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Five new District Court Judges for NSW

Fri Dec 21 2018

The Attorney General the Hon Mark Speakman SC MP has announced the appointment of South Australian District Court Judge Susanne Cole, Federal Circuit Court Judge Justin Smith SC and barristers Graham Turnbull SC, Alister Abadee and Sharon Harris as judges of the District Court of NSW. View the Attorney General's media release. The biographical details of the appiontees are available here.

New President of the Workers Compensation Commission

Fri Dec 21 2018

The Attorney General and the Minister for Finance, Services and Property have announced the appointment of Gerard Phillips as the new President of the Workers Compensation Commission and as a District Court Judge. View the media release here.

Mark Ierace SC appointed to the Supreme Court of NSW

Fri Dec 21 2018

The Attorney General the Hon Mark Speakman SC MP has announced the appointment of the Senior Public Defender, Mark Ierace SC to the bench of the Supreme Court of NSW. Mr Ierace will be sworn in as Supreme Court judge on 31 January 2019. View the Attorney General's media release.

Christmas and New Year message from the president

Fri Dec 21 2018

I would like to take this opportunity as the year draws to a close to wish members, the judiciary and our staff at the Bar Association as well as your families a restful and safe holiday period and Happy New Year. I look forward to seeing you in 2019.

The offices of the NSW Bar Association will close today at 12 noon and reopen on Monday 7th of January 2019.

Merry Christmas

Tim Game SC, President

Australian Bar Association (ABA) international conference in Singapore: Convergence 2019

Thu Dec 20 2018

The Australian Bar Association (ABA) will host their biennial international conference in Singapore: Convergence 2019, 11 - 12 July 2019. More information is available here.

• Sponsored by Singapore Airlines: 9-20% off best available Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First-Class fares for delegates and their families • Staying and conferencing at the Andaz Singapore (Hyatt) • Gala dinner: Fullerton Bay Hotel’s Clifford Pier • There will be excellent Partner and half-day Family Programmes available • Return flights to Singapore and beyond: Europe, America, Asia • The first 100 passengers flying on Singapore Airlines will receive a status match for eligible Gold Frequent Flyer delegates who can become KrisFlyer Elite Gold members. • Lower fare levels already booking out! Accommodation and airfare bookings are now available! Email mice@spencertravel.com.au to take advantage of these exclusive offers. depending on the class of travel and booking class available at the time of booking

ABA Inquiry into Arbitration Opportunities – Hon Roger Gyles AO, QC

Thu Dec 20 2018

The ABA has asked Hon Roger Gyles AO QC to inquire into and report on practising opportunities for Australian barristers in international commercial arbitration, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. Mr Gyles has called for submissions from interested parties by 15 February 2019. Further details and the terms of reference can be found here.

High Court schedule of fees for 2019

Thu Dec 20 2018

The High Court Amendment (Fees) Rules have been published. The Rules set out schedules of High Court fees for 2019. The new Rules attached here, commence on 1 January 2019.

2019 Regional Conference Series

Thu Dec 20 2018

Registrations are now OPEN for the New South Wales Bar Association 2019 Regional CPD Conferences. For more details about each venue, speakers and the costs involved please click here.

  • Saturday, 23 February 2019 - Newcastle
  • Saturday, 2 March 2019 - North Coast Ballina
  • Saturday, 9 March 2019 – Orange
  • Saturday, 23 March 2019 - Parramatta
  • Saturday, 30 March 2019 – Sydney

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 on any of the "Register Now" buttons located on the dedicated 2019 Regional Conference Series website.

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 cpd@nswbar.asn.au

2019 Personal Injury/Common Law Conference

Thu Dec 20 2018

Registrations are OPEN for the 2019 Personal Injury and Common Law Conference, which will be held at the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park on Saturday 16 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 on any of the "Register Now" buttons located on the dedicated 2019 Personal Injury & Common Law Conference website.

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 cpd@nswbar.asn.au).

Ms Margaret Newby

Thu Dec 20 2018
Vale

Ms. Margaret Newby passed away peacefully early this morning. Ms Newby was the Associate to Justices Harold Glass, Michael McHugh AC QC, John Kearney QC, Moreton Rolfe QC and Reg Barrett and gave wonderful service to all. In addition she gave much assistance to a number of barristers relating to their secretarial requirements.

Members will be advised of funeral arrangements as soon as they are known.

District Court of NSW - Free Books

Thu Dec 20 2018

The District Court has old law reports and other books that are to be recycled as soon as possible – if anyone is interested they are free to a good home.

Please contact Michelle Dawe, Judges Associate, via email and I can bring you in to the John Maddison Tower have a look

Industrial Relations Commission is moving

Thu Dec 20 2018

The Industrial Relations Commission of NSW is moving from its current heritage home at 47 Bridge Street Sydney to new premises at Parramatta. The move will take place from 21 December 2018. The Commission’s registry will reopen on 10 January 2019 at 10 - 12 Smith Street, Parramatta. The Commission’s new postal address will be PO Box 927 Parramatta 2124.

The Commission will hold a ceremonial sitting to mark the occasion at 9:30am on Tuesday, 5 February 2019 at Court 1 Level 10, 10 - 12 Smith Street, Parramatta. Further details will be provided via In Brief when they are available.

When to notify the Bar Council

Thu Dec 20 2018
Professional Conduct

The Uniform Law legislation requires a barrister to notify the Bar Council of certain matters, including the following –

  • becoming bankrupt, being served with notice of a creditor’s petition and/or presentation of a debtor’s petition [sections 86 and 88 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW)];
  • other bankruptcy-related events [set out in the definition of ‘bankruptcy-related event’ in section 6 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW)];
  • being charged with, or convicted of, a serious offence or a tax offence [see rule 15 of the Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015 and section 51 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW)]. Conviction includes a finding of guilt or the acceptance of a guilty plea [see section 6 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW)];
  • being convicted of certain summary offences [see rule 15 of the Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015];
  • change of practice address or other contact details [see clause 61 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Regulation 2015]. A notification form is available here.

In each case notice is required to be given to the Bar Council in writing within seven days of the event.

In addition a barrister who opens a trust money account for the purpose of receiving fees in advance is required to notify the Bar Association of certain particulars of the account within 14 days of opening the account [see clause 15 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Regulation 2015]. A notification form for the opening of a trust money account is available here.

To assist members, an outline of the notifications which barristers are required to make is available here. The outline has been prepared by Ed Muston SC as part of presentation of his CPD seminar on disclosures delivered at the Bar Association on 20 March 2018. It is recommended that barristers watch the online CPD for full details. The online presentation may be accessed by logging in to your CPD account.

Notification of change of practice address or other contact details can be forwarded to the Bar Association’s Certification and Legal Officer, Abha Malla, by email to certification@nswbar.asn.au.

For any enquiries relating to a clause 15 trust money account, please contact the Bar Association’s Lawyer, Angela Huang, on (02) 9232 4055 or by email at pcd@nswbar.asn.au.

If you have any other questions regarding notification obligations, please contact the Bar Association’s Professional Conduct Department on (02) 9232 4055.

Bench and Bar v Solicitors Golf Day

Thu Dec 20 2018
Bar sports

The annual Bar and Bench v Solicitors Golf Day returns to Manly course on Thursday, 24 January 2018. The event will be the usual Two – ball Stableford. The cost for the day is $170.00 per person including dinner. (No discount for Golf only. Manly members pay $80.00). Further details contact Dennis Flaherty on 9233 3517 (mobile 041 601 5623), Paul Bolster (0414 878 946) or John Newnham solicitor on 9264 7788. Download an acceptance form here.

Commencement of Civil Liability Act reforms for organisational child abuse liability

Tue Dec 18 2018

The Governor has proclaimed the proper defendant reforms for organisational child abuse liability contained in Division 4 of Part 1B of the Civil Liability Act 2002. That Division will commence on 1 January 2019.

A new rule will be added to the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 to facilitate the operation of the proper defendant reforms. That rule will also commence on 1 January 2019.

The Act passed is attached. Following the consultation on the draft bill, the bill was revised slightly—the reforms remain substantively as proposed. Further information, including the second reading speeches and explanatory note are available here.

Attached is a fact sheet about the reforms for information.

New Mental Health Review Tribunal President (NSW)

Tue Dec 18 2018

Experienced District Court Judge Paul Lakatos SC has been appointed the new President of the Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT). Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies said Judge Lakatos SC will replace Judge Richard Cogswell from March 1 next year, for a 12 month term. "The NSW Government is pleased to appoint Judge Lakatos to the role of President. He has extensive experience working with medical professionals both as a lawyer and a judge and will bring a unique perspective to the role," Mrs Davies said.

A full copy of the media release is available here.

Room for sale or Licence - Maurice Byers Chambers

Tue Dec 18 2018

One large full sized external room is available now for purchase or licence in Maurice Byers Chambers at Level 60, MLC Centre. It has plenty of natural light in well-established, recently renovated, busy chambers. The room is about 36 square metres and has large windows with panoramic views of the North and South Heads and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The room has an extensive new fit-out with large built-in cupboards, shelving and robing space. The room is suited to Senior Counsel or a senior junior. The chambers comprise 52 barristers including 8 Silks, with broad areas of practice, specialising in Medical Negligence, Criminal Law¸ Coronial Inquiries and Inquests as well as Commissions of Inquiry and Personal Injury.

For more information and to see photos click here.

MYEFO A Missed Opportunity To Address Chronically Underfunded Family Courts

Mon Dec 17 2018

Message from President Tim Game SC

The Federal Government has today announced it will provide $3.7 million over four years for an additional judge and support staff to hear family law case appeals under the Government’s proposed restructure of the federal courts, as part of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook ("MYEFO")

The Government’s proposed legislation to restructure the federal courts and in effect abolish the specialist family court is currently the subject of an inquiry by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee. The Association acknowledges that reform of Australia’s family law system is required. However, the Association has consistently said it is critical that there be informed consideration of viable alternatives. Many of the Bills’ purported goals, such as the reduction of delays and achieving efficiencies within the family law system could be achieved without legislation through the creation of consistent court rules using existing rule-making powers, and through a significant funding and resource commitment from government into the family law system and legal aid. Today’s MYEFO falls well short of such a commitment.

The Federal Government’s funding announcement does not address the inadequate resourcing of the family law jurisdiction. It also pre-empts the current Senate Committee Inquiry into the Government’s proposed restructure of the jurisdiction and overlooks the concerns that have been expressed by the New South Wales Bar Association and other organisations regarding the proposal.

The Junior Vice-President of the Association, Michael McHugh SC, and the Chair of the Association’s Family Law Committee, Michael Kearney SC, appeared before the Senate Inquiry last week to give evidence. In a comprehensive submission to the Inquiry the Association said that:

"There is much frustration with Australia’s current family law system. Experience in NSW tells us a primary contributor to that frustration has been the fact that family law has been adversely affected by a chronic lack of funding and resources in both the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court in all registries, resulting from an absence of commitment by successive Governments to the proper funding of the system. These resources include not only an insufficient number of judicial officers to deal with an expanding jurisdiction and increasing workload, but also insufficient funding to maintain counselling and assessment services previously provided by the Courts."

The Bills disregard the advice of the Chief Justice of the Family Court, the Honourable John Pascoe AC CVO, that “many of the difficulties apparent with the system, and particularly with the Family Court, can be solved by an injection of funds, and particularly into legal aid.

The Association does not dispute that Australia’s family law system requires reform as the system is not serving the best interests of Australian children and families as well as it could or should. However, the Association believes that a specialist family court should not be disassembled without informed consideration of alternative options, including improved resourcing and the introduction of common rules and case management practices which could be implemented without the need for legislation, as well as other restructuring alternatives. In any event, even if the Bills proceed, to create meaningful reform, there must be a significant funding and resource commitment from government.

The Association’s recommendations to the Inquiry included that “Before any restructure, there should be a review into the resources given to all federal courts and their practices to ascertain what the courts require to ensure litigants are not further disadvantaged by delays.

AHRC Human Rights Awards

Fri Dec 14 2018

The Hon Peter McClellan AM QC and Chrissie Foster were awarded the Human Rights Medal at the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Human Rights Awards today. The Human Rights Medal is awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of human rights in Australia.

Professor Andrew Byrnes, a member of the New South Wales Bar Association and a member of the Association’s Human Rights Committee, won the Law Award. The Law Award is awarded to an individual or an organisation with a track record in promoting and advancing human rights in Australia through the practice of law.

More information is available here.

Australian Bar Association (ABA) international conference in Singapore: Convergence 2019

Fri Dec 14 2018

The Australian Bar Association (ABA) will host their biennial international conference in Singapore: Convergence 2019, 11 - 12 July 2019. More information is available here.

  • Sponsored by Singapore Airlines: 16-25% off best available Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First-Class fares for delegates and their families
  • Staying and conferencing at the Andaz Singapore (Hyatt)
  • Gala dinner: Fullerton Bay Hotel’s Clifford Pier
  • There will be excellent Partner and half-day Family Programmes available
  • Return flights to Singapore and beyond: Europe, America, Asia
  • The first 100 passengers flying on Singapore Airlines will receive a status match for eligible Gold Frequent Flyer delegates who can become KrisFlyer Elite Gold members.
  • For quotes and to book: email mice@spencertravel.com.au
  • Lower fare levels already booking out!

[2018] (Summer) Bar News is available online

Fri Dec 14 2018

The Summer 2018 edition of Bar News is out now, featuring articles on blockchain and cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence and the courtroom of the future. There's the usual mix of opinions, news and recent developments and legal history. An interesting mix of books, movies and podcasts are reviewed and Bullfry examines 'the overriding purpose'. Bar News will land in postboxes next week, but you can read it online here.

2019 Regional Conference Series

Fri Dec 14 2018

Registrations are OPEN for the New South Wales Bar Association 2019 Regional CPD Conferences. For more details about each venue, speakers and the costs involved please click here.

  • Saturday, 23 February 2019 - Newcastle
  • Saturday, 2 March 2019 - North Coast Ballina
  • Saturday, 9 March 2019 – Orange
  • Saturday, 23 March 2019 - Parramatta
  • Saturday, 30 March 2019 – Sydney

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 on any of the "Register Now" buttons located on the dedicated 2019 Regional Conference Series website.

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 cpd@nswbar.asn.au

Fairfax & Roberts Christmas pop up gift shop - TODAY

Fri Dec 14 2018
REMINDER - from 12-2pm today

Need to buy a last minute gift?

Fairfax & Roberts will be hosting a Christmas pop up gift shop exclusive to all Bar Association members and staff.

There will be a specially curated selection of men’s and women’s jewellery ranging from $50 all beautifully packaged in a velvet pouch and gift box.

In addition 10% of all sales on the day will be donated to Minds Count Foundation.

Please join us this Friday 14th December from 12pm-2pm in the Bar Common Room on Lower Ground Floor of 174 Phillip Street and enjoy a complimentary jewellery clean while you browse the collections. For more information click here.

All cards and cash accepted.