Legal Aid News for May 2018

Thu May 03 2018

Legal Aid News for May 2018 is out now. There is a feature article on Legal Aid's submission to the Commonwealth Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS, in which it warned that too many NDIS participants are being held in custody because of a critical shortage of "providers of last resort". There is a report on Legal Aid's submission on drug rehabilitation in regional areas. There is more news for panel lawyers, updates on community legal education and resources, as well as courses and conferences. You can view the newsletter here.

The 2018 Forbes Lecture - Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Thu May 03 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 in the Bar Common Room at 5.15 pm.

Practising certificate renewals, 2018-19

Thu May 03 2018
Renewals update #1

All New South Wales barristers' practising certificates expire on 30 June 2018. A new practising certificate has to have been ISSUED before a barrister may practise on and from 1 July 2018.

All practising certificate renewal forms were sent out this week. If you have not received your forms by next Thursday, 10 May, or have any questions regarding its completion, please contact the Certification Officer Barrie Anthony on 9232 4055, or e-mail

Learn more here..

TONIGHT: The inaugural Bathurst Lecture

Thu May 03 2018
Commercial Law Section

Tonight, the Commercial Law Section will hold its flagship event for the year, the inaugural Bathurst lecture, named in honour of the Hon T F Bathurst AC, Chief Justice of NSW.

The speaker will be the Hon Murray Gleeson AC QC, former Chief Justice of Australia and Chief Justice of NSW. He is speaking on the topic: "Advocate, Judge and Arbitrator: Perspectives on Commercial Law." For full details, please download a flyer.

The lecture will take place at The Banco Court, Level 13, Supreme Court of NSW, Law Courts Building, Queens Square at 5:15 pm.

Jack Shand Chambers

Wed May 02 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.

rise2018 – 2018 ABA & NSWBA National Conference – 15-17 November, Sydney

Wed May 02 2018

The theme for the 2018 ABA & NSWBA National Conference is rise2018 – relevant/resilient/respected, three concepts, carefully chosen as key to the legal profession dealing with disruption and change within contemporary society. Held over two-days, 16 and 17 November, the conference consists of thought provoking plenary sessions and specialised streams in commercial law, taxation law, criminal law and future practice.

Keynote speakers include: The Hon Susan Kiefel AC, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, The Hon James Allsop AO, Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia and The Hon Tom Bathurst AC, Chief Justice of NSW. Other confirmed speakers include: The Hon Justice Virginia Bell AC, The Hon Justice Pamela Tate, The Hon Mark Speakman SC MP, The Hon John Quigley MLA, Professor Hilary Charlesworth, Allan Myers AC QC, Roderick Cordara QC, Bret Walker SC, Dr Matt Collins QC and Tony Jones (ABC).

Venue: The conference will be held at the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), Darling Harbour.

Travel & accommodation: Packages for the conference will be released next week. To register your interest for the conference, including details regarding the program and the early-release registration and travel and accommodation packages, please click here.

Conference registration will open in early May.

Child Care Rebate

Wed May 02 2018
Member services and benefits

On 29 May the Bar Association will host an information session at 1.00pm in the Common Room regarding changes to the Child Care Rebate. Megan Black of Guardian Early Learning will present. Learn more here.

MPC entering the Larapinta Challenge

Tue May 01 2018

Natasha Hammond and Michele Kearns from MPC are participating in the Larapinta Challenge to raise funds for the Katrina Dawson Foundation. If you would like to support by donating, please follow their fundraising link here.

The Fourth Annual Kep Enderby Memorial Lecture

Tue May 01 2018

Dr Tim Soutphommasane and the Australian Human Rights Commission invite members to the 4th Annual Kep Enderby Memorial Lecture. Each year, the lecture is given by a leading figure to advance public understanding and debate about racism, race relations and the Racial Discrimination Act. This year's speaker is Professor Marcia Langton AM. For more information, or to reserve your place, visit the booking site.

The Kep Enderby Memorial Lecture is an annual public lecture held by the Australian Human Rights Commission to honour the memory of the Hon Kep Enderby QC (1926-2015), who as attorney-general introduced the Racial Discrimination Bill in the House of Representatives on 13 February 1975.

New South Wales Bar Association nominations to legal educational bodies

Tue May 01 2018

President Arthur Moses SC has recently nominated a number of Bar Association representatives to the Legal Qualifications and Examinations Committees of the Legal Practitioners Admission Board and to the Law Extension Committee of the University of Sydney

Legal Qualifications Committee, Legal Practitioners Admission Board

  • Richard Weinstein SC
  • Yaseen Shariff
  • Sonia Tame

Examinations Committee, Legal Practitioners Admission Board

  • Michael Christie SC

Law Extension Committee of the University of Sydney

  • Dr Elisabeth Peden
  • Courtney Ensor

New editor of the NSWLR

Tue May 01 2018

The Council of Law Reporting for NSW has announced the appointment of Dr Elisabeth Peden as the new editor of the New South Wales Law Reports. Dr Peden succeeds Bret Walker SC, who is now leading the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission. Learn more here.

Bar Practice Course 01-2018 has begun

Mon Apr 30 2018

The May 2018 Bar Practice Course is underway. There are 67 participants - the second highest number in the history of the course. The median age is 36 and women comprise 28 per cent of the group. The course finishes on Saturday, 26 May.

Exercise Your Mood

Mon Apr 30 2018

Did you know that just an hour of exercise a week has a protective effect against depression?Today marks the start of Exercise Your Mood. Between now and 6 May, the Black Dog Institute encourages Australians to use physical activity to improve their mental health. For more tips and tools, head to the Exercise Your Mood page.

Request for barristers to judge national equity moot at UNSW

Mon Apr 30 2018

The Allen & Overy Private Law Moot is a national mooting competition hosted by UNSW Law. The competition convenors are requesting the assistance of barristers to act as judges in the preliminary round moots on 19 and 20 May at the UNSW Kensington Campus. The problem question this year focuses on issues in equity and remedies. Moots will run for between 90 mins to 2 hours, and a detailed judging guide will be provided to judges in advance.

17 teams from universities from across Australia as well as Singapore, New Zealand, Pakistan and the South Pacific will be competing this year. The convenors are grateful to barristers who acted as judges in the competition in 2014 to 2017.

Your time would be greatly appreciated. If you are interested, please contact the competition convenors, at:

Please visit for more details about the competition.

Part-time employment opportunities wanted for First Nations law students

Mon Apr 30 2018

Do you need some clerical, administrative or research assistance to run your practice? If the answer is yes - why not employ a First Nations law student? There are a number of students currently looking for this opportunity.

As part of the Bar Association's Reconciliation Action Plan, all barristers, clerks and chambers are encouraged to identify part-time employment opportunities for 2018 for First Nations law students. Ideally, this would be for a day or half day a week on a regular basis doing loose-leaf filing, administrative or clerical tasks or research and includes some mentoring and guidance for the student.

This initiative has been highly successful for a number of First Nations law students and needs the ongoing support of more members of the Bar to ensure its continued success. Contact with the Bar as well as some financial security significantly contributes to the success of the students at their law studies.

Please contact Chris Ronalds SC on or 9229 7378 if you have any openings.

Greg Tolhurst
Executive Director

Upcoming Mediation Training – Starts 16 May

Mon Apr 30 2018

Diversify your professional profile, tailor your advocacy and develop the essential skills to become a practising mediator through the Australian Disputes Centre. The ADC is an established leader in mediation training, with a wealth of knowledge and experience across the ADR field. ADC’s alumni include many of Australia’s leading barristers and judges. The focused, fast paced course is designed to engage participants and hone your mediation skills.

Fulfilling all requirements for National Accreditation, ADC’s training & accreditation program equips you to begin your practice as a mediator. For further information, please call 02 9239 0700 or visit their website

IBA Training on Business and Human Rights

Mon Apr 30 2018
Limited spots available in Sydney

The International Bar Association, in conjunction with the Law Council of Australia, will be running its international-level training on business and human rights in Australia in May 2018. With the Government’s announcement that legislation on modern slavery in supply chains will be introduced this year, business and human rights has never been more relevant for barristers advising and acting for large Australian and multinational corporations.

The training will include access to a suite of resources on business and human rights, available only to participants, and a half-day of face-to-face training in held in Sydney on 15 May 2018 at Norton Rose Fulbright, 44 Martin Place. The IBA has generously funded the training programme and therefore there is no cost to participants selected to participate. Participants are not required to have any prior knowledge of human rights law. While those outside Melbourne are welcome to register, unfortunately the IBA is unable to cover the cost of any travel arrangements required for participants to attend the face-to-face training.

Please email to express your interest in being selected for the training.

Three Public Defender Vacancies

Mon Apr 30 2018
Positions vacant

The attorney general is seeking applications from qualified persons for the appointment of a Deputy Senior Public Defender, a Public Defender based in Sydney and a Public Defender based in Wollongong. All three appointments will be pursuant to the Public Defenders Act 1995 for a fixed term of up to seven years that may be renewed, following an initial 12 month probationary period. Applications close on Sunday, 20 May 2018 (11.59 pm). If you would like to discuss this opportunity further, contact Mr Mark Ierace SC, Senior Public Defender (02) 9268 3111. Applications must be lodged electronically. Please go to:

Katrina Dawson Award

Mon Apr 30 2018

The Katrina Dawson Award for 2018 has been awarded to Josie Dempster, currently employed as a solicitor at Sparke Helmore in Canberra. Raised in Moruya, she completed a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the Australian National University. She was admitted to practice in the ACT in June 2015. Since joining Sparke Helmore she has mentored junior lawyers, served as the firm's pro bono and community coordinator and supervised their involvement in various charity events.

Speaking of the life and career of Katrina Dawson, Ms Dempster said in her application:

In many respects, I had a very different upbringing to Katrina Dawson. From what I have read about her though, we [share an] intense desire to strive for excellence, to exceed other people's expectations, to give more than we take, to be fierce and fearless, but also to be gentle. If I can achieve one-twentieth of what Katrina achieved in her short but fulfilling career, I will be immensely proud of myself.

CPD recording: Early Appropriate Guilty Pleas and other Criminal Justice reforms

Mon Apr 30 2018
New committals legislation commenced today

The Justice Legislation Amendment (Committals and Guilty Pleas) Act 2017 commenced today. This new legislative scheme fundamentally changes the nature of committal proceedings in criminal matters. Members can find out more about the changes and what it means for your practice by viewing the recording of the seminar, "Early Appropriate Guilty Pleas and other criminal justice reforms" on CPD Online [login required]. The seminar was presented on 21 February 2018 by Sophia Beckett, chaired by Tim Game SC, with comments by Stephen Odgers SC.

A message to the NSW Bar

Mon Apr 30 2018
New committals legislation commenced today

Following a meeting attended by the President, Councillor Bashir SC, the DPP - Lloyd Babb SC and NSW Police to discuss concerns raised by the Bar Association in relation to an agreement dated 23 February 2018 between the NSW Police Commissioner and the NSW DPP dealing with the content and service of Early Guilty Plea Briefs, the NSW Police Commissioner and the NSW DPP have executed a new agreement dated 27 April 2018. The agreement dated 27 April 2018 will replace the agreement dated 23 February 2018. However, practitioners should raise with the Court any concerns about disclosure, irrespective of the content of the agreement.

The Bar Association continues to have a number of concerns with the Early Appropriate Guilty Pleas reforms and is continuing to have discussions with the government in relation to the proper funding of the reforms. The President will update members on these discussions in coming weeks.

Key material on the Public Defenders website

Mon Apr 30 2018
New committals legislation commenced today

A complex new legislative scheme for all indictable matters, involving the abolition of committals as we know them and, for state charges, the introduction of statutory caps on discounts for the utilitarian benefit of a plea of guilty, starts today. A bundle of key material to assist practitioners with the new scheme, including an explanatory paper and the Local Court Practice Note, is available from the Public Defenders Website at

For the diary: Space law for lawyers - A new frontier for barristers

Fri Apr 27 2018

Level 22 Chambers is holding a seminar on space law on Thursday, 3 May at 5.30pm. The speakers are expert space lawyers, Professor Steven Freeland, Dean of the School of Law and Professor of International Law at Western Sydney University, and Ms Donna Lawler, Assistant General Counsel for Optus Satellite. The seminar will be chaired by Michael Green SC. Speakers will take attendees through the interesting body of law governing-space related activities.

Registration and further details of the seminar can be found via this link.

The members of Level 22 Chambers invite all interested practitioners to join them at this important seminar. Please note that CAPACITY IS LIMITED, REGISTRATION IS ESSENTIAL.