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2017 Justice 4 Refugees Cocktail Evening

Thu Sep 07 2017
Charity at the New South Wales Bar

On behalf of the Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS), the New South Wales Bar Association invites all members of the NSW Bar to be our guest at the Justice 4 Refugees (J4R) Cocktail Evening on Wednesday 11 October 2017, 5.30pm to 7.30pm in the NSW Bar Association Common Room. Guest Speakers include The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG and Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs.

The New South Wales Bar Council has resolved to be a RACS Fundraising Partner. The J4R Cocktail Evening aims to raise funds and celebrate the work of the Refugee Advice & Casework Service who for more than 30 years has been actively protecting and advocating for the rights of people seeking asylum in Australia.

All proceeds raised on the evening will be donated directly to the Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS).

Should you wish for more information or to attend this event, please forward your RSVP to rsvp@nswbar.asn.au by Wednesday 4 October 2017 - Spaces are strictly limited

Receive 15% off your membership with Goodlife Health Clubs

Thu Sep 07 2017
Member services and benefits

Members of the Bar Association can receive 15% off their membership with Goodlife Health Clubs. Whether you want to work out in the gym, train with a fitness professional or get moving in a Group Fitness class, Goodlife can help you achieve your health and fitness goals (Terms and conditions apply). You can find a Goodlife Health Club in Level 4, No 1 Martin Place and Level 6, Westfield Parramatta. To find out more, or to take advantage of this offer visit the ABA Member Benefits web site.

Presenting on the Equitable Briefing Policy

Thu Sep 07 2017
Diversity

The Diversity & Equality Committee and the Women Barristers Forum invites members interested in presenting a Equitable Briefing Policy Seminar to members of their floor to attend a ‘How to’ seminar. The seminar will be held on 19 September 2017 at 5:15pm. Registration is essential as places are strictly limited. Please register with Ting Lim, Policy Lawyer at tlim@nswbar.asn.au

Concurrent Expert Evidence in the United States

Thu Sep 07 2017
International practice

Adam Butt of 8th Floor Wentworth Chambers was on 18 August 2017 admitted to the New York Bar. While in the US, Adam presented a paper on the merits of concurrent expert evidence ("hot tubbing") to an audience of US federal judges and lawyers in the US Federal Court, Portland, Oregon. The presentation advocated the merits of "hot tubbing", indicating the role it can play in the US where, unlike Australia and other common law and international jurisdictions, it is not an established practice.

Ethics and ADR

Thu Sep 07 2017
Seminars

Members are invited to hear Mary Walker discuss "Ethics & ADR" at an evening seminar hosted by the Australian Disputes Centre on Thursday, 7 September 2017 from 5.30pm to 7.00pm. Among the special guests will be representatives from 20 law societies from across China. For more information about the ADC's Evening Seminar Series, or to register, click here.

2018 Conferences - invitation for abstracts and papers

Thu Sep 07 2017
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 2018 CPD Conference series. The conferences will be held on Saturdays in Ballina, Newcastle, Orange, Parramatta and Sydney during February and March.

The dates for 2018 Conferences are:

  • North Coast (Ballina) – Saturday 17 February
  • Parramatta – Saturday 24 February
  • Newcastle – Saturday 10 March
  • Orange – Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 March
  • Sydney – Saturday 24 March

Suggestions for papers and brief synopses can be submitted to the professional development coordinator, Tiffany McDonald (tmcdonald@nswbar.asn.au) Please ensure to include '2018 Regional Conferences' in the email subject line along with the inclusion of a working title and, where possible, a short description or abstract of your suggestion in the email.

Suggestions and abstracts are requested by Friday, 29 September.

15 Bobber- Mr David Bennett AC QC - Celebrating 50 Years at the Bar

Thu Sep 07 2017

Members of the NSW Bar Association are invited to attend the 15 Bobber for Mr David Bennett AC QC, celebrating his 50 years at the Bar. The 15 Bobber will be held Friday, 20 October in the New South Wales Bar Association Common Room. Speaking for Mr David Bennett AC QC will be Mr John Sheahan QC. The event begins at 5.30pm with speeches beginning at 5.45pm. RSVP here by 5.00pm Wednesday 11 October 2017.

Janet Coombs lunch - 15 September

Wed Sep 06 2017
Collegiality

The Women Barristers Forum and the Women Lawyers Association NSW will host the Janet Coombs lunch for new female barristers on 15 September 2017 between 1pm and 2pm at the Law Society of NSW. The lunch is $42 per person, which includes lunch, wine and beverages. If you would like to attend please register by completing the attached flyer and return it to Kathryn McKenzie, Executive Officer at executive@womenlawyers.nsw.org.au. Places are limited. Registrations close on 11 September.

Pro-bono work is a high calling

Tue Sep 05 2017
Full text of opinion piece in The Australian, 1 September 2017

Minister Dutton is wrong - lawyers act pro bono because legal representation is not only for the powerful or popular

It was disappointing that the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, agreed with a proposition this week that lawyers acting on a pro-bono basis for refugees are “un-Australian”. It would be troubling if it was to become the norm in Australia for the legal profession to have to remind our elected members of parliament that legal representation should be available not just to the powerful or the popular. Solicitors and barristers defend the rights of all. If that were not so, unpopular people - and that may include politicians from time to time- would be left without representation in courts. Justice would not be done, let alone be seen to be done.

Similarly, it should not be necessary for the legal profession to remind ministers of the Crown that, whatever the merits of a policy that denies asylum seekers who arrive by sea the possibility of resettlement in Australia, the people detained on Manus Island and Nauru are in the care of the Australian Government. More pertinently, they are in the care of Minister Dutton. As such, the Minister and the Government are accountable for their actions under Australian and international law. If transparency and accountability can be denied in respect of the duty of care towards those detainees by attempting to discourage lawyers from acting for the detainees, then the application of principles underpinning good governance and adherence to the law are under threat. Questioning the motives of lawyers appearing in cases in which Minister Dutton is the respondent certainly doesn’t help as it may give the appearance of wishing to undermine the accountability that such proceedings can foster.

In fact, what concerned lawyers was hearing a minister of the Crown disparaging the motives of barristers and law firms doing pro-bono work. There are three reasons for this.

First, to appear pro bono for the weak and marginalised is the finest tradition of the legal profession. Sir Owen Dixon, described by Sir Anthony Mason as “Australia’s greatest lawyer” said at his swearing in as Chief Justice of the High Court “…it is the duty of the barrister to stand between the subject and the Crown, and between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak…”. Robert French AC, our former Chief Justice, gave a speech in Darwin on 18 May 2017 as part of Law Week and made the point that if individuals did not have access to legal representation, then the rule of law in Australia was diminished. Nothing could better represent Australian values than to appear, pro bono, on behalf of the poorest, most disadvantaged and marginalised people. Barristers and law firms undertake significant legal assistance work not only for refugees but also for the general community in Australia. These barristers and solicitors should be applauded for this, not criticised.

Secondly, Minister Dutton’s comments were particularly disappointing because a great deal of the pro bono work currently done by barristers and law firms is necessitated by harsh cuts to Commonwealth funding for legal aid. It has reached the point where federal funding is virtually non-existent in relation to matters that do not involve crime.

At the NSW Bar, barristers have contributed approximately 51,500 hours of work to the Bar Association’s Legal Assistance Referral Scheme since its inception in 1994. Under the Association’s duty barrister arrangements, members contribute 8000 hours a year attending every sitting day at the Downing Centre and John Maddison Tower to provide advice to unrepresented litigants in the Local and District Courts.

However these figures are just the tip of the iceberg. Individual barristers contribute countless hours of pro bono work of their own motion, for individuals, local clubs and other not for-profit organisations.

The attempt by the Minister to impugn the motives of the barristers, solicitors and large law firms in undertaking pro bono work was unfounded and should not have been made.

Finally, it would seem that the Minister was not aware of the views of the Commonwealth Attorney-General Senator, the Hon George Brandis QC. At the National Association of Community Legal Centres Conference 2017, Canberra on 11 August 2017 the Attorney General praised the pro bono work of Australian lawyers. He said: "[T]he community service you perform for distressed people, the most vulnerable people in our community, is of particular importance. It is of unique social importance. The government, governments of both persuasions and at all levels, support you where we can. We will continue to support you and in supporting you, we pay tribute to and respect to the work that you do."

Barristers, like law firms who do pro bono work, should be recognised rather than criticised for providing assistance to the court in determining matters. This leads to the proper representation of individuals and the efficient conduct of proceedings. It is hoped that the minister will consult the Attorney General the next time he is considering making assertions about the legal profession in order to ensure he has a proper understanding of the work of the legal profession and its role within the justice system.

Swearing-in of two new magistrates

Tue Sep 05 2017
Appointments

On Monday 11 September 2017 at 9.00am in courtroom 5.2 of the Downing Centre there will be a ceremonial sitting of the Local Court to mark the swearing-in of Ms Theresa Hamilton and Mr Christopher Halburd as magistrates. Greg Antipas will speak on behalf of the New South Wales Bar. Barristers should not wear wigs and gowns.

An introduction to maritime arbitration in Singapore

Tue Sep 05 2017
Seminars

On Thursday, 14 September at 5.30pm New Chambers will host a sundown chat with the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA). Learn about: the SCMA Model of "light touch" arbitration; SCMA case statistics; and joining the SCMA Panel of Arbitrators. Learn more here.

2017 Succession Conference

Mon Sep 04 2017
Conferences

On 16-17 September 2017 the Blue Mountains Law Society will host a two-day conference on succession. The conference will be opened by Sir Anthony Mason at the Hydro Majestic, Medlow Bath. Among the guest speakers will be the Hon Justice Geoff Lindsay, Professor Ros Croucher, Bill Windeyer and Simon Chapple, barrister. For more information about the program and how to reserve your place, download a conference brochure.

15 Bobber- Mr David Bennett AC QC - Celebrating 50 Years at the Bar

Mon Sep 04 2017

Members of the NSW Bar Association are invited to attend the 15 Bobber for Mr David Bennett AC QC, celebrating his 50 years at the Bar. The 15 Bobber will be held Friday, 20 October in the New South Wales Bar Association Common Room. Speaking for Mr David Bennett AC QC will be Mr John Sheahan QC. The event begins at 5.30pm with speeches beginning at 5.45pm. RSVP here by 5.00pm Wednesday 11 October 2017.

2017 Justice 4 Refugees Cocktail Evening

Mon Sep 04 2017
Charity at the bar

On behalf of the Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS), the New South Wales Bar Association invites all members of the NSW Bar to be our guest at the Justice 4 Refugees (J4R) Cocktail Evening on Wednesday 11 October 2017, 5.30pm to 7.30pm in the NSW Bar Association Common Room. Guest Speakers include The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG and Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs.

The New South Wales Bar Council has resolved to be a RACS Fundraising Partner. The J4R Cocktail Evening aims to raise funds and celebrate the work of the Refugee Advice & Casework Service who for more than 30 years has been actively protecting and advocating for the rights of people seeking asylum in Australia.

All proceeds raised on the evening will be donated directly to the Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS).

Should you wish for more information or to attend this event, please forward your RSVP to rsvp@nswbar.asn.au by Wednesday 4 October 2017 - Spaces are strictly limited

The Francis Forbes Society - Upcoming lectures and tutorials

Fri Sep 01 2017

The upcoming lectures and tutorials are as follows:

· 28 September 2017: Justice Margaret Beazley AO, President of the Court of Appeal, will deliver the Annual Forbes Lecture on 28 September 2017 at 5.15pm in Banco Court, on the history of the Court of Appeal.

· 10 October 2017: The Honourable Keith Mason AC QC will present a lecture titled, ‘Sir Frederick Jordan’s brushes with ‘degenerate art’ on 10 October 2017 at 5.15pm in Banco Court.

· 18 October 2017: The next tutorial in the Society’s series of tutorials in Australian legal history will be presented by Chief Justice Bathurst on 18 October 2017 at 5.15pm in Banco Court. His Honour will be discussing the history of criminal law.

· 9 November 2017: Mark Tedeschi AM QC will deliver the Annual Plunkett Lecture on 9 November 2017 at 5.15pm in the NSW Bar Association Common Room, to be chaired by the Attorney General, the Honourable Mark Speakman SC. Mr Tedeschi is the Senior Crown Prosecutor in New South Wales and the author of ‘Murder at Myall Creek: The Trial that Defined a Nation’, published by Simon & Schuster in 2016. Mr Tedeschi will deliver a lecture titled ‘John Hubert Plunkett QC and the Myall Creek murder trials.’

Help wanted: illustrators

Fri Sep 01 2017
Bar News

The editor of Bar News, Ingmar Taylor SC, recently put out a call to members of the bar with a knack for photography or illustrating. The photographers were quick to volunteer, but illustrators are proving a little harder to find. If you, or someone you know, has a talent for illustrating, consider contacting Ingmar via email.

The High Court of Australia Public Lecture

Fri Sep 01 2017
Lectures

The High Court of Australia Public Lecture will be held on 11 October 2017 at 6.00pm. The topic will be "Judges, justice and public power: The Constitution and the Rule of Law in South Africa", to be delivered by the Hon Justice Edwin Cameron, justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Learn more here.

2018 Conferences - invitation for abstracts and papers

Fri Sep 01 2017
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 2018 CPD Conference series. The conferences will be held on Saturdays in Ballina, Newcastle, Orange, Parramatta and Sydney during February and March.

The dates for 2018 Conferences are:

  • North Coast (Ballina) – Saturday 17 February
  • Parramatta – Saturday 24 February
  • Newcastle – Saturday 10 March
  • Orange – Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 March
  • Sydney – Saturday 24 March

Suggestions for papers and brief synopses can be submitted to the professional development coordinator, Tiffany McDonald (tmcdonald@nswbar.asn.au) Please ensure to include '2018 Regional Conferences' in the email subject line along with the inclusion of a working title and, where possible, a short description or abstract of your suggestion in the email.

Suggestions and abstracts are requested by Friday, 29 September.

Bar Association sponsors TLC tenth anniversary seminars

Thu Aug 31 2017

Toongabbie Legal Centre is marking its 10th anniversary by hosting 10 free Saturday legal seminars for the community. The Bar Association is one of the principal sponsors and barristers such as Kate Eastman SC, Phil Boulten SC, Mark Robinson SC, Sheila Kaur-Bains will present seminars across western Sydney on subjects ranging from discrimination, police powers to disputes with CentreLink and governance of charitable organisations. Some are suitable for CPD. View the full program here.

Last chance to nominate for the 2017 Human Rights Awards

Thu Aug 31 2017
Awards

There's still time to nominate for the 2017 Human Rights Awards. The awards recognise and celebrate the extraordinary contributions of individuals, organisations and businesses to the field of human rights each year.

Nominations can be submitted under eight categories: the Human Rights Medal, the Young People’s Medal, Law Award, Business Award, ‘Racism. It Stops With Me’ Award, Tony Fitzgerald Community Award for Organisations, Tony Fitzgerald Community Award for Individuals and the Media Award.

The nomination process is a quick and simple online or PDF form - click here to nominate today!

Nominations close at midnight on Monday, 4 September 2017.

For any questions about the Awards, please contact us at hrawards@humanrights.gov.au or phone (02) 9284 9779.

2017 Justice 4 Refugees Cocktail Evening

Wed Aug 30 2017
Charity at the bar

On behalf of the Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS), the New South Wales Bar Association invites all members of the NSW Bar to be our guest at the Justice 4 Refugees (J4R) Cocktail Evening on Wednesday 11 October 2017, 5.30pm to 7.30pm in the NSW Bar Association Common Room. Guest Speakers include The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG and Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs.

The New South Wales Bar Council has resolved to be a RACS Fundraising Partner. The J4R Cocktail Evening aims to raise funds and celebrate the work of the Refugee Advice & Casework Service who for more than 30 years has been actively protecting and advocating for the rights of people seeking asylum in Australia.

All proceeds raised on the evening will be donated directly to the Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS).

Should you wish for more information or to attend this event, please forward your RSVP to rsvp@nswbar.asn.au by Wednesday 4 October 2017 - Spaces are strictly limited

State Insurance Regulatory Authority releases Guidance Note 25

Wed Aug 30 2017

The Permanent Impairment Guidelines Interpretation Group (PI-GIG) was formed in November 2008 to provide expert and considered advice on any anomalies in the NSW Motor Accidents CTP scheme Permanent Impairment Guidelines and AMA4 Guides.

One of the roles of the PI-GIG is to develop guidance notes to clarify or outline the clinically preferred interpretation of existing guideline provisions for any anomalies, areas which are open to interpretation, or have the potential for inconsistent assessments .

Guidance Notes developed by the PI-GIG will in no way contradict the existing provisions of the NSW Motor Accidents CTP scheme Permanent Impairment Guidelines or AMA4 Guides, but may provide a clinically preferred method of interpretation in circumstances where:

  • Existing provisions are ambiguous
  • Existing provisions do not cover a particular condition
  • Existing provisions are contradictory
  • Existing provisions require definition or clarification

The following new Guidance Note is available for use by Medical Assessors: Guidance Note 25 - Approach to Using Tables 40 to 45 When Assessing Lower Extremity

The guidance notes are to be used by medical assessors when assessing the degree of permanent impairment under the NSW CTP scheme.

The guidance notes can be found on the SIRA website

Should you wish to provide comment or have any queries on any of the Guidance Notes please forward your email to WPIenquiryMAIR@sira.nsw.gov.au.

Responses will be collated for a period of six months following the date of launch of the Guidance Note and presented to the Permanent Impairment Guidelines Interpretation Group for further consideration.