WBF Cocktails and Canapes to celebrate the women silks of 2018

Thu Oct 25 2018

The Women Barristers Forum invites members to join them for cocktails and canapes at the Verandah Bar Restaurant on Wednesday 7 November from 5.30 - 7.30pm, to celebrate the appointment of women senior counsel for 2018. Guest speaker will be The Hon Justice Lucy McCallum. All members are welcome. Early bird registration ends 1 November 2018. Please register here.

The 2018 Plunkett Lecture - “The Royal Prerogative of Mercy”

Wed Oct 24 2018

On Monday, 29 October 2018 the Attorney General of New South Wales, the Hon Mark Speakman SC MP, will deliver the 2018 Plunkett Lecture at 5.15 pm in the NSW Bar Association Common Room. The Attorney General’s topic of address will be “The Royal Prerogative of Mercy”. Senior Vice-President of the Bar Association, Tim Game SC will chair the lecture. Learn more here.

Everyone is welcome to attend the Lecture.

Media Release - Family Court CEO casts doubt on PwC report Claims

Wed Oct 24 2018

The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP, Shadow Attorney General says Chief Executive and Principal Registrar of the Family Court Warwick Soden has cast doubt on a key assumption regarding Family Court efficiency, which the government has used to justify its planned amalgamation of the Family and Federal Circuit Courts. For a full copy of the media release click here.

Celebrating Women Law Breakfast with Julia Baird

Wed Oct 24 2018

Join us and our Guest Speaker Julia Baird for the Celebrating Women Law Breakfast on the opening morning of the rise2018 National Conference.

Host of The Drum on ABCTV, a columnist for the New York Times, the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, Julia is a critically acclaimed and best-selling author.

Register now!

  • When: Friday 16 November, 7.15am
  • Where: Planar Restaurant, Darling Harbour
  • Who: open to all professions, those not attending the conference may still buy tickets
  • Cost: $95

A detailed program, including social events, can be found here.

Sydney Lawyers Orchestra concert for Armistice Day

Wed Oct 24 2018

Sydney Lawyers Orchestra will perform a special commemorative concert, with the New South Wales Bar Choir, on Thursday, 8 November 2018 at 7.00pm to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. The concert will be held in Pitt Street Uniting Church, 264 Pitt Street. Learn more here.

The 35th Great Bar Boat Race - 2018

Wed Oct 24 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 enquiries should be addressed to Adrian Gruzman on 0400 22-2211 or The Notice of Race will be available shortly.

Career at the Bar University Open Day will be held tomorrow

Tue Oct 23 2018

The Career at the Bar University Open Day is on tomorrow, 24 October 2018. If you know any students interested in attending it is a great opportunity for students to meet members of the legal profession, barristers and judicial officers. Students can register here.

Election of 2019 Bar Council - the Ballot

Tue Oct 23 2018

Ballot papers for the election of the 2019 Bar Council have been mailed to all those eligible to vote.

Return of ballot paper The envelope containing the ballot paper must bear the name of the member casting the vote to be valid. Envelopes that do not bear the name of the member casting the vote cannot be counted. Please note that failure to return your ballot paper in an envelope on which your name is legibly printed will invalidate your vote.

How many candidates may you vote for? A change in the Association’s Constitution means there is no longer a requirement to vote for a minimum number of senior counsel. Members may vote for up to 21 candidates in any category.
The ‘How to Vote’ instruction booklet that was issued with each ballot paper contains detailed information about how a valid vote is cast. Members should take care to complete the ballot paper in accordance with the instructions provided. If any member has a query concerning the completion of the ballot paper they should contact the Bar Association for assistance.

Poll deadline Ballot papers received after 1.00pm on Thursday, 1 November 2018 will not be counted.

Replacement of ballot papers Any member who loses or spoils his or her ballot paper may obtain and complete a replacement ballot paper before the close of poll. In all such cases, immediate contact should be made with the Certification Officer, Ms Abha Malla on ph. 9232 4055 or e-mail

Greg Tolhurst Executive Director & Returning Officer 23 October 2018

Message from the Bar Knitting (not only knitting) Group - tonight

Tue Oct 23 2018

Click here to see a photo of our recent meeting. Aren’t you sorry you didn’t make it? By popular demand, at our next meeting we will start a Sock Knit-along. If you’d like to participate, all you need to do is to show up, armed with sock yarn and some 2.5mm or 2.75mm needles (either double pointed needles or a circular needle - ask if you aren’t sure). We will provide copies of a basic pattern (you can do some early reading if you like - click here and we’ll have experienced sock knitters at the meeting to provide assistance as required.

See you on the fourth Tuesday in October (23rd) to cast on your socks!

White Ribbon Foundation Cocktail Reception

Mon Oct 22 2018

On Tuesday, 20 November 2018 The White Ribbon Foundation will host its annual cocktail reception in support of its ongoing efforts to end violence against women and children. The special guests will be Premier Gladys Berejiklian MP and the NSW Opposition leader, the Hon Luke Foley. The event will take place in NSW Parliament House, Strangers Dining Room, 6 Macquarie Street at 6.30pm.

The cost will be $140pp. Purchase tickets or make a donation online.

Attire: Lounge suit/Cocktail dress. RSVP: 10 November 2018. Enquiries: Vincent De Luca OAM – 0414990551 or Ash Johnson – 0429274234

Funds raised go to the White Ribbon Foundation, the Womens’ and Girls’ Emergency Centre, Redfern and the SafeHouse, Brewarrina

The 2018 Plunkett Lecture

Mon Oct 22 2018

The attorney general of New South Wales, the Hon Mark Speakman SC MP, will deliver the 2018 Plunkett Lecture on Monday, 29 October 2018 at 5.15 pm in the NSW Bar Association Common Room.

Everyone is welcome to attend the Lecture.

St John Ambulance first aid course - two places left

Mon Oct 22 2018

Following the success of the St John Ambulance "Provide First Aid" course in June of this year, the Bar Association will facilitate another training session on Friday, 23 November from 9am to 1.00pm in the Common Room. The course fee is $50.00.

If you intend on taking part in the course, please complete the EOI form.

Once all available places are filled, a confirmation notice will be emailed to you, together with the mandatory course materials. Once the list of attendees is finalised, we will invoice confirmed attendees.

Should you have any queries about this course please forward your enquiries to

2018 Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture

Mon Oct 22 2018
At the lectern

Phil Boulten SC will deliver the 2018 Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture on "Our First Nations People in Custody: A National Disgrace", on Wednesday, 24 October at 6.00-7.30pm, followed by a cocktail reception.

Location: Law Foyer, Level 2, New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, Camperdown, University of Sydney Cost: Free, however registration is essential. Click here for more information and to register.

Chambers for sale

Mon Oct 22 2018
Member services and benefits

Room for Sale or Short Term Licence - Phillip St Frontage Renovated Chambers on 3 Wentworth Newly completed architect-designed, fully renovated (with no expense spared) room with Phillip St frontage & sound-proofed windows for sale on 3 Wentworth. The owner will consider a license/sale combination to facilitate the sale. Learn more here.

2019 Law Society Diary in stock now

Mon Oct 22 2018

The 2019 Law Society Diary is now available to purchase over the counter at the Law Society Shop on Level 1, 170 Phillip Street, Sydney. Can’t drop by? Order online or via order form. Visit for more information. Get in quick, stocks are limited.

Upcoming Forbes Society tutorials

Mon Oct 22 2018

The next tutorial in the Forbes Society series of legal history tutorials will be presented by the Chief Justice, the Hon T F Bathurst on Thursday 18 October 2018 at 5.15pm in Banco Court. The title of the tutorial is, ‘The History of the Law of Commercial Arbitration’.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

Release of Victorian Bar data on harassment & bullying

Fri Oct 19 2018

Today the Daily Mail published a story on bullying and harassment of barristers based on research findings of the Victorian Bar Association. Click here to see the full article.

To read a copy of the report published by the Victorian Bar Association the 'Quality of Working Life Survey click here.

Everything you wanted to ask a judge but are too afraid to ask

Fri Oct 19 2018

The New Barristers’ Committee will again host the Judicial Q&A panel in the Bar Common Room on Thursday, 25 October at 5.15pm. As usual, the Q&A will feature a panel of judges who will answer your burning questions, which you dare not ask in court. However, this year drinks (like costs) will follow the event at the St James Crypt and Garden Courtyard (across from the court). Members are welcome to attend one or both events.

  • Register here for the Q&A and to submit your questions for the panel
  • Register here for the drinks (free for under 5s, $30 for over 5s)

Please note that registrations are necessary for Under 5s attending the drinks (regardless of no cost) for catering purposes.

The Q&A panel discussion is designed to allow under 5s to pose questions to judges from the Federal Court, Supreme Court and District Court with a view to assisting new barristers in their court craft, advocacy and practice in those courts.

The drinks function which follows will provide an opportunity for New Barristers to catch up. The drinks will also serve as an opportunity to welcome the new cohort of Barristers from the 2018 Bar Practice Courses.

Members of the judiciary and barristers over 5 years are also invited to the drinks.

We would also like to thank BarCover who are kindly sponsoring this event. To find out more about what BarCover has to offer you please visit their website.

Uncertainty about Encryption Bill must be resolved

Fri Oct 19 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The Australian Government's encryption access bill raises serious questions about the ability of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access encrypted private information without a warrant, as well as the power detain individuals in certain circumstances. Law Council of Australia President-elect, Arthur Moses SC, told a Parliamentary Committee today that while there was significant value in allowing law enforcement and national security agencies faster access to encrypted information, the proposed Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 needed considerable amendment. "The Bill will authorise the exercise of intrusive covert powers with the potential to significantly limit an individual's right to privacy, freedom of expression, and liberty," Mr Moses said.

For a full copy of the media release click here.

15 Bobber- Ms Kelly Rees SC - Tonight

Fri Oct 19 2018

Members of the NSW Bar Association are invited to attend the 15 Bobber for the Hon Justice Kelly Rees, celebrating her recent appointment to the Supreme Court of New South Wales. The 15 Bobber will be held Friday, 19 October in the New South Wales Bar Association Common Room. Speaking for her Honour will be Mr Peter Braham SC. The event begins at 5.15pm with speeches beginning at 5.30pm. Payments can be made at the door.

Upcoming Forbes Society tutorials

Thu Oct 18 2018

The next tutorial in the Forbes Society series of legal history tutorials will be presented by Chief Justice T F Bathurst on Thursday, 18 October 2018 at 5.15pm in Banco Court. The title of the tutorial is, "The History of the Law of Commercial Arbitration".

ALHR & NJP Human Rights Dinner - Tickets now on sale

Thu Oct 18 2018

Tickets are now on sale for the ALHR - NJP Human Rights Dinner being held on 26 October 2018 at 7.00pm at the Sky Phoenix Restaurant, 188 Pitt Street Sydney.

Join Australian Lawyers for Human Rights and the National Justice Project for dinner to support their work to protect and promote human rights in Australia. Julian Burnside AO QC will be delivering the Opening Comments and Michael Lavarch AO will be the Facilitator. Special guest speakers are Tony McAvoy SC and Larissa Behrendt. For further information click here and to book please click here.

Senior Counsel Scroll Presentation

Thu Oct 18 2018
Message from President Arthur Moses SC

On Tuesday, 16 October 19 successful Senior Counsel appointees were presented with their scrolls by Chief Justice Bathurst AC at a presentation evening in the Bar Association Common Room. It was wonderful to see so many friends and family join us to celebrate their appointment and wish them a successful future. Click here to see a picture

LCA calls for immediate removal of asylum seeker children from Nauru

Thu Oct 18 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The Law Council of Australia has today called for asylum seeker children and their families to be removed from Nauru as a matter of urgency.

Law Council of Australia President Morry Bailes said: "Removing asylum seeker children from Nauru is not just medically necessary, it is also consistent with Australia’s obligations under domestic and international law."

"Long-term, indefinite detention on Nauru is simply no place for any child. The Australian Government, in recognising this simple truth, should act with the appropriate urgency,” Mr Bailes said.

View the media release here.