Mandatory sentencing and liquor licensing bills passed by the Legislative Council

Fri Jan 31 2014

The NSW Government's mandatory sentencing and liquor licensing bills have passed both houses of parliament in a single day. The views of the Bar Association were quoted often during debate in the Legislative Assembly and the upper house, but with only the Greens opposing the Crimes and Other Legislation Amendment (Assault and Intoxication) Bill 2014 and the Liquor Amendment Bill 2014 the result was never in doubt.

Media coverage

President Phil Boulten SC discussed the new legislation on Radio 2UE's Drive program and he was quoted in an article by Hannah Low in today's Australian Financial Review. A transcript of the interview can be read in the Bar Library.

CPD in February and March

Fri Jan 31 2014

To assist members in completing their CPD requirements before the 31 March cut-off date, a number of seminars and conferences have been organised. Conferences will be held at:

  • North Coast, 22 February 2014
  • Orange, 1-2 March 2014
  • Newcastle, 8 March 2014
  • Personal Injury Conference, Sydney, 15 March 2014
  • Parramatta, 22 March 2014
  • Sydney, 29 March 2014
    In the Common Room
    In addition to the above, seminars will be conducted in the Bar Association Common Room throughout February and March. For full details and the most up to date information on seminars as well as conferences, please refer to the Bar Association website. The CPD Rules can also be found on the website.

Port Kembla Courthouse upgraded

Fri Jan 31 2014

Port Kembla Courthouse will soon begin hearing video bail applications following the installation of a high definition audio visual link (AVL) in both courtrooms. Learn more here.

Expression of Interest to accept briefs from NSW DPP

Fri Jan 31 2014

Director of Public Prosecutions Lloyd Babb SC is seeking expressions of interest from suitably experienced and qualified counsel to conduct trials on his behalf. Successful counsel will act in a capacity similar to that of a crown prosecutor in that they will prosecute matters before a jury in the District Court and Supreme Court of NSW. It is proposed that a panel of barristers will be created to accept briefs on behalf of the director. The director has recently increased the fees payable to counsel to appear on his behalf. Details of the fee structure are set out in the information package.

Selection criteria

Interested persons must be barristers and have widespread experience appearing as counsel in jury trials. Interested persons must have extensive knowledge of NSW criminal laws, the rules of evidence and the relevant Prosecution Guidelines and legal principles which apply to crown prosecutors. Interested persons should have knowledge of the New South Wales Barristers' Rules and in particular those rules that apply to prosecuting counsel. Interested persons should submit their curriculum vitae and in particular outline their experience in conducting jury trials.

Information packages

Ms Fiona Parsonage, (02) 9285 8888.


Mr Lloyd Babb SC, director of public prosecutions, (02) 9285 8888. Expressions of interest to be sent to closing date for expressions is 17 February 2014.

AG lauds NSW courts

Thu Jan 30 2014

Yesterday the Productivity Commission released its annual Review of Government Services (Volume C: Justice). Attorney General Greg Smith SC has issued a media release, praising the NSW Local Court for being the most efficient in Australia for the sixth consecutive year and the Supreme Court for recording the nation's second highest clearance rate.

“It is an exceptional achievement and indicative of the hard work and commitment displayed by all who have worked to make the NSW court system number one in Australia,” Mr Smith said.

One-punch drug and alcohol bills before NSW Parliament

Thu Jan 30 2014

Premier Barry O'Farrell has recalled the New South Wales Parliament early in order for it to pass his government's legislative response to drug and alcohol fuelled violence in Sydney's CBD. As a result, the Crimes and Other Legislation Amendment (Assault and Intoxication) Bill 2014 and the Liquor Amendment Bill 2014 were introduced to the Legislative Assembly and morning and were passed quickly. Both bills are now before the Legislative Council, in the second reading stage.

NSW adult prison population is booming

Thu Jan 30 2014

The state's adult prison population grew by 6.9 per cent between July 2012 and December 2013, according to the December 2013 quarterly update of NSW Custody Statistics released today by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. The increase was significantly higher for Indigenous than non-Indigenous prisoners.

Yoga classes resume on Tuesday, 4 February

Thu Jan 30 2014

Enjoy the opportunity to slip away from chambers for an hour either before or during your day on Tuesdays. Benefit from the art of practice with a renewed sense of focus, energy, flexibility and grace. We’ve created a nice community among those in the legal profession to meet each other on the mat with a smile and the occasional laugh for good measure! Classes are held in the Common Room of the NSW Bar Association.

I look forward to welcoming all of those returning to practice & equally those who may be new to the classes. Come join us!

Morning 7.15am classes require pre booking & upfront term fees.
Lunch time 1.00pm classes are on a casual basis & require no booking

Classes are all $20 per session

Please feel free to call Jolie 0414 092 502 for any enquiries

Common Law Practice Update 47

Thu Jan 30 2014

The Bar Association's Common Law Committee has released Practice Update 47, with case notes on s 3A of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW), ss 5D, 5I, 5F, 5L, 45 and 43A of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) as well as limitation periods for workplace injuries, vicarious liability for intentional tort and contributory negligence.

Replacement of AMA List of Medical Services and Fees

Wed Jan 29 2014

Pursuant to clause 4(2) of the Motor Accidents Compensation Regulation 2005, the AMA's List of Medical Services and Fees (dated 1 November 2013) were gazetted on 20 December 2013 (Gazette Number 177) and came into effect for the compulsory third party scheme on the same date.

The Bar Knit Group next meets on 26 February

Wed Jan 29 2014

The Bar Knit Group meets on the 4th Wednesday of every month in the Bar Library. The first meeting for 2014 will be held on Wednesday 26 February. The group is not affiliated with the group in this article, but there are lots of us out there.

Public Defenders Practical Advocacy Course for Under 5s practising in Criminal Law

Wed Jan 29 2014

The Public Defenders are seeking expressions of interest from NSW barristers of five years and under to participate in a practical advocacy training course for criminal lawyers. The course consists of six evening sessions, of approximately 1.5 hrs, 5:00pm - 6.30pm, commencing in April and concluding in September 2014. There will be one session per month conducted primarily by individual public defenders focusing on the practice of different areas of criminal law.

A nominal cost for the course is $40 per session with a full payment up front of $240. If you are interested please complete the one page registration form located on the Public Defenders website, and submit to as soon as possible. Numbers are strictly limited and as a result places cannot be guaranteed.

2014 Proposed Programme (first Wednesday of each month)

2 April - Mark Ierace SC, (topic to be confirmed)

7 May - Dina Yehia SC, Evidence in chief & cross examination of an expert

4 June - Belinda Rigg, Cross examination of a complainant in a sexual assault trial

2 July - Ertunc Ozen, Cross examination on a voir dire on reasonable suspicion

6 August - Judge Zahra, (topic to be confirmed)

3 September - Craig Smith, Opening & closing addresses an issue based approach

All enquiries to Ruth Heazlewood - Chambers Manager, (02) 9268 3111.

Childcare for Bar Association members

Wed Jan 29 2014
Member services and benefits

The Bar Council is pleased to announce that it has approved a proposal from the Equal Opportunity Committee to reserve places at a child care centre in the Sydney CBD for NSW Bar Association members. Learn more here.

Productivity Commission report on the justice system

Wed Jan 29 2014

The Productivity Commmission has today released its annual Report on Government Services (Volume C: Justice). ROGS provides information on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of government services in Australia. In the case of the NSW court system, the results are encouraging. While recidivism and rates of return to incarceration are among the highest in Australia, clearance rates are increasing and backlogs in the District and Local courts fell. Interestingly, the "efficiency" of the NSW court system is such that it costs the government just $45 per person per year to run (net of court fees) - compared to $125 for corrective services.

Parliamentary Research Service e-brief on mandatory sentencing

Wed Jan 29 2014

The NSW Parliamentary Research Service has published e-brief 1/2014: Mandatory Sentencing Laws. It's not an exposition of the legal principles of sentencing. Rather, it's designed to provide members of parliament with an overview and history of state, territory and Commonwealth mandatory sentencing laws and the public policy issues surrounding them. View the e-brief here.

NSW AG launches NCAT

Wed Jan 29 2014

Attorney General Greg Smith SC today officially opened the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), declaring it would improve access to justice. NCAT has assumed the workload of 22 specialist tribunals, including the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal, the Guardianship Tribunal and the Administrative Decisions Tribunal. NCAT registries are located in Sydney CBD, Balmain, Hurstville, Liverpool, Newcastle, Penrith, Tamworth and Wollongong. There are plans to expand the facility for people to lodge online applications. Read the attorney's media release here

Anglican Law Term Church Service

Tue Jan 28 2014

The Most Reverend Dr Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney, and the Reverend Andrew Sempell, Rector of St James, invite members to attend the 2014 Law Term Church Service at St James€™ Anglican Church, 173 King Street, on Monday, 3 February 2014, commencing at 10:30 am.

Church services for the opening of the 2014 Law Term

Tue Jan 28 2014
Red Mass

The 2014 Red Mass will be held in St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney at 9.00am on Monday, 3 February 2014. The Mass will be celebrated by his Eminence Cardinal George Pell AC. Judges and counsel may robe in the crypt from 8.30am and senior counsel should wear full-bottomed wigs. The mass will be followed by morning tea in Cathedral House.


The Anglican service will be held at 10.30am on Monday, 3 February in St James Church, King Street Sydney.


A Commencement of Law Term Service will be held in Parramatta on Monday, 3 February 2014 at 9.00am in Leigh Memorial Church, 119 Macquarie Street, Parramatta, followed by light refreshments in the coffee shop. RSVP by Monday, 27 January 2014 via email to Donna Kelly.

The Great Synagogue

The Jewish service will be held at the Great Synagogue on Wednesday, 12 February at 5.30pm. The procession will be led by Chief Justice Tom Bathurst. The service will be followed by drinks and a dinner with a guest speaker, the Hon James Allsop, chief justice of the Federal Court. The cost of the dinner is $120. Please RSVP for the service and or dinner by 5 February. For more information contact the Great Synagogue office on ph: (02) 9267 2477 or


The Islamic Service will be held at the Auburn Gallipoli Mosque at 6.00pm on Thursday, 20 February 2014. Contact or Bilal Rauf, vice president, 0411 625 462 or Aziz Abbas, executive member, 0435 657 438.

ALA State Conference

Tue Jan 28 2014

The Australian Lawyers Alliance will hold its NSW State Conference on 20-21 March 2014 at the Mercure Resort, Hunter Valley Gardens. For more information about the program, or to register, visit the conference web site.

Australia Day Honours

Tue Jan 28 2014

Former shadow attorney general of NSW and member of the Bar Association, Mr Andrew Tink, was made a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his "significant service to the Parliament of New South Wales, to local history, and to the law".

Mandatory one punch laws not the solution

Tue Jan 28 2014
Law reform and public affairs

President Phil Boulten SC has issued a media release warning that the NSW Government's proposed mandatory eight year minimum sentences for "coward punch" assaults will do nothing to prevent alcohol-fuelled violence on our streets. View the media release here. 21 January 2014

The new In Brief

Tue Jan 28 2014

Welcome to In Brief, the new format for the Bar Association's regular e-mail circulars to all members and clerks. In Brief will keep you up to date with news of appointments to the Bench, social events and other important or urgent announcements.