Open Justice Pilot Project
On Wednesday evening, I attended the launch of the Open Justice Pilot Project in the Neil McPhee room. This joint initiative between the Bar and Monash University seeks to link barristers doing pro bono work with students who can assist with research and other matters as part of their course. The Honourable Chris Maxwell AC, the President of the Court of Appeal, is the Patron of the project and spoke of the importance of those barristers undertaking pro bono work, utilising the project in order to allow it to continue in the future. Congratulations to my predecessor Wendy Harris QC who was instrumental in getting the project off the ground. I would encourage all barristers undertaking pro bono work to consider the benefits the project offers in preparing their cases. Details can be found on our website here.
I’m sure members were delighted to read the recent joint statement from the Honourable Anne Ferguson, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria, and His Honour Peter Kidd, Chief Judge of the County Court of Victoria, in relation to the progressive resumption of criminal trials in regional courts across Victoria. On top of that good news, comes the announcement by the Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton, that Victoria has achieved effective elimination of the Covid-19 virus. It is to be hoped that the day when the courts will be operating at full capacity again is not too far away.
Christopher Blanden QC