I congratulate all Executive office holders and Bar Councillors on having gained the confidence of our peers to govern this fine association. I am very much looking forward to leading the association with the assistance of the Executive and the Bar Council over the coming year.
It has been an interesting week. One issue – that of whether the bar should approach the government to seek the requisite legislative amendments to enable senior counsel to practice under Letters Patent as queen’s counsel – has caused some controversy in the wake of last week’s Bar Council election result. That result indicates that there is interest among members in the Bar Council pursuing this issue with the New South Wales Government.
The bar faces many challenges, the resolution of the queen's counsel/senior counsel issue among them. But matters such as the continuing response of the bar to the Law Council NARS report, the implications of a national profession, the uniform practice rules, and of course our statutory regulatory functions, will also take up time and require significant and concentrated effort.
I am grateful that my leadership over the past six months has enabled this council to place in me the confidence and trust given to me by the previous council, in circumstances of sustained debate. I will not let you down.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the executive director and staff of the Bar Association for their devoted and unstinting service.
Jane Needham SC