2017 Justice 4 Refugees Cocktail Evening

Mon Sep 25 2017

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 by Wednesday 4 October 2017 - Spaces are strictly limited

Determination of economic and non-economic losses

Fri Sep 22 2017
Practice and procedure

Pursuant to section 80 of the Motor Accidents Act 1988, the minister for finance, services and property has made the Motor Accidents (Determination of Non-economic Loss) Amendment Order 2017 (NSW), which from 1 October 2017 increases the maximum amounts that are to apply for past or future non-economic loss.

Pursuant to s 80 of the Motor Accidents Act 1988 the maximum amount that is to apply for past or future economic loss under that Act will, from 1 October 2017, be increased by the Motor Accidents (Determination of Loss) Amendment Order 2017.

The chief executive of the State Insurance Regulatory Authority, in pursuance of sections 3.9 and 4.22 of the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017, has made the Motor Accident Injuries (Indexation) Order 2017.

A History of Australian Legal Education, by Professor David Barker AM

Fri Sep 22 2017
Book launch

Members are invited to attend the launch of Professor Barker's book, A History of Australian Legal Education on 4 October 2017 at 5.30pm at Greenway Chambers (Level 10, 99 Elizabeth Street, Sydney). Professor Barker’s book will be launched by The Hon Kevin Lindgren AM QC. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP by 27 September 2017 to John Xenos at

Bar Association raises concerns about Justice Legislation Amendment Bill

Thu Sep 21 2017
Law reform and public affairs

The Bar Association has raised concerns regarding a retrospective amendment in the Justice Legislation Amendment Bill (No 2) relating to the schedule in the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act. David Shoebridge MLC of the Greens raised those concerns in the course of debate. He said:

I note the very real concerns raised by the New South Wales Bar Association about the way in which the proposed amendments to the validation of the provisions in schedule 1 to the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Amendment Regulation.

The Greens agree with the New South Wales Bar Association that retrospectively changing the criminal law should be done in a substantive bill and not hidden away in the middle of a justice legislation compendium bill. It may be, for reasons that have not been well clarified by the Attorney General, that that is the right course of action, but there has not been anywhere near sufficient scrutiny of that element of the bill for it to be passed in the omnibus manner proposed. When retrospective changes are being made to the criminal law, and retrospective changes that include potential sentences of life imprisonment, they should not be snuck through in a justice legislation amendment bill. I commend the reasons given by the New South Wales Bar Association for urging the Government to pull that out of this compendium bill and to put it into a substantive bill.

View the full Hansard of the debate here.

ALS welcomes Bar Association submission on Indigenous incarceration

Thu Sep 21 2017

The Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) has issued a media release supporting calls by the Bar Association for an offender’s Aboriginal background to be taken into consideration when being sentenced, in an effort to address the high rates of Indigenous incarceration. View the media release here.

Gartelmann SC appointed to the District Court of NSW

Wed Sep 20 2017

Timothy Gartelmann SC has been appointed as a judge of the District Court of New South Wales. A formal ceremony to honour this occasion will be held in the John Maddison Tower on Level 21, at 9:00am on Tuesday, 3 October 2017. View the attorney general's announcement here. Members will be advised of further details closer to the date.

Richard Weinstein SC appointed as Advocate for Change

Wed Sep 20 2017

President Arthur Moses SC has appointed Richard Weinstein SC as a New South Wales Bar Advocate for Change for a period of three years. The purpose of the Advocates for Change program is to provide role models who are excellent practitioners and who, through the example of what they do and say in their professional lives as barristers, represent the full width of diversity and inclusion that the Bar Association wishes to promote at the bar. View the announcement here.

Incarceration Rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Wed Sep 20 2017
Policy and law reform

The New South Wales Bar Association's submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission's Inquiry Into the Incarceration Rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples was the subject of an article in today's Sydney Morning Herald. The Bar Association's submission is available here.

In his statement to the Herald, Arthur Moses SC said:

The New South Wales Bar Association has provided a detailed submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission Inquiry regarding Incarceration Rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The submission has been prepared by a high profile expert Joint Working Party including members of the Association’s Criminal Law and Human Rights Committees, the judiciary, a former Attorney General, academics and others involved in Aboriginal Justice issues. The Working Party is chaired by former NSW Bar Association President Phillip Boulten SC and the Chair of the Association’s Human Rights Committee, Sarah Pritchard SC, and will play an ongoing role assisting the Association in developing policy initiatives to respond to the ongoing national shame of aboriginal imprisonment rates.

It is obvious from the increasing rates of Aboriginal incarceration, both in NSW and nationwide, that the justice system as a whole is failing to adequately deal with indigenous offenders. This failure is leading to generations of indigenous persons being incarcerated and their full potential not being realised. The Association’s submission makes a number of recommendations regarding important and urgently required criminal justice improvements ranging from changes to the bail regime, properly resourced diversionary programs for offenders, parole and fine enforcement reform to principles and practice regarding sentencing. Principal amongst these recommendations is the Bar Association submission that systemic and background factors must be considered by courts in sentencing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. State and Territory governments should legislate, as a matter of urgency, to expressly require courts to consider the unique systemic and background factors affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples when sentencing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders. The legislation should introduce provisions as to the purposes of sentencing in each State and Territory that specifically recognise:

(a) a purpose of sentencing as “ameliorating the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in custody”;

(b) a purpose of sentencing of “reparation for harm done by the offending to victims or to the community” rather than current purposes relating to recognition of the harm done to the victim of crime and the community;

(c) a purpose of sentencing of “restoration of harmony within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities”, noting that the latter is an important part of dealing with crime and resolution of disputes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; and

(d) a purpose of sentencing of “providing equal justice in sentencing decisions”.

The Association’s submission also notes with particular concern that current funding arrangements for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services has not kept up with increased demand and the cost of service delivery. It is obvious that manifestly unacceptable incarceration rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people cannot even begin to be addressed without adequate, consistent and reliable funding of legal services. In this regard the Association has this week approached the NSW Attorney General regarding funding for the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT). The Government has announced a package of reforms regarding a system for early guilty pleas in the criminal justice system. The early guilty pleas proposal will have an enormous impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our criminal justice system and yet the Government has not provided any additional funding to the ALS to assist it in dealing with increased demand for their services. I have written to the Attorney General urging him to urgently address this oversight and ensure that the ALS receives appropriate additional funds to enable it to fulfil its increased responsibilities under this proposal.

2017 Pink & Blue Ribbon Breakfast – All welcome

Tue Sep 19 2017

Members and their friends are invited to the 2017 Pink & Blue Ribbon Breakfast on Friday, 27 October at Verandah Restaurant. Come and enjoy a two-course breakfast and help raise money for two wonderful charities. There will also be a fabulous raffle drawn on the morning with [amazing prizes] to be won!

Raffle tickets will also be available to pre-purchase from early October at the Bar Association Reception. RSVP for the breakfast today, RSVPs will be accepted until Friday, 20 October unless sold out prior.

Click here for all the event details including updated details on the amazing raffle organised by the Diversity and Equality Committee.

If you are unable to attend the breakfast, you may still make a donation to these worthy causes via the registration process. All donations over $2 are tax deductible. Tax receipts will be issued by the charities following the events. To donate, please click here.

Supporting charities

The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) is the leading community-funded national organisation in Australia raising money for research into prevention and cure of breast cancer. Research programs funded by the NBCF cover every aspect of breast cancer, from increasing understanding of genetics to providing better treatments and improving ways to support women and their families. The NBCF relies almost entirely on corporate and community support to continue its work.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) is the peak national body for prostate cancer in Australia. The PCFA focuses on funding innovative research, support, information and advocacy for men with prostate cancer and raising awareness across the community. PCFA operates over 100 supports groups Australia wide who provide support and advocacy, via the phone or face to face to men and their families affected by prostate cancer. These groups meet regularly and provide a meeting forum for the exchange of experiences, ideas and news as well as an invaluable support network.

If you have any questions regarding the event, please contact the Associations, Events Coordinator Erika Childs on ph: (02) 9232 4055. We look forward to seeing you there.

The Ron McCallum Debate

Tue Sep 19 2017
At the lectern

The 7th Annual Ron McCallum Debate will be hosted by the Australian Institute of Employment Rights (AIER) at the UTS Dr Chau Chak Wing Auditorium on Wednesday, 25 October 2017 (4pm to 6pm). This year’s debate will challenge whether the Workplace Relations system is in need of fixing and how the future of work should be regulated.

Registration is essential via the AIER. Please call: 03 9647 9111 or email:

Presented by the Australian Institute of Employment Rights, an independent, not-for-profit organisation that works in the public interest to promote fairer workplaces.

Raising funds in the NY City Marathon

Tue Sep 19 2017

Nerida Harvey, the pro bono solicitor for the Law Society and valued colleague of the Bar Association's Legal Assistance Referral Scheme, will run the 2017 New York City Marathon with the Team for Kids. Nerida's target is to raise $2,620 for the NY Road Runners Youth Programs by 3 October 2017. To learn more about Nerida or her cause, visit her fundraising page here.

Workers Compensation Regulation Bulletin

Tue Sep 19 2017

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has published the Workers Compensation Regulation Bulletin, Issue 28, 09/2017. This edition has a feature article (in fact, it's the only article) on "Indexed adjustments to workers compensation benefits from 1 October 2017". View the bulletin on the SIRA website.

Federal Court replaces Interest on Judgments Practice Note

Tue Sep 19 2017
Practice and procedure

The Chief Justice of the Federal Court has revoked the Interest on Judgments Practice Note (GPN-INT) issued on 25 October 2016. Its replacement is now available on the Federal Court website.

The Interest on Judgments Practice Note (GPN-INT) is one of the Court’s General Practice Notes and clarifies certain matters relevant to the calculation of interest on Federal Court judgments. As part of the 12-month review of the General Practice Notes the court has made minor changes to this practice note.

For calculation of interest, please refer to the table of Pre-judgment & Post-judgment Interest Rates on the court's website. If you have any questions about this practice note please email the court at

New Barristers' Committee Breakfast in Parramatta - 20 October 2017

Tue Sep 19 2017

The New Barristers’ Committee invites you to join our hosts Magistrate Stafford and Magistrate Tsavdaridis for breakfast in Parramatta on 20 October 2017 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 Corrie Goodhand, 8th Floor Selborne Chambers, at:

2018 Conferences - invitation for abstracts and papers

Mon Sep 18 2017
Call for papers

The Bar Association's Professional Development Department invites members to submit suggestions and/or abstracts for papers to be included in the association's 2018 CPD Conference series. The conferences will be held on Saturdays in Ballina, Newcastle, Orange, Parramatta and Sydney during February and March.

The dates for 2018 Conferences are:

  • North Coast (Ballina) – Saturday 17 February
  • Parramatta – Saturday 24 February
  • Newcastle – Saturday 10 March
  • Orange – Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 March
  • Sydney – Saturday 24 March

Suggestions for papers and brief synopses can be submitted to the professional development coordinator, Tiffany McDonald ( Please ensure to include '2018 Regional Conferences' in the email subject line along with the inclusion of a working title and, where possible, a short description or abstract of your suggestion in the email.

Suggestions and abstracts are requested by Friday, 29 September.

Congratulations to the Bar Half Marathon Team

Mon Sep 18 2017

Cynthia Cochrane and Ben Symons ran the Blackmores Half Marathon yesterday and raised $4,400 for the Katrina Dawson Foundation, well in excess of the $3,000 target. Cynthia finished with the official time of 2:04:24, while Ben finished in 1:38. The Everyday Hero page will stay online a little longer, giving members one last chance to raise even more. Well done Cynthia and Ben!

UN Women National Committee Australia: call for board expressions of interest

Mon Sep 18 2017

UN Women National Committee Australia is calling for nominations for three members of the Board of Directors, to commence a three year term in November 2017. Applications close 24 September 2017. To be eligible to serve on the Board of Directors, candidates must be a current financial member of UN Women NC Australia. Learn more about the selection criteria here. For more about the UN Women and the UN Women National Commmittee Australia visit UN Women.


Mandatory disclosure statement

Mon Sep 18 2017
Professional Standards Scheme

Every barrister who holds a NSW practising certificate, is a member of the Bar Association and has approved professional indemnity insurance is covered by the New South Wales Bar Association’s Professional Standards Scheme, which limits their liability for damages to $1.5 million.

Mandatory disclosure statement

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

All members covered by the scheme are reminded of their obligation to display the mandatory disclosure statement on all documentation sent to existing and prospective clients – including instructing solicitors. This ensures that the scheme can be relied upon to protect against unlimited liability. A person covered by a scheme who does not use the disclosure statement as required is guilty of an offence (refer s33(2) of the Professional Standards Act 1994).

The 2017 annual random audit of members on the use of the mandatory statement has shown that a small number of members have not been displaying the mandatory disclosure statement as required. The main breaches are using:

  • a variation of words other than that prescribed by the Regulation;
  • the former prescribed statement which expired on 25 October 2005; and
  • a typeface that is smaller than the minimum required under the Regulation.

Clause 9 of the Professional Standards Regulation 2014 sets out the prescribed disclosure statement to be used, i.e. ‘Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation’. The statement must be printed on a size not less than the face measurement of Times New Roman typeface in 8 point.

The Professional Standards Council published a guide on responsibilities of members to use the disclosure statement which can be viewed here.

Please check to ensure you are using the correct disclosure statement on all documents as required.

Should you have any queries regarding the Scheme, please contact the Bar Association’s Scheme Administrator and Senior Projects Lawyer, Ms Kim Kemp on ph 9232 4055, fax 9221 1149 or e-mail

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

Mon Sep 18 2017

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.

Copyright Law and Practice Symposium

Fri Sep 15 2017

The Australian Copyright Council, along with the Copyright Society of Australia, invite members to the 18th Biennial Copyright Law and Practice Symposium on 12-13 October 2017 at Lendlease Darling Harbour. Keynote speaker will be the Hon Pierre N Leval, justice of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Learn more here.