The 35th Great Bar Boat Race - Get your entries in!

Wed Dec 05 2018

The 35th Great Bar Boat Race will be held on Monday, 17 December 2018 beginning in the vicinity of Shark Island at 11.00am and finishing at Store Beach. All barristers, judges and solicitors, practising or retired are welcome to take part. Please get your entry documentation into race organisers as soon as possible. All enquiries should be addressed to Adrian Gruzman on 0400 22-2211 or The Notice of Race is available here.

Barristers Classifieds

Wed Dec 05 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 publications and promotions co-ordinator, Michelle Nisbet.

4.5KM ocean swim for the Women's and Girls' Emergency Centre

Wed Dec 05 2018

This Saturday, 8 December 2018, David Rayment will be participating in the 4.5km “5 Beaches” ocean swim from Coogee to Bondi in order to raise funds for the Sydney based Women's and Girls' Emergency Centre. It is a gruelling distance to swim but his motivation to stay afloat will be very much assisted by any donations to this cause.

The Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre (WAGEC) is a non-government, not-for-profit charitable organisation that delivers a range of crisis and early intervention accommodation and support services to women, children and young people, and families who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and/or domestic and family violence. More detail on what the centre does can be found here:

To donate please visit his “Every Day Hero” page for this event:

Donations of any amount are welcome, and all donations over $2 are tax deductible (just be sure to click the box for your receipt to be emailed to you).

Every Day Hero takes a percentage of every donation. If you wish to avoid that from happening, you can always donate to the charity directly by going to the following webpage:

Please spread the word by sharing the link above with anyone you think might be willing to support the centre.

Thank you for your consideration and for your support.

Submission on the proposed restructure of the family law system

Tue Dec 04 2018

The New South Wales Bar Association has made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s Inquiry into two bills which are currently before the Parliament to restructure the Federal Courts and in effect abolish the Family Court of Australia. The Association’s submission on the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2018 and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2018 is available here.

The Association does not dispute that reform of Australia’s family law system is required to address the chronic and sustained underfunding and under-resourcing of the Courts and legal aid, mismanagement of existing resources and provide a consistent internal case management approach. However, it is critical not to attempt to rush through proposals without informed consideration of viable alternatives. Many of the Bills’ purported goals, such as the reduction of delays and improved efficiencies, could be achieved without legislation through the creation of consistent court rules using existing rule-making powers, and through a significant resource commitment from government.

The Association does not support the passage of these Bills and recommends that debate should not occur in the Senate until after the ALRC has reported on its root and branch inquiry into the family law system. Further information about the Bills and the Inquiry is available here.

NSWBA and AAI Train the Trainer Workshop

Tue Dec 04 2018
Call for Expressions of Interest

The NSW Bar Associations Professional Development Department is looking for Advocacy Coaches to assist twice yearly with the Bar Practice Course. The coaching is undertaken between 4.30pm and 6pm on selected weeknights (over a two week period) when the course is being conducted. To encourage barristers to participate we will be running a ‘Train the Trainer’ workshop in conjunction with the Australian Advocacy Institute in February 2019. The workshop aims to improve the standards of advocacy throughout Australia. It provides a forum in which ideas and experience in advocacy and advocacy training maybe shared and developed.


The NSW Bar Practice Course is the entry point to our profession and forms the basis of Readers first year of practice, and indeed for the whole of their careers at the Bar. It gives Readers an opportunity that they will have only once in their professional careers: senior members of our profession will dedicate their time over a period of one month to teach, share knowledge and experience, and act as peers and mentors in the pursuit of professional excellence.

The role of the advocacy coach is an integral part of the Bar Practice Course. The coaches can, and do, have a huge impact on these new members of the Bar. Advocacy coaches inspire, motivate and encourage Readers in a respectful, supportive, professional and shared endeavour. Coaches provide insight and feedback to both the Readers and the Course Director. Equally importantly, coaches are required to practically demonstrate what they are teaching. Through this, Readers are able to see their coaches as highly competent and genuinely interested in assisting them to improve. It is a mutual relationship of professional respect and trust. Participating in the Bar Practice Course as an Advocacy Coach is a perfect opportunity to give back. It is an important contribution to the profession and the personal benefit of instructing is the improvements of one’s own advocacy skills. Equally, it is an excellent opportunity to remind oneself of best practice at the Bar as an advocate.


All Barristers with a reasonable amount of experience in whatever jurisdiction, are encouraged to complete the expression of interest form. Ideal candidates will:

  • Have continuously held a New South Wales barristers’ practising certificate or a practising certificate of another Australian jurisdiction for not less than seven years
  • Be a full-time practising New South Wales barrister
  • Be able to commit to a minimum of two evening advocacy sessions (4.30 pm – 6 pm) per Bar Practice Course (May and September)

Successful applicants will be invited to attend, free of charge, the Train the Trainer workshop on Saturday 16 February 2019, 9.00am – 5.00pm, Family Court of Australia, 97-99 Goulburn Street, Sydney. Please note, an Introductory Session will also be held on Friday 15 February 2019, 5.00pm – 7.00pm, NSW Bar Association Common Room.


Please complete the ‘expression of interest form

**Please note, completion of the form does not imply that a place on the course is guaranteed.

National defamation reform moves ahead

Tue Dec 04 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The Hon Mark Speakman SC MP has today issued a media release detailing terms of reference approved by the Council of the Attorneys-General (CAG) to guide the national defamation reform process. Click here for a full copy of the media release. The Terms of Reference are available here.

Obligations of counsel to clients and duties to the Court

Tue Dec 04 2018
Message from President Tim Game SC

In the recent judgment of AB (a pseudonym) v CD (a pseudonym) and Ors; EF (a pseudonym v CD (a pseudonym) and Ors [2018] HCA 58, the High Court condemned the conduct of a barrister in Victoria, who acted as an informant on her clients, as involving “appalling breaches of EF’s obligations as counsel to her clients and of EF’s duties to the court”.

In light of the revelations regarding this conduct, I remind all barristers that their paramount duty is to the administration of justice. The Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015 (‘the Rules’), and professional rules that were in place long before the current Rules, have always maintained this position. Barristers must maintain high standards of professional conduct and this includes high standards of professional conduct in the maintenance of their duty to their clients, the court and colleagues within the Rules.

The Rules provide that “A barrister must promote and protect fearlessly and by all proper and lawful means the client’s best interests to the best of the barrister’s skill and diligence, and do so without regard to his or her own interest or to any consequences to the barrister or to any other person”. The inclusion of the words “by all proper and lawful means” was deliberate, reflecting the obligations which Barristers have under the law and as emphasised throughout the Rules.

The Rules do not provide any means by which barristers could ever be complicit in criminal conduct. To the contrary their ethical responsibilities, and compliance with the law (including the criminal laws such as s 316 of the Crimes Act), will always preclude this situation. This is a matter often not understood by the wider community.

The President will be calling a meeting with the NSW Police Commissioner, the Commissioner of the New South Wales Crime Commission and the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions to ensure that the administration of justice in NSW has not been compromised in any like manner to that which the High Court has condemned. Should any barrister have any knowledge that, in accordance with their ethical responsibilities, should be drawn to the attention of the NSW Bar Association this should be done as a matter of utmost urgency.

All barristers are invited to contact the Association should they ever require ethical guidance in relation to their duties and responsibilities.


2019 Regional Conference Series

Tue Dec 04 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

Encryption access laws require proper scrutiny

Mon Dec 03 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The Law Council has today called on the Australian Parliament to not rush consideration of complex and unprecedented encryption access laws. President-elect Arthur Moses SC warned that legislation impacting on the privacy and rights of Australians should be scrutinised carefully and called for parliament to act with "caution, moderation and restraint". View the media release here.

Bench and Bar v Solicitors Golf Day

Mon Dec 03 2018

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.

Funeral arrangements for John Whittle SC

Mon Dec 03 2018

The funeral for John Whittle will be held on Saturday, 8 December 2018 at 9.30am in the Church of the Living God, 25 Carrington Avenue, Hurstville, followed by the burial at Woronora Memorial park at 12.00pm.

On Wednesday, 12 December, John's family, friends and colleagues will hold a gathering at the Royal Automobile Club, 89 Macquarie Street, between 6.00pm and 8.30pm in the Victoria Room to share stories of his life at the NSW Bar.

NCAT Annual Report 2017-18 tabled in NSW Parliament

Mon Dec 03 2018

The New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal is in its fifth year of operation, and during the 2017-18 financial year disposed of more than 66,000 matters. Further information can be obtained from the NCAT annual report, available here.

Arthur Moses SC elected president of the LCA

Mon Dec 03 2018

At the weekend directors' meeting of the Law Council, the following directors were elected as members of the Law Council Executive for 2019: Arthur Moses SC, president; Konrad de Kerloy, president-elect; Pauline Wright, treasurer; and Tass Liveris, Jacoba Brasch QC and Tony Rossi, Executive members. Learn more here.

Retirement of The Honourable Justice Ruth McColl AO

Fri Nov 30 2018

The Honourable Justice McColl AO will retire as a Judge of Appeal of the Supreme Court of New South Wales on Sunday, 27 January 2019.

A formal ceremony to mark this occasion will be held in the Banco Court on Level 13 at 9:15 AM on Tuesday 4 December 2018. Tim Game SC will speak on behalf of the NSW Bar.

The ceremony will be followed by morning tea in the Judges' Dining Room on Level 13.

All members of the Bar are welcome to attend.

Justice defender and Indigenous advocate, Phillip Boulten SC, wins Law Council’s President’s Award

Fri Nov 30 2018
Media Release

Phillip Boulten SC was last night presented Law Council of Australia President's Award. President of the Law Council, Morry Bailes, who presented the award at the Law Council's Annual Gala Dinner last night, said Mr Boulten exemplified the best of the profession. “Throughout his career, Mr Boulten has made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of the rule of law and the administration of justice,” Mr Bailes said.

A full copy of media release is available here.

Bench and Bar Tennis Day 2018

Fri Nov 30 2018

The annual Bench & Bar Tennis day will be held as usual on the first Tuesday after the end of term, on 18 December 2018 from 9.00am at the Royal Sydney Golf Club. There are 24 spots available. Registration of the players is done, as always, on a first come, first served basis. Spots will fill up quickly. Water and soft drinks will be available during play, and lunch is provided at the bistro and bar in the clubhouse. If you are interested please let Jane Buncle know, preferably by email to

RACS Fast-Track Judicial Review Workshop

Fri Nov 30 2018

Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) will run another fast track judicial review workshop in Sydney, based on the Law Institute of Victoria training materials. It is scheduled for Monday, 26 November 2018, from 6.00–8.00pm at Lander & Rogers in the CBD. Participants will need to prepare by viewing training videos and reading materials. It is a great opportunity for those wanting to contribute to RACS’s judicial review referral service: Justice for Refugees (J4R). For more information, contact Nadine Darling at RACS.

The Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS) would like to thank the Bar Association and its members for the ongoing support of our Justice for Refugees, judicial review referral service for people seeking asylum who came by boat. The pro bono support received from barristers since the project began in 2016 has made a tangible difference to the lives of many people. The patron of RACS, the Hon Michael Kirby, said recently: "this is not a good time for the rule of law in Australia….. we have to engage the very best lawyers for those who come seeking sanctuary in our country…. years from now we will look back on this time and we will be surprised at what we have done but we will honour those who have assisted, who can make sure the rule of law is a reality for those who come to us seeking asylum."

Since the commencement of Justice for Refugees (J4R) pro bono barristers have provided 190 opinions on prospects of success for clients who can’t afford legal assistance. Of those, about 70 opinions have been positive and RACS have found instructing solicitors from their network of 18 pro bono law firms to run the matters in the Federal Circuit Court.

But there is much more to do for the fast track group (the people who came by boat after August 13 2012) with just over half of the estimated 7000 fast track applicants in NSW having had their protection visa applications processed. RACS could easily be approached by about 400 more clients needing help. That is why RACS needs more barristers and law firms who are prepared to assist clients who are in genuine need.

Note: The material covered will be the same as the Workshops run on 23 Jan & 28 May 2018.

2020 HAL International Legal Conference, Greece

Thu Nov 29 2018
Save the Date

The Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association (HAL) is delighted to be hosting a second International Legal Conference in Rhodes, Greece from 5-10 July 2020. Please save the date for what promises to be a memorable conference.

Registrations will open in May 2019 for the conference. Further details will be posted on the HAL website in February 2019.

Premature Parliamentary vote reinforces need for careful scrutiny of Family Court's Future

Thu Nov 29 2018
Law Reform and Public Affairs

The President of the New South Wales Bar Association Tim Game SC today called on the Australian Senate to carefully scrutinise and put to proof two bills to restructure the Federal Courts and in effect abolish the specialist Family Court of Australia, after the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2018 and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2018 were passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday. The proposals in the Bills have been pursued without consultation with the legal profession, the community and court users.

A copy of the full media release is available here.

AAWJ - Invitation to attend a screening of the movie The Judge

Thu Nov 29 2018

The Australian Association of Women Judges invites you to attend a screening of the movie The Judge, which follows one of the first female judges to serve in an Islamic court of law. It has been described as “an intimate profile of Kholoud al-Faqih, who in 2009 was one of two women appointed to preside over a sharia court in the West Bank — becoming the first in that role in the Palestinian territories and still among only a few such female judges in the world.”

Date: Friday 30th November, 2018 Screening 5.30pm to approx. 7.15pm (film 97 minutes) Venue: Banco Court, Level 13, Supreme Court of New South Wales, Queens Square, Sydney After Screening: Informal Drinks and Nibbles

Registrations are essential. For more information and for details on how to register please click here.

The Art of Advocacy: Selecting the right vintage for the occassion

Thu Nov 29 2018

The Australian Disputes Centre invites members to join them for their final CPD session for 2018 followed by Christmas drinks.

Ian Davidson SC and Deborah Lockhart will share their significant experience with practitioners in this seminar on advocacy and dispute resolution. The session includes a short review of judicial and academic commentary on the topic, the sharing of practical experiences from the perspectives of the advocate, the client and the dispute resolution institution and suggests the 10 Commandments of Advocacy in Mediation.

Date: Monday 3 December Time: 5.30pm - Christmas drinks to follow Venue: Australian Disputes Centre, Level 16, 1 Castlereagh Street, Sydney

For more information and to register click here.

LCA makes submission on future of the Family Court

Wed Nov 28 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The Law Council of Australia has made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2018 and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2018. The submission has now been published on the Senate inquiry's web page.