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Court handed down its judgment in the Engineers Case the following year, and the executors decided the manuscript was out of date.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.


Case management in country sittings

Thu May 10 2018

The Hon Justice DM Price AM, chief judge of the District Court, last month issued Practice Note 1A (Civil) - Case Management in Country Sittings. The Practice Note was published in the NSW Gazette on Friday, 6 April 2018 and commenced on that day.

The Bar Association’s Common Law Committee is interested in monitoring the practical application of Practice Note 1A in relation to country sittings. Members are encouraged to provide their experiences of the Practice Note’s operation to the association’s deputy executive director, Alastair McConnachie.

Aus-PNG Network social event

Thu May 10 2018

Are you interested in Papua New Guinea and the Australia–Papua New Guinea relationship? The Lowy Institute's Aus-PNG Network will host their quarterly social event on Thursday, 17 May in Sydney. This diverse and informal gathering is an excellent opportunity to make new connections. Create a login at the Lowy Institute and register here.

Leonard Blazeby, Head of Mission in Australia for the International Committee of the Red Cross, will speak about his organisation’s work with those affected by tribal violence in the PNG Highlands. Drinks and canapés will be served. All are welcome to come along to network and learn more about the relationship between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

ASIO detention powers

Thu May 10 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security's review of ASIO's questioning and detention powers has published a list of recommendations. Among those is Recommendation 2: that ASIO’s current detention powers, as set out in Division 3 of Part III of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979, be repealed. This follows years of Law Council advocacy for their repeal. Learn more here and here.

Invitation to UNSWLJ launch

Thu May 10 2018

Members are invited to the launch on 30 May 2018 of Issue 41(2) of The University of New South Wales Law Journal. The Hon Justice Lucy McCallum, Professor Luke McNamara and the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG will lead a panel discussion on "Dangerous Offenders and the Governance of Risk".

The launch will take place from 6.00pm–8.30pm at the offices of Herbert Smith Freehills, L33, 161 Castlereagh Street, Sydney. To register your attendance, please RSVP by Tuesday 12.00pm on 29 May 2018.

Appointment to note

Thu May 10 2018

Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced the appointment of Annette O’Callaghan as the new parliamentary counsel for New South Wales. Learn more here.

Bar FC narrowly defeated

Thu May 10 2018

Bar FC played its third match in the DSL Competition today against BT Financial. Goals from both Di Michiel and Coutinho were unfortunately cancelled out by a last minute goal from BT, beating us today 3-2.

It was another day for newcomers with Nicholas Olson joining our ranks and putting in a solid shift in the midfield. Likewise Thomas Liu played well in the centre of defence next to the tireless efforts of D’Arville.

Also in defence, Nicole Compton showed great courage with some solid tackles that caused the opposition to be both surprised and give up possession of the ball.

A great performance by all on the park. A win cannot be far away.

Today’s team was as follows:

  • Richard Di Michiel
  • Jeh Coutinho
  • Hugh Morrison
  • Hillary Monteith
  • Glen Fredericks
  • Elly Aikenhead
  • Adrian Canceri
  • Despina Christofis
  • Thomas Liu
  • Nicole Compton
  • Anais D'Arville
  • Geoff O'Shea
  • John Harris (GK)
  • Pandelis Tiliakos
  • Nicholas Olson

Tutorials in Australian Legal History

Wed May 09 2018

Professor Wilf Prest delivered the first tutorial, Lawyers and the law in the "Glorious Revolution" on Tuesday 24 April 2018, which drew on Professor Prest’s contribution to volume 9 of the Oxford History of the Laws of England, ed. J H Baker, titled “A New History of Law in Post-Revolutionary England, 1689-1760” (with co-authors David Lemmings and Mike Macnair).

The next tutorials in this year’s series of tutorials on Australian legal history are:

  • The Hon Arthur Emmett AO QC, The Roman Consensual Contracts: Sale, Hire and Partnership – next Tuesday, 15 May 2018
  • 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.

The 2018 Forbes Lecture - 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.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

What you need to know about the Budget 2018-19

Wed May 09 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The 2018-19 Federal Budget was handed down last night by the treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison MP. In its Budget-night statement, the Law Council of Australia welcomed the government’s $22 million commitment to protect vulnerable Australians from elder abuse but stressed that greater funding for the courts and legal aid is still required to end the justice crisis. The Attorney-General’s Portfolio Budget Statement is available here. Some of the Budget’s key law and justice initiatives are included here.

Consent laws to be reviewed

Tue May 08 2018

Attorney General Mark Speakman and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward have announced that the NSW Law Reform Commission will review s 61HA of the Crimes Act to determine if the sexual consent provisions need to be amended to protect victims better. For information about the terms of reference, or to make a submission, visit the Law Reform Commission's website.

Jack Shand Chambers

Tue May 08 2018
Light and airy large external room

Due to a recent appointment of one of our members to the DCNSW a room has become available to purchase and an opportunity to join Jack Shand now exists. A light and airy large external room with a south west aspect and four large panelled windows. This room has recently undergone a meticulously crafted refit. Contact should be made with the clerk Stephen Upton at any time for an inspection or further information on 9233-7711.

Room for sale on 4th Floor Wentworth Chambers

Tue May 08 2018

A room has become available on the 4th Floor Wentworth Chambers. 4th Floor Wentworth Chambers is a busy, harmonious and well established floor of 21 Barristers, including two Senior Counsel and 15 Senior Junior Counsel specialising in areas of Common Law, Family Law, Commercial and Crime. The Floor has been extensively renovated and is networked through CCL, uses VOIP telephone systems and also has a separate conference room for use by Floor members.

For more information about the room or the Floor, please contact the Clerk, Leanne Ferguson (T: 02 9232 2722 or E:

All enquiries will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.