ALRC review of the Native Title Act 1993

Thu Oct 23 2014

The Australian Law Reform Commission has today released a Discussion Paper, Review of the Native Title Act 1993 (DP 82). The ALRC invites individuals and organisations to make submissions in response to the Discussion Paper by 18 December 2014. Submissions can be made in writing by post or by email or using the ALRC’s online submission form. The Discussion Paper is available from the ALRC website.

End of year festivities for the Bar Book Club

Thu Oct 23 2014

The last meeting for the year of the Bar Book Club will be held at 6.00pm on Wednesday, 2 December 2014. The book for the next meeting is Ian McEwan’s The Children Act.

We will also be having an end of year dinner at which NO book shall be discussed. This will be held on Wednesday, 19 November 2014 at La Rosa restaurant. If you would like to attend, please email by close of business Friday, 14 September 2014.

MAA to survey injured people

Thu Oct 23 2014

The general manager of the Motor Accidents Authority has written to President Jane Needham SC concerning its CTP scheme enhancement program.

As part of that program, the MAA will be conducting a series of surveys and focus groups involving a cross-section of injured people who have made a CTP claim and NSW CTP insurance holders. The research is intended to enable the MAA to better understand its customers’ experiences and help in designing improvements to services to claimants and policy holders.

The research will be restricted to persons over 18 years of age, and all personal information will be kept strictly confidential. No individuals will be identified in the consultant’s report to the MAA.

Members should be aware that their clients may be approached by the MAA to participate in this research.

Alienation of Income: the movie

Wed Oct 22 2014

The advent of YouTube means one can no longer say "I'll wait for the movie to come out". The Australian Taxation Office has produced a video clip on "Purported alienation of income through discretionary trust partners", starring Assistant Commissioner Bruce Collins. He sets out guidelines of what may be acceptable or not acceptable when a professional purports to alienate income from professional services to a trustee partner. Bruce’s video is available on the ATO web site. A transcript of his presentation is available here.

LCA releases Asylum Seeker Policy

Wed Oct 22 2014

The Law Council of Australia has released its Asylum Seeker Policy. It's a consolidation of the LCA's existing positions on asylum seekers and builds on the its Rule of Law Principles and Principles Applying to the Detention of Asylum Seekers. View the document here.

Boulten SC discusses foreign fighters legislation

Wed Oct 22 2014

Phil Boulten SC took part in yesterday's Radio National Breakfast panel discussion on the Australian Governments "Foreign Fighters Bill". Meanwhile, the Law Council of Australia has welcomed the report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security in relation to the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014, but not without some reservations and calls for closer scrutiny.

Tonight in CPD

Wed Oct 22 2014

Tonight we have a seminar in the Common Room at 5.15pm: "Marketing the Bar", presented by Ian Hemmings SC, Andrew Laughlin, Tean Kerr and chaired by Richard McHugh SC. For full details please download a flyer here

Survey on the use of the NSW Government Gazette

Wed Oct 22 2014

The National Library of Australia, in conjunction with the State Library of New South Wales, is working towards making a digitised version of the New South Wales Government Gazette from 1832-2001 available through the Trove Newspapers service.

The National Library is conducting a short online user survey on use of government gazette materials to help us better understand why and how people use government gazettes for information, so we can align with those needs. The survey is open until Sunday, 2 November, and is available here.

Celebrate the appointment of three female silks

Wed Oct 22 2014

The Women Barristers Forum, in association with the Women Lawyers Association of NSW, invites you to join them for cocktails and canapes to celebrate the appointment of female senior counsel for 2014: Rashda Rana SC; Belinda Rigg SC; and Gabrielle Bashir SC. The function will take place on 13 November 2014 between 5.30pm-7.30pm at Verandah, 55-65 Elizabeth Street. For more information and to RSVP, download a registration form here.

ICAC annual report for 2013-14

Wed Oct 22 2014

The Independent Commission Against Corruption has published its 2013-14 Annual Report. The Hon Megan Latham noted in the commissioner's foreword that it was a year in which the ICAC cemented its place as a "leading integrity body in Australia", which plays a pivotal role in "investigating and exposing corrupt conduct at all levels of the state's public sector". Download a copy here.

Australian Academy of Law Patron's Address - seats still available

Wed Oct 22 2014

Last minute spots are still available to attend the third annual Patron’s Address of the Academy of Law, to be delivered by the Hon Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, of the Supreme Court of Singapore, on Thursday 23 October at 5.30 pm, Banco Court, Lvl 13, Law Courts Building, on ‘The Common Law Litigation Process — Time for a Rethink?’

Coming up in CPD

Wed Oct 22 2014

A seminar will be held in the Common Room at 5.15pm on Tuesday 28 October: "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

Swearing-in ceremony for Justice Wilson

Tue Oct 21 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.

Reduced price for the Queensland Reports

Tue Oct 21 2014

The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for the State of Queensland has announced a significant reduction in the cost of subscription to the Queensland Reports and a one-off opportunity for subscribers to fill any gaps that may exist in their set of QRs. Learn more here.

Justice McColl accepts award on behalf of all groundbreaking women in the law

Tue Oct 21 2014

The Hon Justice Ruth McColl AO was presented with the Lasting Legacy Award at the third annual Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards. Justice McColl accepted the award on behalf of all female advocates, including early pioneers Ada Evans, Justice Roma Mitchell, Elizabeth Evatt, and Mary Gaudron.

"These are the great women in whose paths we walk, fortunate that they’ve worn a track that we can follow, but conscious too of the necessity to remain ever vigilant until the time comes … when we can share the freedom our male colleagues enjoy of being able to pursue our legal careers knowing that our gender is irrelevant to our success," said McColl.

Statutory Interpretation in Australia

Tue Oct 21 2014

The eighth edition of Pearce and Geddes Statutory Interpretation in Australia is out now and LexisNexis has announced a special offer for members of the Bar Association. Simply complete this order form, quoting the promotional code on this flyer. Also, the authors, Professor Dennis C Pearce and Professor Robert S Geddes will attend a book launch in the Phillip Street Coop Bookstore on 30 October 2014 from 5.00pm to 6.00pm.

2014 Great Bar Boat Race

Tue Oct 21 2014

The 31st Great Bar Boat Race will be held on Monday, 22 December 2014 at 11.00am. Members are invited to compete in a friendly competition with solicitors. The Organising Authority is the RAN Sailing Association ("RANSA"). For more information about the race, including the strict insurance prerequisites, download a flyer here. To enter in the race, complete a registration form here.

Coming up in CPD: Best Practice Guidelines

Tue Oct 21 2014

On Monday 27 October a seminar will be held in the common room at 5.15pm:"Regulation 176 and Best Practice Guidelines". Presented by Penny Thew and chaired by Trish McDonald SC. For full details please download a flyer here

Vale the Hon Edward Gough Whitlam AC QC (1916-2014)

Tue Oct 21 2014

The Hon Edward Gough Whitlam AC QC, former barrister and prime minister, died this morning. He was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in February 1947 and took silk in 1962. On 17 May 1999, during the ceremonial sitting to mark the 175th anniversary of the Supreme Court, Mr Whitlam spoke on behalf of the NSW Bar, for which he was issued a practising certificate for the day.

Tomorrow in CPD

Tue Oct 21 2014

Tomorrow evening we have a seminar being held in the Common Room at 5.15pm:"Marketing the Bar", presented by Ian Hemmings SC, Andrew Laughlin, Tean Kerr and chaired by Richard McHugh SC. For full details please download a flyer here

Bar Council business for September 2014

Tue Oct 21 2014

Bar Council met on 25 September 2014 in the boardroom of the New South Wales Bar Association. Matters reported elsewhere in In Brief are omitted from this summary of Bar Council business. Bar Council regularly considers requests by the attorney general, the courts and other agencies for advice on proposed legislation. Because that advice is sought on a confidential basis, it is not noted in this summary. Any member interested in a particular matter should contact the executive director for further information. View the minutes for 25 September 2014 here.

ATO releases revised Code of Settlement

Mon Oct 20 2014

The Australian Taxation Office has released its revised Code of Settlement, which it claims will result in "a better settlement experience" for clients, practitioners and ATO staff. The new plain English code, which was announced by Commissioner Chris Jordan at the CPA Congress in Melbourne, is just two pages long and provides a clear commitment to early resolution of disputes and sensible use of settlements.

A new Practical Guide supports the code revision with clear and purposeful examples.

The old settlements practice statement 2007/5 Settlements will be withdrawn. Model Settlement deeds can be obtained here.

Robe and wig swap

Mon Oct 20 2014

The District Court has advised InBrief that a barrister who attended the morning tea following the swearing-in of Judge Hatzistergos on Thursday, 16 October accidentally collected the wrong wig and robe before leaving. It follows that at least one other member of the bar might be wondering why their wig or robe seems a little ill-fitting. For more information, or to arrange a discrete swap, contact the associate to Chief Judge Price AM via or ph: (02) 9377 5821.

Upcoming CPD Course: Accounting & Valuation

Mon Oct 20 2014

This practical four week course has been organised in collaboration with KordaMentha Forensic. The course will run over four consecutive Thursdays (5pm to 7pm) in October-November 2014, commencing on Thursday, 23 October. It is designed to teach barristers the principles of accounting and valuations. The course is interactive and leads the participants through the transactions of a simple company. It also uses the financial statements of a major listed company to illustrate accounting and valuation concepts.

The course will be taught by experts from KordaMentha who are experienced in explaining accounting and valuation issues in expert reports and in evidence. Each session will run for about two hours and there will be optional additional reading between these sessions.

For more details about each session and the costs involved, please click here

These workshops are run by registration only and places in each course are strictly limited. To register and pay to secure your place, please click here

LCA welcomes Legal Services Council appointment

Mon Oct 20 2014

The Law Council of Australia has issued a media release welcoming the appointment of the former chief justice of the Federal Court, Michael Black AC QC, as the inaugural chair of the Legal Services Council. Learn more here.