Swearing-in ceremony for Robert Montgomery

Mon May 23 2016

Robert Montgomery will be sworn-in as a judge of the District Court of NSW at a formal ceremony in the John Maddison Tower on Level 21, at 9.00am on Monday, 30 May 2016. Noel Hutley SC will speak on behalf of the New South Wales Bar. Barristers should wear wigs and gowns. Senior counsel should wear full-bottomed wigs.

Vale Ross Ray QC

Mon May 23 2016

Attorney-General George Brandis has announced the sudden death on Sunday of Ross Ray QC, former president of the Law Council and chairman of the Victorian Bar, calling it "a tragic loss not just to his family, friends and colleagues, but to the entire Australian legal profession". View the attorney's media release here.

Amendments to UCPR

Mon May 23 2016

On 16 May 2016, the Uniform Rules Committee approved Amendment No 76 to the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules. The amendments relate to the use of JusticeLink and Online Registry (including Online Court) for the Land and Environment Court. The amendment was published on the NSW Legislation Website on Friday, 20 May 2016 and commenced on that day.

Positions vacant: NCAT Consumer and Commercial Division

Mon May 23 2016

The attorney general is calling for applications from qualified persons for appointment to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal as principal members of the Consumer and Commercial Division. The advertisements will be published in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian newspapers on 28 May 2016. The on-line application form and information package is accessible now on the website here.

Note: The holder of a full-time appointment with NCAT is not eligible during the period of appointment to also hold a barrister’s practising certificate.”

McAvoy SC joins speakers panel on ADR and land rights claims in NSW

Mon May 23 2016

Tony McAvoy SC will join the speakers panel on Monday 23 May 2016 when the Australian Disputes Centre will host a seminar on the role of ADR in settling land claims and native title issues in NSW. The seminar will take place at 5.45 for 6.00pm at the offices of the Australian Disputes Centre on L16, 1 Castlereagh Street. Other members of the panel will be Helen Shurven member, National Native Title Tribunal and Stephen Wright, registrar – Aboriginal Land Rights Act. Learn more here.

Legal Aid Matters campaign getting traction

Fri May 20 2016

Yesterday's InBrief reported on the successful local launch of the Legal Aid Matters campaign, jointly organised by the Bar Association with the Law Society and attended by Noel Hutley SC, Arthur Moses SC, Tim Game SC and Bar Association Treasurer and co-chair of the launch, Chrissa Loukas SC.

Speaking of the importance of legal aid, Chrissa Loukas SC quoted from a speech by the Hon Murray Gleeson AC QC at the Law Council's State of the Judicature speech in October 1999, in which he said:

The expense which governments incur in funding legal aid is obvious and measurable. What is not so obvious, and not so easily measurable, but what is real and substantial, is the cost of the delay, disruption and inefficiency, which results from absence or denial of legal representation. Much of that cost is also borne, directly or indirectly, by governments. Providing legal aid is costly. So is not providing legal aid.

Last night Prime 7 News reported that thousands of people in regional New South Wales are missing out on legal representation because they don't qualify for legal aid and can't afford to pay for a lawyer. Other media outlets around the country are running the story.

Richard Roxburgh's YouTube video has received around 900 views so far, and there have been 3000 hits on social media, but members of the Bar Association are urged to spread the word and sign the campaign petition to all members of parliament.

Roxburgh stars at #LegalAidMatters campaign

Thu May 19 2016

A video message from the star of Rake, Richard Roxburgh, rounded off this morning's very successful local launch for the Legal Aid Matters campaign. Jointly organised by the Bar Association and the Law Society, the full house heard excellent presentations by David Neal SC and special guest Steve Hynes from the the Legal Action Group in the UK.

David Neal SC used the analogy of Medicare. Would Australians tolerate a healthcare system that covered only 8% of Australians? Neal SC made the even more shocking observation that only 43% of people living below the poverty line can qualify for legal aid and that the Australian Government spends twice the amount of money on its own legal services than it does on legal aid for its citizens.

Steve Hynes spoke about recent campaigns to halt the austerity-driven cuts to the UK's more comprehensive and properly funded legal aid system. Equality before the law is a fundamental principle of the common law system, but it's only possible with comprehensive legal aid.

Pauline Wright, senior vice-president of the Law Society and chair of its Criminal Law Committee summed up the morning's presentations when she said: "Legal aid: it's economic sense, moral sense and common sense".

Visit the campaign website: Sign the petition and write to your local MP.

You can view Richard Roxburgh’s video message in support of the campaign here.

Please promote it far and wide with #LegalAidMatters

CIArb Asia Pacific Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration Course

Thu May 19 2016
20 – 28 August 2016 | Promoted by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) Asia Pacific Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration Course will be held in Singapore between 20 and 28 August 2016. Successful completion offers a pathway to CIArb Fellowship and accreditation that carries a global qualification in the growing practice of international arbitration. Places are strictly limited. For further information and to register visit

Swearing-in ceremony for Justice Stephen Burley

Thu May 19 2016

Stephen Burley SC has been appointed as a judge of the Federal Court. A ceremonial sitting of the Full Federal Court will be held on Monday, 23 May 2016 at 9.30am in Court 1, Level 21, Queens Square. Chrissa Loukas SC will speak on behalf of the New South Wales and Australian bar associations. Barristers should wear gowns, but not wigs.

Bar Council business for February-March 2016

Thu May 19 2016

Bar Council met on 11 February, 25 February and 17 March 2016 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. View the minutes for 11 February; 25 February; and 17 March.

Call for comment on the Best Practice Guidelines

Thu May 19 2016

Members would be aware that the Bar Association has prepared a set of Best Practice Guidelines to assist chambers to create healthy work environments for barristers and chambers staff. The guidelines are available on the Bar Association’s website.

The Bar Association reviews and updates the guidelines annually to ensure that they continue to reflect the needs of the bar, and relevant changes to the law. As part of this review process, the association is seeking the views of its membership and welcomes suggestions and comments on the content of the guidelines, and their implementation.

Comments should be provided to Megan Batchelor at by 3 June 2016. Members with any questions are welcome to contact Megan on ph: (02) 9232 4055.

CLA June Judges Series — the Hon Justices Ward, Gleeson and Emmett

Wed May 18 2016

You can book for the entire series or register for each seminar individually (lunch and GST inc). 12.30-2.00pm, Friday, 10, 17 & 24 June, Dixson Room, Mitchell Wing, NSW State Library

Friday, 10 June

The Hon Justice Julie Ward, Supreme Court of NSW, Recent developments in Corporations Law

Friday, 17 June

The Hon Justice Fabian Gleeson, Supreme Court of NSW, Enforceability of contracts

Friday, 24 June

The Hon Justice Arthur Emmett, Supreme Court of NSW, Principles relating to an Advocate's immunity. What is covered and what is not? Attwells & Anor v Jackson Lawyers Pty Ltd

Book for the entire series and save CLA members: $320; non-members: $400 Or book for each seminar: CLA members: $119; non-members: $149

For more information and to register visit

Voice and Performance Skills Workshop

Wed May 18 2016
Designed specifically for barristers by Voice Coach

Voice Coach will hold its Voice and Performance Skills Workshop in July.

Voice Coach has 10 years of experience adapting performance skills for court advocates with the ABA, in Sth Africa and Singapore.

12 & 19 July at 5.00-7.00pm

  • Earn CPD points – 2 points in The Barristers’ Skills Strand
  • Limited places (6 pax)
  • Special industry rate: $600pp + GST
  • Book at or call Lucy Cornell on 0416100885

Practising Certificate Renewals 2016-17

Wed May 18 2016
Update No.3

There are only just three weeks left to renew your practising certificate by the due date - 7 June 2016

DO NOT WAIT until you have confirmation of insurance to return your completed renewal form and payment. Preliminary processing of your practising certificate can begin and your insurance can be matched up with your renewal documentation once confirmation of insurance is received.

Not intending to renew your practising certificate? If you have decided not to renew your practising certificate this year, would you please advise us in writing that this is your intention so we can note our records.

If you have questions regarding the completion of your renewal documentation, please contact the Certification Officer, Barrie Anthony ph: 9232 4055, or e-mail

Senior Counsel Selection Committee

Tue May 17 2016

At the Bar Council meeting on 12 May, it was agreed that the 2016 Silk Selection Committee will consist of:

  • Noel Hutley SC
  • Arthur Moses SC
  • Keith Rewell SC
  • Sandra Duggan SC
  • Kylie Nomchong SC
  • Sally Dowling SC
  • The Hon Joe Campbell QC (retired judge)
  • Lindsay Cane (CEO - Royal North West)

15 Bobbers for the Hon Justice Payne and the Hon Justice Adams

Tue May 17 2016

Members of the New South Wales Bar Association are invited to attend the 15 Bobber for the Hon Justice Anthony Payne & the Hon Justice Natalie Adams. The 15 Bobber is to be held on Friday, 3 June 2016 in the New South Wales Bar Association Common Room. Speaker for the Hon Justice Anthony Payne is James Hmelnitsky & for the Hon Justice Natalie Adams, Helen Roberts. The event begins at 5.30 PM with speeches beginning at 5.45 PM. Tickets pre-purchased by Thursday, 2 June are $15.00. Tickets after this time will be $25 on the door. To RSVP, please click here.

Lifetime Care e-news issue 86

Mon May 16 2016

The Lifetime Care & Support Authority publishes a newsletter, Lifetime Care enews. Issue 86 is now available and includes information about dispute assessor recruitment, the icare website, case management taxonomy and more. View Lifetime Care enews No 86


Mon May 16 2016

The Hon George Palmer AM QC has written an opera, Cloudstreet, which has just had its premier at the State Opera of South Australia and it is being featured on ABC’s Australian Story at 8pm tonight. A review of the opera is available here.

Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity report

Mon May 16 2016

The Australian legal system was designed at a time when the population it served was more homogenous than it is today. In 2014, in recognition of this fact, the Council of Chief Justices endorsed the formation of a new advisory body — the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity (JCCD). The JCCD aims to assist Australian courts, judicial officers and administrators to positively respond to the changing needs of Australian society and ensure that all Australians have equal access to justice.

In 2015, the council identified two at risk groups of court users who face barriers accessing justice – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and migrant and refugee women. Accordingly, the council, in collaboration with various stakeholders, conducted community consultations across Australia and collated research into issues facing these diverse court users.

The JCCD has now released two Path to Justice reports: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Experience of the Courts and Migrant and Refugee Women’s Experience of the Courts.


New Barristers' Committee Breakfast in Parramatta

Mon May 16 2016

The New Barristers’ Committee invites you to join our hosts Magistrate Stafford, Magistrate Tsavdaridis and Chrissa Loukas SC for breakfast in Parramatta on 17 May 2016 from 8am. The breakfast will be held at the Legal Grind Café, 9 George Street, Parramatta.

Drop in for a short(or long) time from 8:00am – 9:30am.

So that an appropriate area can be set aside please indicate if you might be able to attend by emailing Mary Rebehy, Arthur Phillip Chambers, at:

Please download the flyer here

Legal Aid Matters campaign

Mon May 16 2016

Law Week 2016 is underway and it began with the launch of Legal Aid Matters, a national campaign aimed at ensuring the Australian Government responds decisively to the legal aid funding crisis. Find out more and get involved in the campaign by visiting where you can learn more about the crisis, sign a petition, and even directly contact your local MP.