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First meeting of the Bar Book Club in 2018

Wed Feb 07 2018
Wellbeing at the New South Wales Bar

The first meeting of the Bar Book Club for 2018 will be held on the Tuesday, 13 February 2018 in the Bar Library. Up for discussion is Richard Flanagan’s new book First Person.

Congratulations to John Shaw

Wed Feb 07 2018
Collegiality

On Friday, 9 February 2018 John Shaw of Lachlan Macquarie Chambers will celebrate the 50th anniversary of his admission to the New South Wales Bar and his membership of the Bar Association.

John Dorset Shaw was a foundation member of Lachlan Macquarie Chambers in 1986 and prior to that time had a busy practice in both Sydney and Parramatta. He still has a very busy practice in the all areas of family law, equity, wills and probate and Local Court litigation, in addition to various types of appellate work.

A highly regarded member of chambers and the legal profession in Parramatta, John Shaw has given generously of his time and expertise to guide many young barristers. His colleagues and friends will celebrate his remarkable achievement on Friday at a dinner in Parramatta.

Registrations close Friday - 2018 North Coast CPD Conference

Wed Feb 07 2018

The 2018 North Coast CPD Conference schedule has been finalised. Please view the program HERE. The North Coast CPD Conference is to be held on Saturday, 17 February 2018 at the Ramada Hotel, Ballina.

Full attendance at the North Coast Conference will attract 6 CPD points and will cover the four strands required for the practising certificate year. NSW barristers, interstate barristers and solicitors are welcome to attend.

For more details about the North Coast Conference, or any of the 2017 CPD Conference Series, please click HERE.

To register please click HERE. Please note, registrations will only be accepted when accompanied by full payment.

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 cpd@nswbar.asn.au

Coming up in CPD tomorrow

Wed Feb 07 2018

Thursday, 8 February 2018:- “Skinning the Cat - Non-delegable Duties of Care in Clinical Negligence Cases”

Presented by David Pittaway QC of Hailsham Chambers, London, England, and chaired by Robert Sheldon SC of Tenth Floor Chambers.

The seminar will commence at 5.15pm in the Bar Association Common Room.

Coming up in CPD in February

Tue Feb 06 2018

Thursday, 8 February 2018:- “Skinning the Cat - Non-delegable Duties of Care in Clinical Negligence Cases”

Presented by David Pittaway QC of Hailsham Chambers, London, England, and chaired by Robert Sheldon SC of Tenth Floor Chambers.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - Pathway to taking silk

Presented by Jane Needham SC, Sarah McNaughton SC & Kelly Rees SC. Chaired by Kate Richardson SC. For full details, please download a flyer here.

This seminar has been organised by the Women Barristers Forum.


Thursday, February 15, 2018 - Advocates for Change: In conversation with Richard Weinstein SC

The Advocates for Change program provides role models who are excellent practitioners and who, through the example of what they do and say in their professional lives as barristers, represent the full width of diversity and inclusion that the NSW Bar Association wishes to promote at the Bar. Interviewer: Michelle McMahon. Interviewee: Richard Weinstein SC. For full details, please download a flyer here.

This seminar has been organised by the Diversity and Equality Committee


Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - Early Appropriate Guilty Pleas and other criminal justice reforms

This seminar will provide you with an outline of the Justice Legislation Amendment (Committals and Guilty Pleas) Act 2017 which comes into effect from April 2018. Presented by Sophia Beckett and comments by Stephen Odgers SC. Chaired Tim Game SC.

This seminar has been organized by the Criminal Law Committee.

All seminars will commence at 5.15pm in the Bar Association Common Room unless stated otherwise.

ADC opening address for 2018

Tue Feb 06 2018

The Australian Disputes Centre’s opening address for 2018 is fast approaching and on a topic of great importance to all mediators and legal practitioners. The Hon Justice Robert McClelland will speak on "Reasonableness" – The Foundation of All Advocacy, on Thursday, 8 February 2018 at 5:30pm for 5:45 – 6:45pm (networking drinks to follow) at the Australian Disputes Centre, L16, 1 Castlereagh St, Sydney. To register, please click here.

Appointment to the ACT Supreme Court

Tue Feb 06 2018
Appointments

President Arthur Moses SC has welcomed the announcement by the ACT Attorney-General that Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson SC has been appointed as a Justice of the ACT Supreme Court.

Chrissa was called to the Bar in 1989 and appointed Senior Counsel in 2012. During that time she has made a long standing contribution to the Bar in a number of roles including as a Bar Councillor, Treasurer and most recently Junior Vice-President of the New South Wales Bar Association. Chrissa worked as a Public Defender for many years and was also Counsel before the UN lnternational Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia from 2003-2006.

On behalf of the NSW Bar I congratulate Chrissa on her appointment and wish her all the best in her new important role in the administration of justice.

The Canberra Times announcement can be read here.

2018 North Coast CPD Conference Program - Saturday, 17 February

Tue Feb 06 2018

The 2018 North Coast CPD Conference schedule has been finalised. Please view the program HERE. The North Coast CPD Conference is to be held on Saturday, 17 February 2018 at the Ramada Hotel, Ballina.

Full attendance at the North Coast Conference will attract 6 CPD points and will cover the four strands required for the practising certificate year. NSW barristers, interstate barristers and solicitors are welcome to attend.

For more details about the North Coast Conference, or any of the 2017 CPD Conference Series, please click HERE.

To register please click HERE. Please note, registrations will only be accepted when accompanied by full payment.

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 cpd@nswbar.asn.au

2018 Personal Injury/Common Law Conference - Program Release

Tue Feb 06 2018

We are pleased to announce the release of the program for 2018 Personal Injury and Common Law Conference which will be held at the Hilton Sydney on Saturday 3 March. Please view the program HERE.

The conference offers 5 CPD points.

The conference runs from 9:00am to 3.00pm. Morning tea and a stand-up buffet lunch will be provided. For more details about the conference and the costs involved please click here

Registrations are open to NSW barristers that currently hold a practising certificate and places in the conference are strictly limited. To register and pay to secure your place please click here

For any questions about CPD requirements, conferences or the general CPD program, please contact the Professional Development Department (9223 4919 or cpd@nswbar.asn.au).

Questions in Philosophy - A series of talks for lawyers

Mon Feb 05 2018
The universe and everything

The St Thomas More Society is pleased to announce an exciting series of thought-provoking talks for lawyers and academics titled “Questions in Philosophy”. Each topic in the series will discuss and compare various philosophical perspectives on life, the universe and everything. First topic in the series: “From Big Bang to Big Mystery: What Makes Us Different from Animals”.

All members of the NSW Bar are warmly invited to drop in and expand their philosophical outlook by attending one or more sessions, scheduled to take place on four Thursday evenings in February and March:

  • Dates: Thursdays, 15 February, 1 March, 15 March and 22 March 2018
  • Time: 6pm - 7pm
  • Venue: The Gardner Room, Commercial Travellers Club, Level 2, 19 Martin Place Sydney (head to the “mushroom” building in the MLC Centre)
  • Cost: $5 donation at the door.
  • No RSVP required.
  • Refreshments are available for purchase at the venue. Download a flyer here.

For more information, contact Lee-Ann Walsh on (02) 9229 7351 or email law@lee-annwalsh.com.

ILS International Law and Practice Course 2018

Mon Feb 05 2018
International law

The Law Council's International Law Section will host a series of 10 morning lectures on the first Tuesday of each month at various locations in the Sydney CBD, beginning Tuesday, 6 February 2018 with the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG at the Law Society of NSW. Lectures will run between 7.45am and 9.00am. Learn more about the course here and here. Register here.

Coming up in CPD in February

Mon Feb 05 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - Pathway to taking silk

Presented by Jane Needham SC, Sarah McNaughton SC & Kelly Rees SC. Chaired by Kate Richardson SC. For full details, please download a flyer here.

This seminar has been organised by the Women Barristers Forum.


Thursday, February 15, 2018 - Advocates for Change: In conversation with Richard Weinstein SC

The Advocates for Change program provides role models who are excellent practitioners and who, through the example of what they do and say in their professional lives as barristers, represent the full width of diversity and inclusion that the NSW Bar Association wishes to promote at the Bar. Interviewer: Michelle McMahon. Interviewee: Richard Weinstein SC. For full details, please download a flyer here.

This seminar has been organised by the Diversity and Equality Committee


Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - NSW Court of Appeal: Update on Practice and Procedure

Presented by The Hon Justice Margaret Beazley AO and The Hon Justice Anthony Payne. Chaired by Arthur Moses SC. For full details, please download a flyer here.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - Early Appropriate Guilty Pleas and other criminal justice reforms

This seminar will provide you with an outline of the Justice Legislation Amendment (Committals and Guilty Pleas) Act 2017 which comes into effect from April 2018. Presenter: Sophia Beckett. Chair: Tim Game SC. Commentator: Stephen Odgers SC. For full details, please download a flyer here.

This seminar has been organized by the Criminal Law Committee.


Thursday, February 22, 2018 - Shariah Law - Insights and realities for Australian jurists. Presented by The Hon Justice Stephen Rothman AM and Haisam Farache, principal Solicitor at Garrison Lawyers. Chaired by TBC. For full details, please download a flyer here.


Tuesday, February 27 2018 - Admission to practice in some other APEC countries Presented by Dr James Renwick SC, Andrew Fox and Wilson Chan. Chaired by Andrew Bell SC. For full details, please download a flyer here.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - Insurance and the courts Presented by The Hon. Justice Tony Meagher and chaired by Andrew Bell SC. For full details, please download a flyer here. This seminar has been organised by the NSW Bar Association Commercial Law Section and forms part of an ongoing lecture series on commercial topics.


All seminars will commence at 5.15pm in the Bar Association Common Room unless otherwise stated.

For a full list of current CPD events please click [here.] All seminars will commence at 5.15pm in the Bar Association Common Room.

Funeral arrangements for his Honour Judge R S Toner SC

Mon Feb 05 2018
Vale

A funeral service for his Honour Judge Robert Toner SC will be held on Saturday, 10 February 2018 at 12 noon in Balmain Town Hall, 370 Darling Street, Balmain.

Judge Robert Toner SC passed away on Saturday morning. In response to the news, President Arthur Moses SC said: "Prior to his appointment to the District Court on 16 April 2007, Bob was one of the NSW Bar’s leading criminal trial advocates. Bob passionately believed that all members of the community facing criminal charges were entitled to proper legal representation and a fair trial. He contributed tirelessly to the work of the Bar, through his many years of service on Bar Council including as Secretary and Treasurer. Bob’s compassion, sense of fairness and wisdom will be missed."

His Honour Judge R S Toner SC

Mon Feb 05 2018
Vale

Judge Robert Toner SC passed away this morning. In response to the news, President Arthur Moses SC said: "Prior to his appointment to the District Court on 16 April 2007, Bob was one of the NSW Bar’s leading criminal trial advocates. Bob passionately believed that all members of the community facing criminal charges were entitled to proper legal representation and a fair trial. He contributed tirelessly to the work of the Bar, through his many years of service on Bar Council including as Secretary and Treasurer. Bob’s compassion, sense of fairness and wisdom will be missed."

Funeral details will be circulated to members of the NSW Bar as soon as they are known.

2018 Personal Injury/Common Law Conference - Program Release

Mon Feb 05 2018

We are pleased to announce the release of the program for 2018 Personal Injury and Common Law Conference which will be held at the Hilton Sydney on Saturday 3 March. Please view the program HERE.

The conference offers 5 CPD points.

The conference runs from 9:00am to 3.00pm. Morning tea and a stand-up buffet lunch will be provided. For more details about the conference and the costs involved please click here

Registrations are open to NSW barristers that currently hold a practising certificate and places in the conference are strictly limited. To register and pay to secure your place please click here

For any questions about CPD requirements, conferences or the general CPD program, please contact the Professional Development Department (9223 4919 or cpd@nswbar.asn.au).

CPD Record Form

Mon Feb 05 2018

Members are reminded to accrue 10 points worth of continuing professional development (CPD) activities each year. In addition to completing sufficient CPD activities between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, you are required to maintain a record and retain in for three years in accordance with rule 12 of the Legal Profession Uniform Continuing Professional Development (Barristers) Rules 2015. A newly updated CPD Record Form makes it easier to record, amend and save your CPD activity. The new form is available on the NSW Bar website and attached here for your convenience.

CPD Mini Conference - "The Sword of Damocles"

Mon Feb 05 2018

On 16 March 2018, the Bar Association will host an all-day CPD at the Federal Court, titled "The Sword of Damocles". The CPD will examine the unique world of regulatory litigation and in particular, decisions made by regulators to pursue matters on a civil, criminal or administrative basis, the different regimes engaged and a considerate of the different outcomes that follow from those decisions. Speakers include: The Honourable Justice Payne of the Court of Appeal, Tim Game SC, Neil Williams SC, Elizabeth Cheeseman SC and Reay McGuinness, solicitor, at Webb Henderson. Afternoon panel will include: The Chief Justice of the Federal Court, The Hon J L B Allsop AO; the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Sarah McNaughton SC; Wendy Peter of the ACCC; Chris Savundra of ASIC and from the Sydney Bar: Bret Walker SC, Tim Game SC and Kristina Stern SC. The CPD commences at 9.30am and concludes at 3.30pm in Courtroom 1, Level 21, Federal Court, Law Courts Building, Queens Square, Sydney, NSW 2000. The CPD will include morning tea and a light lunch. A nominal fee of $45 will be charged per attendee.

REGISTER YOUR ATTENDANCE HERE. REGISTRATIONS ARE LIMITED TO 200 ATTENDEES.

Places are ‘first in, best dressed.’ To register attendees must complete the online registration form. Please note, registrations will only be accepted and guaranteed when accompanied by full payment.

Coming up in CPD this week

Mon Feb 05 2018

Thursday, 8 February 2018:- “Skinning the Cat - Non-delegable Duties of Care in Clinical Negligence Cases”

Presented by David Pittaway QC of Hailsham Chambers, London, England, and chaired by Robert Sheldon SC of Tenth Floor Chambers. Flyer to follow.

REGISTER NOW: 2018 Regional CPD Conference Series

Mon Feb 05 2018

Registrations are OPEN for the New South Wales Bar Association Regional CPD Conferences. For more details about each venue, speakers and the costs involved please click here

  • Saturday, 17 February 2018 - North Coast - Program
  • Saturday, 24 February 2018 - Parramatta - Program
  • Saturday, 10 March 2018 - Newcastle - Program
  • Saturday, 17 & Sunday, 18 March 2018 - Orange - Program
  • Saturday, 24 March 2018 – Sydney - Program

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 here

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 cpd@nswbar.asn.au

Federal Circuit Court user groups

Fri Feb 02 2018
Appointments

The Federal Circuit Court is in the process of establishing a number of NSW user groups in order to facilitate communication with the legal profession. President Arthur Moses SC has nominated the following members as New South Wales Bar Association representatives on user groups in the below practice areas:

  • Family Law Sydney Wollongong User Group – John Longworth, Frederick Jordan Chambers;
  • Migration (Judicial Review) User Group – Patrick Knowles, Tenth Floor Selborne/Wentworth Chambers;
  • Industrial Law User Group – Bruce Hodgkinson SC, Denman Chambers (Alternate: Yaseen Shariff, 12th Floor Selborne/Wentworth Chambers).

The president invites members with any issues regarding these jurisdictions to raise them with the above representatives so that they can be conveyed to the court.

Positions vacant at the ODPP - applications close on Sunday

Fri Feb 02 2018

The Attorney General is seeking applications from qualified persons for appointment to the following roles:

  • Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1986 ($390,320 per annum plus conveyance allowance of $21,240 per annum) (job reference number 00005UO5).

  • Senior Crown Prosecutor under the Crown Prosecutors Act 1986 ($351,290 per annum plus conveyance allowance of $16,990 per annum) (job reference number 00005VHO).

  • Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor under the Crown Prosecutors Act 1986 ($316,150 per annum plus conveyance allowance of $16,990 per annum) (job reference number 00005VHP).

  • Crown Prosecutor under the Crown Prosecutors Act 1986 ($288,830 per annum plus conveyance allowance of $16,990 per annum) (job reference number 00005VHU).

Interested persons must be Australian lawyers. The key skills and knowledge required for each role is contained in the online role descriptions that can be found at www.iworkfor.nsw.gov.au.

Note: Probity checks will be conducted.

Applications in Word or PDF, accompanied by a detailed curriculum vitae and the names of at least two referees, must be completed online.

Applications close: Sunday, 4 February 2018 (11.59 pm).

If you would like to discuss this opportunity further contact Ms Kara Shead SC or Mr Lloyd Babb, SC, Director of Public Prosecutions (02) 9285 8888.

All applications MUST be lodged electronically. Please go to iworkfor.nsw.gov.au and search the job reference numbers stated above.

Better legal aid funding could cut court delays

Fri Feb 02 2018
Law reform and public affairs

Judges recognise the importance for defendants in criminal proceedings to have adequate representation. They accept it is critical to ensure a fair and efficient trial.

Regrettably most politicians show little interest in this topic except when they need representation in a criminal trial or face corruption allegations.

After years of neglect, the criminal justice system is in a state of crisis with significant delays impacting both victims and the accused.

The matter has come to a head because the NSW Bar Association is at an advanced stage of discussions with the NSW Attorney General and Legal Aid NSW to ensure that our members who undertake this most difficult work are fairly remunerated.

The NSW Bar's push for adequate legal aid funding is not about self-interest.

Rather, we know that the criminal justice system works best when defendants are represented by experienced legal counsel. The benefits are obvious: fewer court delays and saving taxpayers’ money.

The importance of adequate representation is best illustrated by two key decisions — in Australia and the US.

When Olaf Dietrich was convicted of heroin trafficking in the Victorian County Court in 1992, he alleged a miscarriage of justice and appealed. The matter eventually reached the High Court, which allowed Dietrich’s appeal but rejected its primary ground — that he was denied the right to be provided with legal counsel at public expense.

Australian law, said Chief Justice Anthony Mason and Justice Michael McHugh, did not recognise that a person on trial for a serious criminal offence had a right to legal counsel at public expense. Rather, the law acknowledged that an accused had the right to a fair trial, and that “depending on all the circumstances of the particular case, lack of representation may mean that an accused is unable to receive, or did not receive, a fair trial …” However, the judges said the desirability of representation in cases of serious charges is “so great that we consider that the trial should proceed without representation for the accused in exceptional cases only”.

Defendants in the US have an unequivocal right thanks to the case of Clarence Gideon, convicted and jailed in 1961 over a Florida poolroom burglary.

Gideon appealed to the US Supreme Court. A judge in Florida had ruled out Gideon’s claim for court-appointed legal representation, saying the right applied only to those charged with capital offences. The Supreme Court disagreed. While Gideon was ultimately acquitted, the crux of the matter was the Supreme Court’s finding that the assistance of legal counsel, if desired by a defendant who could not afford one, was a fundamental right, and essential to a fair trial.

It is to be hoped Australia can move closer to the US position. In the meantime, there are significant impediments in NSW and other states.

Inadequate legal aid funding has meant that the legal profession, particularly junior counsel from the private Bar, has subsidised the operation of the criminal justice system. For example, day rates of $987 for junior counsel appearing in District Court trials have remained unchanged since May 2007, while cumulative inflation as measured by rises in the CPI over the same period was 26.4 per cent.

It is important to put the issue of the Bar's demand for adequate legal aid funding into perspective. Barristers make an enormous contribution to assist the justice system on a pro bono basis. The duty barrister scheme at Sydney’s Downing Centre, the busiest court complex in the nation, has operated for 23 years. A legal assistance referral scheme in NSW has operated for 23 years so that members of the public who are refused legal aid can receive assistance from a barrister. The Law Kitchen, established in 2011, provides free legal services to the homeless.

However, it is not possible to remedy current delays through pro-bono contributions. As at July 2016, the District Court Criminal caseload was 2,042 criminal trials and 1,195 sentencing matters outstanding. In May 2017, BOCSAR released its NSW Criminal Courts Statistics 2016 report. It found that between 2012 and 2016, the median delay in the NSW District Court between committal for trial and finalisation rose from 243 days to 378 days, and the median time between arrest and trial finalisation is now 714 days (up from 512 days in 2012). BOCSAR released an update in April 2017 which found that a 10 per cent increase in the Sydney trial case backlog results in a 2.38 per cent increase in the average time taken to finalise criminal trials. It also found it takes about 260 days to finalise 50 per cent of trial cases in the NSW District Court. To reduce the median time to finalise trial cases to 130 days, the backlog of pending trial cases would have to be reduced by about 80 per cent.

These delays are directly attributable to a lack of adequate legal aid funding and funding for the court.

The NSW Bar Association will not take ‘no’ for an answer in its efforts to procure funding for an under-resourced, strained criminal justice system.

  • Arthur Moses SC
  • @NSWBarPresident

This article was published on 2 February 2018 as an op-ed piece in The Australian.

Legal Aid News for February 2018

Fri Feb 02 2018

Legal Aid News for February 2018 is out now. There is a feature article on the opening of the refurbished Children's Court in Albion Street, Surry Hills. There are reports on the Rolling List Court being tested in the District Court and Legal Aid's two-year strategy to enhance and expand their services to people experiencing, or at risk of, elder abuse. There is more news for panel lawyers, updates on community legal education and resources, as well as courses and conferences. You can view the newsletter here.

Katrina Dawson Award - applications close 30 March 2018

Fri Feb 02 2018
Awards

Katrina Dawson was a much-loved member of the New South Wales Bar, where she excelled. She was tragically killed during the Lindt Cafe siege. The Katrina Dawson Award seeks to encourage women to practise at the bar. The award is open to women who have passed the New South Wales Bar exam and committed to enrolling in a Bar Practice Course within 18 months of winning the award. Applications are now open and will close on 30 March 2018. Applications must be submitted online. Learn more here.

Bar Council forms new committee

Thu Feb 01 2018

At its meeting of 8 December 2017, the Bar Council resolved to establish an Industrial, Employment and Health and Safety Law Committee with the following charter:

  • To engage with barristers practicing in the industrial, employment and health and safety areas and to ensure a sense of collegiality and best practice amongst those members;
  • To organise seminars/lectures/discussions to deal with developments in industrial, employment and health and safety law;
  • In consultation with the president, to act as a liaison between the Bar Association and its members and the various courts and tribunals engaged in industrial, employment and health and safety matters; and
  • To assist the Bar Association in dealing with government on industrial, employment and health and safety matters.

The full membership of the new committee is as follows:

  • Bruce Hodgkinson SC (Chair)
  • Yaseen Shariff (Secretary)
  • John Fernon SC
  • Anthony Britt
  • Mark Gibian
  • Bruce Miles
  • Oshie Fagir
  • Jaye Alderson
  • Vanja Bulut
  • Lucy Saunders
  • Maurice Baroni