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Bar Association sponsors TLC tenth anniversary seminars

Thu Aug 31 2017

Toongabbie Legal Centre is marking its 10th anniversary by hosting 10 free Saturday legal seminars for the community. The Bar Association is one of the principal sponsors and barristers such as Kate Eastman SC, Phil Boulten SC, Mark Robinson SC, Sheila Kaur-Bains will present seminars across western Sydney on subjects ranging from discrimination, police powers to disputes with CentreLink and governance of charitable organisations. Some are suitable for CPD. View the full program here.

Last chance to nominate for the 2017 Human Rights Awards

Thu Aug 31 2017
Awards

There's still time to nominate for the 2017 Human Rights Awards. The awards recognise and celebrate the extraordinary contributions of individuals, organisations and businesses to the field of human rights each year.

Nominations can be submitted under eight categories: the Human Rights Medal, the Young People’s Medal, Law Award, Business Award, ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’ Award, Tony Fitzgerald Community Award for Organisations, Tony Fitzgerald Community Award for Individuals and the Media Award.

The nomination process is a quick and simple online or PDF form - click here to nominate today!

Nominations close at midnight on Monday, 4 September 2017.

For any questions about the Awards, please contact us at hrawards@humanrights.gov.au or phone (02) 9284 9779.

2017 Justice 4 Refugees Cocktail Evening

Wed Aug 30 2017
Charity at the bar

On behalf of the Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS), the New South Wales Bar Association invites all members of the NSW Bar to be our guest at the Justice 4 Refugees (J4R) Cocktail Evening on Wednesday 11 October 2017, 5.30pm to 7.30pm in the NSW Bar Association Common Room. Guest Speakers include The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG and Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs.

The New South Wales Bar Council has resolved to be a RACS Fundraising Partner. The J4R Cocktail Evening aims to raise funds and celebrate the work of the Refugee Advice & Casework Service who for more than 30 years has been actively protecting and advocating for the rights of people seeking asylum in Australia.

All proceeds raised on the evening will be donated directly to the Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS).

Should you wish for more information or to attend this event, please forward your RSVP to rsvp@nswbar.asn.au by Wednesday 4 October 2017 - Spaces are strictly limited

State Insurance Regulatory Authority releases Guidance Note 25

Wed Aug 30 2017

The Permanent Impairment Guidelines Interpretation Group (PI-GIG) was formed in November 2008 to provide expert and considered advice on any anomalies in the NSW Motor Accidents CTP scheme Permanent Impairment Guidelines and AMA4 Guides.

One of the roles of the PI-GIG is to develop guidance notes to clarify or outline the clinically preferred interpretation of existing guideline provisions for any anomalies, areas which are open to interpretation, or have the potential for inconsistent assessments .

Guidance Notes developed by the PI-GIG will in no way contradict the existing provisions of the NSW Motor Accidents CTP scheme Permanent Impairment Guidelines or AMA4 Guides, but may provide a clinically preferred method of interpretation in circumstances where:

  • Existing provisions are ambiguous
  • Existing provisions do not cover a particular condition
  • Existing provisions are contradictory
  • Existing provisions require definition or clarification

The following new Guidance Note is available for use by Medical Assessors: Guidance Note 25 - Approach to Using Tables 40 to 45 When Assessing Lower Extremity

The guidance notes are to be used by medical assessors when assessing the degree of permanent impairment under the NSW CTP scheme.

The guidance notes can be found on the SIRA website

Should you wish to provide comment or have any queries on any of the Guidance Notes please forward your email to WPIenquiryMAIR@sira.nsw.gov.au.

Responses will be collated for a period of six months following the date of launch of the Guidance Note and presented to the Permanent Impairment Guidelines Interpretation Group for further consideration.

Courtbinder.com: PDF collation for litigators

Wed Aug 30 2017

Are you or your instructing solicitors preparing an exhibit, an affidavit, a letter with attachments, or a bundle-of-authorities? If so, give www.courtbinder.com a go. It is an online tool for merging multiple PDF files into one paginated and sorted file, with an optional automatic table-of-contents. It can even automatically generate text for an accompanying affidavit. Once you receive the resulting file, you just need to click “print”. Try it now for free at www.courtbinder.com.

Legal Aid NSW Annual Care and Protection Conference

Tue Aug 29 2017
Conferences

Members who represent parents and/or children in the care and protection jurisdiction are invited to the Legal Aid NSW Care & Protection Conference on Friday, 1 September 2017. Among the speakers will be his Honour Judge Warwick Hunt of the District Court. More information about the conference, and about registration, is available here.

IBA Conference Sydney 2017: transferable tickets discount offer ends 31 August.

Tue Aug 29 2017
Conferences

Members wishing to attend the International Bar Association (IBA) Conference in Sydney (8 - 13 October) have until 31 August to take advantage of the IBA's transferable ticket offer, which is open to chambers with no more than 20 barristers.

Under the offer, a ticket to the conference can be shared among members of the same chambers on different days of the conference. In other words, one member of a chambers can attend on one day, a different member of the same chambers on another day and so on for the duration of the conference.

All the person attending on the second or subsequent days of the conference needs to do is go to the conference registration desk at the start of the day they are attending so that the name on the ticket can be changed to their name for that day.

This special transferable ticket can only be purchased online. To register for the conference and to buy a transferable ticket before 31 August, visit this page of the conference website.

When going through the online registration and ticket purchasing steps, to take advantage of this offer, you must select the box that says "Australian law firms or chambers with 20 lawyers or less". This box appears at the end of the registration/ticket purchase process.

Please note that:

  • this IBA offer is open only to chambers with no more than 20 barristers,
  • the offer is available to both IBA members and non-members,
  • the transferable ticket cannot be used by members of different chambers, and
  • this offer expires on 31 August.
  • Finally, members who are not able to take advantage of the transferable ticket option can still take advantage of the overall early bird booking deadline which also ends on 31 August.

Tonight: WBF Drinks Night

Tue Aug 29 2017
Bar social events

All members are invited to the Women Barristers Forum drinks at the Verandah Bar tonight, from 5.30pm.

Legal representation must be available to all, not a select few

Mon Aug 28 2017
Media release

The President of the New South Wales Bar Association Arthur Moses SC and the President of The Law Society of NSW Pauline Wright have expressed their concern at comments by Federal Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Peter Dutton MP this morning regarding the legal rights of refugees in legal proceedings. Learn more here.

Judicial retirement age increase can bring wider benefits for the justice system

Mon Aug 28 2017

The president of the New South Wales Bar Association, Arthur Moses SC, today expressed support for an increase in the statutory judicial retirement age in NSW from 72 to 75. This change would not only ensure the long-term sustainability of the judicial pension scheme, but would also result in savings for the Justice portfolio, which could fund other areas which have been ignored. For example, legal aid rates for junior counsel have not changed since 2007, despite a 26.5% cumulative level of inflation in the past 10 years. Learn more here. The president's statement was also reported in Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald

Renwick SC appointed INSLM

Mon Aug 28 2017
Appointments to note

Dr James Renwick SC has been appointed as the independent national security legislation monitor, effective 24 August 2017 to 30 June 2020.

15 Bobber- Mr David Bennett AC QC - Celebrating 50 Years at the Bar

Mon Aug 28 2017
Events

Members of the NSW Bar Association are invited to attend the 15 Bobber for Mr David Bennett AC QC, celebrating his 50 years at the Bar. The 15 Bobber will be held Friday, 20 October in the New South Wales Bar Association Common Room. Speaking for Mr David Bennett AC QC will be Mr John Sheahan QC. The event begins at 5.30pm with speeches beginning at 5.45pm. RSVP here by 5.00pm Wednesday 11 October 2017.

Message from President Arthur Moses SC

Fri Aug 25 2017
Conduct associated with social media

Dear members,

A number of recent incidents have prompted me to write to remind members that electronic communication - including email and the use of all forms social media - requires the same level of courtesy and professionalism as other more traditional means of communication. This is reflected in the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015. One object of the Rules is to ensure that barristers act in accordance with the general principles of professional conduct. The principles of the Rules state that the Rules are made in the belief that, inter alia, barristers must maintain high standards of professional conduct and that barristers owe duties to the courts, to their clients and to their barrister and solicitor colleagues. The Rules provide that a barrister must not engage in conduct which is discreditable to a barrister or likely to diminish public confidence in the legal profession or bring the legal profession into disrepute. The Rules also prohibit conduct which constitutes discrimination, sexual harassment or workplace bullying. Breach of the Rules is capable of constituting unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct.

Members should be especially vigilant when using methods of communication which are by their nature less formal in tone, such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Instagram and other forms of social media. In addition, you should be aware that any comment made online, even in a closed / secret Facebook group, can be shared via a screen shot.

Conduct at functions associated with the Bar Association

The Bar Association organises, or is associated with, a number of social functions to which barristers are invited. I wish to remind members of the need for exemplary conduct when attending such functions. By all means enjoy yourself, but be mindful that your conduct must not cause harm to, or negatively impact, others.

I would like to bring to your attention some provisions of the Barristers’ Rules that you must keep in mind at such events. Under Rule 8 of the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015, a barrister must not engage in conduct which is dishonest or otherwise discreditable to a barrister or is likely to diminish public confidence in the legal profession. In addition Rule 123 of the Barristers Rules provides that a barrister must not in the course of practice, engage in conduct which constitutes discrimination, sexual harassment, or workplace bullying. Both these Rules are relevant to your conduct at such events which are work events. In addition, if the Bar Council suspects on reasonable grounds that a person has committed a serious offence as defined in section 6 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW)), then section 465 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) imposes on the Bar Council an obligation to report the suspected offence (if it has not already been reported) to the police or other appropriate investigating or prosecuting authority.

The fact that your conduct may become the subject of complaint, or referred to the police or other relevant authority, is not in itself the reason why proper behaviour is expected of barristers. However, a general awareness that unacceptable behaviour may lead to these consequences should be borne in mind.

If you feel you are consuming too much alcohol, or not coping with work or other life pressures, a reminder that the facilities of BarCare are available. Jenny Houen may be contacted via telephone on 0427 317 958 or via email: jhouen@barcare.org

Judicial communication and access to justice

Fri Aug 25 2017
Symposium

Members are invited to a symposium on 7 September 2017 hosted by the UTS China Law Research Group on Digital Technology. Titled 'Judicial Communication and Access to Justice: Challenges and Opportunities' the Symposium will bring together Australian judges, academics, legal practitioners and professionals in major IT companies with their Chinese peers for dialogue about improving techniques of legal adjudication in the current digital environment. Learn more here.

Courtbinder.com: PDF collation for litigators

Fri Aug 25 2017

Courtbinder.com is a new online tool. It merges multiple PDF files into one paginated and sorted file, with an optional table-of-contents. It is perfect for bundles-of-authorities and for exhibits, and it can even generate text for a draft affidavit. Once you receive the resulting file, you just need to click "print".

Try it for free it at https://www.courtbinder.com. Any feedback on this new service is welcome!

Brett Shields to be sworn-in as a magistrate

Fri Aug 25 2017
Swearing-in

Brett Shields will be sworn-in as a magistrate of the Local Court of New South Wales on Monday, 28 August 2017 at 9.00am in Courtroom 5.2 of the Downing Centre. Greg Antipas will speak on behalf of the New South Wales Bar. Robes and wigs are not to be worn.

Alan Anthony McDevitt

Thu Aug 24 2017
Vale

Alan Anthony McDevitt, retired District Court judge, died on 19 August 2017. A Requiem Mass to celebrate his life will be held at St Mary's Catholic Church, North Sydney on Monday, 28 August 2017 at 10.30 am. In lieu of flowers, donations to The Department of Cancer Medicine Research Fund, would be appreciated.

The First Five Years: early learning experiences

Thu Aug 24 2017
Member services and benefits

Guardian Early Learning Group invites members to join them at the Hilton Hotel Sydney for an evening with early childhood expert, Dr Elanna Yalow, as she discusses 'The First Five Years: how a child's early learning experience sets the stage for success at school and later in life'. A light dinner will be provided. The event will be held on Wednesday, 6 September 2017 at 5.30pm for 6.00pm start.

New South Wales Bar Association members and chambers staff have guaranteed access to dedicated permanent, casual or emergency childcare places at Castlereagh Street Early Learning Centre and Little Steps Early Learning Centre, 7.30 am to 6.00pm from Monday to Friday.

For further information or to book your child into care please contact Guardian Early Learning Group on 1300 025 007 or email at corp.enrolments@guardian.edu.au. Please advise Guardian that you are part of the NSW Bar Association childcare scheme to take advantage of it. More information on the scheme is available on the Bar Association's website.

Freedom of Speech and the Case for Defamation Law Reform

Thu Aug 24 2017
Coming up in CPD - Tonight

Tonight, 24 August 2017, there will be a CPD seminar on Freedom of Speech and the Case for Defamation Law Reform. It will be presented by Professor David Rolph and chaired by Greg Tolhurst, the executive director of the Bar Association. Learn more here

Please note this seminar will commence at 6.00pm in the Bar Association Common Room