Bar Practice Course 01-2018 has begun

Mon Apr 30 2018

The May 2018 Bar Practice Course is underway. There are 67 participants - the second highest number in the history of the course. The median age is 36 and women comprise 28 per cent of the group. The course finishes on Saturday, 26 May.

Exercise Your Mood

Mon Apr 30 2018

Did you know that just an hour of exercise a week has a protective effect against depression?Today marks the start of Exercise Your Mood. Between now and 6 May, the Black Dog Institute encourages Australians to use physical activity to improve their mental health. For more tips and tools, head to the Exercise Your Mood page.

Request for barristers to judge national equity moot at UNSW

Mon Apr 30 2018

The Allen & Overy Private Law Moot is a national mooting competition hosted by UNSW Law. The competition convenors are requesting the assistance of barristers to act as judges in the preliminary round moots on 19 and 20 May at the UNSW Kensington Campus. The problem question this year focuses on issues in equity and remedies. Moots will run for between 90 mins to 2 hours, and a detailed judging guide will be provided to judges in advance.

17 teams from universities from across Australia as well as Singapore, New Zealand, Pakistan and the South Pacific will be competing this year. The convenors are grateful to barristers who acted as judges in the competition in 2014 to 2017.

Your time would be greatly appreciated. If you are interested, please contact the competition convenors, at:

Please visit for more details about the competition.

Part-time employment opportunities wanted for First Nations law students

Mon Apr 30 2018

Do you need some clerical, administrative or research assistance to run your practice? If the answer is yes - why not employ a First Nations law student? There are a number of students currently looking for this opportunity.

As part of the Bar Association's Reconciliation Action Plan, all barristers, clerks and chambers are encouraged to identify part-time employment opportunities for 2018 for First Nations law students. Ideally, this would be for a day or half day a week on a regular basis doing loose-leaf filing, administrative or clerical tasks or research and includes some mentoring and guidance for the student.

This initiative has been highly successful for a number of First Nations law students and needs the ongoing support of more members of the Bar to ensure its continued success. Contact with the Bar as well as some financial security significantly contributes to the success of the students at their law studies.

Please contact Chris Ronalds SC on or 9229 7378 if you have any openings.

Greg Tolhurst
Executive Director


Upcoming Mediation Training – Starts 16 May

Mon Apr 30 2018

Diversify your professional profile, tailor your advocacy and develop the essential skills to become a practising mediator through the Australian Disputes Centre. The ADC is an established leader in mediation training, with a wealth of knowledge and experience across the ADR field. ADC’s alumni include many of Australia’s leading barristers and judges. The focused, fast paced course is designed to engage participants and hone your mediation skills.

Fulfilling all requirements for National Accreditation, ADC’s training & accreditation program equips you to begin your practice as a mediator. For further information, please call 02 9239 0700 or visit their website

IBA Training on Business and Human Rights

Mon Apr 30 2018
Limited spots available in Sydney

The International Bar Association, in conjunction with the Law Council of Australia, will be running its international-level training on business and human rights in Australia in May 2018. With the Government’s announcement that legislation on modern slavery in supply chains will be introduced this year, business and human rights has never been more relevant for barristers advising and acting for large Australian and multinational corporations.

The training will include access to a suite of resources on business and human rights, available only to participants, and a half-day of face-to-face training in held in Sydney on 15 May 2018 at Norton Rose Fulbright, 44 Martin Place. The IBA has generously funded the training programme and therefore there is no cost to participants selected to participate. Participants are not required to have any prior knowledge of human rights law. While those outside Melbourne are welcome to register, unfortunately the IBA is unable to cover the cost of any travel arrangements required for participants to attend the face-to-face training.

Please email to express your interest in being selected for the training.

Three Public Defender Vacancies

Mon Apr 30 2018
Positions vacant

The attorney general is seeking applications from qualified persons for the appointment of a Deputy Senior Public Defender, a Public Defender based in Sydney and a Public Defender based in Wollongong. All three appointments will be pursuant to the Public Defenders Act 1995 for a fixed term of up to seven years that may be renewed, following an initial 12 month probationary period. Applications close on Sunday, 20 May 2018 (11.59 pm). If you would like to discuss this opportunity further, contact Mr Mark Ierace SC, Senior Public Defender (02) 9268 3111. Applications must be lodged electronically. Please go to:

Katrina Dawson Award

Mon Apr 30 2018

The Katrina Dawson Award for 2018 has been awarded to Josie Dempster, currently employed as a solicitor at Sparke Helmore in Canberra. Raised in Moruya, she completed a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the Australian National University. She was admitted to practice in the ACT in June 2015. Since joining Sparke Helmore she has mentored junior lawyers, served as the firm's pro bono and community coordinator and supervised their involvement in various charity events.

Speaking of the life and career of Katrina Dawson, Ms Dempster said in her application:

In many respects, I had a very different upbringing to Katrina Dawson. From what I have read about her though, we [share an] intense desire to strive for excellence, to exceed other people's expectations, to give more than we take, to be fierce and fearless, but also to be gentle. If I can achieve one-twentieth of what Katrina achieved in her short but fulfilling career, I will be immensely proud of myself.

CPD recording: Early Appropriate Guilty Pleas and other Criminal Justice reforms

Mon Apr 30 2018
New committals legislation commenced today

The Justice Legislation Amendment (Committals and Guilty Pleas) Act 2017 commenced today. This new legislative scheme fundamentally changes the nature of committal proceedings in criminal matters. Members can find out more about the changes and what it means for your practice by viewing the recording of the seminar, "Early Appropriate Guilty Pleas and other criminal justice reforms" on CPD Online [login required]. The seminar was presented on 21 February 2018 by Sophia Beckett, chaired by Tim Game SC, with comments by Stephen Odgers SC.

A message to the NSW Bar

Mon Apr 30 2018
New committals legislation commenced today

Following a meeting attended by the President, Councillor Bashir SC, the DPP - Lloyd Babb SC and NSW Police to discuss concerns raised by the Bar Association in relation to an agreement dated 23 February 2018 between the NSW Police Commissioner and the NSW DPP dealing with the content and service of Early Guilty Plea Briefs, the NSW Police Commissioner and the NSW DPP have executed a new agreement dated 27 April 2018. The agreement dated 27 April 2018 will replace the agreement dated 23 February 2018. However, practitioners should raise with the Court any concerns about disclosure, irrespective of the content of the agreement.

The Bar Association continues to have a number of concerns with the Early Appropriate Guilty Pleas reforms and is continuing to have discussions with the government in relation to the proper funding of the reforms. The President will update members on these discussions in coming weeks.

Key material on the Public Defenders website

Mon Apr 30 2018
New committals legislation commenced today

A complex new legislative scheme for all indictable matters, involving the abolition of committals as we know them and, for state charges, the introduction of statutory caps on discounts for the utilitarian benefit of a plea of guilty, starts today. A bundle of key material to assist practitioners with the new scheme, including an explanatory paper and the Local Court Practice Note, is available from the Public Defenders Website at

For the diary: Space law for lawyers - A new frontier for barristers

Fri Apr 27 2018

Level 22 Chambers is holding a seminar on space law on Thursday, 3 May at 5.30pm. The speakers are expert space lawyers, Professor Steven Freeland, Dean of the School of Law and Professor of International Law at Western Sydney University, and Ms Donna Lawler, Assistant General Counsel for Optus Satellite. The seminar will be chaired by Michael Green SC. Speakers will take attendees through the interesting body of law governing-space related activities.

Registration and further details of the seminar can be found via this link.

The members of Level 22 Chambers invite all interested practitioners to join them at this important seminar. Please note that CAPACITY IS LIMITED, REGISTRATION IS ESSENTIAL.

Australian Academy of Law Annual Essay Prize

Fri Apr 27 2018

The Australian Academy of Law is pleased to announce the offering of its Annual Essay Prize for 2018. The deadline for submitting an essay is 31 August 2018 and persons intending to submit an essay must notify the AAL of that intention in writing via its website by 30 June 2018. The amount of the prize is $10,000. Learn more here.

2018 International Criminal Law Congress - Byron Bay

Thu Apr 26 2018
For the diary

The 2018 International Criminal Law Congress will be held at Byron Bay 3-7 October 2018. The theme of the Congress is "Populism, power and privilege: implications for the criminal justice system". The congress will feature speakers from the judiciary, profession and academia from jurisdictions throughout Australia and New Zealand. Registration is now open and single day attendance is available. Early bird registrations, offering substantial discounts, close on 15 July 2018.

Trust money account – Fees in advance

Thu Apr 26 2018

A reminder for any barristers who, in the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018, have received fees in advance, that is, as described in the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Regulation 2015 (the LPULAR), money on account of legal costs for legal services in advance of the provision by the barrister of the legal services – an External Examiner must be appointed to carry out an examination of the clause 15 account for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018. Clause 15(2) of the LPULAR also requires that a copy of the External Examination report be provided to the Bar Council by no later than 7 June 2018. The External Examination report template, which has been amended from 2017, is available on the Bar Association’s website under the heading ‘Fees in Advance’ here.

Barristers who have previously notified the Bar Association of the opening of a trust money account have been sent letters containing instructions on how to appoint an external examiner.

Any questions? Please contact the Bar Association’s Legal Officer, Angela Huang, on (02) 9232 4055 or

First Aid Course and Defibrillators: special offer for the NSW Bar

Tue Apr 24 2018

St Johns Ambulance is offering a special deal for members of the NSW Bar to attend their nationally accredited first aid training. On offer are group courses or individual member discounts. The offer also applies to chambers staff. For any chambers wishing to purchase a defibrillator, St Johns is also offering a special discount. Please see here for more details.

Nationally accredited First Aid training offered to the NSW Bar by St Johns Ambulance

1) Group Course Offer, Express First Aid

  • 4 hour duration plus pre-learning;
  • held at the NSW Bar Association Common Room;
  • training for a minimum of 18 people, final numbers TBA once we know the interest; and
  • cost is $100 per person, provided that a minimum of 18 people attend.

2) Individual Member Offer,

  • 1 day Provide First Aid course;
  • at one of the 36 training venues in NSW; and
  • cost of $127 per person, saving of $68.

Lifepak CR Plus Defribrillators Package special offer for the Bar:

  • defribrillator;
  • wall mount bracket;
  • signage;
  • St John chart; and
  • defribrillator awareness e-learning;

For the discounted price of $1,999 (a saving of over $613.50). To take advantage of the Group Course training offer or if you have any questions, please contact Chris Winslow on the Wellbeing Committee

Tonight: Tutorials in Australian legal history

Tue Apr 24 2018

A reminder that the first of the Francis Forbes Society's legal history tutorials for 2018 will be presented tonight, 24 April at 5.15pm in the Banco Court, Queen’s Square by Emeritus Professor Wilfrid Prest (University of Adelaide). Professor Prest’s topic is "Lawyers and the law in the Glorious Revolution".

The next two tutorials in this year’s series of tutorials on Australian legal history are:

  • The Honourable Arthur Emmett, The Roman Consensual Contracts: Sale, Hire and Partnership on Tuesday 15 May 2018
  • Professor Mark Lunney, History the law of tort on Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Everybody is welcome.

Review of sentencing traffic offenders

Tue Apr 24 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The NSW Sentencing Council has been asked to review the sentencing of repeat traffic offenders who may pose an ongoing risk to the community. Details about the project may be found on their website. The council is calling for preliminary submissions in response to the project's terms of reference. Preliminary submissions help them to identify the issues that will be dealt with in future papers and consultations before the final report. The deadline for preliminary submissions is Friday 8 June 2018.

Common Law Practice Update 105

Tue Apr 24 2018

The Bar Association has published Common Law Practice Update 105, with case notes on sections 94 and 126 of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW); sections 5L and 5R of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW); product liability; cross vesting; medical negligence claims against police and more. Download CLPU 105 here.

IBA 2018 Asia Pacific Regional Forum Annual Conference Scholarship

Tue Apr 24 2018

The International Bar Association (IBA) offers scholarships to young lawyers who wish to participate in its Annual Conference, but who may find it financially difficult to do so. Members wishing to apply for the 2018 Asia Pacific Regional Forum Annual Conference Scholarship are encouraged to visit the IBA website here and follow the application instructions. All applicants must complete the online application form and submit an original essay on the following topic:

Legal and other challenges in Asia in running an ethical fashion brand. Consider in the essay labour and intellectual property laws, amongst others.

The deadline for applications is Sunday, 6 May 2018.

Electronic monitoring orders in the news

Mon Apr 23 2018
Law reform and public affairs

Bar Association President Arthur Moses SC has responded to misguided criticism by the Daily Telegraph of the role of the attorney general and the courts concerning electronic monitoring and Extended Supervision Orders. It comes after news that Graham Kay, convicted of stalking and raping eight women between 1995 and 1997, was arrested over the weekend. View the media release here.

Early Appropriate Guilty Pleas mechanism commences 30 April

Mon Apr 23 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The Justice Legislation Amendment (Committals and Guilty Pleas) Act 2017 commences on Monday, 30 April 2018. This new legislative scheme fundamentally changes the nature of committal proceedings in criminal matters.

Members can find out more about the changes and what it means for your practice by viewing the recording of the seminar, “Early Appropriate Guilty Pleas and other criminal justice reforms” on CPD Online [login required]. The seminar was presented on 21 February 2018 by Sophia Beckett, chaired by Tim Game SC, with comments by Stephen Odgers SC.

Room for sale on 4th Floor Wentworth Chambers

Mon Apr 23 2018
Member services and benefits

A 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 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.

LCA welcomes NT youth justice efforts

Mon Apr 23 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The Law Council of Australia has welcomed the NT Government’s $229.6 million investment for child protection and youth justice but has repeated its call for the NT Government to give priority to raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12 and not detaining children under 14. Read the Law Council's media release here.

Request for barristers to judge Senior Mooting Competition at UNSW

Mon Apr 23 2018

The Allens Linklaters Senior Mooting Competition is open to senior law students at UNSW. The Competition Directors are requesting the assistance of barristers to volunteer as judges in the second preliminary round, held between 14–24 May 2018.

Moots will be held at the UNSW CBD Campus on O’Connell Street, or the UNSW Kensington Campus in the Law Building (depending on your preference). We can arrange for moots to start at 6pm, 6.30pm or 7pm. Moots run for between 90 mins to 2 hours.

This round’s problem question covers Corporations Law. Particular expertise in this area is not necessary – a detailed bench memorandum will be provided to you in advance.

Our Competition depends for its success on the generosity of experienced advocates. Your time would be greatly appreciated. If you are interested, please fill out this very short registration form.

If you have any questions, please contact Fiona Pyliotis and Matthew Shields, the Competition Directors, at