Bench and Bar Drinks - 15 October

Mon Sep 23 2019

Do you know your body from a bouquet? Why is a bad wine said to be "Green"? Answers to these and other questions might be found on Tuesday, 15 October 2019 from 5.00pm to 6.30pm in the Bar Common Room when the Wellbeing Committee will host a Bench and Bar Drinks function, where a selection of fine wines will be available for tasting.

All members are welcome. Based on the format of the popular Bench and Bar Lunches, this is an ideal opportunity for readers and new barristers to acquaint themselves with the collegiality at the New South Wales Bar and to chat informally with members of the judiciary. There’s no reason why you can’t bring a colleague from your Bar Practice Course or chambers. At $35 per person, it's just quick and cheap! Register now.

The Bench and Bar Wine Tasting Evening is an initiative of the Wellbeing Committee of the New South Wales Bar Association.

Reform search warrants relating to public interest journalism

Fri Sep 20 2019
Law reform and public affairs

Law Council of Australia President Arthur Moses SC has appeared before the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, with recommendations to protect public interest journalism, including the appointment of a public interest advocate or monitor. Learn more here.

LCA statement on family law inquiry

Fri Sep 20 2019
Law reform and public affairs

Law Council of Australia President Arthur Moses SC has welcomed the announcement of a joint parliamentary inquiry into the family law system, seeing it as the catalyst to drive 'the holistic change we all agree is so desperately needed'. View the media statement here.

The Hon Dr James Macken AM (1927-2019)

Fri Sep 20 2019

The Hon Dr James Macken AM died yesterday morning. "Jim" Macken was admitted as a barrister in July 1963. He was appointed as a judge of the Industrial Commission of NSW in 1975. After his retirement he wrote and lectured on industrial relations law. Members will be advised of funeral arrangements as soon as they are known.

Bar Knitting Group meeting

Thu Sep 19 2019

The Bar (not only) Knitting Group's next meeting is on 24 September 2019 at 5.30pm in the Bar Library. Light refreshments will be provided. All are welcome. Participants should bring their latest project or just an enquiring mind. We can arrange to teach you to knit/crochet if you like.

Sophia Beckett appointed to the District Court Bench

Thu Sep 19 2019

The Attorney General, the Hon Mark Speakman SC has today announced Deputy Senior Public Defender Sophia Beckett has been appointed to the bench of the District Court of NSW.

Ms Beckett will be sworn into her new position at a ceremonial sitting on Level 21, John Maddison Tower at 9am on Monday 30 September. The Hon Mark Speakman SC MP will speak on behalf of the NSW Bar Association. Robes and wigs are to be worn and in the case of silk, full bottomed wigs are worn.

A full copy of the media release is available here.

Bar Council nominations and notice of AGM

Thu Sep 19 2019

Nomination forms for election of the 2020 Bar Council were posted on Friday, 13 September to all members of the Bar Association eligible to nominate or be nominated.

The AGM of the New South Wales Bar Association will be held on Thursday, 7 November 2019 at 5.00pm.

Learn more here.

Ashok Kumar (1957-2019)

Thu Sep 19 2019

Ashok Kumar, barrister at Chalfont Chambers, has died. Members will be advised of funeral arrangements as soon as they are known.

Bar Association guidance paper on barristers as police informants

Wed Sep 18 2019

In the wake of the Lawyer X scandal, the Bar Association sees a pressing need to issue guidance to members on the legal and ethical issues raised by the seemingly unprecedented deployment by Victorian police of a barrister as an informant against her own clients.

The Bar Association’s guidance paper on barristers as police informants can be found here. The paper has also been published on the Bar Association's website here.

Members are encouraged to read the guidance paper and to contact Mr Richard Easton on (02) 9232 4543 or at if they have any questions about, or comments on, its contents.

Building Bridges: Resolving Disputes through International Arbitration

Wed Sep 18 2019

The Australian Centre of International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Australia (CIArb Australia) are pleased to invite you to their 2019 International Arbitration Conference: Building Bridges: Resolving Disputes through International Arbitration.

As international arbitration remains the preferred means for commercial and state entities to resolve disputes in the global economy, building bridges, and not walls, is key to maintaining good relationships to ensure growth, competitiveness and new opportunities. Hosted at this one-day conference is Australia's premier international arbitration event and will launch the 2019 Australian Arbitration Week.

Supported by global institutes, government, industry associations, sponsors and media partners, it will bring together eminent speakers including The Hon Justice Patrick Keane AC, High Court of Australia, who will deliver the keynote address, and expert practitioners from five continents and 15 jurisdictions who will impart their knowledge and experiences in examining emerging trends in various key sectors. A Cocktail Networking Reception will follow proceedings featuring guest speaker, The Hon Yvette D'Ath, Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Queensland Government.

The Australian Bar Association is pleased to be a supporting organisation of this important conference. To take advantage of your discounted registration rate, enter "Australian Bar Association" as your member organisation in the registration page.

Independent National Security Legislation Monitor - Latest report

Wed Sep 18 2019

The latest report of the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Dr James Renwick CSC SC, concerning the operation, effectiveness and implications of the terrorism-related citizenship loss provisions in the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 has now been tabled in Parliament.

He concluded that certain ‘operation of law’ provisions in the Act do not pass muster under the INSLM Act and should, with some urgency, be repealed with retrospective effect, but be simultaneously replaced by a Ministerial decision-making model (and thus with constitutionally entrenched judicial review), coupled with merits review as to the conduct (s 33AA), fighting or service (s 35) by the Security Appeals Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and using the special advocate model which now exists for control orders.

A full copy is available here.

Bar Book Club

Wed Sep 18 2019

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 1 October 2019 at 5.30 pm in the Bar Library. The book is : The Everlasting Sunday by Robert Lukins (UQP) reviewed here.

All welcome (that includes new readers). Light refreshments will be served.

Room for Sale or Licence - Sixth Floor Windeyer Chambers

Wed Sep 18 2019

Must sell. All offers considered. Commitments elsewhere following a statutory appointment. An internal room is available for sale or licence at Sixth Floor Windeyer Chambers. Floor fees are $2,653.00 per month (including GST and CCL maintenance levy). The floor recently underwent renovations. The Chambers continues to have the benefit of long-standing members. Practice areas include Commercial, Equity, Native Title, Criminal Law and Land & Environment.

Please contact the clerk, Heather Harbon, on (02) 9235 3100 or All enquiries will be kept confidential. Click here to view website.

Bell Lawyers Ltd v Janet Pentelow & Anor

Wed Sep 18 2019

As members are aware, a costs order in favour of a litigant in person does not confer entitlement to compensation or remuneration for the litigant’s own work. An exception to that general rule previously allowed a self-represented solicitor to recover such compensation. This was the Chorley exception, established in London Scottish Benefit Society v Chorley (1884) 13 QBD 872.

On 4 September this year in Bell Lawyers Ltd v Pentelow [2019] HCA 29, the High Court held that the general rule applies to a self-represented lawyer and that the Chorley exception is not part of the common law of Australia. It follows that a barrister or solicitor as litigant who obtains a favourable costs order cannot recover compensation or remuneration for his or her own work as costs payable under the order. Members may read the High Court decision here.

Joint Parliamentary Inquiry into Family Law and Child Support

Tue Sep 17 2019

The Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP has today announced that the Government will undertake a Joint Parliamentary Committee of both the House or Representatives and the Senate to conduct a wide-ranging inquiry into the family law system.

A full copy of the media release is available here.

Australian National University Public Law Weekend.

Tue Sep 17 2019

The ANU Centre for International and Public Law will be hosting its annual Public Law Weekend on 1 November 2019.

Bringing together legal academics, government legal advisers and practitioners, the theme this year is ‘Technology, Public Law and Public Administration’.

Click here for more information and to register.

Supreme Court of NSW ADR Address 2019

Tue Sep 17 2019

The Australian Disputes Centre will be hosting their 2nd Annual Supreme Court of New South Wales ADR Address, presented by Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC.

The Address will be held in the Banco Court on 3 October 2019, at 5.30pm with networking reception to follow. Registration is essential. Click here for more information and to register.

Janet Coombs Lunch for New Female Barristers

Tue Sep 17 2019

Members are invited to join the WBF and distinguished guests for their biannual lunch and meet the new women at the bar. This is a great networking event and all are welcome to attend.

Hosted by the Women Barristers Forum & WLANSW at 1.00pm Friday 20 September 2019 at The Law Society of NSW, Level 2, 170 Phillip Street, Sydney

For more information and to register, click here.

BarADR Mediation Reaccreditation and Accreditation

Tue Sep 17 2019
Now open

The Bar Association, through the ADR Committee, invites members to renew their mediator accreditations under the National Mediation Accreditation System (NMAS).

Applications are also sought from members of the Bar wishing to be accredited for the first time by the Bar Association or NSW barristers whose accreditations have now lapsed. To be eligible to be accredited, applicants must hold a practising certificate, have at least five years’ experience as legal practitioners and have met the NMAS training and experience standards.

Applications to be reaccredited can be made online. Guidance on how to use the online application system can be found here. Please familiarise yourself with NMAS’s Approval Standards and Practice Standards, which are available here, to ensure that you meet the requirements for accreditation or re-accreditation.

The Bar Association is further inviting prospective and existing accredited mediators to apply for their names to be considered for inclusion on the Supreme Court and/or District Court mediator lists. You may apply for accreditation or reaccreditation and not apply to be considered for inclusion on the Supreme Court and District Court mediator lists – the online application form (here) provides you with this option. Please note, however, that you must be accredited by the Bar Association should you wish your name to appear on either Court’s list.

The closing date to submit your online form and to upload all relevant evidence in support of your application is 5pm on 23 September 2019.

Please contact Reception on (02) 9232 4055 or email us at if you have any questions about the accreditation process or the Courts’ mediator lists.

Common Law Practice Update 108

Tue Sep 17 2019

The Bar Association has published Common Law Practice Update 108, with case notes on sections 5B, 5F and 5R Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW), ss 58, 60, 94 and 126 Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW); sexual abuse/economic loss, nervous shock/duty of care and more.

Download CLPU 108 here.

Vulnerable Witness Advocacy Program - Saturday 12 October 2019

Tue Sep 17 2019
Only 2 spaces remaining - register now to avoid disappointment.

The NSW Bar Association is pleased to advise registrations are now open for The Vulnerable Witness Advocacy Training Program. The full-day program aims to promote an awareness of important issues and assist barristers with particular advocacy techniques relating to vulnerable witnesses.

This very practical course recognises the great sensitivities involved in questioning witnesses who are vulnerable. The full-day program includes advocacy training from senior instructors in areas the subject of recommendations by the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

For more information on the workshop fees and registration, please click HERE.

**Places are extremely limited.

Pre-injury average weekly earnings

Mon Sep 16 2019

Further to last week’s In Brief notice regarding the Workers Compensation Amendment (Pre-injury Average Weekly Earnings) Regulation 2019 (NSW) the State Insurance Regulatory Authority has now published an online guide to the new system of calculation of pre-injury average weekly earnings to apply to workers injured on and after 21 October 2019. View the online guide here.

Native Title Mediator List – Expression of Interest

Mon Sep 16 2019

The Federal Court of Australia is reviewing and updating its list of suitably qualified and experienced mediators to assist the court in the management of its native title work. The call for expressions of interest closes 1 November 2019 and it is hoped that the list can be updated during December 2019. Learn more here.