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DV court services tender must not compromise victim support

Mon Sep 17 2018
Law reform and public affairs

Supporting victims of domestic violence must be the primary focus of any changes to the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services delivery model, the New South Wales Bar Association said today.

The Bar Association is aware that Legal Aid NSW has recently called for tenders to deliver the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services (WDVCAS). The minister for family and community services told Budget Estimates on 5 September that Legal Aid NSW has had to revise the boundaries, contracts, funding allocations and policies of the service in response to a restructure by NSW Police of the local area command boundaries.

"The WDVCAS have provided invaluable assistance to obtain legal protection and support for more than two decades to women and children who are or have been experiencing domestic violence in NSW," Bar Association President Arthur Moses SC, said today.

"The Bar Association appreciates the importance of promoting consistency and collaboration between services providers, the courts and the police to address issues of domestic violence and provide appropriate support to victims. However, the association is concerned that the short tender process and any changes to the service model of the WDVCAS may adversely impact upon vulnerable members of the community at their time of need. These services are already in high demand and make a real difference to peoples’ lives.

"The association has written to the attorney general of NSW, the minister for family and community services and Legal Aid NSW to seek assurances that the resourcing and staffing of the WDVCAS, and the quality and specialisation of services provided, will not be affected at any time during or after tendering," Mr Moses SC said.

Banco Chamber parental policy in the news

Mon Sep 17 2018
Diversity

The parental leave policy at Banco Chambers was the subject of a feature article in the Australian Financial Review on Friday, 14 September (at page 33). Under the policy, the chambers will provide a six-month indemnity on floor fees while a barrister is on parental leave, and upon their return, implement a pairing arrangement with one of the floor's senior counsel to help them re-establish their practice. Learn more here.

Room for Licence

Mon Sep 17 2018
Member services and benefits

An opportunity to licence a room on the Seventh Floor Garfield Barwick Chambers has become available. Chambers are located at 53 Martin Place on the corner of Phillip Street and Martin Place.

The room is well appointed with two large windows and plenty of natural light. The room can come fully furnished with two desks, two conference chairs, lounge and shelving, or can be available empty, depending on needs. The room has a built in robing cupboard and cupboards to store general items.

The room faces north with views down Martin Place and would be suitable for Junior Counsel.

The Floor is well-established and has been operating from these Chambers since 1979. The Floor has 3 senior counsel and 12 junior barristers with practices across a variety of jurisdictions.

Terms and duration of licence are negotiable.

For all relevant details please contact the Clerk, Mark Grace: 9224 5600 or by email: mark.grace@7gbc.com.au

Permanent stay ordered in Republic of Nauru v Batsiua & Ors

Mon Sep 17 2018

The Supreme Court of Nauru yesterday handed down judgment in the matter of The Republic of Nauru v Mathew Batsiua & Ors. Justice Geoff Muecke ordered that the proceedings against the defendants be permanently stayed. The judgment is available here.

This case concerned criminal charges brought against the “Nauru 19” in relation to a protest outside of the Nauruan Parliament in June 2015.

The Bar Association recognises and thanks New South Wales barristers Mark Higgins, Felicity Graham and Neal Funnell for their efforts and contribution in the course of this matter. These barristers acted in the best traditions of the Bar, as recognised by his Honour’s statement at paragraph 417 of the judgment.

Supreme Court Annual Commercial and Corporate Law Conference, 2018

Fri Sep 14 2018

The Supreme Court Annual Commercial and Corporate Law Conference will be held in the Banco Court on 20 November 2018 from 1.30 - 6 pm. The focus of the conference this year will be Directors' Duties, Corporate Culture and Corporate Governance.

For further information and to register click here

Legal Aid Sentencing Training - reforms commence on 24 September

Fri Sep 14 2018

Legal Aid sentencing reforms are due to 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.

Bench and Bar Lunch - 25 September - reserve your seat now!

Fri Sep 14 2018
Collegiality

A Bench and Bar Lunch has been set down for Tuesday, 25 September 2018 from 12.45-2.00pm at No.10 Bistro (The Mint), 10 Macquarie Street (opposite the Law Courts Building). All members of the Bench and Bar (including readers) are welcome. There is a set menu - $30 for a choice from three main courses (vegetarian is available). Tea / coffee & petit fours, wine & drinks available for purchase. It's just quick and cheap.

Registration is essential. Reserve your place here.

All enquiries to Kylie Nomchong SC: ktn@denmanchambers.com.au or ph:9264 6899.

Promoting collegiality: an initiative of the Wellbeing Committee of the New South Wales Bar Association.

Federal judicial commission

Thu Sep 13 2018
Law reform and public affairs

A federal judicial commission would have the potential to enhance the administration of justice, according to the president of the Law Council of Australia, Morry Bailes.

Mr Bailes told The Australian newspaper that "Unjustified complaints may damage the reputation of judicial officers" and that "Complaints regarding serious misconduct should be properly scrutinized".

President of the New South Wales Bar Association, Arthur Moses SC, agreed, noting that the NSW Judicial Commission, established in 1987, had been very effective and that a similar model should operate at a federal level.

"A federal judicial commission would play a critical role in training and enhancing public confidence in the judiciary," Mr Moses SC said today.

"Complaints must be resolved in a way that is transparent and fair to both the community and to judges."

The Australian article titled "Lawyers want a watchdog to handle complaints against judges" can be viewed here [NB: paywall].

Barristers Classifieds

Thu Sep 13 2018
Member services and benefits

A recent technical issue preventing users from uploading posts to Barristers Classifieds has been fixed and the platform is ready to receive new ads.

The online Barristers' Classifieds enables every member of the Bar Association to buy or sell chambers, wigs, gowns, law reports and more. Simply login to your member dashboard via the Bar Association's home page. Standard posts are free of charge, but can be upgraded to premium with the addition of photos and a credit card payment of $25.

If you have any questions or difficulties using the system, contact the publications and promotions co-ordinator, Michelle Nisbet.

$10m Justice Advocacy Service a welcome investment in the rule of law

Wed Sep 12 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The New South Wales Bar Association has welcomed the announcement this week by the NSW Government of a new $10 million "Justice Advocacy Service" to assist victims, witnesses, suspects and defendants with cognitive impairment who come into contact with the state’s criminal justice system.

In a statement today, President Arthur Moses SC said "the Justice Advocacy Service has the potential to promote fairer, more equitable outcomes by assisting people with cognitive impairment to better understand what our criminal justice system requires of them, whether they are providing police or witness statements, testifying in court or adhering to bail conditions".

"It is a crucial tenet of the Rule of Law that laws must be knowable and able to be obeyed by everyone. Navigating the criminal justice system in any capacity is a difficult and stressful experience for any member of the community. It is particularly difficult for vulnerable people with forms of cognitive impairment, including dementia, acquired brain injury and autism spectrum disorder.

"The Association looks forward to working with the Government, the successful tenderer and the courts to improve access to justice for all members of the NSW community," Mr Moses SC said.

The tender for the Justice Advocacy Service is open until 23 October 2018. Further information is available at www.tenders.nsw.gov.au.

National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces

Wed Sep 12 2018
Law reform and public affairs

On 20 June 2018, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins announced a National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces (“the Inquiry”). The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry can be found here. The New South Wales Bar Association Diversity & Equality Committee (DEC) with the Women Barristers Forum (WBF) is in the process of preparing a submission in response to the Inquiry which will cover the research and statistics that have already taken place on the subject matter as well as outlining the unique circumstances of barristers and the lack of legal protections under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth).

To assist the DEC in its preparation of the submission, the Committee invite members of the NSW Bar to provide any relevant information, comments for inclusion in the submission or confidential contributions. Contributions will be treated confidentially and can be sent via email to the chair of the Diversity & Equality Committee or to Advocate for Change, Richard Weinstein SC by Friday, 5 October 2018. Contributions by members will be treated confidentially and will not be identified in a submission unless specified by the contributor.

Members or chambers may also make their own submission to the Inquiry.

Bar Association annual general meeting and election timetable

Wed Sep 12 2018
Governance

The Bar Association’s AGM will be held on Thursday, 1 November at 5.00pm, in the Common Room. The election ballot closes at 1.00pm that day and counting commences on the morning of Friday, 2 November, with announcement of the results via In Brief later that day. The nomination forms for election of the 2019 Bar Council will be mailed on Friday, 14 September. A preliminary notice and election timetable is available here.

Bar Book Club

Wed Sep 12 2018
Wellbeing

The next meeting of the Bar Book Club will be held at 5.30pm on 16 October 2018 - a new time due to Bar Association change in office hours. The book is We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. Good Reads reviews here.

Bar FC victorious in Tri State Championship

Wed Sep 12 2018
Bar sports

On Saturday, 8 September 2018 Bar FC headed south to Melbourne to compete in the annual Tri State Championship against the best of the Victorian and Queensland Bars.

The weather was not kind to us. Massive electrical storms on Friday night led to numerous flights being cancelled out of Mascot. Four of our players were at the airport that night and had their flights cancelled and were unable to get rescheduled early flights the following day. So, before we had even left Sydney, we had lost Patch, Coutinho, Younan and Anais D’Arville. Not a very promising start.

However, by match time on Saturday afternoon, we were able to field a team of 13 at the picturesque South Yarra FC grounds. The first game between Victoria and Queensland Bar saw an upset Queensland victory of 2 goals to nil (our goalkeeper Harris volunteered to be GK for Queensland). Lo Surdo SC was referee for that match.

The next game saw NSW take the field to play Queensland. In an impressive attacking display in the first minutes, Condylis (on his NSW Bar FC interstate debut) passes to Di Michiel who passes to Morrison, then back to Condylis who scores the first NSW goal. Not to be outdone, Di Michiel scores at the 15-minute mark. Queensland respond with a spirited attack and Harris makes a great save to leave the score at 2 nil in favour of NSW. At the 25-minute mark, Di Michiel scores again. Just before half time, Morrison has a kick at goals and narrowly misses. At half time NSW are leading 3-0.

In the second half, Morrison heads a ball into the goals from a great corner kick from Condylis. The NSW defence line is tested, but with our sweeper Philips keeping the backs in a formidable defensive line, and Harris working hard in goals, NSW keeps the Queenslanders scoreless with a fulltime score of 4 goals to nil.

After a ten-minute break, NSW again takes the field, this time against the Victorians. Victoria commenced with a strong attack against NSW. Thanks to spirited performances from the likes of de Meyrick, Griscti, Bedrossian, Liu, Maghami and (Asher) D’Arville, and with Harris in goals, saw the Victorian attack repulsed. Di Michiel scores the first NSW goal at the 12-minute mark, and a minute later Morrison is unlucky to just miss with his shot at goals. Under pressure from di Michiel, Victoria score an own goal at the 14-minute mark, putting NSW up 3-0. Just before half time, Victoria score their first goal, making the half time score 3-1 in NSW’s favour.

In the second half, considerable press by the Victorians resulted in a headed goal off a corner and it was game on with NSW under the pump and only ahead 3-2. But, just when it was needed most, the goal of the day was scored by Condylis, who got the ball in the mid field, and then ran half the length of the field, weaving through several determined Victorian mid fielders and defenders, to score NSW’s 4th goal. Philips then moved Morrison back up to the forwards, with Morrison scoring straight away to take NSW’s tally to five goals. Victoria pressed hard in the last 10 minutes but couldn’t breached the valiant NSW defence, and at full time the final score was 5-2 in NSW’s favour.

Two great wins for NSW Bar FC which saw NSW retain the silverware.

The touring squad (that actually made it to Melbourne) was as follows:

  • Faraz Maghami
  • Geoff O’Shea
  • Simon Philips (C)
  • Nick Condylis
  • Hugh Morrison
  • John Harris (GK)
  • Vahan Bedrossian
  • Rohan de Meyrick
  • Richard di Michiel
  • Thomas Liu
  • Ivan Griscti
  • Lo Surdo SC
  • Gillian Mahony

Special thanks must go to Geoff O’Shea for managing the squad and to Asher D’Arville for filling in at very short notice.

By popular demand Companion Special Extended to 14 September

Tue Sep 11 2018

Join us for a unique opportunity to hear from Sharon Cook of the NAB and John Sheahan QC in a Q&A Session at rise2018.

Register today to take advantage of the Companion Special for the rise2018 National Conference. Purchase a ticket for yourself and one or more colleagues and receive 50% off your ticket. To view the program click here.

For further information please visit our website

Introduction to the Aboriginal Land Rights System in NSW

Tue Sep 11 2018
Professional development

On Tuesday, 18 September, the NSW Judicial Commission Ngara Yura Committee, the Bar Association’s First Nations Committee and the Law Society of NSW Indigenous Issues Committee cordially invite all members to a panel discussion on the Aboriginal Land Rights System in NSW.

The seminar, titled 'Introduction to the Aboriginal Land Rights System in NSW', will be hosted in the Federal Court Common Room, Level 20 Law Courts Building, Queens Square commencing at 5.15pm. Panellists include Ms Nicole Courtman, Registrar of the ALRA and Mr Chris Ingrey, Chief Executive of La Perouse Aboriginal Land Council. The chair will be Mr Jason Behrendt, Legal Executive, Chalk & Behrendt. Learn more here.

Places are limited so RSVP is essential.

To register, please click here

Don’t let your NMAS Mediators’ Accreditation Lapse – apply today for re-accreditation until 2020 with BarADR

Tue Sep 11 2018

Were you accredited as a mediator by the NSW Bar Association under the National Mediator Accreditation Scheme (NMAS) in 2016? If so, our records indicate that your accreditation is due to expire next month.

Applications are now open for NMAS re-accreditation by the Bar Association for two years until 2020. To apply for re-accreditation, you must:

  1. Familiarise yourself with the Australian National Mediator Approval Standards and Practice Standards, which are available on the Mediator Standards Board’s website, click here, and ensure that you qualify for re-accreditation; and

  2. Complete BarADR’s online re-accreditation form here. You will need to log in using your NSW Bar Association Membership ID and password, and upload any relevant information or evidence required by 5pm on Friday 21 September.

Your application will then be considered by the NSW Bar Association, as a registered accrediting body under the NMAS. Successful applicants will be notified in October.

NMAS Accreditation must be renewed every two years. Maintaining current NMAS Accreditation is a requirement for a NSW Barrister to be eligible to be nominated by the Association for, or remain eligible to serve on, a Court Mediation Panel.

It is the responsibility of each barrister to monitor the status of their NMAS accreditation.

If you are interested in becoming accredited as a mediator for the first time, applications will open shortly and will be advertised in InBrief in coming weeks.

For further information, please contact BarADR on 02 9232 4055.

Legal Aid NSW Indictable Criminal Law Barrister Panel

Tue Sep 11 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.

Bar Association hours of business

Mon Sep 10 2018

Beginning in the first week of October 2018, the Bar Association will trial new business hours for both Reception and the Bar Library - 8.30am to 5.30pm. The move is designed to more closely align the association's services and staffing resources with the hours of peak demand by members, chambers and libraries.

The stairwell doors will remain locked before 8.30am and after 5.30pm. The lifts will remain locked until 8.30am, but will lock after 6pm to allow access for members to attend the many CPDs and events that take place in the Common Room.

Career at the Bar University Open Day

Mon Sep 10 2018

The Career at the Bar University Open Day is on 24 October 2018. It's a great opportunity for students to meet members of the legal profession, barristers and judicial officers. Register here.

Bar Book Club Meeting Tomorrow

Mon Sep 10 2018
Wellbeing

The next meeting of the Bar Book Club will be held tomorrow 11 September 2018 at 6.00pm. The same book for discussion will be: The Red Haired Woman by Orhan Pahmuk.

Workers Compensation Amendment (Latest Index Number) Regulation (No 2) 2018 (NSW)

Sat Sep 08 2018

The object of this Regulation is to update an index number that is used for the purpose of indexation of benefits under the Workers Compensation Act 1987. This Regulation is made under the Workers Compensation Act 1987, including sections 79 (definition of latest index number) and 280 (the general regulation-making power). Click here for a full copy of the amendment.

Green Slip Review must focus on people, not profits and premiums

Fri Sep 07 2018

The New South Wales Bar Association has today called for an independent review of the compulsory third party insurance scheme for NSW motorists by a retired judge, following repeated warnings that the State’s green slip scheme continues to favour insurers’ profits and unfairly excludes genuinely and permanently injured people.

In today’s Daily Telegraph (copy here), Bar Association President Arthur Moses SC expressed concern at Finance Minister Dominello’s statement that CTP reforms are ‘going better than expected’, when in reality only 2% of the nearly $1 billion in premiums collected by insurers during the first eight months of the CTP scheme’s operation has been paid to injured people. This falls short of the Government’s original suggestion that more than 50% of premiums would be paid out during the scheme’s first year of operation.

In a statement, click here for a copy, Mr Moses SC said that ‘The Association is pleased that the Minister has indicated a review will be undertaken into the scheme. However, in order to fairly and objectively assess the scheme’s impact in achieving its real purpose, that investigation must be undertaken by a truly independent reviewer, not the government organisation iCare, in accordance with clear and robust terms of reference. The Association suggests that consideration should be given to appointing a retired judge to serve as the independent reviewer. ‘The Association has written to the Premier and the Minister to express these concerns. We remain willing to work with the Government, insurers and the community in NSW to promote fair and just outcomes in this important area,’ Mr Moses SC said.