In Brief Issue #1004

Christopher Blanden QC

Executive Director

I am pleased to announce that the Bar Council has concluded the process for the appointment of a new Executive Director to run the Bar office. We had a very strong field of candidates and anticipate we will be in a position to make a formal announcement next week.

Meeting with the Victorian Attorney-General

On Tuesday, Senior Vice President Róisín Annesley QC and I met with the Victorian Attorney-General, the Honourable Jaclyn Symes. It was a wide-ranging and productive discussion covering issues of mutual interest. We thank the Attorney-General for making the time to talk with us and hope it will be the first of many such discussions.

Power & Consent

Also, on Tuesday, Rachel Doyle S.C. launched her book Power & Consent, addressing the issue of sexual harassment. I commend it to all members of the Bar.

I wish everyone an enjoyable break over the Easter period.

Christopher Blanden QC

Vicbar News & Events
Practising Certificate & Professional Indemnity Insurance Renewal – 2021/22

On Monday, 29 March, Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner (VLSB+C) sent you an email outlining details of the practising certificate (PC) and professional indemnity insurance (PII) renewal process.

LSB online went live on Monday, 29 March 2021, for the renewal of your PC. Members must renew before 30 June to continue to practise on 1 July. Members who renew after this date may incur a late renewal surcharge from the LSB+C.

The LPLC portal is expected to open in early April for the renewal of your PII and further information from the LPLC will be distributed closer to that date. The LPLC requires payment of the PII premium by Monday31 May 2021 and members are encouraged to renew online on the LPLC website.

Information on renewing practising certificates can be found on the VicBar website here.

Links for online lodgement, which can be found on the above webpage, will be available from the LSB+C and LPLC live dates, or you may go directly to LSB Online and the LPLC website.

Login to LSB Online and the LPLC renewal portal using your Practitioner Number as the username (your Practitioner Number will be included in the email sent to you by the VLSB+C or you can contact the Bar office for assistance). LSB Online deals with all PC administrative matters and there is no printed PC renewal form.

If you experience technical difficulties with LSB online, please contact the VLSB+C via their new lawyer enquiry form in the first instance. In addition, answers to frequently asked questions and LSB online user guides can be found here.

Should you require assistance renewing your PC, the Victorian Bar office can help you and members who need assistance should email or contact Daphne Ioannidis on (03) 9225 8326 or Susan Lawrence on (03) 9225 7105.

2021 Victorian Bar Dinner – tickets now available

All members of the Bar and Judiciary are warmly invited to the annual Victorian Bar Dinner on Friday, 21 May 2021, 7:00pm at the Plaza Ballroom. The event is black tie and will feature guest speaker The Honourable Justice Simon Steward of the High Court of Australia.

Tickets for the event are now available; you can book individually, or as a guest on an organised table, or as a table organiser. To book your ticket, please click here.

Event: 2021 Victorian Bar Dinner
Venue: Plaza Ballroom, 191 Collins Street, Melbourne
Day: Friday 21 May 2021
Time: 7:00pm for 7:30pm start
Dress: Black Tie

If you did not receive an invitation, please contact as we may not have a current email address for you.

Reconciliation Action Plan January – March 2021

The Reconciliation Working Group (RWG) has an ongoing role monitoring the implementation of the Bar’s RAP, a copy of which can be found here.

The RWG report that in the first quarter of this year:

  • The RWG has been actively communicating with Reconciliation Australia in respect of the development and implementation of the Bar’s second Innovate RAP. The Bar’s current RAP sets a solid foundation for the Bar to better engage with and assist the Aboriginal community. The Bar’s new RAP will be built on the current deliverables under our RAP with the view of ongoing improvement and progression;
  • The Indigenous Justice Committee has launched its mentoring program for 2021 and is in the process of inviting applications. The mentoring program is open to any Indigenous-identifying lawyer or law student. Each participant will be linked with a barrister and a Judge from either the Supreme Court, Federal Court or County Court to facilitate long-term career assistance;
  • The Bar has entered a Memorandum of Understanding with King & Wood Mallesons for the Waiwa Mudena Program 2021-23, which will provide Indigenous law students in Melbourne with the opportunity to participate in student shadowing experiences with Victorian barristers;
  • Planning is underway for this year’s Indigenous Law Students Clerkship Program, which operates in collaboration with the Federal Court and the Supreme Court. The Bar was able to offer clerkships to 6 Indigenous law students this year. Although the program has been postponed to July/August this year, the IJC has been actively communicating with the Courts and is grateful for the ongoing support and flexibility from the Courts over the years; and
  • The IJC has provided ongoing support in relation to the policy work of the Law Council of Australia with respect to legal issues involving Indigenous Australians.

The Indigenous Justice Committee is grateful for your ongoing support.

Indigenous Justice Committee – Mentoring Program 2021

The Indigenous Justice Committee of the Victorian Bar invites Indigenous-identifying law students and law graduates to apply for its 2021 Mentoring Program.

The Mentoring Program matches successful applicants with two mentors (a barrister member of the Bar, and a judicial officer). The Mentoring Program has been running for some years now and the feedback has been positive. It is not meant to be onerous or intimidating, rather an opportunity for members of our communities to link in with members of the Bar and the Judiciary in a way that suits the mentees. The aim is to assist mentees on their journey as legal professionals and provide those professional introductions and contacts that can prove beneficial as they progress with their chosen pathways. The application form can be found here

Should members of the Bar or judicial officers wish to add their names to the pool of mentors, please email the Mentoring Program Coordinator

Victorian Bar member CPD and events

The following are highlights of upcoming CPD and events for Victorian Bar members. You must be a member of the Victorian Bar and logged into the VicBar website to view these events.

  • Lawyers Mediation Certificate Course 2021 Mediation is an essential part of the justice system with a great many litigated matters being referred to mediation. Barristers and law professionals wishing to become an accredited mediator under the National Mediator Accreditation System can register for the Lawyers Mediation Certificate (LMC) six-day course here.
  • Managing secondary trauma as legal practitioners is on Tuesday, 6 April, 1-2:00pm. In this seminar, Dr Dawn D’Amico - a leading authority on secondary trauma - will explain what secondary trauma is, how to spot the signs of secondary trauma in oneself and others and lead a discussion about ways that barristers can manage secondary trauma and where to find help. This event is online only. Click here to register.
  • Dispute Resolution Events in the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia: What every practitioner needs to know is on Thursday 8 April, 5:15-6:15pm. In this session the Courts’ Executive Director of Dispute Resolution, Senior Registrar Anne-Marie Rice, will provide an overview of family dispute resolution events and other court-based ADR events and provide tips on what to expect and how best to prepare. This event is online only. Click here to register

 For more upcoming CPD events, please visit our listings here.

Vicbar Life
The Essoign Club – breakfast and a la carte lunch menus

Dear Essoign Club Members,

We are open daily from 7:00am till late.

Breakfast – See our Breakfast Menu here for dine-in or takeaway.

Lunch – Daily Café Menu takeaway or delivery.

Lunch dine-in – See our A La Carte Menu here for dining in.

Bar – Open till late with light snacks available.

Catering & Events – Special lunches, working lunches, private dinners or something special you may have in mind. Email us at

We appreciate your ongoing support and look forward to seeing you in the Club.

New Studio 11 exhibition – bronze sculptures by Beatrice Magalotti and linocut prints by Aileen Brown

Bronze Sculptures by Beatrice Magalotti and Linocut Prints by Aileen Brown are now installed for your viewing pleasure. The accomplished one-off bronze works, 20 in total, including The Arrival and The Three Fates, touch on themes of migration, Greek mythology, the passage of time and connection. The whimsical, detailed limited edition Lino prints 51 in all, feature landscape, still life, our Australian wildlife with some cheeky pieces too, like Next Dance - The Fox Trot and Have Some! As always, everyone is welcome to come and view the works and pick up a worksheet at their leisure at Level 11, Owen Dixon Chambers East. All works are for sale directly from the artists. For Artists’ Statements, please click here.

Studio 11 would like to thank Beatrice and Aileen for sharing their works with us during this time. The exhibition is well worth a look and runs from Monday, 8 March until Friday, 9 April 2021. Don’t delay – time flies.

Practice & Profession News
Commonwealth and Victorian Courts' COVID updates

Supreme Court of Victoria

From Tuesday, 6 April 2021, civil trials involving the cross-examination of one or more witnesses may be conducted in Court subject to the availability of a courtroom and appropriate safeguards. Click here for more information.

All Courts

For up-to-date information about the Courts’ responses, please visit their websites:

  • Federal Court of Australia – see here.
  • Family Court of Australia – see here.
  • Federal Circuit Court of Australia – see here.
  • Supreme Court of Victoria – see here.
  • County Court of Victoria – see here.
  • Magistrates’ Court of Victoria – see here.
County Court of Victoria – revised court guide for the intermediary pilot program

The County Court has released a revised Multi-jurisdictional court guide for the intermediary pilot program: Intermediaries and ground rules hearings.

The revised Guide:

  • Incorporates the extension of the IPP beyond the original end date of 30 June 2020.
  • Refers to a second video produced by the Judicial College of Victoria and its Vulnerable Witnesses public page.
  • Allows for the application of the Guide to additional venues without the need to amend the Guide.
  • Incorporates the repeal of s41(2) Evidence Act.
  • Makes clear that an intermediary is not a witness.
  • Incorporates additional directions the Court will, or may, give at a directions hearing before the ground rules hearing (‘GRH’), including:
  • where an intermediary is involved, the Court will direct counsel to consult with the intermediary before the GRH,
  • the Court may direct written questions be provided to the intermediary by 9:00am on the day before the GRH, and
  • the Court may direct written questions be provided to the Court where there has been non-compliance with directions or where it is necessary for the Court to rule on an issue.
  • Addition of a reference to a questionnaire where there is no intermediary.

The Guide is available on the County Court’s website here.

Law Library – Digital Bar Library

Reinforce your argument with authoritative legal resources, available to you 24/7 at the Richard Griffith Library and the Digital Bar Library.

Collections are curated by law librarians who can also assist you with case research, database selection and research strategies.

Find out more at

Legal Services Council Newsletter - March 2021

The Legal Service Council Newsletter – issue 1 – March 2021 - is now available to read here.

Notice of Termination – Joint Managers appointed to Dunstan & Raftis Pty Ltd

On Monday, 29 July 2019, the Bar was notified that Mr Matthew Critchley and Ms Penelope Pengilley had been appointed by the Victorian Legal Services Board as Joint Managers to Dunstan & Raftis Pty Ltd.

Please be advised that the appointment of Mr Critchley and Ms Pengilley as Joint Managers terminated on Tuesday, 2 March 2021 and the law practice has been wound up.

If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Reshma Pickering on 03 9679 8048 or email

Notice of Termination – Manager appointed to Yasemin Ozer trading as Ozer Lawyers

On Friday, 4 September 2020, the Bar was notified that Mr Damian Neylon had been appointed by the Victorian Legal Services Board as the Manager to Yasemin Ozer trading as Ozer Lawyers.

Please be advised that the appointment of Mr Neylon as Manager terminated on Tuesday, 2 March 2021 and the law practice has been wound up.

If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Reshma Pickering on 03 9679 8048 or email

Notice of Termination – Manager appointed to Armour Legal Pty Ltd

On 27 March 2020, the Bar was advised that Mr Matthew Critchley had been appointed by the Victorian Legal Services Board as Manager to Armour Legal Pty Ltd.

Please be advised that the appointment of Mr Critchley as Manager terminated on 20 March 2021 and the law practice has been wound up.

If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Reshma Pickering on 03 9679 8048 or email

Profession CPD & Events
LAWASIA upcoming webinars

LAWASIA has the great pleasure to invite you to join their two upcoming webinars:

  • Safeguarding the Rule of Law & Human Rights in Myanmar is on Thursday, 8 April, 1-2:30pm. This webinar brings together leading experts to discuss the impact of the coup and military rule on the rule of law, human rights, environment protection, and business and human rights in Myanmar. Learn more and register here.
  • UNCITRAL 2021 Overview and Legal Developments is on Wednesday, 14 April, 5-6:00pm. Three speakers from UNCITRAL will provide an overview on the current work being undertaken by UNCITRAL this year including legal developments, both in Vienna and in the Asia Pacific Region. Learn more and register here.

For more upcoming CPD events, please visit our listings here.

ANU Defamation Law Conference: The Changing Landscape of Defamation Law

The ANU is holding a conference on the changing landscape of defamation law on Tuesday, 6 July 2021, 9:00am-6:00pm, at the ANU College of Law.

By bringing together leading scholars, practitioners and judges in the field of defamation law, this conference seeks to survey the landscape of defamation law, interrogating what defamation law is for, where its proper boundaries lie, the extent to which it is or should be influenced by online communications, and the future directions of reputational protection after the reforms.

This event will be delivered in a hybrid format - both in person and virtually via Zoom webinar.

Learn more here.

Diversity Council Australia – news and events

DCA’s latest e-newsletter is available to read here.

To view access DCA’s resources or webinars, you’ll need to be a member of Diversity Council Australia. To become a member, please register here and we will forward you the login instructions. You will need to use your VicBar email address.

Careers & Opportunities
Call for expressions of interest – Victorian Legal Admissions Board (VLAB)

The Victorian Bar has been invited to nominate a representative to the Victorian Legal Admissions Board. The Victorian Legal Admissions Board is a statutory body which performs functions associated with the admission of lawyers in Victoria in accordance with the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014.

Members of VLAB serve for a period of three years. The next three-year term commences Thursday, 1 July 2021. A position description can be viewed here.

The Bar is calling for Expressions of Interest from members who wish to be nominated as the Bar’s representative on the Board. The Bar’s protocol for nomination and appointment of Vic Bar members to external bodies can be viewed here.

To assist the Bar Council in selecting the best candidate for the position, your expression of interest should identify any relevant areas of experience or expertise.  Please also include a copy of your current curriculum vitae.

Please direct any enquiries or expressions of interest to Denise Bennett at

The closing date for Expressions of Interest is 4:00pm, Thursday 8 April 2021.

Expressions of Interest for nominations for appointment to the Detention Review Officer Scheme

The Department of Health is establishing a new panel of Detention Review Officers under recent amendments to the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (the Act) made by the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (State of Emergency Extension) Bill 2021. The scheme is intended to commence on 20 April 2021.

The role of detention review officers and the terms of appointment

The role of the Detention Review Officer is to review the decision of an Authorised Officer to detain a person for quarantine purposes (to contain the risks of COVID-19 spread) under section 200(1)(a) of the Act. Usually these are incoming passengers from overseas flights who are required to enter hotel quarantine (detention) for 14 days. The Officer will determine if the decision was appropriate (in accordance with the requirements under the Act) or if the decision should be referred to the Chief Health Officer for potential reconsideration. The detained person must receive a decision within 24 hours of the application for review being made.

The Act requires that appointees are an Australian lawyer of at least 10 years’ experience. Panel members will be appointed under an instrument of appointment from the Secretary of the Department of Health, and their appointment is treated as employment under the Public Administration Act 2004.

Further details can be provided by contacting Jaime de Ano.

Interested members should provide their expression of interest, together with a copy of their current CV to the EA to the President, via email by 4:00pm, Monday, 12 April 2021.

Expressions of Interest for appointment to the Legalsuper Board

A call for expressions of interest is sought from members with strong investment and/or financial skills and experience to be nominated by the Bar as a Director of Legal Super Pty Ltd. 

Legalsuper is an Australian superannuation fund dedicated to the legal community. It is the only industry superannuation fund for Australia's legal profession.

There are extensive requirements in both legalsuper’s constitution and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA) Prudential Standards, which govern director appointments to legalsuper.  As a superannuation fund, it is important that several directors on the Board have a high level of investment and/or financial skills and experience.

Nominees are required to complete a nomination form, which can be accessed here. The form also provides explanatory notes and background information.

The Executive of Bar Council will interview suitable candidates to which a representative of legalsuper will be invited to participate.

The Bar’s protocol for nomination and appointment of Vic Bar members to external bodies can be viewed here.

Please submit your expressions of interest to Denise Bennett, Executive Assistant to the President and Bar Council, at the Victorian Bar office at

The closing date for expressions of interest is 4:00pm, Thursday, 15 April 2021.

Australian Academy of Law Annual Essay Prize 2021

The Australian Academy of Law is pleased to announce the offering of its Annual Essay Prize for 2021.

This year, eligibility to submit an essay is broadened by reverting to the original entry rules as below.

The Prize is open to anyone, wherever resident, who is studying or has studied legal subjects at a tertiary level, or who is working or has worked in a law-based occupation. There is no limit by reference to the age or seniority or experience of, or position held by, a person who may submit an entry. Accordingly, judicial officers, legal practitioners, legal academics and law students are all eligible to submit an essay.

The Prize amount is $10,000.

The essay topic for the Prize in 2021 is as follows:

  • “Outstanding fundamental issues for First Nations Peoples in Australia: what can lawyers contribute to the current debates and their resolution? Note: 'Outstanding fundamental issues' may include, but are not limited to, constitutional recognition, treaty or bijuralism.”

The deadline for the submission of an essay is Tuesday, 31 August 2021 and this time limit is strictly observed, as the Rules Governing the Annual Essay Prize make clear.

Please find attached the Essay Cover Page with further instructions on how to submit an essay.

In Brief submissions

If you would like to contribute relevant news, events and updates for barristers and the legal profession to In Brief, please send an email with your content to or complete this submission form.

Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 8th April 2021