Bar Association AGM TODAY at 5.00pm

Mon Nov 04 2013

The Bar Association's annual general meeting will be held today, 7 November 2013, at 5.00pm in the Bar Association Common Room.

7 November 2013

Refugee Review Tribunal Legal Advice Scheme to be discontinued

Mon Nov 04 2013

The minister for immigration and border protection, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, has written to the president indicating that the Refugee Review Tribunal Legal Advice Scheme will be discontinued from 30 November. The scheme, which has been funded by the Department of Immigration and administered by the New South Wales Bar Association, has been operating since 2000, and provides legal advice to unrepresented people in NSW who are seeking judicial review of a determination of the Refugee Review Tribunal.

The Bar Association wishes to thank those members who have participated in the scheme over the last thirteen years. Association staff will be contacting existing panel members to provide details of when final invoices need to be submitted so that the financial arrangements with the Department of Immigration can be settled.

4 November 2011

Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law

Fri Nov 01 2013

The University of New South Wales Faculty of Law has established the first research centre specialising in international refugee law. Founding Director, Professor Jane McAdam, says the centre aims to bring a principled, human rights-based approach to the issue of refugee law and policy in Australia by feeding high-quality research into public policy debates and legislative reform. The centre is advertising three positions:

Research Associate (full-time research role) Senior Research Associate (full-time research role) Centre Administrator (part-time administrative position)

1 November 2013

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal principal registrar appointed

Fri Nov 01 2013

Ms Sian Leathem has been appointed to the role of principal registrar for the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).

The Department of the Attorney General and Justice has advised that Ms Leathem has made an invaluable contribution over the past nine months when she was seconded to be the project manager leading the consolidation and alignment of tribunal services to create NCAT. With extensive experience in senior roles in numerous tribunals, coupled with her in-depth knowledge of NCAT, she is well placed to take up the role of principal registrar.

Ms Leathem was previously the registrar of the NSW Workers Compensation Commission, and was assistant registrar at the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal. She is the inaugural chair of the Law Society’s Advisory Committee on Government and Administrative Law and a former president and secretary of the NSW Women Lawyers’ Association.

The creation of NCAT is a significant and exciting reform in our civil justice system. It will enhance ease of access to tribunal services by providing a single service gateway and at the same time make access to justice quicker for the customer and more cost effective to run. NCAT will become the gateway for almost all tribunal services in NSW when it begins operating from 1 January 2014. Instead of 23 separate tribunals there will be just one, NCAT.

1 November 2013

Position vacant: executive officer of the ABA

Fri Nov 01 2013

The Australian Bar Association seeks an executive officer to assist the ABA Council oversee and co-ordinate the delivery of its strategic plan objectives and activities and to manage its administration. The position requires high level administrative, organisational and communication skills. Familiarity with the operation and functions of local bar associations will be necessary. A law degree is highly desirable. The executive officer will be based in Melbourne. Interstate and international travel will be involved as the council meets in different locations around Australia approximately five times per year and the Australian Bar Association Conference is held overseas every two years. Learn more here.

1 November 2013

This week in CPD: Applying 10 Neuroprinciples to Successful Advocacy

Thu Oct 31 2013

On Tuesday, 5 November at 5.15pm. Jeremy Lack will present a seminar on applying neuropriciples to advocacy.

Jeremy Lack is a Door Tenant with Quandrant Chambers in London and specializes in designing and implementing international commercial dispute prevention and resolution processes. He is a Vice-Chair of the Independent Standards Commission of the International Mediation Institute (IMI), the Co-Chair of the Swiss Chamber of Commercial Mediation (Section Romande), and a panelist with AAA/ICDR, CMAP, CPR, IBMS, ICC, CMAP, INTA, IMI, SKWM/CSMC/SCCM, the Singapore Mediation Centre and WIPO. He has a MA Oxon degree in Physiological Sciences and in Jurisprudence from Lincoln College in Oxford.

The seminar has been organised by the ADR Committee and will be chaired by Angela Bowne SC. For full details, please click here.

4 November 2013

Bar Council business for September - October

Wed Oct 30 2013

Bar Council met on 19 September and 10 October 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 19 September and for 10 October 2013.

30 October 2013

Changes in Legal Aid Criminal Law Policy

Wed Oct 30 2013

In recent correspondence to the New South Wales Bar Association, Legal Aid has given notice of two policy changes affecting funding of criminal cases.

Funding of Defended Cases in the Local Court

Legal Aid funding of defended criminal matters in the Local Court will be restricted to cases "where there is a real possibility on conviction of a term of imprisonment, or where there are exceptional circumstances".

In recent correspondence, Legal Aid has advised that, for the purposes of this policy, a "term of imprisonment" does not include a community service order.

For the purpose of this policy “terms of imprisonment” includes:

  • A full-term gaol term
  • A suspended sentence (section 12 good behavior bond)
  • An intensive correction order, or
  • A home detention order.

It is anticipated that these changes will commence on Monday, 4 November 2013.

Funding for Mandatory Defence Disclosure

The mandatory case management provisions enacted by recent amendment to the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (Chapter 3, Part 3, Division 3) apply to indictable proceedings in which an indictment is filed after 1 September 2013.

Those case management provisions include a requirement for mandatory defence disclosure. Compliance with the mandatory disclosure obligations involves significant additional work, in advance of a trial.

To date, Legal Aid has not received any additional funding to pay practitioners for the work involved in meeting the mandatory defence disclosure requirements.

It is not yet clear how the new case management provisions will operate in practice. As an interim measure, Legal Aid grants for indictable matters will include the following standard fee in relation to mandatory defence disclosure:

  • Conference with the accused – solicitor and barrister (up to 2 hours).
  • Preparation of notice of defence response – barrister only (up to 2 hours).

Legal Aid will also consider submissions for additional preparation and funding in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Legal Aid will monitor how these interim measures operate in practice. To ensure that the impact of these changes, in particular the necessity to conduct any additional work, is understood, members are encouraged to make submissions for additional preparation where this is justified by the circumstances.

30 October 2013

CPD in November

Wed Oct 30 2013

A number of CPD seminars have been organised for November.

Wednesday, 13 November: The 2013 Forbes Lecture. Presented by Professor Diane Kirkby, LaTrobe University and Hilary Golder. Further details to follow.

Thursday, 14 November: **Consent Orders - terminology and finality.** Seminar organised by the New Barrister's Committee and presented by Awais Ahmad. For full details, please click here.

Tuesday, 19 November: Re June (No. 2) [2013] NSWSC 111: Who has a right to be heard in child care and protection proceedings?_ _Presented by His Honour Judge Myers AM, Louise Goodchils and Cheryl Orr and chaired by Chris Ronalds SC. Please click here for full details.

Wednesday, 20 November: Critical Debates on Counter-Terrorist Judicial Review. Presented by Prof. Fiona de Londras (Durham Law School, UK), Dr Fergal Davis (UNSW, Law) and Dr Jessie Blackbourn (UNSW, Law). For full details, please click here. Monday, 25 November: Inquests and Coronials. Presented by Ian Bourke and chaired by Jane Paingakulam. Seminar organised by the New Barristers' Committee. Further details to follow.

Wednesday, 27 November: Dealing with In-House Counsel. 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][4].

8 November 2013

[4]: counsel, 27 November 2013.pdf

15 Bobber for Her Hon Judge Sharron Norton SC and His Hon Judge Mark Williams SC

Wed Oct 30 2013

The 15 Bobber to celebrate the appointment of Her Hon Judge Sharron Norton SC and His Hon Judge Mark Williams SC to the District Court of New South Wales will be held on Friday, 29 November 2013. Speaking for Her Honour will be Andrew Lidden SC and for His Honour, Tony Bannon SC. 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, 21 November. 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

26 November 2013

Photographs for Find a Barrister or ID cards

Tue Oct 29 2013

Barristers who wish to have their photo on Find a Barrister or their identification card may use a portrait taken by a photographer for chambers or other professional purposes. Simply send it via email, in jpeg format, to Otherwise, the Bar Association has a facility to take a photo and upload it onto the website. Please contact reception via phone:(02) 9232 4055 or email.

29 October 2013

WLA Golden Girls Annual Lunch

Tue Oct 29 2013

The Women Lawyers Association of NSW invite you to join them at the Law Society of NSW for a "high tea" luncheon. The annual luncheon provides an opportunity for retired colleagues and life members to reconnect and impart their knowledge and experience to others. A rare occasion to be able to meet with some of the WLA's founding and pioneering women. All welcome. Please ensure you register prior to ensure adequate seating and catering. Cost $25pp in includes a ‘high tea’ luncheon and beverages.

29 October 2013

Junior Drinks

Tue Oct 29 2013

Need a break? Why not come and socialise with other under 6 barristers? Junior Drinks will be at the Local Bar, 161 Castlereagh Street, Thursday, 31 October 2013 at 5.30pm.

29 October 2013

Controversial UK anti-terror law now the subject of a movie

Tue Oct 29 2013

The risks that anti-terrorism laws pose to civil liberties, some of which have been the subject of submissions by the legal profession, are the focus of a new British movie, Closed Circuit. Eric Bana stars as counsel for the defence in a complex terrorism case in which a "special advocate" is given national security clearance to view classified material and the trial takes place in a closed session of the court. To find out where to see a preview, or to view a trailer, visit the movie's web site.

29 October 2013

Common Law Practice Update 41

Tue Oct 29 2013

The Bar Association's Common Law Committee has released Practice Update 41, which features case notes on: sections 69 and 104 of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW); s 151D of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW); the duty of care to subcontractors and more.

29 October 2013

TONIGHT: Tendency and Coincidence Evidence

Tue Oct 29 2013

Tonight at 5.15pm in the Bar Association Common Room, David Patch, Crown Prosecutor, will provide a high level discussion on tendency and coincidence evidence, including recent case law. Grant Brady will be chairing the session.

For full details, please click here.

29 October 2013

Election of 2014 Bar Council - the ballot

Mon Oct 28 2013

Ballot papers for the election of the 2014 Bar Council have been mailed to all those eligible to vote. Any member who did not receive their ballot paper by COB on Friday, 25 October and who wishes to cast a vote should contact the Association’s Certification Officer, Mr Barrie Anthony, on ph. 9232 4055 or e-mail

Members should take care to complete the ballot paper in accordance with the instructions provided. If any member has a query concerning the completion of the ballot paper they should contact the Bar Association for assistance.

The ballot closes at 1.00pm on Thursday 7 November 2013.

P.A. Selth Executive Director & Returning Officer

1 November 2013

Help Winmalee Rural Fire Brigade - a message from Anthony Black SC

Fri Oct 25 2013

I am writing in my capacity as captain of the Winmalee & Yellowrock Rural Fire Brigade. This brigade is financially capable of continuing operation only because of funds raised each year in our annual doorknock – usually about $30,000 per annum. That doorknock was to have taken place last weekend. It could not occur because of the devastating fire in Winmalee / Faulconbridge that started last Thursday, and is still uncontained. In addition, one of our two brigade stations has been completely destroyed, and all our equipment reserves have been given to out-of-State fire fighting task forces to enable co-ordinated fire fighting activities.

As a result of the two recent bushfires in Winmalee, the brigade has resolved to abandon the doorknock - our local community has endured a great deal in recent times.

If anyone wishes to assist in the financial recovery of the Winmalee Rural Fire Brigade, we would greatly appreciate your support. Donations can be made to:

Winmalee Rural Fire Brigade BSB – 062-601 Account No 0090 0310

Winmalee Brigade enjoys “Deductible Gift Recipient” Status with the Australian Tax Office. Should you require a receipt for income tax purposes, please contact me and one will be forwarded to you.

Many thanks,

Anthony Black SC Elizabeth Street Chambers

Two new life members

Fri Oct 25 2013

At its meeting on 24 October 2013, the Bar Council resolved unanimously that the Hon Margaret Beazley AO and the Hon James Allsop AO be made life members for exceptional service to the Bar Association and to the profession of the law.

25 October 2013

Toongabbie Legal Centre family law seminar

Fri Oct 25 2013

The Toongabbie Legal Centre will hold a one-day CPD seminar on family law on Saturday, 2 November 2013 at L4, 1 Horwood Place, Parramatta. Opening remarks will be delivered by her Honour Justice Margaret Beazley AO, president of the NSW Court of Appeal and patron of the Toongabbie Legal Centre. Speakers include his Honour Judge Harman of the Federal Circuit Court and Caroline Dobraszczyk, barrister at Trust Chambers. For more information, or to register, download a brochure.

25 October 2013

Justice Haylen appointed to NCAT

Thu Oct 24 2013

The Honourable Justice Haylen has been appointed as a part-time deputy president of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal and as the division head of the Occupational and Regulatory Division of the tribunal for the period commencing on 28 October 2013 and expiring on 31 December 2014.

24 October 2013