InBrief

SEARCH ALL POSTS

Hike for mental health - Great Wall of China 2019

Mon Sep 24 2018
Philanthropy

A team of barristers ran in this year's City to Surf to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute. If running isn't your thing, consider making a nine-day trek along the Great Wall of China in September-October 2019 to raise urgently needed funds for the Black Dog Institute and help create a mentally healthy world. Learn more here.

Legal Aid NSW criminal law policy

Mon Sep 24 2018
Law reform and public affairs

Legal Aid NSW criminal law policy has been amended to incorporate the changes made by the sentencing reforms. The sentencing reforms abolish suspended sentences and introduce two new community-based sentencing options: community correction orders and conditional release orders, among other changes. The policy amendment applies to applications for legal aid determined on or after 24 September 2018. More information is available in Policy Bulletin 2018/11 Criminal Law Policy – Sentencing Reforms.

Sentencing reforms come into force in NSW today

Mon Sep 24 2018
Law reform and public affairs

From today, suspended sentences will be abolished in NSW and replaced by "Intensive Correction Orders" as part of the NSW Government’s $330 million strategy to reduce re-offending.

Under the new laws, supervision will be a standard condition for each Intensive Correction Order and a range of other conditions will be available, including home detention, curfews, electronic monitoring and community service work. However, Intensive Correction Orders will not be available to offenders guilty of serious offences such as murder, manslaughter, sexual assault and terrorism.

The reform package also introduces a legal presumption that domestic violence offenders will receive a prison term or supervised community-based sentence.

NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman MP SC said yesterday that these reforms represented the "final piece of the NSW Government’s ‘tough and smart’ Criminal Justice Reform Package" and that "the stronger sentencing laws cap off transformative changes to the administration of criminal justice from the time an offender is charged until the end of their sentence, and beyond in exceptional cases".

Further information is available here in a joint press statement by the Attorney General, the Minister for Police Troy Grant and the Minister for Corrections David Elliott.

rise2018 National Conference - Sponsor announcement

Fri Sep 21 2018

Register now to join the ABA, NSWBA and their sponsors at the rise2018 national conference scheduled to take place from 15-17 November in Sydney; a conference by the Bar for all professionals! Click here for more information.

The conference boasts an exciting and engaging line-up of speakers, interesting and topical discussion and true and genuine social networking opportunities.

Click here for more information on the program and speakers.

An event not to be missed!

Please contact the event organisers here if you have any questions in relation to the program, pricing or how to register.

Large External room for sale - Tenth Floor St James Hall Chambers

Fri Sep 21 2018
Member services and benefits

Tenth Floor St James Hall Chambers currently has a large, well-lit, external room for sale measuring 5.6m by 3.6 m. The room includes built in, wooden storage as well as a robing cupboard. Tenth Floor St James Hall Chambers is a well-established, welcoming floor located opposite the Supreme Court of NSW. The Floor consists of 3 Senior Counsel and 8 Juniors, all of whom practice across a broad range of areas. To view photos click here.

If you require any further information or would like to arrange an appointment to view the room, please contact the Clerk, Grace Kenny on 9224 1501 or email here All enquiries and applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

2019 John Koowarta Reconciliation Law Scholarship (Koowarta Scholarship)

Fri Sep 21 2018

The Law Council is pleased to inform you that applications for the 2019 John Koowarta Reconciliation Law Scholarship (Koowarta Scholarship) are now open.

The Koowarta Scholarship was established in 1994, with the aim of promoting the study and practice of the law by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and, commemorates John Koowarta as a member of the Winychanam community and a traditional owner of the Archer River region on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. John Koowarta is widely regarded as being at the forefront of Aboriginal land rights in Australia during the late 1970s and early 1980s. He is today revered as one of the most important figures in the progression of Native Title rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Koowarta Scholarship is available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled in an Australian tertiary institution undertaking an approved course of study provided that may lead to admission as a legal practitioner in any Australian jurisdiction. Click here for more information.

Attached for your information is a copy of the Eligibility Criteria and Application Form.

For further information please contact Krystal James, Communications Officer here or via phone on 02 6246 3788.

Tendency and coincidence evidence

Fri Sep 21 2018
Implications of The Queen v Dennis Bauer (a pseudonym) [2018] HCA 40

The High Court of Australia handed down its unanimous decision in the matter of The Queen v Dennis Bauer (a pseudonym) on 12 September 2018. Stephen Odgers SC and Phillip Boulten SC,together with Chair Gabrielle Bashir SC, will discuss the implications of this judgement for tendency and coincidence evidence on Wednesday, 26 September 2018 at 5.15 in the Common Room. For more information click here.

Increased judicial retirement age will improve the administration of justice

Thu Sep 20 2018

The New South Wales Bar Association has welcomed the NSW Government’s commitment today to raise the maximum statutory judicial retirement age from 72 to 75. In a statement, attached here, President Arthur Moses SC said ‘The Association initiated this reform because it formed the view that there were compelling reasons in favour of increasing the retirement age for judicial officers serving in NSW’.

‘We support judges and magistrates being able to serve on the bench of NSW courts until the age of 75 and await further details of the proposed legislation with interest,’ he said. The Attorney General announced today that new legislation to change the judicial retirement age will be introduced into Parliament in the coming weeks. The Attorney General also announced that under the changes proposed, judges appointed after the new legislation commences will be able to access their pension at the age of 65, rather than 60.

‘The Association recommended increasing the pension age to 65 in order to better align the judicial pension with the pension schemes of other members of the Australian community. This increase will also ensure the judicial pension scheme remains sustainable and realise significant cost savings for the Justice portfolio, which could fund other policy areas that have been ignored and are in need of resourcing, including legal aid,’ said Mr Moses SC.

‘While the Association welcomes these changes in principle, any legislative reform in this space must be prospective, not retrospective, to maintain the independence of the bench, including the appearance of the independence of the judiciary which is fundamental to the rule of law,’ Mr Moses SC said.

Room for Sale - Maurice Byers Chambers

Thu Sep 20 2018

A rare opportunity has become available to purchase an external room with plenty of natural light in a well-established, recently renovated, busy chambers.

The size of the room is approximately 36sqm and has large windows with exceptional sweeping panoramic views overlooking North and South Heads and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The room has an extensive new fit-out with large built-in cupboards and shelving and robing space. The room is suited to Senior Counsel. Click herefor photos.

The chambers comprises 51 barristers including 8 Silks, with broad areas of practice, specialising in Medical Negligence, Criminal Law¸ Coronial Inquiries and Inquests as well as Commissions of Inquiry and Personal Injury.

For more information about the room or the floor visit the website here.

All applications or inquiries should be directed to the chambers Clerk Melissa Brown via email here or by phone on 82330300 and will be treated in strict confidence.

Retirement Ceremony of the Hon Chief Justice John Pascoe AC CVO

Thu Sep 20 2018

Members are advised a joint ceremony of the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia will be held on Monday 8 October 2018 to mark the retirement of the Honorable Chief Justice John Pascoe AC CVO, Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia.

The ceremony will be held at 4.30pm in Court 1, Level 21, Law Courts Building, Queen's Square, Sydney

2019 Regional Conference Series

Thu Sep 20 2018
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 2019 CPD Conference series. The conferences will be held on Saturdays in Ballina, Newcastle, Orange, Parramatta and Sydney during February and March.

The dates for 2019 Conferences are:

  • Newcastle – Saturday 23 February
  • North Coast (Ballina) – Saturday 2 March
  • Orange – Saturday 9 March (Please note, from 2019 Orange will be a single day Saturday conference due to falling demand)
  • Parramatta - Saturday 23 March
  • Sydney – Saturday 30 March

Interested barristers, solicitors, academics, legal and non-legal professionals are invited to submit suggestions for papers online, HERE. During the submission process, you will be asked to provide your contact details, conference preference, a working title and, where possible, a short description or abstract of your suggestion presentation.

Suggestions and abstracts are requested by Monday 1 October.

Legal Aid Sentencing Training - reforms commence on 24 September

Thu Sep 20 2018

Legal Aid sentencing reforms commence on Monday 24 September. The Legal Aid has been running training sessions over the last couple of months.

As an adjunct to the training sessions training staff have recorded a webinar. The webinar is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation and can be accessed publicly on YouTube here. The webinar runs for approximately 1 hour and provides a brief overview of the key parts of the reforms.

The webinar will also be added to the Legal Aid Sentencing Reforms internet page, together with other useful resources, prior to the commencement of the reforms.

You can access the webpage here.

EAGP Mandatory Case Conference bookings

Thu Sep 20 2018
Practice support

In most Early Appropriate Guilty Plea case conferences, the NSW ODPP prosecutors will participate by AVL, while the defence lawyer can choose between attending a conference at a Legal Aid office or by AVL using their own device. Case conferences can be be arranged through JUST Connect, a web-based system used to book AVL studios at correctional centres and Legal Aid offices. Learn more about JUST Connect, and how to make a booking here.

Chambers for Lease - Queen's Square Chambers

Wed Sep 19 2018

Rooms have become available for lease at Queen's Square Chambers in The Beanbah Building adjacent to the Supreme and Federal Courts on Macquarie Street.

  • Excellent internet connections
  • VOIP phone system
  • Affordable with no key money required
  • Boutique Chambers closest to Court complex

For more information and an inspection contact the Clerk of Chambers, Mark Wilson on 9232 4671.

Australian Disputes Centre's ADR Address

Wed Sep 19 2018

On 20 September 2018 the Australian Disputes Centre will hold the Supreme Court ADR Address by the Hon Chief Justice, Tom Bathurst AC. Titled "ADR, ODR and AI-DR or, Do We Even Need Courts Anymore?", will be delivered at the Supreme Court of NSW, Banco Court, 184 Phillip Street and will commence at 5.15pm. For more information please click here and to register please click here.

Spigelman Oration and Public Law Section Dinner

Wed Sep 19 2018
Public Law Section

The fifth annual Spigelman Public Law Oration will be delivered by the Hon Christian Porter MP, attorney-general of the Commonwealth on Monday, 24 September 2018 from 5.15pm-6.30pm in the Banco Court. The topic of the oration will be "Securing our Democracy". Immediately following the oration will be the annual dinner of the Public Law Section of the New South Wales Bar (formerly the Constitutional and Administrative Law Section) at Fix Wine Bar & Restaurant, 111 Elizabeth Street Sydney. Cost: $150 pp (including GST). The event includes a three course dinner, canapes and a selection of wine and other beverages. To reserve your place at the dinner, please pay using [this online credit card facility] (https://www.nswbar.asn.au/payments/spigelman-public-law-oration-dinner ""), **no later than 5.00 pm on Thursday, 20 September 2018.

If you have specific dietary requirements, please contact Matt Sherman (msherman@sixthfloor.com.au).

Positions vacant at NCAT

Wed Sep 19 2018
Applications close 23 September

Attorney General Mark Speakman SC is calling for applications from qualified persons for appointment to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal as:

Room for Sale - 4th Floor St James Hall

Wed Sep 19 2018

Room for sale or licence on 4 St James Hall. Large room fronting Phillip Street with abundant natural light. Busy, friendly chambers on a well established floor with members undertaking a wide range of commercial work. The floor comprises two senior counsel together with eight senior juniors. For more information and to see photos, click here.

Please contact Peter O’Loughlin, one of the directors, on 02 9237 0526 with any enquiries. All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

The 8th Annual Ron McCallum Debate

Tue Sep 18 2018

The Australian Institute of Employment Rights (“AIER”) would like to extend an invitation to all barristers registered with the NSW Bar Association to attend The 8th Annual Ron McCallum Debate, which will be held at the Wesley Theatre, 220 Pitt Street, Sydney on Tuesday 9 October 2018 (4pm to 6pm).

Please see attached program here, topic and speakers. Registration is via the AIER by email, click here.

2019 Regional Conference Series

Tue Sep 18 2018
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 2019 CPD Conference series. The conferences will be held on Saturdays in Ballina, Newcastle, Orange, Parramatta and Sydney during February and March.

The dates for 2019 Conferences are:

  • Newcastle – Saturday 23 February
  • North Coast (Ballina) – Saturday 2 March
  • Orange – Saturday 9 March (Please note, from 2019 Orange will be a single day Saturday conference due to falling demand)
  • Parramatta - Saturday 23 March
  • Sydney – Saturday 30 March

Interested barristers, solicitors, academics, legal and non-legal professionals are invited to submit suggestions for papers online, HERE. During the submission process, you will be asked to provide your contact details, conference preference, a working title and, where possible, a short description or abstract of your suggestion presentation.

Suggestions and abstracts are requested by Monday 1 October.

Legal aid family and criminal law policy amendments

Tue Sep 18 2018

Legal aid is available to people at risk of, or experiencing, domestic violence. Changes to family law policies have been incorporated into parenting matters, property matters, child support matters and divorce matters.

The criminal law policies have been amended to clarify the availability of legal aid to people who are victims of domestic violence and defending criminal charges for DV related offences. These changes apply to applications for legal aid determined on or after 17 September 2018. More information is available in Policy Bulletin 2018/9 Family Law Policy – DV changes, click here and Policy Bulletin 2018/10 Criminal Law Policy – DV related changes, click here.

Legal Aid NSW Indictable Criminal Law Barrister Panel

Tue Sep 18 2018
Applications due by 24 September 2018

Legal Aid NSW is establishing a new Indictable Criminal Law Barrister Panel for suitably experienced barristers to be briefed in non-complex criminal law matters (i.e. strictly indictable matters or matters where an election is made) pursuant to a grant of legal aid.

The panel is open to junior counsel only and will apply to non-complex legally aided indictable criminal law matters in the following jurisdictions:

  • Local Court Committals
  • District Court Sentences
  • District Court Trials

All applications for appointment to the panel must be submitted on line through the Panels Application Website,click here, by 24 September 2018 for consideration by the Selection Committee. Information about the new panel is available on the Indictable Criminal Law Barrister Panel web page here.

For any enquiries regarding the panel please email here.

Tendency and coincidence evidence

Mon Sep 17 2018
Implications of The Queen v Dennis Bauer (a pseudonym) [2018] HCA 40

The High Court of Australia handed down its unanimous decision in the matter of The Queen v Dennis Bauer (a pseudonym) on 12 September 2018. Stephen Odgers SC and Phillip Boulten SC,together with Chair Gabrielle Bashir SC, will discuss the implications of this judgement for tendency and coincidence evidence on Wednesday, 26 September 2018 at 5.15 in the Common Room. For more information click here.

Cyber security alert

Mon Sep 17 2018
Practice support

Some members have received an an email purporting to be from ASIC asking them to pay fees and give personal information to renew their business or company name. ASIC warns that these emails often have a link that provides an invoice with fake payment details or infects your computer with malware if you click the link. If you receive this email please delete it immediately. Do not click the links. For more information on cyber security, visit the Australian Government's Stay Smart Online website.

Spigelman Public Law Oration

Mon Sep 17 2018
Public Law Section

The fifth annual Spigelman Public Law Oration will be delivered by the Hon Christian Porter MP, attorney-general of the Commonwealth on Monday, 24 September 2018 from 5.15pm-6.30pm in the Banco Court. The topic of the oration will be "Securing our Democracy".

Immediately following the oration will be the annual dinner of the Public Law Section of the New South Wales Bar(formerly the Constitutional and Administrative Law Section) at Fix Wine Bar & Restaurant, 111 Elizabeth Street Sydney. Cost: $150 pp (including GST). The event includes a three course dinner, canapes and a selection of wine and other beverages.

To reserve your place at the dinner, please pay using this online credit card facility, no later than 18 September 2018.

If you have specific dietary requirements, please contact Matt Sherman (msherman@sixthfloor.com.au).