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Legal Aid Sentencing Training - reforms commence on 24 September

Thu Sep 20 2018

Legal Aid sentencing reforms commence on Monday 24 September. The Legal Aid has been running training sessions over the last couple of months.

As an adjunct to the training sessions training staff have recorded a webinar. The webinar is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation and can be accessed publicly on YouTube here. The webinar runs for approximately 1 hour and provides a brief overview of the key parts of the reforms.

The webinar will also be added to the Legal Aid Sentencing Reforms internet page, together with other useful resources, prior to the commencement of the reforms.

You can access the webpage here.

EAGP Mandatory Case Conference bookings

Thu Sep 20 2018
Practice support

In most Early Appropriate Guilty Plea case conferences, the NSW ODPP prosecutors will participate by AVL, while the defence lawyer can choose between attending a conference at a Legal Aid office or by AVL using their own device. Case conferences can be be arranged through JUST Connect, a web-based system used to book AVL studios at correctional centres and Legal Aid offices. Learn more about JUST Connect, and how to make a booking here.

Chambers for Lease - Queen's Square Chambers

Wed Sep 19 2018
Member services and benefits

Rooms have become available for lease at Queen's Square Chambers in The Beanbah Building adjacent to the Supreme and Federal Courts on Macquarie Street.

  • Excellent internet connections
  • VOIP phone system
  • Affordable with no key money required
  • Boutique Chambers closest to Court complex

For more information and an inspection contact the Clerk of Chambers, Mark Wilson on 9232 4671.

Australian Disputes Centre's ADR Address

Wed Sep 19 2018
At the lectern

On 20 September 2018 the Australian Disputes Centre will hold the Supreme Court ADR Address by the Hon Chief Justice, Tom Bathurst AC. Titled "ADR, ODR and AI-DR or, Do We Even Need Courts Anymore?", will be delivered at the Supreme Court of NSW, Banco Court, 184 Phillip Street and will commence at 5.15pm. For more information please click here and to register please click here.

Spigelman Oration and Public Law Section Dinner

Wed Sep 19 2018
Public Law Section

The fifth annual Spigelman Public Law Oration will be delivered by the Hon Christian Porter MP, attorney-general of the Commonwealth on Monday, 24 September 2018 from 5.15pm-6.30pm in the Banco Court. The topic of the oration will be "Securing our Democracy". Immediately following the oration will be the annual dinner of the Public Law Section of the New South Wales Bar (formerly the Constitutional and Administrative Law Section) at Fix Wine Bar & Restaurant, 111 Elizabeth Street Sydney. Cost: $150 pp (including GST). The event includes a three course dinner, canapes and a selection of wine and other beverages. To reserve your place at the dinner, please pay using [this online credit card facility] (https://www.nswbar.asn.au/payments/spigelman-public-law-oration-dinner ""), **no later than 5.00 pm on Thursday, 20 September 2018.

If you have specific dietary requirements, please contact Matt Sherman (msherman@sixthfloor.com.au).

Positions vacant at NCAT

Wed Sep 19 2018
Applications close 23 September

Attorney General Mark Speakman SC is calling for applications from qualified persons for appointment to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal as:

Room for Sale - 4th Floor St James Hall

Wed Sep 19 2018
Member services and benefits

Room for sale or licence on 4 St James Hall. Large room fronting Phillip Street with abundant natural light. Busy, friendly chambers on a well established floor with members undertaking a wide range of commercial work. The floor comprises two senior counsel together with eight senior juniors. For more information and to see photos, click here.

Please contact Peter O’Loughlin, one of the directors, on 02 9237 0526 with any enquiries. All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

2019 Regional Conference Series

Tue Sep 18 2018
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 2019 CPD Conference series. The conferences will be held on Saturdays in Ballina, Newcastle, Orange, Parramatta and Sydney during February and March.

The dates for 2019 Conferences are:

  • Newcastle – Saturday 23 February
  • North Coast (Ballina) – Saturday 2 March
  • Orange – Saturday 9 March (Please note, from 2019 Orange will be a single day Saturday conference due to falling demand)
  • Parramatta - Saturday 23 March
  • Sydney – Saturday 30 March

Interested barristers, solicitors, academics, legal and non-legal professionals are invited to submit suggestions for papers online, HERE. During the submission process, you will be asked to provide your contact details, conference preference, a working title and, where possible, a short description or abstract of your suggestion presentation.

Suggestions and abstracts are requested by Monday 1 October.

Legal aid family and criminal law policy amendments

Tue Sep 18 2018

Legal aid is available to people at risk of, or experiencing, domestic violence. Changes to family law policies have been incorporated into parenting matters, property matters, child support matters and divorce matters.

The criminal law policies have been amended to clarify the availability of legal aid to people who are victims of domestic violence and defending criminal charges for DV related offences. These changes apply to applications for legal aid determined on or after 17 September 2018. More information is available in Policy Bulletin 2018/9 Family Law Policy – DV changes, click here and Policy Bulletin 2018/10 Criminal Law Policy – DV related changes, click here.

Legal Aid NSW Indictable Criminal Law Barrister Panel

Tue Sep 18 2018
Practice support

Legal Aid NSW is establishing a new Indictable Criminal Law Barrister Panel for suitably experienced barristers to be briefed in non-complex criminal law matters (i.e. strictly indictable matters or matters where an election is made) pursuant to a grant of legal aid.

The panel is open to junior counsel only and will apply to non-complex legally aided indictable criminal law matters in the following jurisdictions:

  • Local Court Committals
  • District Court Sentences
  • District Court Trials

All applications for appointment to the panel must be submitted on line through the Panels Application Website,click here, by 24 September 2018 for consideration by the Selection Committee. Information about the new panel is available on the Indictable Criminal Law Barrister Panel web page here.

For any enquiries regarding the panel please email here.

Tendency and coincidence evidence

Mon Sep 17 2018
Implications of The Queen v Dennis Bauer (a pseudonym) [2018] HCA 40

The High Court of Australia handed down its unanimous decision in the matter of The Queen v Dennis Bauer (a pseudonym) on 12 September 2018. Stephen Odgers SC and Phillip Boulten SC,together with Chair Gabrielle Bashir SC, will discuss the implications of this judgement for tendency and coincidence evidence on Wednesday, 26 September 2018 at 5.15 in the Common Room. For more information click here.

Cyber security alert

Mon Sep 17 2018
Practice support

Some members have received an an email purporting to be from ASIC asking them to pay fees and give personal information to renew their business or company name. ASIC warns that these emails often have a link that provides an invoice with fake payment details or infects your computer with malware if you click the link. If you receive this email please delete it immediately. Do not click the links. For more information on cyber security, visit the Australian Government's Stay Smart Online website.

Spigelman Public Law Oration

Mon Sep 17 2018
Public Law Section

The fifth annual Spigelman Public Law Oration will be delivered by the Hon Christian Porter MP, attorney-general of the Commonwealth on Monday, 24 September 2018 from 5.15pm-6.30pm in the Banco Court. The topic of the oration will be "Securing our Democracy".

Immediately following the oration will be the annual dinner of the Public Law Section of the New South Wales Bar(formerly the Constitutional and Administrative Law Section) at Fix Wine Bar & Restaurant, 111 Elizabeth Street Sydney. Cost: $150 pp (including GST). The event includes a three course dinner, canapes and a selection of wine and other beverages.

To reserve your place at the dinner, please pay using this online credit card facility, no later than 18 September 2018.

If you have specific dietary requirements, please contact Matt Sherman (msherman@sixthfloor.com.au).

DV court services tender must not compromise victim support

Mon Sep 17 2018
Advocacy

Supporting victims of domestic violence must be the primary focus of any changes to the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services delivery model, the New South Wales Bar Association said today.

The Bar Association is aware that Legal Aid NSW has recently called for tenders to deliver the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services (WDVCAS). The minister for family and community services told Budget Estimates on 5 September that Legal Aid NSW has had to revise the boundaries, contracts, funding allocations and policies of the service in response to a restructure by NSW Police of the local area command boundaries.

"The WDVCAS have provided invaluable assistance to obtain legal protection and support for more than two decades to women and children who are or have been experiencing domestic violence in NSW," Bar Association President Arthur Moses SC, said today.

"The Bar Association appreciates the importance of promoting consistency and collaboration between services providers, the courts and the police to address issues of domestic violence and provide appropriate support to victims. However, the association is concerned that the short tender process and any changes to the service model of the WDVCAS may adversely impact upon vulnerable members of the community at their time of need. These services are already in high demand and make a real difference to peoples’ lives.

"The association has written to the attorney general of NSW, the minister for family and community services and Legal Aid NSW to seek assurances that the resourcing and staffing of the WDVCAS, and the quality and specialisation of services provided, will not be affected at any time during or after tendering," Mr Moses SC said.

Banco Chamber parental policy in the news

Mon Sep 17 2018
Diversity

The parental leave policy at Banco Chambers was the subject of a feature article in the Australian Financial Review on Friday, 14 September (at page 33). Under the policy, the chambers will provide a six-month indemnity on floor fees while a barrister is on parental leave, and upon their return, implement a pairing arrangement with one of the floor's senior counsel to help them re-establish their practice. Learn more here.

/#Diversity

Room for Licence

Mon Sep 17 2018
Member services and benefits

An opportunity to licence a room on the Seventh Floor Garfield Barwick Chambers has become available. Chambers are located at 53 Martin Place on the corner of Phillip Street and Martin Place.

The room is well appointed with two large windows and plenty of natural light. The room can come fully furnished with two desks, two conference chairs, lounge and shelving, or can be available empty, depending on needs. The room has a built in robing cupboard and cupboards to store general items.

The room faces north with views down Martin Place and would be suitable for Junior Counsel.

The Floor is well-established and has been operating from these Chambers since 1979. The Floor has 3 senior counsel and 12 junior barristers with practices across a variety of jurisdictions.

Terms and duration of licence are negotiable.

For all relevant details please contact the Clerk, Mark Grace: 9224 5600 or by email: mark.grace@7gbc.com.au

Permanent stay ordered in Republic of Nauru v Batsiua & Ors

Mon Sep 17 2018

The Supreme Court of Nauru yesterday handed down judgment in the matter of The Republic of Nauru v Mathew Batsiua & Ors. Justice Geoff Muecke ordered that the proceedings against the defendants be permanently stayed. The judgment is available here.

This case concerned criminal charges brought against the “Nauru 19” in relation to a protest outside of the Nauruan Parliament in June 2015.

The Bar Association recognises and thanks New South Wales barristers Mark Higgins, Felicity Graham and Neal Funnell for their efforts and contribution in the course of this matter. These barristers acted in the best traditions of the Bar, as recognised by his Honour’s statement at paragraph 417 of the judgment.

Supreme Court Annual Commercial and Corporate Law Conference, 2018

Fri Sep 14 2018

The Supreme Court Annual Commercial and Corporate Law Conference will be held in the Banco Court on 20 November 2018 from 1.30 - 6 pm. The focus of the conference this year will be Directors' Duties, Corporate Culture and Corporate Governance.

For further information and to register click here

Legal Aid Sentencing Training - reforms commence on 24 September

Fri Sep 14 2018

Legal Aid sentencing reforms are due to commence on Monday 24 September. The Legal Aid has been running training sessions over the last couple of months.

As an adjunct to the training sessions training staff have recorded a webinar. The webinar is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation and can be accessed publicly on YouTube here. The webinar runs for approximately 1 hour and provides a brief overview of the key parts of the reforms.

The webinar will also be added to the Legal Aid Sentencing Reforms internet page, together with other useful resources, prior to the commencement of the reforms.

Bench and Bar Lunch - 25 September - reserve your seat now!

Fri Sep 14 2018
Collegiality

A Bench and Bar Lunch has been set down for Tuesday, 25 September 2018 from 12.45-2.00pm at No.10 Bistro (The Mint), 10 Macquarie Street (opposite the Law Courts Building). All members of the Bench and Bar (including readers) are welcome. There is a set menu - $30 for a choice from three main courses (vegetarian is available). Tea / coffee & petit fours, wine & drinks available for purchase. It's just quick and cheap.

Registration is essential. Reserve your place here.

All enquiries to Kylie Nomchong SC: ktn@denmanchambers.com.au or ph:9264 6899.

Promoting collegiality: an initiative of the Wellbeing Committee of the New South Wales Bar Association.

Federal judicial commission

Thu Sep 13 2018
Law reform and public affairs

A federal judicial commission would have the potential to enhance the administration of justice, according to the president of the Law Council of Australia, Morry Bailes.

Mr Bailes told The Australian newspaper that "Unjustified complaints may damage the reputation of judicial officers" and that "Complaints regarding serious misconduct should be properly scrutinized".

President of the New South Wales Bar Association, Arthur Moses SC, agreed, noting that the NSW Judicial Commission, established in 1987, had been very effective and that a similar model should operate at a federal level.

"A federal judicial commission would play a critical role in training and enhancing public confidence in the judiciary," Mr Moses SC said today.

"Complaints must be resolved in a way that is transparent and fair to both the community and to judges."

The Australian article titled "Lawyers want a watchdog to handle complaints against judges" can be viewed here [NB: paywall].

Barristers Classifieds

Thu Sep 13 2018
Member services and benefits

A recent technical issue preventing users from uploading posts to Barristers Classifieds has been fixed and the platform is ready to receive new ads.

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 publications and promotions co-ordinator, Michelle Nisbet.

$10m Justice Advocacy Service a welcome investment in the rule of law

Wed Sep 12 2018
Advocacy

The New South Wales Bar Association has welcomed the announcement this week by the NSW Government of a new $10 million "Justice Advocacy Service" to assist victims, witnesses, suspects and defendants with cognitive impairment who come into contact with the state’s criminal justice system.

In a statement today, President Arthur Moses SC said "the Justice Advocacy Service has the potential to promote fairer, more equitable outcomes by assisting people with cognitive impairment to better understand what our criminal justice system requires of them, whether they are providing police or witness statements, testifying in court or adhering to bail conditions".

"It is a crucial tenet of the Rule of Law that laws must be knowable and able to be obeyed by everyone. Navigating the criminal justice system in any capacity is a difficult and stressful experience for any member of the community. It is particularly difficult for vulnerable people with forms of cognitive impairment, including dementia, acquired brain injury and autism spectrum disorder.

"The Association looks forward to working with the Government, the successful tenderer and the courts to improve access to justice for all members of the NSW community," Mr Moses SC said.

The tender for the Justice Advocacy Service is open until 23 October 2018. Further information is available at www.tenders.nsw.gov.au.

National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces

Wed Sep 12 2018
Law reform and public affairs

On 20 June 2018, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins announced a National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces (“the Inquiry”). The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry can be found here. The New South Wales Bar Association Diversity & Equality Committee (DEC) with the Women Barristers Forum (WBF) is in the process of preparing a submission in response to the Inquiry which will cover the research and statistics that have already taken place on the subject matter as well as outlining the unique circumstances of barristers and the lack of legal protections under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth).

To assist the DEC in its preparation of the submission, the Committee invite members of the NSW Bar to provide any relevant information, comments for inclusion in the submission or confidential contributions. Contributions will be treated confidentially and can be sent via email to the chair of the Diversity & Equality Committee or to Advocate for Change, Richard Weinstein SC by Friday, 5 October 2018. Contributions by members will be treated confidentially and will not be identified in a submission unless specified by the contributor.

Members or chambers may also make their own submission to the Inquiry.