Walker SC to deliver the Gough Whitlam Oration

Fri May 18 2018

The Whitlam Institute has announced that the 2018 Gough Whitlam Oration will be delivered by Bret Walker SC on 5 June 2018 at 7.00pm in the Riverside Theatres, Parramatta. The topic will be "The Information that Democracy Needs". Buy tickets here.

Sex, lies and a murder plot at the heart of the establishment - it's the Bar Book Club!

Fri May 18 2018
Wellbeing at the NSW Bar

The Bar Book Club will meet again on 12 June. The book for discussion is A Very English Scandal by John Preston. It is in stock here and, of course, readily available in e-format. The meeting will be held in the Bar Library at 6.00pm and light refreshments will be served. Those who are coming from outside Selborne/Wentworth Chambers, please be sure to be in the building before 6.00pm.

For the diary: 2018 Tutors and Readers Dinner

Thu May 17 2018

The 2018 Tutors & Readers Dinner is on Friday, 22 June. The guest of honour is Her Honour Judge Julia Baird and the speaker for the readers is Tim Senior. Invitations will be sent to all 2/17 and 1/18 readers and their tutors early next week.

Judges Lunchtime Seminar Series

Thu May 17 2018

The Commercial Law Association's June Judges series is running on Friday, 8, 15 & 22 June. This year our speakers are: The Hon Justice Ashley Black on "Recent developments in corporate law"; the Hon Justice Nigel Rein on "Close encounters of the unconscionable kind: IP Star Australia Pty Ltd v APS Satellite Pty Ltd"; and the Hon Justice Steven Rares on "Commercial issues: private international law". You can book for the entire series at a discount or for individual seminars if you prefer. Register now at

For the diary: Making ADR Work in a #fakenews World

Thu May 17 2018

Don’t miss out on the ADR Masterclass 2018 – save the date now! The ADR Masterclass is a highly respected one-day CPD conference dedicated to alternative dispute resolution at the NSW Bar. The ADR Masterclass will be held on Saturday, 11 August 2018, 9-5.30 pm at the Sheraton on the Park, Sydney. This year’s theme is Making ADR Work in a #fakenews World.

Fake News has fast moved beyond a joke or a harmless hashtag. Fake News challenges democracy, the rule of law and the administration of justice. It undermines public trust in traditional institutions, and unfortunately the courts are no exception. While Fake News is changing the way that lawyers and barristers practice, it presents new opportunities for ADR barristers as specialist advocates working outside of the courtroom. The ADR Masterclass 2018 brings together eminent judges, practitioners, a psychiatrist and a journalist to share their expertise on making ADR work in a world where anyone with a smart phone is a citizen journalist, trust is a currency hard-won and easily lost, and the 24 hour news cycle takes no prisoners. Speakers include the Chief Justice of NSW, the Hon TF Bathurst AC, and UNCITRAL Rapporteur Professor Khory McCormick. This event will contribute to CPD hours, including under the NMAS mediation accreditation scheme.

Registration opens soon. For further details, contact BARADR®

Half Marathon fundraiser is half-way there

Thu May 17 2018
Charity at the NSW Bar

Cynthia Cochrane is over half-way towards reaching her fundraising goal of $5,000 for the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon this Sunday, 20 May 2018. Cynthia is raising money for the Katrina Dawson Foundation. Please get Cynthia over the line (so to speak) by giving generously via her fundraising page on Everyday Hero.

Bar Knitting Group

Thu May 17 2018
Wellbeing at the NSW Bar

The next meeting of the Bar Knit Group will be held at 6.00pm on 22 May. Light refreshments are served. All welcome. If you’re looking for inspiration or a reason to get started, what better role model could there be than the man who knits jumpers featuring famous places and then wears them?

Bar News online

Thu May 17 2018

The trove of Bar News editions on the Bar Association's website has been updated with the addition of [2018] (Autumn) edition.

Bar News is the journal of the Bar Association, written by the members, for the members. Each issue includes a mix of engaging and distracting articles on recent cases, professional conduct, notable speeches, appointments, book reviews and news from sporting and social events.

St John Ambulance First Aid

Thu May 17 2018
Wellbeing at the NSW Bar

Reservations for the St John Ambulance Express First Aid course, to be hosted in the Bar Association’s Common Room on Thursday, 28 June 2018 from 9.00am to 1.00pm, have closed. Registrants will be emailed shortly regarding compulsory study materials and other requirements of the course. If you have any questions, please contact the coordinator of services and benefits, Chris Winslow, on 9229 1732.

Do you move?

Thu May 17 2018

Have you moved to new chambers since your practising certificate was last issued? If so, please notify the Bar Association of your change in practice address. The Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Regulation 2015 requires barristers to advise the Bar Council, in writing, of any change in practice address or contact details within seven days of the change.

You may send your notification to the Bar Association's certification officer Barrie Anthony by e-mail at

Please note a PO Box cannot be a practice address.

For the diary: securities class actions

Thu May 17 2018

The Commercial Law Section will host a seminar on securities class actions on Thursday, 14 June 2018. The chair is Ruth Higgins SC, the speakers are Jeremy Kirk SC and Perry Herzfeld, and the commentator is the Hon Peter Jacobson QC.

2018 Forbes Lecture and support of research projects

Wed May 16 2018

On Wednesday, 30 May 2018 the Hon Justice Virginia Bell AC will deliver the 2018 Forbes Lecture, to mark the Centenary of the Women’s Legal Status Act 1918 (NSW). The lecture will take place at 5.15 pm in the NSW Bar Association Common Room, and will be chaired by Arthur Moses SC.

Research projects supported by the Forbes Society

One of the Society’s objects is to encourage and promote research into Australian legal history and it maintains a fund for that purpose to which donations may be made – the Francis Forbes Fund. Last year the Fund supported the project of Professor Anne Twomey (of the University of Sydney) to publish Pitt Cobbett's grand opus called ‘The Government of Australia’. The Society shares this update from Professor Twomey:

Professor Pitt Cobbett wrote his grand opus on The Government of Australia in his retirement, leaving it as an 'unfinished symphony' upon his death in 1919, with a request to his executors that it be finished, edited and published. But the High Court handed down its judgment in the Engineers Case the following year, and the executors decided the manuscript was out of date. It was instead donated to the University of Sydney and has sat quietly moulding there ever since. It is now a work of great historic importance, showing how the Constitution was understood in the first twenty years of its existence.

The Forbes Society has kindly supported the project of finishing, editing and publishing this work. The aim is to publish it upon the centenary of Pitt Cobbett's death, in 2019. The Society donated $8300 to pay a PhD student to check the footnotes of the book and to help subsidise publication to make it viable. Unfortunately, the full $8300 was spent on the footnote checking, as it turned out that as Pitt Cobbett's illness increased, the accuracy of his footnotes decreased and considerable work had to be undertaken to find the correct sources. I am therefore hoping for some additional assistance from the Society later in the year to subsidise publication so that it can be published as a hardback book for libraries and scholars to consult for generations. The support of the Society is essential for this type of work, which would otherwise not see the light of day and remain moulding away, unseen and forgotten. We will not learn from our past unless our history is readily accessible. The Francis Forbes Society ensures that it is.

The Society encourages further donations to enable it to support such worthy projects – a form for donations is available here: Forbes Fund Donation Form and on the web site at Donations

Barristers Classifieds

Wed May 16 2018
Member services and benefits

The online Barristers' Classifieds enables every member of the Bar Association to buy or sell chambers, wigs, gowns, law reports and more. Simply login to your member dashboard via the Bar Association's home page. Standard posts are free of charge, but can be upgraded to premium with the addition of photos and a credit card payment of $25.

If you have any questions or difficulties using the system, contact the coordinator of services and benefits, Chris Winslow.

TONIGHT: Forbes Society Tutorial in Australian Legal History

Tue May 15 2018

The next tutorial in this year’s series of tutorials on Australian legal history will be delivered by the Hon Arthur Emmett AO QC, on The Roman Consensual Contracts: Sale, Hire and Partnershiptonight, Tuesday, 15 May 2018.

This will be followed by:

  • Professor Mark Lunney, History the law of tort on Tuesday 19 June 2018
  • The Hon J Campbell QC, History of Equity, in two parts, on Wednesday 25 July and Wednesday 22 August 2018

All tutorials will be held in at 5.15pm in Banco Court.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - Accelerated Route Towards Fellowship Course 23- 24 June 2018

Tue May 15 2018

Fast track your way to a career in international commercial arbitration. Registrations are now open for the 2018 CIArb Accelerated Route Towards Fellowship (ARF) course, which will be held from 23 – 24 June at the Melbourne Commercial Arbitration and Mediation Centre. Delivered by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), this course is intended for suitably qualified candidates who are practising lawyers with at least 10 years’ standing and who have experience in arbitration. The course syllabus is based on international arbitration law and it is essential that candidates have at least a reasonable working knowledge of the UNCITRAL Model Law and UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. CIArb accreditation carries a global qualification in the growing practice of international arbitration. Places are limited. For further details and to register please click here.

2018-19 committee membership

Tue May 15 2018

Applications for membership of the Bar Association’s various committees close at 5.00pm on Thursday, 24 May. Members (not just those holding a PC) who wish to be considered for appointment to a committee should complete the application form. Existing members of committees who wish to continue on a particular committee should also complete the form.

The Bar Association is very fortunate that we have many more volunteers for committees than can possibly be accommodated. The president has therefore asked that members restrict their choice of committees to no more than two.

In confirming committee membership, the president seeks to ensure that all parts of the NSW Bar – geographically, practice areas and seniority – are represented on each committee.

Please note that until new committees are established and promulgated, the existing committees continue unchanged. The existing appointments to various working parties and representatives for the Bar Association continue unless and until the president determines otherwise.

Acknowledgement of your expression of interest will be emailed to you within 24 hours. If you do not receive an acknowledgement please contact or telephone Michelle Nisbet on 9232 4055.

The Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot needs feedback

Mon May 14 2018

The Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot was developed to assist child victims and prosecution witnesses through the trial process in sexual offence matters. The pilot includes the introduction of witness intermediaries and an expansion of pre-recorded evidence. The pilot commenced on 31 March 2016 in two locations – Newcastle District Court and Sydney District Court (Downing Centre).

This research is being funded by NSW Department of Justice and conducted by external consultants associated with University of Sydney and University of New South Wales. A very important part of the evaluation is the feedback from those who have had experience in the pilot, with a witness intermediary and the prerecording of the child's evidence. Lawyers who have been directly involved in the pilot in this way are invited to provide their perspective.

For the diary: the Hon Jane Mathews AO

Mon May 14 2018

Members are invited to save the date for a celebration of the career of the Hon Jane Mathews AO on Friday, 15 June 2018. Further information will be provided closer to the date.

Amendments to the UCPR

Mon May 14 2018

On 7 May 2018, the Uniform Rules Committee approved Amendment No 85 and 86 to the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules. The amendments commenced and were published on the NSW Legislation website on 11 May 2018.

Amendment No 85

The amendment is to rule 36.1A. This rule relates to the entry of orders that are made by consent of the parties to a proceeding. The amendment makes it clear that the entry of orders by consent may only be done if all relevant parties are on notice.

Amendment No 86

The amendment is to rules 35.3 and 39.35. Rule 35.3 relates to those who may make an affidavit. The amendment enables an affidavit to be filed in proceedings conducted pursuant to terms of a contract of insurance.

Rule 39.35 sets out the details that an affidavit in support of a garnishee order must contain. The amendment requires a deponent to the affidavit in support of garnishee order to establish a reasonable basis for alleging that the garnishee holds an account.

UCPR Form 69

The Uniform Rules Committee has also approved an amendment to UCPR form 69 to require a deponent to include the grounds in support of their belief that the garnishee holds an account.

Version 7 of form 69 has been published here.

30th anniversary Journal of Contract Law conference

Mon May 14 2018

The Commercial Law Association will host a one-day conference on "How will contract law meet the challenges of the 21st century?" on 27 July 2018 in The Gallery Room, Mitchell Wing, NSW State Library, from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Speakers include the Hon Justice Gleeson, Justice Andrew Phang, Associate Professor Goh Yihan, Assistant Professor Eliza Mik, Professor Elisabeth Peden, Professor Woody Hunter, Professor Greg Tolhurst, Associate Professor Katy Barnett, Associate Professor Wayne Courtney and Emeritus Professor John Carter. Register here.

Room for sale in Maurice Byers Chambers

Mon May 14 2018

A rare opportunity has become available to purchase an external room with plenty of natural light in a well-established, recently renovated, busy chambers. The size of the room is approximately 36sqm and has large windows with exceptional, sweeping panoramic views overlooking North and South Heads and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Learn more here.