Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration Course

Thu Nov 06 2014

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Australian Branch) – Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration course will be held in Sydney from 18 to 26 April 2015. Candidates will be taught the practice of international commercial arbitration. Places are strictly limited. For further information or to register for the course, please complete and return the registration form available here.

Retirement of Judge David Halligan

Thu Nov 06 2014

Judge David Halligan of the Federal Circuit Court is soon to retire and the court will hold a ceremonial sitting to mark the occasion on Friday, 5 December 2014 at 4.30pm on L3 of the Garfield Barwick Commonwealth Law Courts, 1-3 George Street, Parramatta.

Honorary Doctor of Laws for Justice Virginia Bell AC

Thu Nov 06 2014

The Hon Justice Virginia Bell AC has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Sydney for her outstanding contribution to Australian law through leadership in criminal law reform and public policy development and most notably as an advocate for the economically and socially disadvantaged. The degree was conferred at a ceremony on 1 November 2014.

Certainty in court sitting hours

Wed Nov 05 2014
By President Jane Needham SC

I have raised the issue of certainty in relation to court sitting hours with the chief justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the Hon Tom Bathurst AC. Specifically, I have noted the difficulties that arise when there is a lack of certainty around sitting hours for those members with carer’s responsibilities.

The adoption of a formal protocol could have the potential to fetter judicial discretion in relation to case management, however, the chief justice has indicated that he is prepared to suggest the following to judges of the Supreme Court:

  1. That the parties be notified at the earliest possible time of a proposal to commence proceedings any time before 9.30 am or to sit beyond 4.30 pm in the case of divisions or 4.45 pm in the case of the Court of Appeal.

  2. If possible, 24 hours’ notice be given of a proposal for an early start date and notice of extended sitting hours be given no later than prior to the luncheon adjournment on the day it is proposed to sit the extended hours.

  3. In considering whether or not to set extended hours, it is relevant to consider the family or other carer responsibilities of the practitioner.

These suggestions will not apply to bail applications or applications in the Duty Judge list. The suggestions listed above are for guidance only, and are not binding.

I am most grateful to Chief Justice Tom Bathurst AC, and the judges of the Supreme Court, for their willingness to assist the members of the Bar Association.

Jane Needham SC

2015 Bar Council Election and Annual General Meeting

Wed Nov 05 2014

Voting for the 2015 Bar Council closes at 1.00pm on Thursday, 6 November 2014. If you have not voted, please return your ballot papers as soon as possible. The Annual General Meeting will be held in the Common Room of the New South Wales Bar Association, Lower Ground Floor, Selborne Chambers, 174-180 Phillip Street, Sydney this Thursday, 6 November 2014 at 5.00pm. Copies of the minutes of last year are available at reception and will also be available at the meeting. The formal notice of the AGM was mailed to all members on Friday, 19 September 2014.

P A Selth
Executive Director & Returning Officer
5 November 2014

Position vacant in the ACT

Wed Nov 05 2014

Principal Registrar, ACT Courts and Tribunal ($238,982 to $251,417)

Applications are sought for the position of principal registrar, ACT Courts and Tribunal. The principal registrar is responsible for ensuring:

  • implementation of the Courts’ management requirements and policies
  • the effective management of registry and security services
  • the development and maintenance of systems to support the judiciary, tribunal members and staff, including ICT systems
  • effective personnel, financial and asset management for the ACT Law Courts and Tribunal (excluding the management of judges’ personal staff), and
  • appropriate briefing the Attorney-General and Assembly

Currently, the position is managerial in nature and does not involve the exercise of judicial or quasi-judicial power. However, in the future, it may include limited judicial or quasi-judicial functions.

Employment arrangements

The position attracts a remuneration package ranging from $238,982 to $251,417, depending on current superannuation arrangements of the successful applicant. This includes a cash component of $191,308. Employer provided benefits include superannuation, a privately plated car and parking. The successful applicant will be engaged under a performance based contract for up to five years. Prospective applicants should be aware that individual contracts are tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly.


The contact for the position is Dr Karl Alderson 02 6205 5304. Full selection documentation is here. Applications close 19 November 2014.

Tonight: AACL seminar on the "The Principle of Legality"

Wed Nov 05 2014

The next Australian Association of Constitutional Law seminar is on tonight, 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.

Brand You!

Wed Nov 05 2014

On Thursday, 6 November 2014 the Women Lawyers Association of NSW and the Law Society will host "Brand You! Headshots! a seminar about the professional benefits of a really good profile picture. Guest speakers include Maria Newport, Newport O’Conor & Analisa Armitage, My Image Consultant and Luke Poter Photography. Brand You! will be held at the Law Society, beginning at 5.00pm for 6.00pm presentation, concluding at 7.30pm. Learn more about the seminar here and how to prepare for a photo shoot here.

Appointments to note

Wed Nov 05 2014

Attorney General Brad Hazzard has reappointed Judge Greg Keating as president of the Workers Compensation Commission for a seven year term, expiring on 4 November 2021.

Kara Shead has been appointed a deputy senior public defender, commencing on 9 February 2015.

Bar Library hours over the Christmas-New Year period

Wed Nov 05 2014

The Bar Library will close at 6.00pm on Friday, 19 December 2014 and reopen at 9.00am on Monday, 19 January 2015. The library will be open from 9.00am to 5.00pm from 19-23 January 2015 and resume normal opening hours on Tuesday, 27 January 2015.

Changes to Local Court Practice Note Crim 1

Tue Nov 04 2014

The Chief Magistrate has issued a revised Local Court Practice Note Crim 1. The changes concern the giving of evidence by corroborative witnesses via Audio Visual Link. Paragraphs 5.4 and 5.7 contain new provisions addressing the procedure for listing summary matters for hearing in circumstances where the prosecution identifìes a witness as a corroborative witness and seeks that their evidence be given via audio visual link.

The amended Court Listing Advice (Attachment B) includes a notation to make clear that where the defence indicates a witness is not required for cross-examination this does not preclude a challenge being made to the admissibility of part(s) of a statement under the Evidence Act 1995. The revised Practice Note will take effect on 1 December 2014. The changes will be reviewed after 12 months of operation to assess their impact.

4 November 2014

Legal Aid News for November 2014

Tue Nov 04 2014

Legal Aid News for November 2014 is now available online. It includes articles on social security advice services, help regarding fine reduction, information sharing provisions for domestic violence and much more.

4 November 2014

2014 Law and Justice Awards

Mon Nov 03 2014

Winners of the 2014 Law and Justice Awards were announced on 29 October at a ceremony in the Strangers' Dining Room, Parliament House, Sydney.

Roger de Robillard, barrister, was nominated for The Justice Medal, which is presented to an individual for outstanding achievement in improving access to justice in NSW, particularly for socially and economically disadvantaged people. Roger was nominated for his pro bono legal work with the National Child Protection Alliance of Australia and Supporting Asylum Seekers Sydney. However, this years Justice Medal was awarded to Andrew Mowbray, Professor of Law and Information Technology at University of Technology, Sydney, for his 25-year commitment to making legal information available online for free through AustLII.

The Law and Justice Volunteer Award, which is sponsored by the Bar Association, was presented to Jim Treadwell from Newcastle, in recognition of his advocacy work on behalf of serving or ex-defence force personnel.

Learn more about the awards by downloading the Law and Justice Awards program.

International Arbitration Conference, Sydney

Mon Nov 03 2014

Registrations are now open for the International Arbitration Conference 2014 being held on 13 November as part of Sydney Arbitration Week. Presented by the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA), the Conference will discuss the burning issues in international arbitration from an Asia-Pacific perspective. Chief Justice Tom Bathurst AC will open the conference.

EPLA 2014 Conference

Mon Nov 03 2014

The Environment & Planning Law Association (NSW) Inc will hold its 2014 conference on November 13-15 at Charles Sturt University, Orange. Topics include ePlanning, environmental crime, resumption, compensation and valuation law. Speakers include the chief judge, judges and commissioners from the Land and Environment Court. Learn more here.

EPLA 2014 Conference

Mon Nov 03 2014

The Environment & Planning Law Association (NSW) Inc will hold its 2014 conference on November 13-15 at Charles Sturt University, Orange. Topics include ePlanning, environmental crime, resumption, compensation and valuation law. Speakers include the chief judge, judges and commissioners from the Land and Environment Court. Learn more here.

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.