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Academy Awards Competition - entries close today

Fri Feb 28 2014

It's one of the more eagerly awaited events at the New South Wales Bar. More colourful than Bar Council elections, but without the controversy of senior counsel selection. It is, of course, the Bar Library Academy Awards Competition! Entries must be lodged at the Bar Library or via email: library@nswbar.asn.au by close of business on Friday, 28 February 2014. Download an entry form

ATO professional-to-professional service for legal practitioners

Fri Feb 28 2014

The intent of the P2P service is to support legal practitioners to represent their clients in their dealings with the ATO. It assists practitioners to understand the ATO view and legislative requirements. Legal practitioners can use P2P to answer technical questions in relation to tax law or to resolve administrative matters (eg transactional matters relating to a particular client or administrative matters associated with a particular audit process).

P2P fills the gap between the ATO’s frontline service offerings (ato.gov.au, the legal database, general telephony and complaints management) and secondary services such as rulings and dispute resolution. Where a simple discussion between ‘professionals’ on both sides can resolve the issue this avoids escalation to the more costly and slower services.

Practitioners can submit enquiries via an online form or by emailing P2Penquiries@ato.gov.au. The P2P officers assess the enquiry and identify the relevant subject matter expert in the ATO. This person will call the practitioner back to discuss the matter (written confirmation of advice is available on request). Responses to queries are general guidance only and are not legally binding. Responses are generally provided within five business days.

The ATO takes the security of their clients’ confidential information seriously. To discuss a specific client a legal practitioner needs to have been nominated as the client’s legal representative. To arrange this, the client can phone or visit the ATO or mail a nomination form, or their legal representative can provide written (faxed if urgent) advice of their appointment. When a representative contacts the ATO they will need to provide certain client details to pass proof of identity checks. More information about these requirements is available on the ATO website.

Toongabbie Legal Centre criminal law CPD conference

Fri Feb 28 2014

Toongabbie Legal Centre will hold its criminal law CPD conference on Saturday, 15 March 2014. Guest speakers include Nicholas Cowdery AM QC, Phil Boulten SC and Steve Mark. For more information about the program or to register, download a flyer here.

TONIGHT: Scope for future development of constitutional and administrative law aspect of tax appeals

Thu Feb 27 2014

This evening's seminar will be presented by Chris Peadon and chaired by Neil Williams SC. The session focuses on the constitutional and administrative law aspects of the appeal and review system, and in particular explores the scope for judicial review of tax "assessments" under s 75(v) of the Constitution and its analogues to expand beyond the existing recognised categories of mala fides and tentative / provisional assessments. For full details, please click here.

Volunteers needed for the Benjamin Andrew Footpath Library

Thu Feb 27 2014

The Benjamin Andrew Footpath Library needs a volunteer from the NSW Bar to spend a couple of hours packing books for various hostels in New South Wales at the library's storage unit at Kennard's Storage in Waterloo. The next session is on Saturday,8 March 2014 at 11am. Should you wish to volunteer, or have any questions, please contact Lisa Allen (library@nswbar.asn.au) at the Bar Association Library.

Farewell for the Hon Justice Cowdroy

Thu Feb 27 2014

A ceremonial sitting of the Federal Court of Australia will be held on Friday, 14 March 2014 to mark the retirement of the Hon Justice Dennis Cowdroy OAM. The ceremony will be held at 9.30am in Court 1, Level 21 Queens Square. Sandy Street SC will speak on behalf of the New South Wales Bar.

Evolution or Revolution? The 16th Biennial National Family Law Conference

Thu Feb 27 2014

Registration is now open for the 16th Biennial National Family Law Conference, to be held in Sydney from 7-10 October 2014. With more than 90 international and local presenters, the professional program will showcase cutting edge developments in the law and provide practical guidance to family lawyers. It will also examine how the family law system can be improved and how those who work within it can foster change.

A dynamic format

The conference will benefit and challenge all delegates regardless of experience level. Featuring a more dynamic format, there will be increased audience interaction and a focus on exchanging knowledge and experience.

CPD / CLE

Most practitioners will be able to claim their full CPD/CLE quota by attending the conference.

Q & A

Pre-eminent Australian journalist and broadcaster, Tony Jones, will open the conference at the Sydney Recital Hall with a ‘Q & A’ Style event.

Social program

There is an outstanding social program, with the highlight being the Gala Ball at Sydney landmark, Luna Park.

More information

Please see the conference website for further information.

Newcastle CPD Conference, 8 March 2015 - Early Bird Registrations Close this Week

Thu Feb 27 2014

The 2014 CPD Conference in Newcastle will be held at the Novotel in Newcastle on Saturday 8 March. To secure a spot, please use this registration form.

Speakers
  • His Hon Judge Richard Cogswell SC
  • Ian Temby AO QC
  • Peter Cummings SC
  • Michael McHugh SC & Philip Selth OAM
  • Patrick Griffin
  • Robert Cockerell
  • Mary Walker
  • Richard Perrignon
  • Caroline Dobraszczyk
    Further details
    For the full program for Newcastle, please click here. Regional and specialist conferences will be held across the state throughout the coming weeks with additional conferences conducted in Orange (1-2 March), Personal Injury (15 March), Parramatta (22 March) and Sydney (29 March).

Watered down alcohol violence laws acknowledge unfairness of mandatory sentencing

Wed Feb 26 2014

The New South Wales Government plans to introduce in the Legislative Assembly a package of mandatory sentencing laws for a reduced range of offences. This follows intense criticism from the legal profession, highlighting the cost of greatly increasing incarceration rates. Bar Association President Phil Boulten SC commented in The Australian that "winding back the alcohol violence package was an acknowledgment of the unfairness of mandatory sentencing, and would save up to $1 billion in spending on jails and prosecuting people [who] would have pleaded not guilty because they had nothing to lose".

Bar Library Academy Awards Competition

Wed Feb 26 2014

It's one of the more eagerly awaited events at the New South Wales Bar. More colourful than Bar Council elections, but without the controversy of senior counsel selection. It is, of course, the Bar Library Academy Awards Competition! Entries must be lodged at the Bar Library or via email: library@nswbar.asn.au by close of business on Friday, 28 February 2014. Download an entry form

Web watch: legal personality for the Great Barrier Reef

Wed Feb 26 2014

The Environmental Defenders Office of North Queensland has launched a campaign for what it calls "an evolution in Australian law", allowing for the Great Barrier Reef and other outstanding ecosystems to be granted legal personality with the attendant rights. Learn more here.

New governor of Queensland

Wed Feb 26 2014

The Hon Paul de Jersey AC, chief justice of Queensland for the past 16 years, has been appointed as the 26th governor of Queensland. Learn more here.

TOMORROW: Scope for future development of constitutional and administrative law aspect of tax appeals

Wed Feb 26 2014

This seminar will be presented by Chris Peadon and chaired by Neil Williams SC. The session focuses on the constitutional and administrative law aspects of the appeal and review system, and in particular explores the scope for judicial review of tax "assessments" under s 75(v) of the Constitution and its analogues to expand beyond the existing recognised categories of mala fides and tentative / provisional assessments. For full details, please click here.

TONIGHT: Optimising Your Superannuation

Wed Feb 26 2014

This evening's seminar will be presented by Vanessa Woodley, Financial Strategist at SentinelWealth, and will be chaired by Dominique Hogan-Doran. The presentation is designed to provide an informative overview of key superannuation concepts and strategies to optimise your benefits. It is suitable for barristers of all ages who are interested in optimising their superannuation benefits. For full details, please click here.

The 2014 Wootten Lecture to be presented by Professor Richard L Abel (UCLA)

Tue Feb 25 2014

The annual Hal Wootten Lecture will be held on Thursday, 13 March 2014 at The Law Theatre, UNSW Law School, Kensington Campus.The topic will be "How to be a 'good lawyer': Lessons from the American 'war on terror'". The lecture commences at 6.30pm, with a cocktail reception afterwards. Guests should register to reserve their seats.

About the lecture

The American response to the 9/11 attacks has posed the greatest threat to the rule of law in the United States during the last half century. This talk will explore what it has meant to be a “good lawyer” in the “war on terror” by presenting stories of two kinds of lawyers: those who betrayed the rule of law, and those whose experience of injustice inspired them to a courageous defense of the rule of law.

About the speaker

Richard L. Abel is the Michael J. Connell Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus and Distinguished Research Professor at UCLA. He has written extensively about the legal profession (most recently “Lawyers on Trial” (2010) and “English Lawyers between Market and State” (2003)) and the role of law in the struggle against apartheid (“Politics by Other Means” (1995)). He is writing a book on the defense of the rule of law in the United States in the “war on terror” and conducting empirical research (with two collaborators) on what encourages California law graduates to become and remain public interest lawyers.

For more information, or to register visit the UNSW website.

TOMORROW: Optimising Your Superannuation

Tue Feb 25 2014

This seminar will be presented by Vanessa Woodley, Financial Strategist at SentinelWealth, and will be chaired by Dominique Hogan-Doran. The presentation is designed to provide an informative overview of key superannuation concepts and strategies to optimise your benefits. It is suitable for barristers of all ages who are interested in optimising their superannuation benefits. For full details, please click here.

TONIGHT: DSM 5

Tue Feb 25 2014

This evening's seminar will be presented by Andrew Scotting and Dr Samson Roberts, forensic psychiatrist. The presentation will explore the changes implemented in the diagnosis of mental illness and disorders by DSM 5 and critically evaluate the process behind the changes, with emphasis on commonly encountered forensic examples. For full details, please click here.

Two life memberships and a portrait

Tue Feb 25 2014

The unveiling of Jiawei Shen’s portrait of the Hon Keith Mason AC QC, to be donated to the New South Wales Court of Appeal, for display in the area of the President’s Court, will be held on Friday, 28 February 2014 at 5.30pm in the Bar Common Room. Chief Justice Tom Bathurst will be present to receive the painting on behalf of the Supreme Court. Funding for the portrait came from members of the Bar Association.

Life members

Also on that evening, certificates of life membership to the New South Wales Bar Association will be presented to the Hon Chief Justice J L B Allsop AO and the Hon Justice M J Beazley AO. All members of the Bar Association are invited to join in this occasion. For catering purposes, please RSVP by Tuesday, 25 February to rsvp@nswbar.asn.au if you would like to attend this event.

This week in CPD

Mon Feb 24 2014

The following CPD seminars have been scheduled in the Bar Association Common Room for the final week of February.

Monday, 24 February

Cross Examination

This seminar marks the start of the New Barristers' Committee's 2014 Cross Examination Workshop. The seminar will take the form of a panel discussion on cross-examination technique. The panel comprises the Honourable Justice Megan Latham, her Honour Judge Sarah Huggett and Grant Brady. For full details of the seminar, please click here. For full details of the workshop program, please click here

Tuesday, 25 February
DSM 5

This seminar will be presented by Andrew Scotting and Dr Samson Roberts, forensic psychiatrist. The presentation will explore the changes implemented in the diagnosis of mental illness and disorders by DSM 5 and critically evaluate the process behind the changes, with emphasis on commonly encountered forensic examples. For full details, please click here

Wednesday, 26 February
Optimising Your Superannuation

This seminar will be presented by Vanessa Woodley, Financial Strategist at SentinelWealth, and will be chaired by Dominique Hogan-Doran. The presentation is designed to provide an informative overview of key superannuation concepts and strategies to optimise your benefits. It is suitable for barristers of all ages who are interested in optimising their superannuation benefits. For full details, please click here

Thursday, 27 February
Scope for future development of constitutional and administrative law aspect of tax appeals

This seminar will be presented by Chris Peadon and chaired by Neil Williams SC. The session focuses on the constitutional and administrative law aspects of the appeal and review system, and in particular explores the scope for judicial review of tax "assessments" under s 75(v) of the Constitution and its analogues to expand beyond the existing recognised categories of mala fides and tentative/ provisional assessments. For full details, please click here

Barristers for school excursions

Mon Feb 24 2014

The Rule of Law Institute of Australia is compiling a list of barristers willing to volunteer their time to speak to school groups on court excursions throughout NSW about the court system, their role as advocates and personal reflections on their work.

The Institute conducts an educational program on rule of law issues, largely aimed at secondary school students in their later years, particularly those undertaking legal studies for the HSC. Its website provides information and resources for teachers and students. As a result, the Institute has links with a large number of teachers and peak organisations. If you are interested in going on the list of finding out more please contact Jackie Charles, Education Officer via email or 02-80768235.

Copyright and the digital economy: where to from here?

Mon Feb 24 2014

The Australian Copyright Council will hold its Biennial Copyright Law and Practice Symposium in Sydney on March 13 & 14, at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour. The theme of the conference will be "Copyright and the Digital Economy: Where to from Here?"

There is a keynote address by Maria A. Pallante, US Register of Copyrights. Also on the programme are: Professor Sam Ricketson, David Carson of IFPI, London, Joseph Petersen, Co Chair of the New York Chapter of the Copyright Society and Ted Shapiro, Partner at Wiggins LLP Brussels. The content of this programme makes it suitable for CPD points for barristers in the substantive law strand, and also in other strands.

More information

To discover more about the program visit the Copyright Council website You can register here.