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Proposed restructure of the Family, Federal and Federal Circuit Courts’ jurisdiction

Wed May 30 2018
Message from President Arthur Moses SC

The Federal Attorney-General, the Hon Christian Porter MP, has today announced that a new single “Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia” will be established from 1 January 2019, in addition to a new Family Law Appeal Division in the Federal Court of Australia to hear all appeals in family law matters from the new Court. At this stage it is premature to comment on these proposals until draft legislation is released so that these matters can be properly considered and an informed consultation process followed. The Federal Attorney-General has advised me in correspondence today that he is willing to engage in discussions about these proposed reforms. The NSW Bar Association appreciates this invitation and will be taking the Federal Attorney-General up on the offer when the draft legislation is released.

The NSW Bar Association’s position has always been that real and lasting reform has to be based on evidence which is aimed at reducing the unacceptable delays that exist in Australia’s family law system. The current delays are significant and continue to affect the quality of life of children and their families throughout Australia. The delays are getting worse and cannot continue. We will await to see the material that is being relied upon in relation to these proposals so that they are not considered in a vacuum. It is the NSW Bar Association’s view that the provision of sufficient judicial resources and appropriate legal aid funding is at the heart of dealing with these delays. Australian children and their families deserve proper representation in order to access justice in their time of need.

The Bar Association will continue to work with the Courts which are the subject of these proposals and Government to improve family law outcomes. Members will be kept informed of further developments when the draft legislation is released so that they can provide their input in relation to the proposals.

Legal Aid Criminal Law Conference 2018

Wed May 30 2018

The Legal Aid NSW Criminal Law Conference 2018 will be held on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of August at Doltone House, Darling Island Wharf, Pyrmont. The program has been finalised and registrations are now open! The program can be viewed here and registration can be made through this link. The early bird discounted rate of $725 for the full conference will expire on 15 June, after which the cost will be $800. Single day registration is also available.

The Annual Criminal Law Dinner will be held on Thursday the 2nd of August at Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf. The guest speaker for the dinner will be The Honourable Justice Peter Hamill. We hope you will accept our invitation to attend.

For the diary: Gender Dysphoria

Wed May 30 2018

The Family Law Committee will host a seminar on Gender Dysphoria at 5.30pm on Monday 4 June 2018 in the NSW Bar Association Common Room. The speakers are Michelle Painter SC and Mark Anderson. Further details will be available shortly.

Tonight: The 2018 Forbes Lecture and support of research projects

Wed May 30 2018

On Wednesday, 30 May 2018 the Hon Justice Virginia Bell AC will deliver the 2018 Forbes Lecture, "By the skin of our teeth – the passing of the Women's Legal Status Act 1918", to mark the Centenary of the Act. The lecture will take place at 5.15 pm in the NSW Bar Association Common Room, and will be chaired by Arthur Moses SC.

Research projects supported by the Forbes Society

One of the Society’s objects is to encourage and promote research into Australian legal history and it maintains a fund for that purpose to which donations may be made – the Francis Forbes Fund (donations of $2.00 or more to which are tax deductible). Last year the Fund supported the project of Professor Anne Twomey (of the University of Sydney) to publish Pitt Cobbett's grand opus called ‘The Government of Australia’. The Society shares this update from Professor Twomey:

Professor Pitt Cobbett wrote his grand opus on The Government of Australia in his retirement, leaving it as an 'unfinished symphony' upon his death in 1919, with a request to his executors that it be finished, edited and published. But the High Court handed down its judgment in the Engineers Case the following year, and the executors decided the manuscript was out of date. It was instead donated to the University of Sydney and has sat quietly moulding there ever since. It is now a work of great historic importance, showing how the Constitution was understood in the first twenty years of its existence.

The Forbes Society has kindly supported the project of finishing, editing and publishing this work. The aim is to publish it upon the centenary of Pitt Cobbett's death, in 2019. The Society donated $8300 to pay a PhD student to check the footnotes of the book and to help subsidise publication to make it viable. Unfortunately, the full $8300 was spent on the footnote checking, as it turned out that as Pitt Cobbett's illness increased, the accuracy of his footnotes decreased and considerable work had to be undertaken to find the correct sources. I am therefore hoping for some additional assistance from the Society later in the year to subsidise publication so that it can be published as a hardback book for libraries and scholars to consult for generations. The support of the Society is essential for this type of work, which would otherwise not see the light of day and remain moulding away, unseen and forgotten. We will not learn from our past unless our history is readily accessible. The Francis Forbes Society ensures that it is.

The Society encourages further donations to enable it to support such worthy projects – a form for donations is available here: Forbes Fund Donation Form and on the web site at Donations.

Room For Sale - Phillip St Frontage Renovated Chambers on 3 Wentworth

Wed May 30 2018

Newly completed architect-designed, fully renovated (with no expense spared) room with Phillip St frontage & sound-proofed windows for sale on 3 Wentworth. Room is naturally well lit and has ample cupboard, drawer and bookshelf storage space. View photos here.

The floor is fully integrated into the CCL Network and VOIP telephone system, has printing and faxing services and has its own website.

Floor fees are $800/month and CCL fees are $1165/month.

The room will be available to occupy from early August.

Price: $225,000.

For all enquiries or to arrange an inspection, please contact Matthew King on 02 8915 2862 or chanparalegal@3wentworth.com.au

ILA Biennial Conference - early bird registration closes on Friday

Tue May 29 2018

The International Law Association Biennial Conference is a major international legal event. This year it is to be held in Sydney at the Intercontinental Hotel, from Sunday August 19 to Friday August 24. With over 200 speakers and numerous panel sessions on topics of private and public international law, maritime law, and international trade law, this is an event not to be missed. Confirmed speakers include the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia and Lord Mance of the United Kingdom Supreme Court.

Registration includes three evening cocktail receptions at venues including the Federal Court of Australia, attendance at the opening and closing ceremonies and full refreshments during the conference.

Early-bird registration closes on Friday, 1 June 2018, and corporate and institutional registration packages are available to permit wide participation. The current conference schedule and registration links are at https://www.ila2018.org.au/.

Parole reform information

Tue May 29 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The Department of Justice has updated its parole reform information page to reflect the commencement of the Reintegration Home Detention Scheme on 28 May. Learn more here.

OUT NOW! The Evolving Role of Trust in Superannuation

Tue May 29 2018

Edited by M Scott Donald and Lisa Butler Beatty, on behalf of the Superannuation Committee of the Law Council of Australia

This is a unique collection of papers from respected experts which explore the complex relationship between the law of trusts and the regulation of superannuation in Australia. It is a must for anyone working in, advising or regulating the superannuation industry.

The Law Council of Australia has held an annual conference on the law of superannuation each year since 1990. Over the years papers have been delivered by some of Australia, Canada and the UK’s leading judges, legal practitioners and academics. The papers have in many cases laid the foundation for, and explained the consequences of, the successive rounds of regulatory reform seen in the Australian superannuation system.

** Special offer $175 (rrp $195) + freight. Valid until 30 June 2018. To order please call us on 02 9552-2200 or click here and remember to quote Promotion Code EP1642 when you place your order.

Tomorrow: The 2018 Forbes Lecture and support of research projects

Tue May 29 2018

On Wednesday, 30 May 2018 the Hon Justice Virginia Bell AC will deliver the 2018 Forbes Lecture, "By the skin of our teeth – the passing of the Women's Legal Status Act 1918", to mark the Centenary of the Act. The lecture will take place at 5.15 pm in the NSW Bar Association Common Room, and will be chaired by Arthur Moses SC.

Research projects supported by the Forbes Society

One of the Society’s objects is to encourage and promote research into Australian legal history and it maintains a fund for that purpose to which donations may be made – the Francis Forbes Fund (donations of $2.00 or more to which are tax deductible). Last year the Fund supported the project of Professor Anne Twomey (of the University of Sydney) to publish Pitt Cobbett's grand opus called ‘The Government of Australia’. The Society shares this update from Professor Twomey:

Professor Pitt Cobbett wrote his grand opus on The Government of Australia in his retirement, leaving it as an 'unfinished symphony' upon his death in 1919, with a request to his executors that it be finished, edited and published. But the High Court handed down its judgment in the Engineers Case the following year, and the executors decided the manuscript was out of date. It was instead donated to the University of Sydney and has sat quietly moulding there ever since. It is now a work of great historic importance, showing how the Constitution was understood in the first twenty years of its existence.

The Forbes Society has kindly supported the project of finishing, editing and publishing this work. The aim is to publish it upon the centenary of Pitt Cobbett's death, in 2019. The Society donated $8300 to pay a PhD student to check the footnotes of the book and to help subsidise publication to make it viable. Unfortunately, the full $8300 was spent on the footnote checking, as it turned out that as Pitt Cobbett's illness increased, the accuracy of his footnotes decreased and considerable work had to be undertaken to find the correct sources. I am therefore hoping for some additional assistance from the Society later in the year to subsidise publication so that it can be published as a hardback book for libraries and scholars to consult for generations. The support of the Society is essential for this type of work, which would otherwise not see the light of day and remain moulding away, unseen and forgotten. We will not learn from our past unless our history is readily accessible. The Francis Forbes Society ensures that it is.

The Society encourages further donations to enable it to support such worthy projects – a form for donations is available here: Forbes Fund Donation Form and on the web site at Donations.

Facial non-recognition

Mon May 28 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The Law Council of Australia has called for a re-think of plans to roll-out facial recognition software that could potentially match CCTV footage with drivers’ license photos. The Law Council's concerns were the subject of a program on the ABC's AM program with Sabra Lane. Learn more here.

The 2018 Forbes Lecture and support of research projects

Mon May 28 2018

On Wednesday, 30 May 2018 the Hon Justice Virginia Bell AC will deliver the 2018 Forbes Lecture, "By the skin of our teeth – the passing of the Women's Legal Status Act 1918", to mark the Centenary of the Act. The lecture will take place at 5.15 pm in the NSW Bar Association Common Room, and will be chaired by Arthur Moses SC.

Research projects supported by the Forbes Society

One of the Society’s objects is to encourage and promote research into Australian legal history and it maintains a fund for that purpose to which donations may be made – the Francis Forbes Fund (donations of $2.00 or more to which are tax deductible). Last year the Fund supported the project of Professor Anne Twomey (of the University of Sydney) to publish Pitt Cobbett's grand opus called ‘The Government of Australia’. The Society shares this update from Professor Twomey:

Professor Pitt Cobbett wrote his grand opus on The Government of Australia in his retirement, leaving it as an 'unfinished symphony' upon his death in 1919, with a request to his executors that it be finished, edited and published. But the High Court handed down its judgment in the Engineers Case the following year, and the executors decided the manuscript was out of date. It was instead donated to the University of Sydney and has sat quietly moulding there ever since. It is now a work of great historic importance, showing how the Constitution was understood in the first twenty years of its existence.

The Forbes Society has kindly supported the project of finishing, editing and publishing this work. The aim is to publish it upon the centenary of Pitt Cobbett's death, in 2019. The Society donated $8300 to pay a PhD student to check the footnotes of the book and to help subsidise publication to make it viable. Unfortunately, the full $8300 was spent on the footnote checking, as it turned out that as Pitt Cobbett's illness increased, the accuracy of his footnotes decreased and considerable work had to be undertaken to find the correct sources. I am therefore hoping for some additional assistance from the Society later in the year to subsidise publication so that it can be published as a hardback book for libraries and scholars to consult for generations. The support of the Society is essential for this type of work, which would otherwise not see the light of day and remain moulding away, unseen and forgotten. We will not learn from our past unless our history is readily accessible. The Francis Forbes Society ensures that it is.

The Society encourages further donations to enable it to support such worthy projects – a form for donations is available here: Forbes Fund Donation Form and on the web site at Donations.

Bar FC secures 1-0 win

Mon May 28 2018
Bar sports

With Sir Alex away, and Captain Phillips still on the sidelines, last Thursday the team turned to Hartford Davis for its leadership. His new structure and pre-game prep came with some questions from the team initially but the strategy proved to be a winning combination.

Starting with an initial flurry of players on the card, it looked like we could barely make the 11 at 1.15. However over the hill they turned up one by one. Morrison, Hall and Chadd were out strong in the first few minutes, with a refreshed line up in the mid field and up front.

Then, catastrophe struck! Hall, during a strong contested struggle took a crack to the nose. Hia ruled him off with our medic, Coutinho (resting after weekend injuries) taking him off to the ER for scans. Hall now has a nasty black eye, nasal and eye socket fractures. Bar FC wishes him well and a speedy return to the blue and white. Rumours are that the kit shirt covered in his blood will be gifted to him as testimony to his brave struggle for Bar FC

D’Arville, fresh from Newcastle that morning made it onto the field as the first sub, taking up a strong defensive midfield position. Liu was strong on the left wing, with some excellent crosses, complimented by Olsen on the right Santucci, with some beautiful through balls, it was only time until we could secure a goal.

Half time came with still a nil all score card, but the team was buoyant with hope that we could secure that elusive goal. After the break and following a few false starts, and off sides, HALL finally finished with a beautiful goal. The back line was a new combination with FREDRICKS, LARISH, and PHILLIPS, left to right. With GRISTI coming on as a solid defender, following finishing his morning mediation, just in time.

O’SHEA and COMPTON making a couple of runs as our super subs. DE MERICK was strong in goals, playing the entire game and held them out, he remains with a clean record FREDRICKS our work horse, and B PHILLIPS, first game this season provided a surprising strong and agile back line.

The final minutes saw the back line being stacked (following instructions from S PHILLIPS) to hold them out. LARISH as centre back, held the line.

In our new democratic voting system, LARISH was determined by his peers to be best on field, with honourable mentions to PHILLIPS and HARTFORD DAVIS

The team last Thursday was:

  • Rohan De Meyrick (GK)
  • David Larish
  • Glen Fredericks
  • Thomas Liu
  • Sebastian Hartford Davis (C)
  • Aaron Hall
  • Phillip Santucci
  • Anthony Chadd
  • Hugh Morrison
  • Geoff O’Shea
  • Anais D’Arville
  • Nick Olsen
  • Ben Phillips
  • Ivan Griscti
  • Nicole Compton

Special thanks to S PHILLIPS, Lo SORDO and COUTINHO for cheering us on the side lines.

Bar FC’s next outing is against Announcer FC at 1.15 p.m. Thursday, 31 May 2018 in the Domain. All supporters welcome.

For the diary: securities class actions

Mon May 28 2018

The Commercial Law Section will host a seminar on securities class actions on Thursday, 14 June 2018. The chair is Ruth Higgins SC, the speakers are Jeremy Kirk SC and Perry Herzfeld, and the commentator is the Hon Peter Jacobson QC. For full details, please download a flyer here. This seminar has been organised by the Commercial Law Section.

The cruellest of diseases

Mon May 28 2018
Collegiality

Peteris Ginters, a much-loved and respected former barrister, was the subject of a moving article on motor neurone disease in Saturday's Good Weekend magazine. In case you missed it, you can read it here.

Behind the Gown

Mon May 28 2018
Diversity and equality

A group of barristers last week launched "Behind the Gown" - an initiative aimed at stamping out what it calls the endemic "harassment and abuse of power" at the Bar of England and Wales. In response to a report in The Guardian, the president of the NSW Bar Association, Arthur Moses SC, said "Behind the Gown highlights the need for the Australian Bar to remain vigilant & act decisively against harassment & bullying". Follow them on Twitter: @behindthegown

Principal Claims Assessor

Mon May 28 2018

The NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) is seeking suitable candidates for the position of Principal Claims Assessor (PCA) - a statutory office holder and independent decision-maker, appointed by the NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property. The PCA exercises statutory powers under the Motor Accidents Injuries Act 2017 and the Motor Accidents Act 1999, including leading, mentoring, developing and advising panels of independent Claims Assessors appointed by SIRA. Applications close midnight Sunday, 10 June 2018.

Sentencing law in NSW

Mon May 28 2018

Changes to NSW law relating to discounts for guilty pleas are now in force and in September there will be very significant changes to sentencing options. The 4th edition of Stephen Odgers book on NSW sentencing law (“Sentence”) is now available and deals with these reforms in detail, as well as other recent developments in sentencing law. It is available from odgers.net and also the Co-op Bookshop.

Coming up in CPD

Mon May 28 2018

Friday, June 08 2018 - Lunchtime talk: Confidence in Privacy Presented by Dr Nicole Moreham, Victoria University of Wellington. Chaired by TBC. For full details, please download a flyer here.

This seminar has been organised in association with the Ross Parsons Centre of Commercial, Corporate and Taxation Law at The University of Sydney Law School.

This seminar will commence at 1 pm in the Bar Association Common Room.

For a full list of current CPD events please click here.

Benevolent Association: donations may be made online

Fri May 25 2018
Member services and benefits

Message from the Treasurer, Anna Mitchelmore and Chair of the Wellbeing Committee, Kylie Nomchong SC

The Barristers’ Benevolent Association of New South Wales was established to set up a scheme whereby financial assistance may be provided to persons who are (or have been) members of the NSW Bar and who have practiced predominantly in NSW.

There are no fixed circumstances in which such assistance may be provided save for it being directed to “necessitous and deserving cases”. It provides a fund for those who are suffering from hardship either in the short term or long term. The funding is an important part of the collegiate life of the Bar and how we look after each other. In order to ensure that the Fund is maintained and available for our colleagues who need it, the Fund must receive the support of those at the Bar who are able to do so. Donations may now be made online. Donations are tax deductible.

Applications may be made to the Benevolent Association and ought include the basis on which the application is made together with any supporting documentation. Grants of assistance may extend to the Member’s spouse (including surviving spouse), partner in a defacto relationship (both opposite and same sex relationships) (including surviving defacto partner), children (including adopted children and children of any aforementioned spouse or partner) and any such other persons that may be determined by the Committee of Management to be dependants.

Applications are confidential. Applications are assessed on a case by case basis by the Committee of Management of the Benevolent Association, whose decisions are final and conclusive. The Committee is comprised of the Executive of the Bar Council.

Appeal for clemency for Noura Hussein

Fri May 25 2018
News

Ms Noura Hussein Hammad has been convicted and sentenced to death by the Central Criminal Court of Omdurman for killing her husband in self-defence at the age of 16 after being subjected to forced marriage and rape. UN Women has issued a joint statement with the UN Population Fund and the UN Office of the Special Adviser on Africa on 13 May calling for clemency for Ms Hussein. Additionally, Amnesty International has issued a statement titled Sudan: Death Sentence for Raped Teenager is a Intolerable Cruelty.

The President Arthur Moses SC has expressed the Association's support for the #JusticeforNoura campaign and will write to the Australian Government requesting it make diplomatic representations to Sudan on her behalf.

Client service delivery changes at Family Court Parramatta Registry - an update

Fri May 25 2018

Further to yesterday's item in In Brief, following representations from the New South Wales Bar Association the Registry Manager has, in response to feedback from some members of the legal profession, advised of the following points of clarification:

• This change is intended to ensure that, where possible, Parramatta Registry staff have some opportunity to prepare the requested subpoena material in a timely manner and also to ensure that there is sufficient seating available for those requesting to inspect subpoena;

• Counsel briefed to appear will not be required to be in possession of a letter of authority from the solicitor with carriage of the matter;

• If your requested time is unavailable, then the next available time slot will be advised;

• If you are unable to attend at the planned time, this is not an issue for the registry; and

• No request to inspect subpoena material will be refused, although some delay may ensue.

2018-19 committee membership - applications close today

Thu May 24 2018

Applications for membership of the Bar Association’s various committees close at 5.00pm today. Members (not just those holding a PC) who wish to be considered for appointment to a committee should complete the application form. Existing members of committees who wish to continue on a particular committee should also complete the form.

The Bar Association is very fortunate that we have many more volunteers for committees than can possibly be accommodated. The president has therefore asked that members restrict their choice of committees to no more than two.

In confirming committee membership, the president seeks to ensure that all parts of the NSW Bar – geographically, practice areas and seniority – are represented on each committee.

Please note that until new committees are established and promulgated, the existing committees continue unchanged. The existing appointments to various working parties and representatives for the Bar Association continue unless and until the president determines otherwise.

Acknowledgement of your expression of interest will be emailed to you within 24 hours. If you do not receive an acknowledgement please contact committees@nswbar.asn.au or telephone Michelle Nisbet on 9232 4055.

I Did Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Workout. It Nearly Broke Me.

Thu May 24 2018
Wellbeing

The Autumn 2018 edition of Bar News ran a review of The RBG Workout: the "authoritative fitness regime for barristers and judges". Not surprisingly, interest in the health and wellbeing of the oldest, but most liberal judge of the US Supreme Court bench peaked following the election of President Donald Trump. The Bar Library uncovered this article from Politico, in which Ben Schreckinger attempted the workout.