Farewell to Justice Crennan

Fri Oct 31 2014

A brief ceremony will be held in the High Court in Sydney at 9.15 am on Friday, 14 November 2014 to mark the forthcoming retirement of the Hon Justice Susan Crennan AC. It will take place on Level 23, Law Courts Building. President Jane Needham SC will speak on behalf of the bar.

Accreditation for criminal trial barristers

Fri Oct 31 2014

The Victorian Bar has today announced the establishment of a new committee which will oversee the development and implementation of an accreditation scheme for criminal barristers through the introduction of a new Indictable Crimes Certificate (ICC). The ICC will be the first of its kind in Australia, providing a way to differentiate barristers with specific skills, knowledge and expertise in the conduct of trials. Learn more here.

Election of 2015 Bar Council - the ballot

Fri Oct 31 2014

Ballot papers for the election of the 2015 Bar Council have been mailed to all those eligible to vote. Ballot papers received after 1.00pm on Thursday, 6 November 2014 will not be counted. More information regarding the return of ballot papers, how to vote and replacement of lost or spoilt ballot papers is available here.

Legal Aid NSW Mental Health Advocacy Panel

Fri Oct 31 2014

The Legal Aid NSW Mental Health Advocacy Panel (the panel) will be reopening on Monday 3 November 2014 for new applications and applications for reappointment by current panel lawyers, following a review of the panel documents.

Current panel members due for reappointment need to apply for reappointment to the panel if they wish to continue to undertake legally aided mental health advocacy work. These panel members will receive an email from Legal Aid NSW providing further information. Current panel members who are unsure whether they are required to apply for reappointment can contact Professional Practices on (02) 9219 5662 or at

New applications and applications for reappointment must be submitted through the Panels Application website by no later than 17 December 2014 for consideration by the Selection Committee. Any application received after this date will not be considered until the next Selection Committee meeting which will take place in 2015.

Information about the panel is available on the Panels, audit and practice standards web page. This contains additional information that can be viewed or downloaded:

For any further enquiries regarding the panel, please email

Revised Legal Aid NSW Mental Health Advocacy Practice Standards

Fri Oct 31 2014

Panel lawyers are advised that the Mental Health Advocacy Practice Standards have been revised. The new practice standards take effect from 3 November 2014.

Panel lawyers are required to comply with panel practice standards.

The revised practice standards contain important updates on panel lawyers' responsibilities to legally aided clients and Legal Aid NSW and file management requirements.

A copy of the revised practice standards is available at the Practice standards in legally aided matters web page.

Common Law Practice Update 69

Thu Oct 30 2014

The Bar Association's Common Law Committee has published Practice Update 69, with case notes on sections 62, 73 of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999, section 43A Civil Liability Act 2002 and costs of fund management. Download CLPU 69 here.

AACL seminar on the "The Principle of Legality"

Thu Oct 30 2014

The next Australian Association of Constitutional Law seminar is on Wednesday, 5 November 2014 at 5.30pm in Court 18B, Federal Court of Australia. Mr Brendan Lim will present a paper on "The Principle of Legality". The commentators are his Honour Justice Perram and Associate Professor Dan Meagher. The Honourable Murray Gleeson AC QC will chair the event.

In accordance with the "principle of legality" or "clear statement principle", courts will not construe statutes to abrogate certain common law rights unless very clear words require them to do so. Why? Is it because of fidelity to legislative intention? Is it because substantive legal values recommend the course regardless of legislative intention? The answer matters because the principle of legality should not be extended beyond its rationale. The rationale for the principle of legality will tell us which rights engage the principle, and it will tell us what kind of legislative clarity is needed to displace the principle. On one view, rights are called 'fundamental' because they are rights that the parliament does not in fact intend to abrogate. On another view, rights are 'fundamental' in a more objective sense, because they are recognised to be 'important', or perhaps because they are 'vulnerable' in the sense that the ordinary political process is inherently inapt to protect them. The paper will explore these themes in the context of recent cases, building on the author's work in "The Normativity of the Principle of Legality" (2013) 37 Melbourne University Law Review 372.

Commentators: The Hon Justice Nye Perram (Federal Court of Australia), Associate Professor Dan Meagher (Deakin University) Chair: The Hon Murray Gleeson AC QC
Venue: Federal Court, Queens Square, Sydney, Court 18B, 5:30 pm

The event is open to members. Membership of AACL is $70 per annum. Among other benefits, it confers the right to attend AACL events (4-5 seminars per year). Membership applications are accepted at the door. Learn more here.

Vale Kenneth Victor Taylor AM, AM (Mil), RFD (1943-2014)

Thu Oct 30 2014

Kenneth Taylor, former District Court judge, and formerly of Blackstone Chambers and Nigel Bowen Chambers, died on Wednesday, 29 October 2014. A memorial service will be held next week, with further details to be advised to members.

Swearing-in for DCM O'Brien

Wed Oct 29 2014

Magistrate Christopher O’Brien will be sworn in as a deputy chief magistrate at 9.00am on Monday, 3 November 2014 in courtroom 5.2 of the Downing Centre. Arthur Moses SC will speak on behalf of the New South Wales Bar. Wigs and gowns are not to be worn.

2014 senior counsel presentation ceremony

Wed Oct 29 2014

Newly appointed senior counsel will be presented with their appointment scrolls on Wednesday, 5 November 2014, at 5.15pm in the Bar Association’s Common Room, with the scrolls being presented by Bathurst CJ at 5.45pm. Members and their guests are most welcome to attend the function.

P A Selth

Executive Director

Swearing-in ceremony for Justice Wilson

Wed Oct 29 2014

Judge Helen Wilson SC has been appointed to the bench of the Supreme Court of NSW and a formal ceremony to mark the occasion will be held in the Banco Court on Monday, 3 November 2014 at 9.00am. President Jane Needham SC will speak on behalf of the New South Wales Bar. Wigs and gowns are to be worn. Senior counsel should wear full-bottomed wigs.

Swearing-in for Jane Culver

Wed Oct 29 2014

Jane Culver will be sworn in as a judge of the District Court at 9.00am on Wednesday, 29 October 2014. Ian Temby QC will speak on behalf of the New South Wales Bar.

Reinvigorate Your Practice in 2015

Tue Oct 28 2014

A new year is fast approaching and now is the time to act strategically to gain a competitive edge.

Current market forces and a progressive legal environment are fundamentally challenging conventional practices. With increasing competition and the rapid expansion of social media as a means of attracting new clients, barristers must be receptive, adaptive, have clear strategic direction and spend quality time investing in their practices to project a powerful and distinctive professional image.

As a limited offer for January 2015, LawConnexion is offering, to the first 50 barristers, a ‘brand refresh’. Read more here.

Mediator Chat tonight

Tue Oct 28 2014

The Mediation Practice Group, a sub-committee of the Bar Association's ADR committee, will be hosting a "Mediator Chat" on "Med-Arb - it's the unloved mongrel of ADR" tonight at 5.30pm in Silks Coffee Lounge, 170 Phillip Street. The guest speakers will be John West QC and Mark Dempsey SC.

"Mediator Chat" is an opportunity for ADR practitioners at the NSW Bar to get together in an informal social environment, with the bonus that at each function a topic relevant to mediators will be discussed in a light hearted way.

The cost of $30 is payable at the door and will include two drinks (wine/beer/soft drink or mineral water) and assorted canapés.

For catering purposes, please RSVP to Julie Soars on ph: (02) 8224 3017 or or Deborah Robinson on ph:(02) 8224 3008 or by 23 October.

Bar Association office hours

Tue Oct 28 2014

Due to scheduled electrical work, the Bar Association offices and the Bar Library will close at 4.00pm this Friday, 31 October 2014.

Forbes Society legal history tutorial

Tue Oct 28 2014

Tomorrow, Wednesday, 29 October 2014, Professor Shaunnagh Dorsett (of the UTS Law School) and Larissa Reid (of the Law Courts Library) will present a legal history tutorial on "Sources of Law in the Early Years of the Colony of NSW".

The tutorial will commence at 5:10pm and conclude no later than 6:10pm.

The venue will be Court Room No 1 in the Hospital Road Court Complex, with entry via the chambers of Lindsay J.

Light refreshments will be served.

Everybody is welcome.

Our presenters have each undertaken original research on their topic. Shaunnagh has played a leading role in the recovery of our early colonial case law, in NZ as well as in Australia. With her professional skills as a librarian to the fore, Larissa has thrown new light on the legal texts used by NSW colonial lawyers in everyday practice.

Tonight in CPD

Tue Oct 28 2014

Tonight at 5.15pm, a seminar will be held in the Common Room: "Chapter II of the Constitution" presented by Justin Gleeson SC and Anna Mitchelmore and chaired by Neil Williams SC. For full details please download a flyer here

CPD in November

Mon Oct 27 2014

A number of seminars will be held in the Common Room in the coming months. Coming up in November:

Monday, 10 November: "The Real Trial of Breaker Morant". Presented by Craig Wilox and chaired by Jane Needham SC. For full details please download a flyer here

Tuesday, 11 November: "Foundation Financial Strategies". Presented by Kate McCallum and Tony Clark and chaired by Callan O’Neill. For full details please download a flyer here

Wednesday, 12 November: "Commonwealth Crime". Presented by Wendy Abraham QC and chaired by David Scully. Details to follow.

Monday, 17 November: "The Inaugural Spigelman Public Law Oration. Presented by The Honourable Justice Stephen Gageler and chaired by the Honourable Justice Alan Robertson. For full details please download a flyer here

Tuesday, 18 November: "Male, Female or Non-Specific: NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages v Norrie. Presented by David Bennett AC QC, Joanna Davidson and Norrie. For full details please download a flyer here

Wednesday, 19 November: "2014 Forbes Lecture". Details to follow.

Tuesday, 25 November: "60 Web Sites in 60 Minutes" presented by Philippe Doyle Gray, Nigel Cotman SC, Nicolas Kirby and James Mack. For full details please download a flyer here

Tomorrow in CPD

Mon Oct 27 2014

Tomorrow night at 5.15pm, a seminar will be held in the Common Room: "Chapter II of the Constitution" presented by Justin Gleeson SC and Anna Mitchelmore and chaired by Neil Williams SC. For full details please download a flyer here

Tonight in CPD

Mon Oct 27 2014

Tonight a seminar will be held in the Common Room at 5.15pm: "Regulation 176 and Best Practice Guidelines". It will be presented by Penny Thew and chaired by Trish McDonald SC. For full details please download a flyer here

Law Society launches its 2015 Election Policy Platform

Mon Oct 27 2014

The Law Society of New South Wales has released its 2015 Election Policy Platform. Balance.Rights.Justice. encompasses sentencing, bail, workers compensation, CTP motor accident insurance and access to justice. Read the policy here.

The inaugural Spigelman Public Law Oration

Mon Oct 27 2014

The inaugural Spigelman Public Law Oration will be delivered in the Bar Association Common Room at 5:15pm on Monday, 17 November 2014 by the Hon Justice Stephen Gageler of the High Court of Australia. The subject will be Deference. The oration will be followed by the annual dinner of the Public Law Section (formerly the Constitutional and Administrative Law Section) of the NSW Bar. Registration for the dinner is due by 31 October. Learn more here.