Walker SC to deliver the Gough Whitlam Oration

Fri May 18 2018

The Whitlam Institute has announced that the 2018 Gough Whitlam Oration will be delivered by Bret Walker SC on 5 June 2018 at 7.00pm in the Riverside Theatres, Parramatta. The topic will be "The Information that Democracy Needs". Buy tickets here.

Sex, lies and a murder plot at the heart of the establishment - it's the Bar Book Club!

Fri May 18 2018

The Bar Book Club will meet again on 12 June. The book for discussion is A Very English Scandal by John Preston. It is in stock here and, of course, readily available in e-format. The meeting will be held in the Bar Library at 6.00pm and light refreshments will be served. Those who are coming from outside Selborne/Wentworth Chambers, please be sure to be in the building before 6.00pm.

For the diary: 2018 Tutors and Readers Dinner

Thu May 17 2018

The 2018 Tutors & Readers Dinner is on Friday, 22 June. The guest of honour is Her Honour Judge Julia Baird and the speaker for the readers is Tim Senior. Invitations will be sent to all 2/17 and 1/18 readers and their tutors early next week.

Judges Lunchtime Seminar Series

Thu May 17 2018

The Commercial Law Association's June Judges series is running on Friday, 8, 15 & 22 June. This year our speakers are: The Hon Justice Ashley Black on "Recent developments in corporate law"; the Hon Justice Nigel Rein on "Close encounters of the unconscionable kind: IP Star Australia Pty Ltd v APS Satellite Pty Ltd"; and the Hon Justice Steven Rares on "Commercial issues: private international law". You can book for the entire series at a discount or for individual seminars if you prefer. Register now at

Half Marathon fundraiser is half-way there

Thu May 17 2018

Cynthia Cochrane is over half-way towards reaching her fundraising goal of $5,000 for the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon this Sunday, 20 May 2018. Cynthia is raising money for the Katrina Dawson Foundation. Please get Cynthia over the line (so to speak) by giving generously via her fundraising page on Everyday Hero.

Bar Knitting Group

Thu May 17 2018

The next meeting of the Bar Knit Group will be held at 6.00pm on 22 May. Light refreshments are served. All welcome. If you’re looking for inspiration or a reason to get started, what better role model could there be than the man who knits jumpers featuring famous places and then wears them?

Bar News online

Thu May 17 2018

The trove of Bar News editions on the Bar Association's website has been updated with the addition of [2018] (Autumn) edition.

Bar News is the journal of the Bar Association, written by the members, for the members. Each issue includes a mix of engaging and distracting articles on recent cases, professional conduct, notable speeches, appointments, book reviews and news from sporting and social events.

St John Ambulance First Aid

Thu May 17 2018

Reservations for the St John Ambulance Express First Aid course, to be hosted in the Bar Association’s Common Room on Thursday, 28 June 2018 from 9.00am to 1.00pm, have closed. Registrants will be emailed shortly regarding compulsory study materials and other requirements of the course. If you have any questions, please contact the coordinator of services and benefits, Chris Winslow, on 9229 1732.

Do you move?

Thu May 17 2018

Have you moved to new chambers since your practising certificate was last issued? If so, please notify the Bar Association of your change in practice address. The Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Regulation 2015 requires barristers to advise the Bar Council, in writing, of any change in practice address or contact details within seven days of the change.

You may send your notification to the Bar Association's certification officer Barrie Anthony by e-mail at

Please note a PO Box cannot be a practice address.

For the diary: securities class actions

Thu May 17 2018

The Commercial Law Section will host a seminar on securities class actions on Thursday, 14 June 2018. The chair is Ruth Higgins SC, the speakers are Jeremy Kirk SC and Perry Herzfeld, and the commentator is the Hon Peter Jacobson QC.

2018 Forbes Lecture and support of research projects

Wed May 16 2018

On Wednesday, 30 May 2018 the Hon Justice Virginia Bell AC will deliver the 2018 Forbes Lecture, to mark the Centenary of the Women’s Legal Status Act 1918 (NSW). The lecture will take place at 5.15 pm in the NSW Bar Association Common Room, and will be chaired by Arthur Moses SC.

Research projects supported by the Forbes Society

One of the Society’s objects is to encourage and promote research into Australian legal history and it maintains a fund for that purpose to which donations may be made – the Francis Forbes Fund. Last year the Fund supported the project of Professor Anne Twomey (of the University of Sydney) to publish Pitt Cobbett's grand opus called ‘The Government of Australia’. The Society shares this update from Professor Twomey:

Professor Pitt Cobbett wrote his grand opus on The Government of Australia in his retirement, leaving it as an 'unfinished symphony' upon his death in 1919, with a request to his executors that it be finished, edited and published. But the High Court handed down its judgment in the Engineers Case the following year, and the executors decided the manuscript was out of date. It was instead donated to the University of Sydney and has sat quietly moulding there ever since. It is now a work of great historic importance, showing how the Constitution was understood in the first twenty years of its existence.

The Forbes Society has kindly supported the project of finishing, editing and publishing this work. The aim is to publish it upon the centenary of Pitt Cobbett's death, in 2019. The Society donated $8300 to pay a PhD student to check the footnotes of the book and to help subsidise publication to make it viable. Unfortunately, the full $8300 was spent on the footnote checking, as it turned out that as Pitt Cobbett's illness increased, the accuracy of his footnotes decreased and considerable work had to be undertaken to find the correct sources. I am therefore hoping for some additional assistance from the Society later in the year to subsidise publication so that it can be published as a hardback book for libraries and scholars to consult for generations. The support of the Society is essential for this type of work, which would otherwise not see the light of day and remain moulding away, unseen and forgotten. We will not learn from our past unless our history is readily accessible. The Francis Forbes Society ensures that it is.

The Society encourages further donations to enable it to support such worthy projects – a form for donations is available here: Forbes Fund Donation Form and on the web site at Donations

TONIGHT: Forbes Society Tutorial in Australian Legal History

Tue May 15 2018

The next tutorial in this year’s series of tutorials on Australian legal history will be delivered by the Hon Arthur Emmett AO QC, on The Roman Consensual Contracts: Sale, Hire and Partnershiptonight, Tuesday, 15 May 2018.

This will be followed by:

  • Professor Mark Lunney, History the law of tort on Tuesday 19 June 2018
  • The Hon J Campbell QC, History of Equity, in two parts, on Wednesday 25 July and Wednesday 22 August 2018

All tutorials will be held in at 5.15pm in Banco Court.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - Accelerated Route Towards Fellowship Course 23- 24 June 2018

Tue May 15 2018

Fast track your way to a career in international commercial arbitration. Registrations are now open for the 2018 CIArb Accelerated Route Towards Fellowship (ARF) course, which will be held from 23 – 24 June at the Melbourne Commercial Arbitration and Mediation Centre. Delivered by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), this course is intended for suitably qualified candidates who are practising lawyers with at least 10 years’ standing and who have experience in arbitration. The course syllabus is based on international arbitration law and it is essential that candidates have at least a reasonable working knowledge of the UNCITRAL Model Law and UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. CIArb accreditation carries a global qualification in the growing practice of international arbitration. Places are limited. For further details and to register please click here.

The Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot needs feedback

Mon May 14 2018

The Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot was developed to assist child victims and prosecution witnesses through the trial process in sexual offence matters. The pilot includes the introduction of witness intermediaries and an expansion of pre-recorded evidence. The pilot commenced on 31 March 2016 in two locations – Newcastle District Court and Sydney District Court (Downing Centre).

This research is being funded by NSW Department of Justice and conducted by external consultants associated with University of Sydney and University of New South Wales. A very important part of the evaluation is the feedback from those who have had experience in the pilot, with a witness intermediary and the prerecording of the child's evidence. Lawyers who have been directly involved in the pilot in this way are invited to provide their perspective.

For the diary: the Hon Jane Mathews AO

Mon May 14 2018

Members are invited to save the date for a celebration of the career of the Hon Jane Mathews AO on Friday, 15 June 2018. Further information will be provided closer to the date.

Amendments to the UCPR

Mon May 14 2018

On 7 May 2018, the Uniform Rules Committee approved Amendment No 85 and 86 to the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules. The amendments commenced and were published on the NSW Legislation website on 11 May 2018.

Amendment No 85

The amendment is to rule 36.1A. This rule relates to the entry of orders that are made by consent of the parties to a proceeding. The amendment makes it clear that the entry of orders by consent may only be done if all relevant parties are on notice.

Amendment No 86

The amendment is to rules 35.3 and 39.35. Rule 35.3 relates to those who may make an affidavit. The amendment enables an affidavit to be filed in proceedings conducted pursuant to terms of a contract of insurance.

Rule 39.35 sets out the details that an affidavit in support of a garnishee order must contain. The amendment requires a deponent to the affidavit in support of garnishee order to establish a reasonable basis for alleging that the garnishee holds an account.

UCPR Form 69

The Uniform Rules Committee has also approved an amendment to UCPR form 69 to require a deponent to include the grounds in support of their belief that the garnishee holds an account.

Version 7 of form 69 has been published here.

30th anniversary Journal of Contract Law conference

Mon May 14 2018

The Commercial Law Association will host a one-day conference on "How will contract law meet the challenges of the 21st century?" on 27 July 2018 in The Gallery Room, Mitchell Wing, NSW State Library, from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Speakers include the Hon Justice Gleeson, Justice Andrew Phang, Associate Professor Goh Yihan, Assistant Professor Eliza Mik, Professor Elisabeth Peden, Professor Woody Hunter, Professor Greg Tolhurst, Associate Professor Katy Barnett, Associate Professor Wayne Courtney and Emeritus Professor John Carter. Register here.

Room for sale in Maurice Byers Chambers

Mon May 14 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. Learn more here.

Access to John Maddison Tower and availability of Downing Centre courtrooms

Fri May 11 2018
A Message from President Arthur Moses SC

Over the last few days members have raised issues regarding access to John Maddision Tower and availability of courtrooms in the Downing Centre for District Court trials.

First, a number of members have brought my attention to the substantial delays regularly experienced by practitioners in gaining access to courts in JMT. The delays result from the fact that there is only one security scanning lane in the foyer of the building. I have written this week to the chief judge of the District Court and the attorney general to suggest that consideration be given to the addition of a second security lane in the JMT foyer area.

Secondly, I have been informed by members that there have been recent instances of trials set down for the Downing Centre which have not been reached due to the lack of available court rooms rather than issues related to the availability of a judge or practitioners. The inability to hear matters due to lack of courtrooms will add to the already substantial trial case backlog in the District Court. Such delays of course lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety for the victims, witnesses and the accused, as well as increased costs for both Legal Aid NSW and the DPP. The Bar Association considers it imperative that the government allocate more resources to court facilities in Sydney to address this issue and I have written to the attorney general urging that the government make additional funds available for this purpose.


Fri May 11 2018

The Women Barristers Forum will hold its AGM on 30 May 2018 at 4.45pm in Bar Association Conference Room 3.

Mediation Accreditation

Fri May 11 2018

It’s not too late for your Mediation Accreditation May 2018. The Australian Disputes Centre is running its mediation accreditation program commencing on 16 May 2018. It is not too late to register for the full course, the first 3 days, or for their refresher training. ADC has over 32 years’ experience training many of Australia’s leading mediators.