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Latest News & Events


Victorian Bar members can find information on our response to COVID-19 on this link.

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Melbourne, 13 July 2020: The Law Institute of Victoria and the Victorian Bar welcome the Victorian Government’s announcement of a review of sexual harassment prevention, support, enforcement and education in the state’s courts and tribunal and across the profession.

In a joint statement today, the President of the Victorian Bar, Wendy Harris QC, and the President of the Law Institute of Victoria, Sam Pandya, expressed their support of the Government’s initiative and confidence that the review, to be headed by Dr Helen Szoke AO, would provide the opportunity for real change in the culture and practices across the legal sector.

In Brief

Sliding doors, common goals

Some of you may remember the crucial scene in the film Sliding Doors, as Gwyneth Paltrow’s character charges towards a London tube – down the stairs, across the platform, squeezing through the train door in the nick of time… or, in the alternate universe arriving a second later, and the doors slide closed in front of her. The film, billed as a romantic comedy, has a deeper narrative about how random events can fundamentally influence our lives. It also highlights that the choices we make in response to events can be as decisive for the future as the events themselves.


On Tuesday 7 July 2020, the President of the Children’s Court, her Honour Judge Amanda Chambers was In Conversation with Melissa Stead, Chair of the Children’s Court Bar Association. Judge Chambers spoke of some difficult decisions the Court needed to take to safeguard the community during COVID while maintaining the ability to step in and protect children in need.


In a joint statement, the Heads of Jurisdiction of Australia’s courts and tribunals committed to making sure that our courts and tribunals are safe and respectful workplaces. You can read the statement here.

In Brief

If you go down to the café today…

I’m sure that many of you have seen the picture circulating on social media of the Parisian café with giant teddy bears strategically placed to ensure social distancing. If you haven’t, you can read about it here. The bears sit at tables, apparently in mid-conversation, with cutlery, glasses and serviettes laid out before them. The humans in the café seem almost as interlopers in this Ursidae gathering of brown fluffiness. I was captivated by the photo I saw – I was impressed with the café owner’s inventiveness which made physical distancing seem a bit less alienating, and intrigued by my reaction, and others who commented on social media about it.


Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia

The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia have announced the appointment of:

Mr Rohan Hoult

as Senior Registrar, based in the Melbourne registry.

The appointment is effective from 13 July 2020.


In a joint statement, the Heads of Jurisdiction of Victoria’s courts and tribunal committed to making sure that our courts and tribunal are safe, healthy and respectful workplaces. You can read the statement here.

In Brief

Where to from here?

We can all be forgiven, I think, for being a little dispirited this week.

Just when we thought that we were out of the woods, with infection rates dropping and some normality returning to life, it now feels a bit like our isolation is becoming indefinite. I’m sure I echo the sentiments of many members when I say that I understand why we need to remain working from home, but I’m very tired of it!

In Brief

On respect

Some of you might have watched the Netflix series, ‘Last Dance’, about Michael Jordan, the Chicago Bulls and the incredible journey that he and his teammates shared that culminated in Jordan’s retirement after their successful campaign in the 1998 NBA Finals.  Many things struck me about the story that unfolded in this series. The Bulls were successful – not just because they had a bunch of talented players, but because they had a bunch of talented players who respected each other enormously and wanted team, as opposed to individual, glory. And the person who drove that culture was perhaps the greatest basketballer of all time.


On 10 June 2020, the Victorian Bar launched a new online pro bono platform through which the Supreme, County and Coroners Courts of Victoria are able to make pro bono referrals to barristers. The pro bono platform will enhance the arrangements between the Courts and Bar by facilitating targeted requests from the Courts for barristers to provide pro bono assistance to parties in civil or criminal matters in the interests of the administration of justice. The platform also enables barristers to administer and manage their pro bono matters in one hub. The platform is the next evolution in the Bar’s long and proud history of pro bono work.

In Brief

The difference we can all make

Making a difference does not always mean undertaking grand gestures. Often, people make a difference to others through simple deeds that provide relief and hope. In Australia, there are many people in need of help – those disadvantaged because of poverty, social isolation, low literacy levels or discrimination. These factors often result in people being unable to exercise their fundamental human rights, including access to justice.