"ADR and Native Title" at the ADR Masterclass 2018

Mon Jul 09 2018

Specialist Native Title barristers Susan Phillips and Louise Goodchild, and CEO of NTSCORP Ltd, Natalie Rotumah, join the ADR Masterclass 2018 line-up to share their expertise and insights on the role of ADR in Native Title.

The ADR Masterclass is a highly respected one-day CPD conference dedicated to alternative dispute resolution and will be held on Saturday, 11 August from 9-5.30pm at the Sheraton on the Park, Sydney. This year’s theme is "Making ADR Work in a #fakenews World". Speakers include Chief Justice T F Bathurst AC, president of the New South Wales Bar Association, Arthur Moses SC, and UNCITRAL rapporteur Professor Khory McCormick. Tickets are $300 for members of the NSW Bar Association and $340 for Non-Members.

Tickets are on sale now. This event will contribute to CPD Hours, including under the NMAS mediation accreditation scheme but places are limited so get in quick to avoid disappointment. Click here to view the conference program and register now.


Mon Jul 09 2018
A message from President Arthur Moses SC

This week is National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week. It is a week when all Australians should take some time to celebrate the diversity and richness of the cultures of this country’s First Nations. It should also be a time for reflection in relation to the injustice of their dispossession and incarceration, and the current levels of disadvantage that continue to plague their existence in modern Australia.

Late last year the Bar Association hosted an event at which Noel Pearson, Director of the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership, and Professor Megan Davis spoke about the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The Uluru Statement represents the collective wishes and intentions of First Nations delegates from across Australia who attended the Uluru convention in May 2017. The purpose of that convention was to bring forward proposals for the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian Constitution.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart calls on all Australians to commence a journey to a different future. That journey includes recognition of a First Nations voice (the Voice) to Federal Parliament enshrined in the Constitution and the establishment of a Makarrata Commission to pursue truth telling and treaties. The call for a Voice is a request for a mechanism by which First Nations people can have a greater say about the legislation that effects their lives. There is much moral force to be found in the call for a truth telling commission and treaty commission.

At present, a Joint Select Committee of the Federal Parliament is conducting an inquiry into the Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Law Council of Australia and the Australian Bar Association have both made submissions to the inquiry and several members of the NSW Bar Association have separately given evidence at the hearings on behalf of the LCA and ABA. Both the LCA and ABA gave unqualified support to the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

As active and integral participants in the law and justice system, our views will be sought and will be influential. As I have noted before, we know Indigenous Australians are, proportionately speaking, the most incarcerated on Earth. This diminishes us as a nation. Sovereignty and dispossession, recognition and representation of interests: they are different facets of the same problem. It is something that the Bar has a duty to help solve.

Perhaps the most useful contribution to NAIDOC week we each could make is to take a few minutes to read the Uluru Statement from the Heart and consider how the wishes of First Nations People can be accommodated and given life. If you have a few more moments read Paul Keating’s 1992 Redfern Speech, the 25th anniversary of which was commemorated at a Bar Association event earlier this year. In attendance at that event were representatives of the Aboriginal Legal Service, Aboriginal Medical Service, NSW Government , NSW Opposition and the Police Commissioner.

I encourage you all to embrace NAIDOC week and celebrate the possibilities of a better future for all Australians.

Arthur Moses SC

Delays in approving grants of legal aid

Fri Jul 06 2018

Following representations from the New South Wales Bar Association, Legal Aid NSW has reviewed its processes regarding grants of legal aid. Legal Aid NSW has advised that significant improvements are being made to their system for processing grants payments and that grants approvals will be provided in a more timely manner.

In the interim, an arrangement has been made whereby the Bar Association will notify Legal Aid NSW of delays in impending matters. Members who have a matter where a grant has not been assessed by 48 hours before their matter is listed should contact the association’s deputy executive director, Alastair McConnachie, at who will contact Legal Aid NSW on their behalf.

Poland's chief justice defies forced retirement

Fri Jul 06 2018
Rule of law

Chief Justice Malgorzata Gersdorf arrived for work yesterday at Poland's Supreme Court in defiance of a new law that reduces the mandatory retirement age for judges from 70 to 65. Twenty-seven out of 73 Supreme Court judges are 65 or over.

EU Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis has criticised Poland's government for undermining judicial independence.

"[W]here the separation of powers is weakened in one country or worse, the independence of the judiciary is challenged in another, it becomes a European issue, which affects our whole community", Mr Dombrovskis said.

Bar Association President Arthur Moses SC said, via Twitter, "The Poland Government’s attempt to remove 27 justices from the Polish Supreme Court is to be condemned as an attack on the independence of the judiciary. This started in 2015 with personal attacks on the judges."

Bar Association responds to ill-timed and inaccurate criticism of the courts

Fri Jul 06 2018
Law reform and public affairs

President Arthur Moses SC has issued a media release in response to recent comments made by the NSW minister for police regarding the ongoing criminal proceedings involving the Archbishop of Adelaide. In a recent media interview the minister criticised the sentencing of Archbishop Wilson despite the fact that the sentencing process is not yet complete and an appeal in the matter has been foreshadowed. View the media release here.

Registration is now open for the ADR Masterclass 2018!

Fri Jul 06 2018

Tickets are now on sale for the ADR Masterclass 2018, a highly respected one-day CPD conference dedicated to alternative dispute resolution. The 2018 ADR Masterclass will be held on Saturday 11 August from 9-5.30pm at the Sheraton on the Park, Sydney.

This year’s theme is "Making ADR Work in a #fakenews World". Speakers include Chief Justice T F Bathurst AC, president of the New South Wales Bar Association, Arthur Moses SC, and UNCITRAL rapporteur Professor Khory McCormick. Tickets are $300 for members of the NSW Bar Association and $340 for Non-Members. This event will contribute to CPD Hours, including under the NMAS mediation accreditation scheme, but places are limited so get in quick!

Click here to view the conference program and register today.

Legal Aid NSW Mental Health Advocacy Panel

Fri Jul 06 2018

The Legal Aid NSW Mental Health Advocacy Panel is open for new applicants and applications for reappointment. Current panel members due for renewal will be directly contacted regarding applying for re-appointment to the panel.

All applications must be submitted through the Panels Application Website by Monday, 13 August 2018 for consideration by the Selection Committee. More information about the Panel and how to submit an application is available at the following web pages:

For any further enquiries regarding the Panel please email

Appointments at Public Defenders

Thu Jul 05 2018

The Public Defenders are pleased to announce the appointment of three new deputy senior public defenders, Sophia Beckett and Richard Wilson, who are based in Sydney and Michael King who is based at Wagga Wagga, appointed as the deputy senior public defender responsible for regional public defenders.

Bar FC resume Domain Soccer League competition

Thu Jul 05 2018
Bar sports

After a number of wash outs, Bar FC played the competition leaders, Announcer FC under clear blue skies today. Fresh from a European holiday, Sir Alex adopted a very aggressive 3-4-3 formation in the hope that goals would follow. Inspired by recent World Cup action, Bar FC was closest to scoring and being denied only by the woodwork meant the result was a 0-0 draw.

Larish marshalled Liu, Griscti and Fredericks well in defence, leaving goalkeeper Harris with not a great deal to do. The midfield was humming led by Coutinho, with able assistance from d’Arville, Aitkenhead, Maghami and Christofis. Up front, Hartford Davis was busy supplying Rico, Boyle and Morrison throughout the game.

Inspired by his Brazilian namesake, Coutinho was again player of the match. One move where he spun, turned one way then the next with the ball at his feet, beating three defenders brought tears to Sir Alex’ eyes. The beautiful game was on show for all to see.

Next week’s game is on Thursday 12 July 2018 at 1.15 p.m. on top of the Domain Car Park. As we head towards the final series, it promises to be a good contest. Friends and supporters of Bar FC are welcome.


Thu Jul 05 2018

The ILA Reporter is currently seeking submissions, on a rolling basis, from legal practitioners, academics and students. This is an excellent opportunity to be published by a well-respected non-government organisation with a wide readership.

The ILA Reporter ( is the official blog of the International Law Association (Australian Branch). The ILA was founded in Brussels in 1873 and has consultative status with a number of the United Nations' specialised agencies. The ILA Reporter publishes analysis, commentary and discussion on issues in public and private international law which have bearing on Australia and the wider region. The ILA Reporter accepts short articles, book reviews, case analysis, and recounts of recent events in the field of international law. Submissions should be between 400 and 2000 words and must have a connection with Australia. A style guide for submissions is available here. Please contact Esther Pearson or Evan Ritli at with any questions, proposals or completed submissions.

Landmark NSW Land and Environment Court report published

Wed Jul 04 2018

New analysis reveals that appeals against local government planning decisions are the most common type of case in the NSW Land and Environment Court, and 61% of applicants are businesses. These types of case are allowed (including by agreement) two-thirds of the time (68%). This is in stark contrast to tree disputes, which are generally between neighbours, and are dismissed (including by agreement) in 56% of cases.

Conducted by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, this new study is part of the first ever comprehensive investigation of the quality and utility of NSW’s civil court and tribunal administrative data system for informing policy and practice. Data insights in civil justice: NSW Land and Environment Court examines cases first finalised in the Land and Environment Court between June and December 2016.

For a full copy of the report click here

Award-winning investigative journalist joins the ABA/NSWBA national conference

Wed Jul 04 2018

Asking the tough questions about the future of the legal profession, ABC 4 Corners Reporter and winner of the Walkley Book Award for The Rise and Fall of George Pell, Louise Milligan brings her insights to rise2018. Early bird registration still available book your registration and travel now and save. Click here to register now

Room for sale – 5 Selborne Chambers

Tue Jul 03 2018

A room comprising 2726 shares is available for purchase on the Floor. The Floor has 16 members and 1 annex licencee and offers a diversity of seniority and practice areas including: Corporate and Commercial, Taxation, Administrative Law, Industrial Law, Competition and Trade Practices, Equity and Property, Professional Negligence, Common Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Commissions and Inquiries. The room may be inspected by appointment. Please direct inquiries to the Clerk, Terry Funnell: Telephone 9235 1155 or email

Inquiries will be dealt with in strictest confidence. The Floor’s website is at

Heydon: Selected Speeches and Papers

Tue Jul 03 2018
By the Honourable J D Heydon AC QC, Edited by the Honourable John Sackar and Thomas Prince

This insightful, rewarding and highly readable volume is a generous selection of the best of Dyson Heydon’s speeches and papers. Most have a legal theme, although the book is of broader interest. As the Hon Ian Callinan AC observes in his preface, in these papers the author “combines the arts of the essayist, historian, orator, obituarist, reviewer, critic, teacher and advocate … Any reader of the Papers will be struck by the depth and width of the author’s scholarship. There is not one of the Papers that is not rich in unaffected literary, historical and legal allusion. They are a mine of interesting facts and intelligent fresh insights”.

Publishing end of July 2018. Pre-order your copy now $180 – click here

Reminder: state funeral for Sir Laurence Street

Mon Jul 02 2018

We have been advised that there will be a state funeral for Sir Laurence on Thursday, 5 July in the Concert Hall at the Sydney Opera House. The service will commence at 9:30 AM and it is requested that those wishing to attend should be seated by no later than 9:20 AM.

The chief justice has asked the judiciary to put back their matters to not before 11:30 AM to allow members of the profession to attend the funeral but practitioners should check the court list on the day.

LCA Update

Mon Jul 02 2018

The Law Council Update for 29 June 2018 is out now, featuring articles on the foreign influence legislation and the National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. Catch up on upcoming events, submissions to parliamentary committees and other inquiries, as well as LCA media releases and mentions in the media. Learn more here.

Commonwealth sets hiring targets for women barristers

Fri Jun 29 2018

Attorney-General Christian Porter has moved to ensure women barristers get a fair slice of Commonwealth briefs by setting hiring targets for all government agencies.

Porter announced today changes to its legal services directions to require Commonwealth related entities "to make all reasonable endeavours to brief or select senior female barristers for at least 25 percent of all briefs and junior female barristers for at least 30 percent of all briefs". The media release can be found here

NSW Inaugural HAL Chapter Oration to be delivered by Justice Gageler AC

Fri Jun 29 2018

The NSW Chapter of the Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association is hosting the Inaugural Chapter Oration to be delivered by the Honourable Justice Gageler AC at the Federal Court of Australia on Monday 20 August 2018.

There are a large number of Judges from both the Federal and the Supreme Courts who have indicated they will be attending. The Association would be delighted to welcome members of the NSW Bar to the event.

There will be a drinks reception after the oration for which there is no charge. For further information please visit

UNSW Law's Biennial Ingram Lecture on International Law and Development

Fri Jun 29 2018

Do developing countries have anything to fear from international environmental law? UNSW Ingram Lecture Tuesday 24 July 2018, 6.15pm Don’t miss out! UNSW Law will welcomes Professor Daniel Bodansky, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University to deliver the 2018 Biennial Ingram Lecture on International Law and Development. Join us as we explore why developing countries have little to fear from international environmental law. Register here. The Lecture will be followed by a networking cocktail reception.

31st LAWASIA Conference 2018 - Information for members - Early Bird Registration Extended

Thu Jun 28 2018

Early Bird Registration for the 31st LAWASIA Conference 2018 being held from 2 – 5 November 2018 in Siem Reap, Cambodia has been extended until 7 July.

DATE: 2 – 5 November 2018, Siem Reap, Cambodia VENUE: Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort WEBSITE: THEME: ‘New Era for South East Asia’

About the conference

The Annual Conference will examine a range of topics, including:

  • the Chinese economic and strategic agenda known as the ‘Belt & Road’
  • the advent of third party funding in arbitration and its effect on the resolution of environmental disputes in South East Asia
  • Foreign Direct Investment in developing Asia
  • tax incentives as a catalyst to economic development in Indochina
  • disability rights in the ESCAP region
  • the interests of young lawyers, providing a forum to raise issues of particular concern to the next generation of practitioners
  • funding the digital economy – the role of financial technology in achieving financial inclusion for sectors of the community in developing countries
  • impact of climate change on human rights
  • EU-ASEAN trade agreements
  • developments in family law disputes in the Asia Pacific region
  • artificial intelligence and the employment law implications
  • intellectual property rights in the Indochinese region; and many more.

Please visit the conference website to register and for more information on travel, accommodation and the conference program

Noura Hussein’s Death Sentence quashed by Sudanese court

Thu Jun 28 2018

Last month the President, Arthur Moses SC, expressed the Association’s support for the #JusticeforNoura campaign and wrote to the Australian government requesting it make diplomatic representations to Sudan on behalf of Ms Noura Hussein. Ms Hussein had been convicted and sentenced to death by the Central Criminal Court of Omdurman for killing her husband in self-defence at the age of 16 after being subjected to forced marriage and rape. The Association is pleased to report that Ms Hussein’s death sentence has now been overturned by a Sudanese appeals court. A revised sentence of five years’ imprisonment has been imposed. Amnesty International has welcomed the news but is calling for legal reform in Sudan as “five years’ imprisonment for acting in self-defence is disproportionate punishment”.

Donate to RACS before 30 June

Thu Jun 28 2018

Last week, Refugee Week, RACS celebrated the resilience and strength of people who had the agency to get up and go, run for their lives and dare to hope for a life without suffering. There are many people who continue to need our help, your help. Please, be a human rights champion. DONATE TO RACS. RACS is determined to be here for however long it takes, to continue our support of people seeking asylum in Australia through the incredibly challenging legal processes. I respectfully ask you to please DONATE TO RACS before this Saturday, 30 June.


Thu Jun 28 2018

Clear out your (or your partner’s) closet for a good cause – the Fitted For Work clothing drive. Fitted for Work is a charity that dresses and coaches disadvantaged women for job interviews. Members are asked to raid their (or their partner’s) wardrobes and donate clean, quality work-appropriate clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories. Our aim is to dress women in an entire outfit that is professional, suitable for interview and carefully co-ordinated to make clients look and feel good about themselves. Full details of the donation guidelines are available here

30th anniversary Journal of Contract Law conference

Thu Jun 28 2018

Can you feel that all around you? It’s 21st century contract law. It’s been among us now for almost 20 years. It’s a background constant in your professional life. Yet still, you find yourself asking … Do I have a grip on 21st century contract law? Can I handle it? Can I face it? Can I meet its challenges? Do I want to meet it at all? Be brave. Be introduced at the 30th Anniversary Journal of Contract Law Conference. Friday, 27 July 2018 at the NSW State Library. Click the link, see the program and register now!