PC releases annual report on the justice system

Tue Jan 31 2017
Law reform and public affairs

The Productivity Commmission has today released its annual Report on Government Services (Volume C: Justice). ROGS provides information on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of government services in Australia. In the case of the NSW court system, the results are satisfactory, with the Local Court being the most "efficient" in the country.

The definitive list of NSW silks

Tue Jan 31 2017

Did you know that the first person appointed to the rank of queen's counsel (QC) was John Hubert Plunkett, on 6 June 1856? The last was Peter Michael Jacobson on 1 December 1992. The Bar Association has compiled the definitive list of New South Wales silk appointments, from the first to the most recent senior counsel in 2016. Learn more here.

Forensic Evidence Workshops for Criminal Law Advocates

Tue Jan 31 2017

The Faculty of Law and School of Psychology, UNSW, the Public Defenders Chambers NSW and the Office of the Director or Public Prosecutions NSW invites Criminal Law Advocates to attend ‘Scientific Knowledge or Subjective Opinion? Forensic Evidence Workshops for Criminal Law Advocates’. The workshop is divided into two parts and will be held in the Bar Association Common Room on Wednesday 22nd February 2017 and Thursday 2nd March 2017. For full details please download a flyer here

The workshops are free of charge, but REGISTRATION IS ESSENTIAL. Registered participants will be required to attend both workshops. To register please email your full name to Tiffany McDonald at Places are limited to 50 participants and will be allocated on a ‘first in’ basis.

Please note that the workshops are now full. Registration received after this time, 10.30am 31/01, will be added to a waitlist.

Chief Justice Kiefel AC sworn-in today

Mon Jan 30 2017

The Honourable Susan Kiefel AC was sworn-in as chief justice of the High Court of Australia at a ceremonial sitting in Canberra this morning. A copy of Attorney General George Brandis QC's speech is available here.

Forensics Breakfast Series

Mon Jan 30 2017
Seminar series: 7.45am - 8.45am every Wednesday from 15 February - 22 March 2017

Have you ever struggled with how CCTV or other images can be used in court, how to determine if a fire was deliberately lit, what effects different drugs or alcohol really had on your clients’ legal capacity and behaviours, whether the stated cause of death is accurate, whether certain injuries are consistent with a particular version of events, or how fraud is detected from accounting records? Join us each Wednesday morning at 7.45am to find out these and other fascinating forensic facts from leading experts.

For a detailed program regarding this Forensics Breakfast Series please click here.

6 Seminar Forensics Series (Discount for whole series)

Please note that these sessions can also be purchased separately. To book to attend an individual seminar only, please click on one of the below links:

Mark Speakman SC appointed attorney general

Mon Jan 30 2017
Law reform and public affairs

The Hon Mark Speakman SC MP has been appointed as the new attorney general for New South Wales. Mr Speakman's appointment was among a number of changes announced as part of Premier Gladys Berejiklian's Cabinet reshuffle. The full list of Cabinet appointments can be found here.

NSW prison population continues to grow

Mon Jan 30 2017
Law reform and public affairs

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has reported that the state's prison population has continued to grow, reaching 12,729 last December, not counting prisoners held in police cells. This brings the total increase in the adult prison population over the last two years to 16 per cent. Fortunately, the rate of growth has slowed and the number of juveniles in detention has fallen. Learn more here.

STEP address: Issues with the use of ADR in will disputes

Mon Jan 30 2017

The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) invites you to an address by Ian Davidson SC on "Issues with the use of ADR in will disputes". It will be held on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 5.30pm sharp in the Banco Court, Queens Square. Refreshments will be served at 7.00pm. For more information, or to register, download a flyer here.

4th Floor Wentworth Chambers Room For Sale

Mon Jan 30 2017
Member services and benefits

A Phillip Street frontage room has become available on the 4th Floor Wentworth Chambers. 4th Floor Wentworth Chambers is a busy, harmonious and well established floor of 21 Barristers, including two Senior Counsel and 15 Senior Junior Counsel specialising in areas of Common Law, Family Law, Commercial and Crime.

The Floor has recently been extensively renovated and is networked through CCL, uses VOIP telephone systems and also has a separate conference room for use by Floor members. For more information about the room or the Floor, please contact the Clerk, Leanne Ferguson (T: 02 9232 2722 or E: All enquiries will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.

Robert Dubler's road to recovery

Mon Jan 30 2017

Robert Dubler SC, a cherished member of the 12th Floor, became a quadriplegic in May 2016 as a result of a surfing accident. He is working hard at recovery but the road is long, difficult and expensive. Robert was a keen swimmer and one of his favourite events each year was to swim the Cole Classic ocean race from Manly to Shelly Beach. This year the race is being held on Sunday, 5 February 2017. Renwick SC and Harding will swim in honour of Robert and in doing so hope to raise some funds towards his recovery. Click here to contribute.

Bar Library overdue notice

Mon Jan 30 2017
Practice support

Members might have received an email from the Bar Library regarding an overdue copy of a Commonwealth statute: Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests (Treatment) (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2006. Please disregard the notice. The library's cataloguing system has misfired.

Australia Day Honours

Fri Jan 27 2017

The following members of the New South Wales Bar Association have received Australia Day Honours in the Order of Australia:

Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)

The Hon Justice Stephen Gageler, for eminent service to the law and to the judiciary through contributions in the areas of constitutional, public, international, common and criminal law, to legal reform, education and academic discourse, and to professional organisations.

The Hon Robert James Ellicott QC, for eminent service to the Parliament of Australia, particularly as Attorney-General, to legal practice and innovative policy development, to advancements in global trade law, and to the international arbitration of sporting disputes.

Member of the Order of Australia (AM)

Judge Graeme Henson, for significant service to the law and to the judiciary, to public administration, to legal standards, and to education.

Mr Ian Bailey SC, for significant service to the law, particularly in the area of dispute resolution in the construction industry, and to education.

Medal of the Order in the General Division (OAM)

Mr Barry Collier, for service to the Parliament of NSW, to the law, and to education.

40th Anniversary Special Ceremonial Sitting of the Federal Court

Fri Jan 27 2017

The Federal Court of Australia will hold a 40th Anniversary Special Ceremonial Sitting on Tuesday, 7 February 2017 at 4.30pm in the No. 1 Courtroom, Level 21, Law Courts Building, Queens Square. Members of the New South Wales Bar are welcome to attend. Any enquires concerning the Anniversary can be directed to Stephen Williams by email at or via ph: 02 9230 8728.

The Hon Sir Anthony Mason AK KBE QC to deliver Sir Garfield Barwick Address

Wed Jan 25 2017
At the lectern

The Sir Garfield Barwick Address Foundation is pleased and honoured to advise that an Address will be delivered by the Hon Sir Anthony Mason AK, KBE, QC at a dinner to be held on Wednesday 15 March 2017 at the Castlereagh Hotel at 6.30pm.

The Foundation is an independent non-profit charity registered with the ACNC whose purpose is to organise the Address and if possible its publication.

If you would like to attend the event or would like further information please respond to the Barwick Address Foundation direct by email to or

LCA Family Law Section seminars

Mon Jan 23 2017

Registration for the 2017 Family Law Intensive series is now open. The Intensive will be presented in Sydney on Saturday, 11 February 2017 (early bird closes 27 January). Further information is also available on the Family Law Section website at

The program for 2017 includes (among other things):

  • Latest and Greatest, a review and analysis of leading cases during the last twelve months.
  • Family violence from the ‘other side’ – acting for the perpetrator.
  • Not drowning, waving - when family law and commercial worlds collide.
  • Answers to a failing family law system – arbitration, delay, mediation.
  • "Life in the Duty List” - your ‘how to guide’ for interim hearings. A session designed specifically for junior practitioners.
  • Informal networking drinks.

2017 Red Mass

Mon Jan 23 2017

The Red Mass for the Opening of Law Term 2017 will be held at St Mary's Cathedral on Thursday, 2 February 2017 at 9.00am. Judges and counsel may robe in the crypt beneath the cathedral from 8.30am.

William Grant OAM (1951-2017)

Mon Jan 23 2017

William (Bill) Grant OAM, secretary-general of the Law Council from 2007-2011 and CEO of Legal Aid NSW from 2001-2007 and 2011-2016, has died. Members will be advised of funeral arrangements as soon as they are known.

Law Council backs anti-slavery legislation

Fri Jan 20 2017
Law reform and public affairs

The Law Council of Australia has backed amendments aimed at strengthening the nation’s criminal justice legislative response to human trafficking, slavery, and slavery-like offences. The Law Council has endorsed important changes in its submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s Inquiry into the Crimes Legislation Amendment (International Crime Cooperation and Other Measures) Bill 2016. Learn more here.

Swearing-in ceremony for Julia Virgo and James Gibson

Fri Jan 20 2017

On Monday, 23 January 2017 at 9.00am there will be a swearing-in ceremony to welcome the appointment of Julia Virgo and James Gibson as magistrates of the Local Court of NSW. The ceremony will be held in courtroom 5.2 of the Downing Centre Local Court. Senior Vice-President Arthur Moses SC will speak on behalf of the New South Wales Bar. Wigs and gowns are not to be worn.

2017 Personal Injury/Common Law Conference

Fri Jan 20 2017

Registrations are OPEN for the 2017 Personal Injury and Common Law Conference, which will be held at the Hilton Sydney on Saturday 11 March.

The conference offers 5 CPD points.

The conference runs from 9:00am to 3.00pm. Morning tea and a stand-up buffet lunch will be provided. For more details about the conference and the costs involved please click here

Registrations are open to NSW barristers that currently hold a practising certificate and places in the conference are strictly limited. To register and pay to secure your place please click here

A detailed program will be made available over the coming weeks. The program will be advertised in In Brief as well as on the NSW Bar Association Website.

For any questions about CPD requirements, conferences or the general CPD program, please contact the Professional Development Department (9223 4919 or

NSW Bar Association CPD Conferences 2017

Fri Jan 20 2017

Registrations are OPEN for the New South Wales Bar Association Regional CPD Conferences. The 2017 CPD Conferences have been confirmed for the following dates and locations:

  • Saturday, 18 February: North Coast
  • Saturday, 25 February: Newcastle
  • Saturday, 4 March and Sunday, 5 March: Orange
  • Saturday, 18 March: Parramatta
  • Saturday, 25 March: Sydney

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

The conferences are run by registration only and places in each conference are strictly limited. To register and pay to secure your place please click here

Further speaker details will be made available over the coming weeks. These will be advertised in In Brief as well as on the NSW Bar Association Website.

For any questions about CPD requirements, conferences or the general CPD program, please contact the Professional Development Department on 02 9232 4919 or via e-mail

Guidance Note 24 for assessment of permanent impairment under the CTP scheme

Wed Jan 18 2017

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has published Guidance Note 24 - The Urinary and Reproductive System: Assessment of Incontinence for use by all stakeholders in the Assessment of Permanent Impairment in the NSW Motor Accidents CTP scheme. SIRA has also republished Guidance Note 6 – The Spine: Assessment of Dysmetria.

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. The guidance notes may be found on the SIRA website.

Should a member wish to provide comment or have any queries on any of the guidance notes please forward your email to