General Meeting to be held on 17 September was requisitioned, the Bar Council commissioned advice from three senior counsel on matters relevant to its then continuing discussion about the pros and cons of barristers being able to incorporate their practice.

Download the advices from Webster SC, Walker SC, Richmond SC Slater QCand Nolan.

I urge you to read the advices before making up your mind as to whether you believe the Bar Council should ask the Government to agree to the Barristers’ Rules and Legal Profession Act 2004 or the forthcoming national profession legislation being amended to permit barristers to incorporate their practice.

If you have provided the Bar Association with a proxy for the meeting on 17 September, and having read the advices wish to withdraw or amend your proxy, please contact the Certification Officer on certification@nswbar.asn.au or 9229 5740.

Alternatively, you may complete a fresh proxy and forward it to the Certification Officer, as a proxy later in time will revoke an earlier proxy. A further copy of the New South Wales Bar Association preferred proxy form issued with the Notice of Meeting is available here.

Phillip Boulten SC President

27 August 2013

Opposition disallows NSW Government regulation on judges pay

Thu Aug 22 2013

The Legislative Council has passed the NSW Opposition’s disallowance of the O’Farrell government’s regulation to reduce the 2.5 per cent remuneration cap for judges, the DPP, Crown prosecutors, public defenders and members of tribunals. Learn more here.

22 August 2013

Papers to note: Beyond Prison Gates

Thu Aug 22 2013

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) has released a report, titled Beyond Prison Gates, which says that a lack of transitional housing and support for people leaving prison may be forcing many ex-inmates into some form of homelessness, and perpetuating a cycle of disadvantage and incarceration. Learn more here.

22 August 2013

Judicial welcome for Judge Stewart

Wed Aug 21 2013

Joanne Stewart will be sworn-in as a judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia at a ceremonial sitting on Wednesday, 25 September 2013 at 9.30am. The ceremony will be held in courtroom 9, Level 3, Garfield Barwick Commonwealth Law Courts Building, 1-3 George Street, Parramatta. Garry McGrath SC will speak on behalf of the New South Wales Bar. Barristers should wear robes, but not wigs.

21 August 2013

Swearing-in ceremony for Michael Barnes

Wed Aug 21 2013

The Local Court of New South Wales will hold a ceremonial sitting on Monday, 26 August 2013 at 9.00am to mark the swearing-in of Michael Barnes as a magistrate. The ceremony will take place in courtroom 5.2 of the Downing Centre. Michael McHugh SC will speak on behalf of the bar.

21 August 2013

Yoga lunchtime hiatus

Tue Aug 20 2013

Tuesday's lunchtime yoga classes will resume on 24 September, following completion of the Bar Practice Course. Tuesday morning classes will continue as usual. All are welcome.

20 August 2013

Assistance to witnesses appearing before the child sexual abuse royal commission

Tue Aug 20 2013

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was announced in November 2012 and will commence formal hearings soon. The Attorney-General’s Department is responsible for administering assistance to witnesses who are called, or given leave to appear, before a formal hearing of the royal commission.

Assistance for witnesses

The Attorney-General’s Department is administering assistance for witnesses giving evidence at a hearing of the royal commission. There are two types of assistance available:

  • payment of witness expenses; and
  • legal financial assistance.

Payment of witness expenses

All witnesses will be eligible to apply for payment of witness expenses if they are giving evidence as a witness at a hearing of the royal commission. Witness expenses include a daily appearance fee and may also include payments for travel, accommodation and lost income.

Legal financial assistance

Witnesses are eligible to apply for legal financial assistance if they are giving evidence as a witness (an individual, not an organisation) at a hearing of the royal commission.

Legal financial assistance is a grant to cover the reasonable costs of legal representation and disbursements in relation to providing evidence to the royal commission.

For more information

For the most current information on this assistance, including guidelines and application forms, please see the Attorney-General’s Department website.

If you have any questions please contact the department by email to RCfinass@ag.gov.au or call 02 6141 4770.

For all other information on the royal commission please visit the royal commission’s website: www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au

20 August 2013

Self Tort through to the People's Choice competition

Tue Aug 20 2013

On Thursday, 15 August 2013 Brian Ralston's band, "Self Tort", won the Sydney final of the ABC's "Exhumed" competition at the Basement. The 42 regional winners are now involved in a People's Choice competition. If you want to support Brian's band you can vote here. To make a valid vote you are required to vote for three bands. A video of Self Tort's performance of "Mid Life Crisis"at last week's final can be viewed here.

20 August 2013

STEP address: Microscopes, telescopes and pie in the sky (ADVERTISEMENTS)

Mon Aug 19 2013

The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) invites you to an address by Helene Anne Lewis, STEP Worldwide Chair, on "Microscopes, telescopes and pie in the sky - STEP today, tomorrow and 2021". The address will take place on 3 September 2013 at 5.30pm sharp in the Banco Court, Queens Square. Refreshments will be served at 7.00pm. For more information, or to register, download a flyer here.

26 August 2013

A reprieve for motor accident victims

Mon Aug 19 2013

The New South Wales Government has today announced it will withdraw the Motor Accident Injuries Amendment Bill 2013 from parliament. The minister for finance and services, Andrew Constance MP, this morning was interviewed on ABC Radio 702 with Adam Spencer. A transcript of the interview is available in the Bar Library.

19 August 2013

Baker & McKenzie National Women's Moot

Fri Aug 16 2013

Now in its third year, the Baker & McKenzie National Women's Moot is an initiative aimed at fostering an interest in advocacy in female law students. This year, the question will be on an area of tort law. The organisers are currently seeking female barristers and other female practitioners with an interest or background in advocacy to judge the preliminary and quarter-final rounds of the moot.

In particular they are looking for judges for the following time slots:

Monday 30 September – 1:00pm to 3:00pm Monday 30 September – 4:00pm to 6:00pm Tuesday 1 October – 11:00am to 1:00pm Tuesday 1 October– 3:00pm to 5:00pm Wednesday 2 October - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Please contact the convenor, Lan Wei, at womensmoot@suls.org.au if you are able to judge one of the rounds. Your time and contribution is appreciated.

16 August 2013

The babes of the bar

Fri Aug 16 2013

In Brief can't reveal its sources, but a member of the association alerted us to an article in The Telegraph of London, which asserts that "In a profession that depends on persuading other people, it helps to have as many arrows in your quiver as possible: brains, confidence, and looks, too – which are never entirely obscured by a wig." Enough said.

16 August 2013

Appointment to the Senior Counsel Selection Committee

Fri Aug 16 2013

Following the appointment of Dr Melissa Perry QC as a judge of the Federal Court, the Bar Council has appointed a replacement member of the 2013 Senior Counsel Selection Committee to fill that vacancy. In accordance with clause 8(c) of the Senior Counsel Protocol, the Bar Council has appointed Mr Anthony Payne SC to the Selection Committee for 2013.

The membership of the Senior Counsel Selection Committee for 2013 is now:

Phillip Boulten SC (President) Jane Needham SC (Senior Vice-President) Jeremy Gormly SC Andrew Bell SC Richard McHugh SC Anthony Payne SC The Hon Jane Matthews AO (non-practising barrister) Mr Dennis Robertson (lay member)

16 August 2013

The Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture 2013

Fri Aug 16 2013

Members are invited to attend the 2013 Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture, to be delivered by the Hon Murray Gleeson AC QC on Wednesday, 16 October 2013 between 6-7:30pm at the Sydney Law School, University of Sydney. The title of the lecture will be "Presuming Innocence". The event is hosted by the Institute of Criminology at the Sydney Law School, of which Mr Byrne was a generous and active supporter. The lecture is held to honour Paul and his contribution to the criminal law and criminal justice system. For more information about the lecture, to register for the event, or to donate to the Paul Byrne SC Memorial Fund, click here.

13 September 2013

Youth Justice Conferencing scores high marks

Thu Aug 15 2013

The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has released the results of its survey on attitudes to Youth Justice Conferencing. The survey found high levels of satisfaction with the process among both victims and offenders. Learn more here.

15 August 2013

Volunteers needed for the Benjamin Andrew Footpath Library

Thu Aug 15 2013

The Benjamin Andrew Footpath Library has a new, bigger unit in Kennard's Storage at Waterloo, and is planning to move all books from the previous unit into the new one on Saturday, 31 August. We are looking for some volunteers to help with the move.

The session is scheduled to start at 9:30am, so if volunteers could get there at that time it would be great, but even if you are available for later, please let me know the time and we can fit you into the schedule. The move is expected to take most of the day; so the more the merrier and the shorter the day.

If you wish to assist, please email Lisa Allen at library@nswbar.asn.au Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Lisa Allen at the Bar Association Library.

23�August 2013

Reminder: swearing-in ceremony for Darke SC tomorrow morning

Wed Aug 14 2013

Rowan Darke SC will be sworn in as a judge of the Supreme Court of NSW tomorrow, Friday, 16 August 2013 at 9.00am in Banco Court. Barristers should wear wigs and gowns. Senior counsel should wear full bottomed wigs. Jane Needham SC will speak on behalf of the New South Wales Bar.

15 August 2013

TOMORROW: Yum Cha Bench and Bar Lunch

Wed Aug 14 2013

The next Bench and Bar Lunch will be a Yum Cha Banquet at Sky Phoenix Restaurant on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 between 1-2 PM. Wine, drinks and coffee also available for purchase. Sky Phoenix Restaurant is located at Shop 6001 Westfield Sydney, 77 Castlereagh Street (in the Westfield shopping centre).

To book a place, please send your name, e-mail address and payment to Kylie Nomchong, Denman Chambers, DX 185 SYDNEY. Payments can be made by cash or cheque (payable to ‘Kylie Nomchong’) or by direct deposit (details will be provided by return email). Please ensure that you send a confirmation email to ktn@denmanchambers.com.au upon payment. Unless you hear otherwise, your booking will be automatically confirmed. Any enquiries about the lunch may be directed to Kylie Nomchong at ktn@denmanchambers.com.au.

19 August

Incorporation of barristers' practices

Wed Aug 14 2013

A few weeks ago, before the General Meeting to be held on 17 September was requisitioned, the Bar Council commissioned advice from three senior counsel on matters relevant to its then continuing discussion about the pros and cons of barristers’ being able to incorporate their practice.

The advices will be forwarded to all members of the Bar as soon as all are available hopefully early next week.

I urge you to read the advices before making up your mind as to whether you believe the Bar Council should ask the Government to agree to the Barristers’ Rules and Legal Profession Act 2004 or the forthcoming national profession legislation being amended to permit barristers to incorporate their practice.

Phillip Boulten SC President

14 August 2013