Three new magistrates for NSW

Wed Jan 17 2018


President Arthur Moses SC has welcomed the announcement by the NSW attorney general, the Hon. Mark Speakman SC of three new magistrates: Peter Thompson, Stuart Devine and Daniel Covington.

"These are timely appointments of three experienced practitioners and will greatly assist the Local Court to carry out its heavy workload as the busiest court in NSW", said Mr Moses.

Participants wanted: barristers practising in the regions

Wed Jan 17 2018

Is your practice situated outside of the Sydney CBD? The Bar News Committee is conducting research for the purposes of an article in relation to the benefits and challenges of practising in the regions (Orange, Byron/Lismore, Newcastle and Parramatta) and seeking barristers willing to participate in an interview to speak about their experiences. We would be particularly interested in hearing from barristers who have had a Sydney practice in the past and have moved to the regions. If you are interested in participating in an interview, confidentially or otherwise, please contact Alex Edwards ( or the NSW Bar Association’s Policy Lawyer, Ting Lim (

Retirement of the Hon Justice McClellan AM

Mon Jan 15 2018

A ceremonial sitting will be held in the Banco Court on Thursday, 8 February 2018 at 9.15am to mark the retirement of the Hon Justice Peter McClellan AM from the New South Wales Court of Appeal. Members will be advised of further details as soon as they are known.

High Court Practice Direction No 2 of 2017

Mon Jan 15 2018

Shortly before the Christmas break the High Court issued Practice Direction No 2 of 2017 regarding the office hours of its registry. The practice direction took effect on 1 January 2018. Learn more here.

ABA Silks Ceremony and Dinner

Mon Jan 15 2018

The Australian Bar Association will hold its annual dinner on the night of the new silks taking their bows in the High Court. The dinner will be held in the Great Hall of the High Court in Canberra on Monday, 5 February 2018 at 7.00pm for 7.30pm. All judges and barristers, not just the new silks, and their partners are invited to attend. Dress for the evening is formal and the cost for the dinner is $400 per person (including GST). Members of the judiciary and friends of counsel who wish to attend the dinner should complete an RSVP, together with the appropriate payment, by Wednesday, 17 January 2018.

Statement from President Arthur Moses SC regarding District Court Rolling List Program

Wed Jan 10 2018
Media Release

President Arthur Moses SC welcomes the results of the Rolling List Program referred to in a media release by the NSW Attorney General but notes the narrow scope of the program and that District Court backlog in criminal proceedings can only be resolved by proper funding of legal aid and resourcing of courts. The President’s statement can be found HERE. The Attorney General’s media release can be found HERE

Christmas and New Year message from the president

Fri Dec 22 2017

I would like to extend to each of our members, the NSW judiciary and our staff at the Bar Association, my best wishes for Christmas and 2018. I hope each of you takes time to reflect and to rest with your family and friends during the holiday period after what has been a busy year. It is our family and friends who sustain us during stressful and busy times at the bar. Now is the time for us to reconnect with them. Keep safe and well.

Arthur Moses SC


RACS fast-track workshop

Thu Dec 21 2017

The Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS), in conjunction with the Law Institute of Victoria, Victoria Legal Aid and Lander & Rogers, will run a workshop in Sydney on 23 January 2018 regarding judicial review of fast-track asylum-seeker decisions. This is a great opportunity for members of the bar to become familiar with the work of Justice for Refugees. Participants in the workshop will need to prepare by obtaining reading materials and watching some videos. For more information, contact Nadine Darling at RACS.

New acting public defenders

Thu Dec 21 2017

Madeleine Avenell and Paul Coady, both from Maurice Byers Chambers, have been appointed as acting public defenders, commencing on 29 January 2018.

Skydiving barrister in another record-breaking jump

Wed Dec 20 2017

Mark Higgins, skydiving counsel, took part in an Australasian record-breaking skydive at Moruya on 24 November. For the technically-minded, it was a 3-point 32-way Australian and Oceanic sequential record (32 skydivers from two planes come together in a formation, and 50% of the group move to a second and third point). Mark is in the yellow and black jumpsuit. Watch the video here.

Commencement of Law Term 2018 Services

Wed Dec 20 2017

The various services for the commencement of the 2018 Law Year, listed chronologically, are as follows:

Red Mass

  • Time: 9.00am
  • Date: Monday, 29 January 2018
  • Venue: St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney
  • Celebrant: Most Rev Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP
  • Further Details: Judges and counsel are invited to robe in the Crypt from 8:30 am. There will be a procession of judges and counsel into the Cathedral. Morning tea will be served in Cathedral House immediately after the ceremony for those wishing to attend.

Anglican Service

  • Time: 10:30 am
  • Date: Monday, 29 January 2018
  • Venue: St James’ Anglican Church, King Street, Sydney
  • Celebrants: The Most Rev Dr Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney, and the Rev Andrew Sempell, Rector of St James’ Church.
  • Further Details: Members of the NSW Judiciary, Bar and legal profession are invited to attend the Anglican 2018 Law Term Church Service.

Pan Orthodox Divine Liturgy

  • Time: 6:30 pm
  • Date: Tuesday, 6 February 2018
  • Venue: Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation 242 Cleveland Street, Redfern
  • Celebrant: His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia
  • Further Details: A procession to the Cathedral will be led by His Eminence and by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW, the Hon T F Bathurst AC. Those wishing to robe are invited to do so in the Rectory. At the conclusion of the service, a light buffet and refreshments will be served at the Reception Room the Archdiocese.

Jewish Service

  • Time: 5:30 pm
  • Date: Wednesday, 7 February 2018
  • Venue: The Great Synagogue, 166 Castlereagh Street, Sydney (Enter from Elizabeth Street, Sydney)
  • Further Details: A procession will be led by The Hon. T. F. Bathurst AC, Chief Justice. The service will be followed by a reception. To attend please see RSVP by using the following link:

Islamic Service

  • Time: 6:15 pm to 7:30 pm
  • Date: Thursday, 15 February 2018
  • Venue: Auburn Gallipoli Mosque Cnr Gelibolu Parade & Dartbrook Avenue, Auburn
  • Other Details: Guests are requested to arrive at 6 pm so that the service can commence on time. Light refreshments will be served. For all enquiries and to RSVP, please contact us via the following email address: Please note that the Auburn Mosque Committee has requested that attendees kindly observe a modest dress code for the event. For example, we would be grateful if shoulders and knees were covered and high neck shirts are worn.

Great Bar Boat Race

Wed Dec 20 2017
Bar sports

The Great Bar Boat Race (now in its 34th year) was a great success on Monday. Lovely winds at 12-15 knots took the competitors over the course from Point Piper to Store Beach. The Law Book Co Trophy was presented to Tony Baker (2 Wentworth Chambers) who skippered “Onaview” with 2nd place to Michael Blaxell (UTS Student Legal Services) on “Fiction” and 3rd place to John Turnbull (Windeyer Chambers) on “Reverie”. Proceeds from the day went to the David Martin Foundation for the Shop Front Youth Centre. Thanks to the Adrian Gruzman and the Wellbeing Committee for organising.

Hon Christian Porter MP appointed as new Commonwealth Attorney-General

Tue Dec 19 2017

The Prime Minister has today announced new Ministerial arrangements, including the appointment of the Hon Christian Porter MP as the new Commonwealth Attorney-General, replacing Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, who will be recommended for appointment as Australia’s new High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. President Arthur Moses SC has written to Mr Porter to congratulate him on his appointment.

Appointments to the Federal Courts

Mon Dec 18 2017

The Federal Attorney-General Senator the Hon George Brandis QC has announced a number of appointments to the Federal Courts as follows.

Federal Court of Australia

  • Mr Thomas Thawley SC will commence in the Sydney Registry on 14 February 2018;
  • The Hon Justice Katrina Banks-Smith and Mr Craig Colvin SC will commence in the Perth Registry on 12 and 13 February 2018, respectively.

Family Court of Australia

  • The Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, the Hon William Alstergren, has also been appointed Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court. He will continue to hold a dual commission as Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court;
  • Judge Michael Baumann, who is currently a Judge of the Federal Circuit Court, has been promoted to the position of Judge at the Family Court, based in Brisbane.

Federal Circuit Court of Australia

  • Ms Julia Baird SC will commence in the Sydney Registry on 20 February 2018;
  • Dr Christopher Kendall will commence in the Perth Registry on 29 January 2018;
  • Ms Caroline Kirton QC will commence in the Melbourne Registry on 29 January 2018;
  • Mr Gregory Egan will commence in the Brisbane Registry on 18 December 2017.

The Attorney-General has also announced the appointment of Ms Philippa Lynch PSM as the Chief Executive and Principal Registrar of the High Court of Australia, who will commence a five year term on 10 February 2018.

Jonathan Hyde appointed as part-time judge advocate

Mon Dec 18 2017

President Arthur Moses SC has welcomed the appointment of Jonathan Hyde from New Chambers as a part-time judge advocate and Defence Force Magistrate. He was appointed by the chief of the Australian Defence Force on Friday, 15 December.

"The military justice system will be served well by the appointment of Jonathan to this important role", said Mr Moses.

Walker SC appointed SA royal commissioner

Mon Dec 18 2017
Appointments to note

Premier Jay Weatherill has announced on the weekend that Bret Walker SC will be recommended to the South Australian governor to be appointed as royal commissioner to lead the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission. Walker SC is eminently qualified to be appointed as Royal Commissioner. Learn more here.

New practice note commences on 1 January 2018

Fri Dec 15 2017
Practice and procedure

Chief Justice the Hon T F Bathurst AC has re-issued Practice Note SC CA 1 – Court of Appeal, which commences operation 1 January 2018, and replaces the previous practice note issued on 27 March 2009. Learn more here.

Gift ideas for the festive season

Fri Dec 15 2017
Member services and benefits

Members of the New South Wales Bar Association enjoy access to the Australian Bar Association's member benefits scheme. The service partner, MBA Benefits, has negotiated special offers on a range of gift cards, wine, electrical appliances, holiday destinations and motor vehicles. Learn more here.

Fiduciary Duties in a Corporate and Commercial Context

Fri Dec 15 2017
Papers to note

The papers for the Supreme Court Corporate and Commercial Law Conference, 2017: Fiduciary Duties in a Corporate and Commercial Context, held in the Bar Association Common Room on 15 November 2017, are now available on the Supreme Court of New South Wales website. Papers were presented by the Honourable Justice Fabian Gleeson, the Honourable Justice Ashley Black, Ms Rebecca Maslen-Stannage of Herbert Smith Freehills, and Professor Pamela Hanrahan of the University of New South Wales.

Thawley SC appointed to the Federal Court of Australia

Fri Dec 15 2017

President Arthur Moses SC has welcomed the announcement that Tom Thawley SC has been appointed as a judge of the Federal Court of Australia.

"Tom Thawley was called to the New South Wales Bar in February 1998 and took silk in 2012. He will make a significant contribution to the important work of the Federal Court in the administration of justice", said Mr Moses.

Thawley SC will be sworn-in at a ceremonial sitting on 14 February 2018.