InBrief

SEARCH ALL POSTS

Official launch of the Bar Association's Best Practice Guidelines

Thu Jul 31 2014
"The standard you walk past is the standard you accept"

Lieutenant General David Morrison, chief of the Australian Army, will be the guest of honour at the official launch of the Bar Association's Best Practice Guidelines on Friday, 8 August 2014 at 5.15 pm in the Common Room. General Morrison has done a great deal of work to improve the culture of the Australian Army. He is a compelling and visionary speaker, whose blistering speech to the Army regarding behaviour which degrades others has been viewed by more than 1.5 million people on YouTube.

The launch will be followed by drinks and canapés from 6.00pm.

Please note that the launch is not a CPD on the Best Practice Guidelines. The Bar Association will be holding a number of CPDs on the guidelines, the first of which will be held in October this year. These CPDs will be advertised to members in InBrief.

Should you have any queries, or if there is anything that you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact Megan Black at the Bar Association.

Appointment of silk in the ACT

Thu Jul 31 2014

The president of the ACT Bar Association, Greg Stretton SC, today announced the appointment of Jon White as senior counsel for the Australian Capital Territory. Learn more here.

Admiralty and Maritime Users' Group meeting

Thu Jul 31 2014

The Federal Court of Australia with the Federal Circuit Court of Australia will hold a users’ group meeting for the Admiralty and Maritime jurisdiction on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 at 5.00 pm in Conference Room, Level 20, Law Courts Building, Queens Square for interested practitioners to come and express their views or simply listen. Learn more here.

Law Council calls for fair go for those seeking asylum

Thu Jul 31 2014

The president of the Law Council of Australia, Mr Michael Colbran QC, has called on the Australian Government to act in accordance with the Refugee Convention and to make its actions more transparent following the recent detention at sea of a group of people believed to be asylum seekers. Learn more here.

Coming up in CPD

Wed Jul 30 2014

A number of seminars have been scheduled in the Common Room for the coming months:

Monday 11 August: UN Comission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea. Presented by the Honourable Michael Kirby AC AMG and chaired by Richard Lancaster SC. For full details please download a flyer here

Wednesday 13 August: Costs Disclosure & Fee Recovery: The Road to Riches or a Painful Path to a PCC. Presented by Janet McDonald and chaired by Ingmar Taylor SC. For full details please download a flyer here

Monday 18 August: Judicial Review. Presented by Mark Robinson SC and chaired by The Honourable Justice S.Rothman AM. For full details please download a flyer here

Tuesday 19 August: The Refugee Debate in Australia Alternative Perspectives. Presented by Julian Burnside AO QC & Professor Jane McAdam and chaired by Dr Sarah Pritchard SC. For full details please download a flyer here

Wednesday 20 August: The 2014 Sir Maurice Byers Lecture. Appellate Review of the Facts Presented by the Honourable Justice Virginia Bell AC.

New Chief Judge of the District Court announced by the Attorney General

Wed Jul 30 2014

Attorney General Brad Hazzard today announced the Honourable Justice Derek Michael Price AM has been appointed as the new Chief Judge of the District Court of NSW.

Justice Price replaces the Honourable Justice Reginald Blanch AM who was appointed in 1994 and is retiring on August 7.

The retirement ceremony for the Hon Justice Blanch AM will be held at 9.30am on Thursday 7 August in the Banco Court, Level 13, Law Courts Building, Queens Square. The Hon Brad Hazzard MP, Attorney General, will speak on behalf of the NSW Bar.

Details for the swearing in of Justice Price will be provided as soon as they are made available.

30 July 2014


Easy access to The Early Learning Centre

Wed Jul 30 2014

Did you know that the Guardian Early Learning Centre is located on the corner of Castlereagh Street and Martin Place, just seconds from public transport and minutes from Phillip Street?

The Bar Association has an arrangement with Guardian Early Learning to provide long day care for members of the association in the Sydney CBD. The Bar Association’s arrangement extends to chambers staff. Days at the centre are also available on a casual basis, should your usual care arrangements fall through. Information in relation to the centre is available on our website.

Spaces are currently available, but are filling up quickly. If you wish to place your child at the centre, we encourage you to put your name on the waitlist as soon as possible. We currently have unborn babies on the waitlist for spaces in 2015.

Should you wish to put your name on the waitlist, or if you have any questions about the scheme, please do not hesitate to contact Megan Black at the Bar Association.

Independent Forensic Services Offers Pro Bono Forensic Science Consultancy

Tue Jul 29 2014

Independent Forensic Services (IFS) offers forensic science expertise in the areas of forensic biology, DNA analysis and interpretation and bloodstain pattern interpretation.

Due to significant growth of our company over the last two years, we are now in a position to offer our services on a pro bono basis for a selected number of cases each year.

Examples of the type work undertaken include: independent review of work previously conducted by state or federal laboratories; provision of an expert opinion in relation to the strength and/or significance of the evidence; review of DNA analysis results and interpretation of findings; assisting in provision of appropriate lines of questioning when challenging forensic evidence in court; performing laboratory examinations (or re-examination) for biological evidence.

We understand that there can be significant budget constraints in criminal casework and we can also offer to conduct work at a reduced Legal Aid rate if our pro bono capacity has been exhausted.

Further information on our services can be found on our website. If you wish to discuss a case with us to ascertain whether we can be of assistance, please contact us at enquiries@independentforensicservices.com.au or on 0478 789 804 or 0431 954 694.

Law Council Review

Tue Jul 29 2014

The August 2014 edition of Law Council Review is now available online. It features articles on mandatory sentencing, the cost of access to justice, proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act and the legal profession's take on the federal budget. It also includes a roundup from the LCA's sections.

Common Law Practice Update 63

Tue Jul 29 2014

The Bar Association's Common Law Committee has published Practice Update 63, with case notes on sections 61, 73 and 133 of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW); slip and fall; employer's duty to warn of risk; compensation for sexual harassment; and actions against prison authorities or police. Download CLPU 63 here.

Football State of Origin and Sports Law Conference

Tue Jul 29 2014

Plans are well advanced for the 7th Annual Football State of Origin and Sports Law Conference to be held in Brisbane on 20 September 2014.

The Sports Law Conference will be held at the Inns of Court, 107 North Quay Brisbane from 9 am to 12 pm (registration from 8.30 am). Attendance is open to all members of the Bar, the Judiciary and Barristers’ Clerks.

The fee for attendance will be $95 (GST inc) with all proceeds to be donated to a charity established to assist young indigenous lawyers.

The conference will be chaired by Justice Forrest of the Family Court of Australia.

The keynote address will be given by Justice Keane of the High Court of Australia who will be speaking on “Intersections of Sport & the Law.” Graham Turnbull SC (NSW) will speak on “Football & Probative Value” and Mike Mulvey (Manager) & Jade North (Indigenous Player), both of the Brisbane Roar have provisionally (subject to club commitments) agreed to speak on “The Relationship(s) between Professional Footballers and Agents/Lawyers.”

The football is to be held at the Brisbane Boys’ Grammar School at Toowong. It will be followed by a presentation and drinks.

Please contact Anthony Lo Surdo SC (; 9223 3181) or David Stanton; 8233 0345) for further information or to register your interest.

Tonight in CPD: The Future of Disability Advocacy

Mon Jul 28 2014

This seminar, will be presented tonight in the Common Room by the former Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes and chaired by Trish McDonald SC. For full details please download a flyer here.

The John Lehane Memorial Lecture

Mon Jul 28 2014

The biennial John Lehane Memorial Lecture will be delivered this year by Lord Neuberger, president of the UK Supreme Court on "Equity: A roguish thing or a symmetrical science?" It will take place on Monday, 4 August at 5.15pm in the Banco Court, Queens Square. RSVP: RSVPSydney@allens.com.au Learn more here.

Open Day for Female Law Students: volunteers sought

Mon Jul 28 2014

On 15 August 2014 the New South Wales Bar Association will be hosting the Open Day for Female Law Students. The Bar Association has hosted the Open Day for many years, and they are extremely popular with students and barristers alike. Last year the association received over 100 student registrations for the Open Day, and approximately 60 barristers volunteered to host those students.

This year, students from the following universities will be invited to participate: UTS, Sydney University, the University of New England and Notre Dame.

The Open Day commences at 8.45am in the common room with a brief address from the president of the Bar Association and the chair of the Equal Opportunity Committee. The students are then divided into groups and allocated to a pair of barristers, who may then:

  • take the students to court to watch a matter
  • meet with a judge in chambers
  • have a general discussion with their group in chambers or over coffee about a career at the bar
  • introduce students to colleagues on their floor

The day concludes with lunch in the common room from 12.30 - 1.30 pm. If you are interested in volunteering to host a group of students on 15 August 2014, please complete the online registration form, which is available online here.

Should you have any enquiries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Megan Black on 9229 1739 or at mblack@nswbar.asn.au

Next meeting of the Bar Book Club

Mon Jul 28 2014

The next meeting of the Bar Book Club will be held on Tuesday, 19 August. The book is Mother’s Milk, the fourth in the ‘Patrick Melrose series’ by Edward St Aubyn. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and is available here (among other places). Reviews of both author and book can be found here and here.

Bar FC draw 1-1 with the Reserve Bank

Mon Jul 28 2014

NSW Bar FC took to the field with only nine starters against a full Reserve Bank squad last Friday.

Depleted numbers inspired enthusiasm with an early goal to Reserve Bank being answered in kind by a legendary knock from Hugh Morrison to tie the match at one all at the break.

David (Patchildinho) Patch did an admirable impersonation of an absent David (Sir Alex Ferguson) Stanton in firing up the squad at half time.

Bar FC had a number of chances in the second half including three near miss shots from our flustered forward pack (one shot hitting the cross bar). The midfield and defence were solid. John (Captain) Harris wearing the keepers gloves, was unfailing in his defence of goals and, notwithstanding suffering a couple of kicks to the head, managed to keep Reserve Bank scoreless in the second half including a great save on a penalty kick! In the end, a one-all draw that solidifies Bar FC’s position at the top of the ladder in the run to the finals series.

Bar FC next plays on Friday, 1 August 2014 at 1.15 pm against Sydney Business School.

2014 Judicial Q&A

Fri Jul 25 2014

Specifically for the junior bar (barristers called to the New South Wales Bar in 2007 or later), the Judicial Q&A event enables the junior bar to put forward questions for the judicial panel to answer. After the Q&A finishes, members of the judiciary and the junior bar are invited to stay for drinks and canapés. The event is on Thursday, 21 August in the Bar Association Common Room and is free for 2/13 and 1/14 Readers and $10 for other barristers up to seven years. RSVP is essential. Barristers up to seven years can find out more information here and RSVP here.

Wanted: judges for UTS mock trials

Fri Jul 25 2014

The UTS Law Students' Society is seeking lawyers to adjudicate its Witness Examination Competition (mock trial) in the coming months. This is an advocacy-focussed competition, which mimics examinations of witnesses in a criminal trial, with emphasis on the ability of competitors to ask questions of a witness in accordance with their case theory. It requires each competitor (acting as either the prosecution or the defence) to deliver an opening statement, examination-in-chief, cross-examination and closing statement on a given criminal charge and factual scenario.

Judging comprises adjudicating the examinations-in-chief, cross-examinations and opening and closing remarks of each of the two competitors. Each round runs for approximately one hour followed by around five minutes of feedback for the competitors at the end.

This upcoming semester’s witness examination competition will run on MONDAYS on the dates listed below, with rounds generally commencing from 12.00pm to 7.30pm:

  • 18 August 2014 (Preliminary Round)
  • 25 August 2014 (Round 1)
  • 1 September 2014 (Round 2)
  • 8 September 2014 (Round 3)
  • 15 September 2014 (Quarter-Finals)
  • 13 October 2014 (Semi-Finals)
  • 20 October 2014 (Grand Final)

If you are able to assist by volunteering your time and knowledge on any of the above dates, please email Saad Khan at witex@utslss.com with your judging availability on the above dates from 12.00pm-8.30pm.

If you have any enquiries about the role or the competition, please do not hesitate to email Saad at witex@utslss.com or call on 0423 413 677.

AHRC highlights childcare as key constraint on working parents

Fri Jul 25 2014

The Human Rights Commission's investigation into discrimination against pregnant women and parents returning to work identified the high cost and lack of childcare services as a key concern.

The National Review frequently heard of issues relating to early childhood education and care services as a constraint on returning to work after parental leave. Many concerns were raised regarding the limited availability, accessibility, affordability of quality early childhood education and care services in Australia.

The Bar Association has an arrangement with Guardian Early Learning to provide long day care for members of the association in the Sydney CBD. The Bar Association’s arrangement extends to chambers staff. Days at the centre are also available on a casual basis, should your usual care arrangements fall through. Information in relation to the centre is available on our website.

Spaces are currently available, but are filling up quickly. If you wish to place your child at the centre, we encourage you to put your name on the waitlist as soon as possible. We currently have unborn babies on the waitlist for spaces in 2015.

Should you wish to put your name on the waitlist, or if you have any questions about the scheme, please do not hesitate to contact Megan Black at the Bar Association.

Human Rights Commission finds widespread discrimination against working parents

Fri Jul 25 2014

The Australian Human Rights Commission has released its report Supporting Working Parents: Pregnancy and Return to Work National Review.

The Bar Association made a submission to the AHRC in February of this year and subsequently took steps to tackle the sorts of problems raised by the report, in particular the promulgation of its Best Practice Guidelines and the reservation of 10 places at a state of the art childcare facility in the CBD.

Key findings
  • 49% of mothers reported experiencing discrimination at some point during the pregnancy, parental leave or on return to work.

  • 18% of mothers indicated that they were made redundant/restructured/dismissed or that their contract was not renewed because of their pregnancy, their request for or taking of parental leave or because of their family responsibilities, breastfeeding/expressing on return to work.

  • 91% of mothers who experience discrimination to do not make a formal complaint.

  • 27% of fathers or partners reported experiencing discrimination when requesting or taking parental leave, or when they returned to work.

The AHRC made a number of recommendations, which can be viewed on pp.21-26 of the summarised version of the report, the Community Guide.

NSW Government positions vacant

Fri Jul 25 2014

Attorney General Brad Hazzard is seeking applications from qualified persons for appointment to the following judicial and statutory positions:

  • Part-time chairperson, NSW Law Reform Commission

  • Members, NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal

  • Members, Victims Advisory Board

Please visit Lawlink for more information. Applications in Word or PDF addressing the selection criteria, accompanied by a detailed curriculum vitae and the names of at least two referees, must be completed online.

Coming up in CPD

Fri Jul 25 2014

A number of seminars have been scheduled in the Common Room for the coming months:

Monday 28 July: The Future of Disability Advocacy. Presented by Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes and chaired by Trish McDonald SC. For full details please download a flyer here.

Tuesday 29 July: Case Management and Practices in the District Court of New South Wales. Presented by Judicial Registrar James Howard and chaired by Gary Doherty. For full details please download a flyer here

Monday 11 August: UN Comission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea. Presented by the Honourable Michael Kirby AC AMG. For full details please download a flyer here

Wednesday 13 August: Costs (Title TBC). Presented by Janet McDonald. Details to follow.

Monday 18 August: Judicial Review. Presented by Mark Robinson SC. For full details please download a flyer here

Tuesday 19 August: The Refugee Debate in Australia Alternative Perspectives. Presented by Julian Burnside AO QC & Professor Jane McAdam. For full details please download a flyer here.

Wednesday 20 August: The 2014 Sir Maurice Byers Lecture. Appellate Review of the Facts Presented by the Honourable Justice Virginia Bell AC.