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Tonight: WBF Drinks Night

Tue Aug 29 2017
Bar social events

All members are invited to the Women Barristers Forum drinks at the Verandah Bar tonight, from 5.30pm.

Legal representation must be available to all, not a select few

Mon Aug 28 2017
Media release

The President of the New South Wales Bar Association Arthur Moses SC and the President of The Law Society of NSW Pauline Wright have expressed their concern at comments by Federal Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Peter Dutton MP this morning regarding the legal rights of refugees in legal proceedings. Learn more here.

Judicial retirement age increase can bring wider benefits for the justice system

Mon Aug 28 2017

The president of the New South Wales Bar Association, Arthur Moses SC, today expressed support for an increase in the statutory judicial retirement age in NSW from 72 to 75. This change would not only ensure the long-term sustainability of the judicial pension scheme, but would also result in savings for the Justice portfolio, which could fund other areas which have been ignored. For example, legal aid rates for junior counsel have not changed since 2007, despite a 26.5% cumulative level of inflation in the past 10 years. Learn more here. The president's statement was also reported in Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald

Renwick SC appointed INSLM

Mon Aug 28 2017
Appointments to note

Dr James Renwick SC has been appointed as the independent national security legislation monitor, effective 24 August 2017 to 30 June 2020.

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

Mon Aug 28 2017
Events

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.

Message from President Arthur Moses SC

Fri Aug 25 2017
Conduct associated with social media

Dear members,

A number of recent incidents have prompted me to write to remind members that electronic communication - including email and the use of all forms social media - requires the same level of courtesy and professionalism as other more traditional means of communication. This is reflected in the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015. One object of the Rules is to ensure that barristers act in accordance with the general principles of professional conduct. The principles of the Rules state that the Rules are made in the belief that, inter alia, barristers must maintain high standards of professional conduct and that barristers owe duties to the courts, to their clients and to their barrister and solicitor colleagues. The Rules provide that a barrister must not engage in conduct which is discreditable to a barrister or likely to diminish public confidence in the legal profession or bring the legal profession into disrepute. The Rules also prohibit conduct which constitutes discrimination, sexual harassment or workplace bullying. Breach of the Rules is capable of constituting unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct.

Members should be especially vigilant when using methods of communication which are by their nature less formal in tone, such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Instagram and other forms of social media. In addition, you should be aware that any comment made online, even in a closed / secret Facebook group, can be shared via a screen shot.

Conduct at functions associated with the Bar Association

The Bar Association organises, or is associated with, a number of social functions to which barristers are invited. I wish to remind members of the need for exemplary conduct when attending such functions. By all means enjoy yourself, but be mindful that your conduct must not cause harm to, or negatively impact, others.

I would like to bring to your attention some provisions of the Barristers’ Rules that you must keep in mind at such events. Under Rule 8 of the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015, a barrister must not engage in conduct which is dishonest or otherwise discreditable to a barrister or is likely to diminish public confidence in the legal profession. In addition Rule 123 of the Barristers Rules provides that a barrister must not in the course of practice, engage in conduct which constitutes discrimination, sexual harassment, or workplace bullying. Both these Rules are relevant to your conduct at such events which are work events. In addition, if the Bar Council suspects on reasonable grounds that a person has committed a serious offence as defined in section 6 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW)), then section 465 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) imposes on the Bar Council an obligation to report the suspected offence (if it has not already been reported) to the police or other appropriate investigating or prosecuting authority.

The fact that your conduct may become the subject of complaint, or referred to the police or other relevant authority, is not in itself the reason why proper behaviour is expected of barristers. However, a general awareness that unacceptable behaviour may lead to these consequences should be borne in mind.

If you feel you are consuming too much alcohol, or not coping with work or other life pressures, a reminder that the facilities of BarCare are available. Jenny Houen may be contacted via telephone on 0427 317 958 or via email: jhouen@barcare.org

Judicial communication and access to justice

Fri Aug 25 2017
Symposium

Members are invited to a symposium on 7 September 2017 hosted by the UTS China Law Research Group on Digital Technology. Titled 'Judicial Communication and Access to Justice: Challenges and Opportunities' the Symposium will bring together Australian judges, academics, legal practitioners and professionals in major IT companies with their Chinese peers for dialogue about improving techniques of legal adjudication in the current digital environment. Learn more here.

Courtbinder.com: PDF collation for litigators

Fri Aug 25 2017

Courtbinder.com is a new online tool. It merges multiple PDF files into one paginated and sorted file, with an optional table-of-contents. It is perfect for bundles-of-authorities and for exhibits, and it can even generate text for a draft affidavit. Once you receive the resulting file, you just need to click "print".

Try it for free it at https://www.courtbinder.com. Any feedback on this new service is welcome!

Brett Shields to be sworn-in as a magistrate

Fri Aug 25 2017
Swearing-in

Brett Shields will be sworn-in as a magistrate of the Local Court of New South Wales on Monday, 28 August 2017 at 9.00am in Courtroom 5.2 of the Downing Centre. Greg Antipas will speak on behalf of the New South Wales Bar. Robes and wigs are not to be worn.

Alan Anthony McDevitt

Thu Aug 24 2017
Vale

Alan Anthony McDevitt, retired District Court judge, died on 19 August 2017. A Requiem Mass to celebrate his life will be held at St Mary's Catholic Church, North Sydney on Monday, 28 August 2017 at 10.30 am. In lieu of flowers, donations to The Department of Cancer Medicine Research Fund, would be appreciated.

The First Five Years: early learning experiences

Thu Aug 24 2017
Services and benefits

Guardian Early Learning Group invites members to join them at the Hilton Hotel Sydney for an evening with early childhood expert, Dr Elanna Yalow, as she discusses 'The First Five Years: how a child's early learning experience sets the stage for success at school and later in life'. A light dinner will be provided. The event will be held on Wednesday, 6 September 2017 at 5.30pm for 6.00pm start.

New South Wales Bar Association members and chambers staff have guaranteed access to dedicated permanent, casual or emergency childcare places at Castlereagh Street Early Learning Centre and Little Steps Early Learning Centre, 7.30 am to 6.00pm from Monday to Friday.

For further information or to book your child into care please contact Guardian Early Learning Group on 1300 025 007 or email at corp.enrolments@guardian.edu.au. Please advise Guardian that you are part of the NSW Bar Association childcare scheme to take advantage of it. More information on the scheme is available on the Bar Association's website.

Freedom of Speech and the Case for Defamation Law Reform

Thu Aug 24 2017
Coming up in CPD - Tonight

Tonight, 24 August 2017, there will be a CPD seminar on Freedom of Speech and the Case for Defamation Law Reform. It will be presented by Professor David Rolph and chaired by Greg Tolhurst, the executive director of the Bar Association. Learn more here

Please note this seminar will commence at 6.00pm in the Bar Association Common Room

TONIGHT - Freedom of Speech and the Case for Defamation Law Reform

Thu Aug 24 2017
Coming up in CPD - Tomorrow

Tonight, 24 August 2017 there will be a CPD seminar on Freedom of Speech and the Case for Defamation Law Reform. It will be presented by Professor David Rolph and chaired by Greg Tolhurst, the executive director of the Bar Association. Learn more here

Please note this seminar will commence at 6.00pm in the Bar Association Common Room

2018 Conferences - invitation for abstracts and papers

Wed Aug 23 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.

Vale Reg Bartley AM

Tue Aug 22 2017

Reg Bartley AM, magistrate from 1963 to 1985 and chairman of the Licensing Court of NSW and Liquor Administration Board from 1979 to 1985, died on 18 August 2017, aged 92. He was the author and co-author of several publications, including the Petty Sessions Review, The Court is Open and The ABC of Evidence. There will be a requiem mass for him commencing 11.00am on Saturday, 26 August 2017 at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church, Victoria St, Waverley.

Congratulations Michael Bradford

Tue Aug 22 2017
Wellbeing

Last week Michael Bradford of Third Floor Wentworth Chambers was in Budapest racing at the 17th FINA World Masters Championships. He raced in four events, in the 65-69 age category and achieved fantastic results. He came 9th in the 100m freestyle, 3rd in the 200m freestyle, 2nd in the 400m freestyle & 4th in the 800m freestyle. Congratulations Michael!

Freedom of Speech and the Case for Defamation Law Reform

Tue Aug 22 2017
Coming up in CPD - This Week

On 24 August 2017 there will be a CPD seminar on Freedom of Speech and the Case for Defamation Law Reform. It will be presented by Professor David Rolph and chaired by Greg Tolhurst, the executive director of the Bar Association. Learn more here

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

Tue Aug 22 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.

Barristers, solicitors and doctors unite to support marriage equality laws

Mon Aug 21 2017
Media release

The president of the New South Wales Bar Association Arthur Moses SC, the president of The Law Society of NSW Pauline Wright and the president of the Australian Medical Association (NSW) Professor Brad Frankum have come together to express their support for same sex marriage legislation at the federal level. Learn more here. The media release was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, among other publications.

Applications for appointment as a public defender

Mon Aug 21 2017
Positions vacant

Public Defender: $281,790 p.a. plus Conveyance Allowance $16,990 p.a.

The Attorney General is seeking applications from qualified persons for appointment as a Public Defender under the Public Defenders Act 1995, for a fixed term of up to seven years that may be renewed, subject to an initial twelve-month probationary period.

Public Defenders are barristers who appear in trials throughout NSW, and in appeals, for legally-aided persons charged with serious criminal offences. The position will be based in Sydney and the successful applicant will be required to appear at metropolitan and regional sittings of the District Court and Supreme Court, and occasionally the Court of Criminal Appeal, as directed. Any appearances in country or regional sittings are likely to be in the order of a maximum of eight weeks per year.

Applicants must be Australian lawyers with extensive advocacy experience in a wide range of criminal trials and, ideally, CCA appeals. Guidelines for the appointment and reappointment of Public Defenders, which includes the selection criteria, may be viewed on the Public Defenders website at: www.publicdefenders.nsw.gov.au

Note: Probity checks will be conducted.

Applications in Word or PDF identifying the specific position applied for and addressing the selection criteria, accompanied by a detailed curriculum vitae and the names of at least two referees.

Applications close: Sunday, 17 September 2017 (11.59 pm).

If you would like to discuss this opportunity please contact Mr Mark Ierace SC, Senior Public Defender, for further information about the likely duties of the successful applicants, on (02) 9268 3111.

Applications must be lodged electronically. Please go to iworkfor.nsw.gov.au and search Job Reference Number (000051JO).