In Brief Issue #1010

Christopher Blanden QC

VLA Trial Development Program

On Monday evening, I attended the 10th anniversary celebration of the Victorian Legal Aid Trial Counsel Development Program in the Essoign Club. The program was introduced by VLA in 2011 and has been supported by the Bar since its inception. Her Honour Judge Fiona Todd of the County Court of Victoria (herself a graduate) spoke, outlining the benefits the course gives to participants. My congratulations to all those who have completed the program and particularly to those Junior Counsel undertaking the current course.

Barristers' Benevolent Fund

On Tuesday evening, the Bar hosted a Heads of Jurisdiction CPD on the effects of Covid on the Bar and Bench. As a result, it has become apparent that the purpose and operation of the Barristers' Benevolent Fund are perhaps not as well understood by members as it could be. Accordingly, the Bar will hold an information seminar explaining the workings of the Fund and, in particular, the application process, requirements, and options for assistance. A separate notice will be sent to members with the details of that session, which is due to be held on Tuesday, 1 June 2021.

Retirement of Justice Pamela Tate

On 30 April this year, Justice Pamela Tate retired as a Judge of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria, having been appointed on 14 September 2010.

We thank Her Honour for her outstanding service to the people of Victoria and wish her well in retirement. Her Honour has been appointed as Adjunct Professor of Law at Monash University.

Christopher Blanden QC

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

LSB online is now live 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 now open for the renewal of your PII. 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.

Once you have completed the renewal process, you will receive an email from the LSB to confirm that your PC has been issued. You will then be able to download it via LSB Online.

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.

Appointment – Rowena Orr QC

Solicitor-General of Victoria

On Tuesday, 4 May 2021, the Governor in Council appointed Rowena Orr QC as the next Solicitor-General of Victoria. The appointment will be effective on 10 May 2021.

Details of any welcome ceremony will be made available when they are known.

Annual flu shots for Bar members

The Victorian Bar is offering members the annual flu vaccination in Owen Dixon Chambers East on 25 and 26 May 2021. Appropriate social distancing will be in place.

Bookings must be made online via the iMedical website. Instructions on how to book are here. You must be logged into the VicBar website to view and download the instructions.

There are a limited number of appointments available to Bar members from iMedical, and they will be allocated on a first-in, first-served basis.

While the flu shot is obviously not a vaccine against COVID-19, medical advice is that people should have the vaccination to limit the spread of flu symptoms that pose a threat to themselves and exacerbate the coronavirus's spread and severity.

If you cannot or do not wish to come into the city, consult your GP or local chemist about receiving the vaccination. The government provides free vaccinations to some individuals.

WBA's Breakfast with the Stars - No 2 of 2021

Please join us on Wednesday, 19 May 2021, for WBA's next Breakfast with the Stars.

Start the day with a warm breakfast and good company as you enjoy an "In conversation" session with special guests Her Honour Justice Michelle Quigley and Marita Foley SC.

This event will commence at 7:30am and conclude at 9:00am.

Tickets are $47 per person and we ask that you register by no later than Wednesday, 12 May 2021.

Click here to register.

Melbourne Yoga and Pilates Ten Minute Move - free sessions

Want to start getting fit but don’t have the time? Join Melbourne Yoga and Pilates for FREE daily 10 minute Move sessions on Zoom in May comprising flexibility and toning exercises. All fitness levels are welcome so let us show you how easy it is to incorporate fitness into your busy lives.

When? 9:00am Mondays to Fridays

Where? Via Zoom

What else? Dress in comfortable clothing, no equipment needed.

Click here to register.

Victorian Bar Law Week events

The Victorian Bar will be hosting two events during Law Week (17 – 23 May 2021):

  • Cross-examine a barrister is on Wednesday, 19 May 2021, 1-2:00pm. Here is your chance to hear from a panel of barristers and learn answers to the following questions: What is a barrister? Why do they get to ask the questions? Why do they represent people who are obviously guilty? Are they different from other types of lawyers? Why do they still wear 19th-century costumes? You can submit your questions by emailing by Friday, 14 May 2021. Register here.
  • Dispute resolution for small businesses is on Thursday, 20 May 20021, 5-6:00pm. The Victorian Commercial Arbitration Scheme (VCAS) provides a fair, quick, flexible and inexpensive method of dispute resolution for small business owners. If parties agree to use VCAS, they can receive a binding decision from a qualified arbitrator within 120 days of the process starting. The VCAS rules let the parties control the process – including the identity of the arbitrator and the place of hearings (online or in your country town or suburb). This webinar will explain how VCAS works – and how it can help you to sort out your disputes and get back to doing business. The panel is headed by Professor Clyde Croft SC, an experienced arbitrator and a former judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria. He will be joined by arbitrators Adam Rollnik and Fiona Cameron. Register here.

Thanks to the barristers and committees who have organised these events on behalf of the Victorian Bar.

Law Institute of Victoria Events

Unpacking the Aged Care and Mental Health Royal Commission

Date: Thursday, 20 May 2021

Time: 5:00pm-6:00pm

Format/Venue: Webinar

Price: Free

This free public webinar looks at the common findings between the Aged Care and Mental Health Royal Commission, and why the mental health and aged care system has continued to fail Victorians. Some of the themes and recommendations the panel will aim to discuss include the lack of appropriate housing, younger people in aged care and the future of both mental health and the aged care systems in Victoria.

Understanding When You Need an Immigration Lawyer

Date: Friday 21 May 2021

Time: 12:00-1:00pm

Format/Venue: Webinar

Price: Free

This free public webinar explores when migrants may require an immigration lawyer. Topics discussed will include current changes to immigration lawyers, how to find an immigration lawyer, types of matter lawyers can advise on, when to engage with a lawyer and more!

Women in the Workplace: Superannuation, the gender pay gap, and pushing for gender equality

Date: Friday 21 May 2021

Time: 1:00-2:00pm

Format/Venue: Webinar

Price: Free

This free public webinar aims to explore the problems with the gender pay gap and women’s superannuation - including what is being done to navigate these challenges, and general tips for encouraging gender equality in the workplace. Some examples of general best practice tips that will be discussed include, how to start the conversation in the workplace, developing negotiation skills, requesting flexible working arrangements, improving retirement outcomes and more!

Sisters in Crime Australia 15th Law Week event:  Witness for the Prosecution: Supporting survivors of sexual assault. YouTube from 6:00pm (AEST), Friday 21 May

Sisters in Crime Australia is again proud to join forces with the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, Victoria University, to present its 15th Law Week event.

An expert panel – Louise Milligan, Jane Patrick, Michele Williams QC and Rachel Spencer – will discuss the experience of survivors of sexual assault and their journey through the Australian legal system. Too often survivors are re-traumatised by their court trial, equating it to reliving the rape or sexual assault because of the questions they are asked, and the details they are required to give about their appearance, behaviour and past experiences.

Justice is often elusive in these cases. Almost 90% of sexual assault victims in Australia say they are not willing to go through our justice system. Of the cases that do go to court, approximately 10% end in a conviction, allowing most perpetrators to continue in society unhindered and undeterred. Even when survivors do get justice, the process is so bruising that many wish they had never tried.

Join us as the panel discusses how the justice system could be improved in order to minimise the trauma for survivors, ensure perpetrators are brought to justice, and society made safer.

The event is free to watch through YouTube from 6:00pm (AEST) on Friday 21 May. You can also help support the work we do to promote women’s crime writing by donating $10 and go in the draw to win one of three $150 book packs.

Seminar – Pathways to financial security for women barristers

As the end of the financial year is approaching, now is a good time to understand how you can take advantage of many Government incentives to reduce tax and build towards a comfortable retirement. The Women Barristers Association, the Bar's Equality and Diversity Committee and legalsuper invite all members to a lunchtime learning seminar that will explore:

  • How super contributions can:
    • reduce your tax
    • help you save towards your first home, and
    • build your retirement nest egg.
  • How much is enough to fund a comfortable retirement?
  • What investment strategy is most suitable for you?
  • Practical considerations when preparing for career breaks or when approaching retirement.

The seminar is on Wednesday, 9 June 2021, 12-1:00pm.

For more information, please see the legalsuper flyer here.

To register, click here.

Light refreshments and sandwiches will be provided.

This event is proudly supported by legalsuper – the profit for members superannuation fund has supported the legal community for over 30 years.

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.

  • Proportionate Liability and the Primacy of Contract in Risk Allocation in Commercial Cases is on Tuesday, 18 May, 5:15-6:15pm. This CPD session will review the role of proportionate liability in civil litigation, and the Court of Appeal judgment in the Lacrosse Appeals (Tanah Merah Vic Pty Ltd v Owners' Corporation No 1 of PS631436T [2021] VSCA 72) will also be discussed. This event is in-person only. Click here to register.
  • Travelex and Auctus: Recent decisions of the High Court and Full Federal Court is on Thursday, 20 May, 5:15-6:15pm. In this CPD, the speaker will explain the recent decisions of the High Court and Full Federal Court of Australia and their impacts. This event is in-person only. Click here to register.

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

Vicbar Life
LGBTIQ WhatsApp Group

The LGBTIQ Working Group has recently established a WhatsApp Group for LGBTIQ members of the Victorian Bar to offer each other support, social connection, sharing of information or resources, and general discussion of various issues. If you would like to join this Group, the link to the Group is available at the bottom the Equality & Diversity section of the VicBar Members’ section.

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. Please email us at

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

Practice & Profession News
Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia - 2021-22 Budget

The Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia to receive $100 million in Government funding announced in the 2021-22 Budget

The Family Court of Australia (FCoA) and Federal Circuit Court of Australia (FCC) welcome significant funding announced last night as part of the 2021-22 Budget, together with other recent funding, which allows for the appointment of 2 additional FCoA judges, and eight additional FCC judges. It also provides for important judicial support and reform measures.  

The $100 million of additional resources (over the four years to 2024-25) will help to introduce much-needed support to judges and reforms that will lead to a reduction in delays and improve safety outcomes for litigants involved in family law and other disputes.

Continue reading here.

Commonwealth and Victorian Courts' COVID updates

Supreme Court of Victoria and County Court of Victoria

On Tuesday, 4 May 2021, the Supreme and County Courts issued a joint update on regional criminal jury trials.  A County Court jury will be empanelled in Geelong this week, marking the first criminal trial in regional Victoria since the suspension of criminal jury trials as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be followed mid-May by the first Supreme Court criminal jury trial in Geelong.  Other dates and locations will follow.

You can access the statement here.

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.
Supreme Court Podcast - Gertie's Law season two

The Supreme Court of Victoria’s award-winning podcast, Gertie’s Law, returns with a new season.

In December 2020, the Court released a special episode, ‘Court in a Pandemic’, taking listeners inside the virtual courtrooms during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Season two is now complete and features, for the first time, interviews with the barristers and solicitors who occupy an unexplored area of the Court: the Bar table.

Read more about Gertie's Law and listen to the podcast here.

ABA National Brief and Podcast

The National Brief #3

President Matthew Howard SC outlines how the Australian Bar Association is responding to the last month’s reports in Victoria and South Australia about sexual harassment in the profession, and describes plans for RE-EMERGE 2021 – the ABA’s National Conference in September. Read more here.

ABA Podcast #2

In this second ABA podcast, ABA President Matthew Howard SC and Kate Eastman SC, Chair of the ABA Diversity & Inclusion Committee, speak with Rachel Doyle QC, Barrister at the Victorian Bar, about her book "Power and Consent" – what prompted her to write it, how to combat sexual harassment at the Bar and in the legal profession, and some practical “red flags” indicative of when an advance may be unwelcome. You can listen to the podcast 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

Appointment of Manager to Peter Bruce Millar trading as Millars

The Bar has been informed that on 7 May 2021, the Victorian Legal Services Board resolved to appoint Ms Madeline Prior as Manager of the sole practitioner Peter Bruce Millar trading as Millars (‘the Law Practice’), pursuant to section 334 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (‘the Uniform Law’). The appointment is for a period of approximately four months, expiring on 5 September 2021, unless the appointment is extended or otherwise terminated in accordance with section 340 of the Uniform Law.

The Board determined to appoint a Manager because Mr Millar has passed away and the Board is satisfied that there is a need for an independent person to be appointed to take over professional and operational responsibility for the Law Practice.

Members of the Victorian Bar who have recently been briefed and/or undertaken work for the Law Practice may be impacted by this appointment. Please contact Ms Prior on 03 9557 6831 or by email at if you have any concerns about payment of your fees.

The Bar will be notified upon the termination of the management.

Profession CPD & Events
Save the Date - 2021 Australian Bar Association National Conference

In a full program over three days, Re-emerge 2021 will bring together leaders from the judiciary, the Bar, the profession, politics and the media, from across Australia and internationally, to discuss topics.

Read more here.

Monash University events

Book Launch - The UN Commission on Human Rights: 'A Very Great Enterprise’

On Tuesday, 18 May 2021, Dr John Pace, former Secretary to the Commission on Human Rights, will speak on the seminar topic ‘Has the UN Human Rights Council lived up to the promise? Is it time to move on?’ When the General Assembly established the Human Rights Council in 2006, it asked for a review of its ‘work and functioning’ five years after its establishment. The will to elevate the Council to a Principal Organ of the UN did not materialise by 2011; in 2011 the Council put off that decision by another 10 to 15 years. The Council should review its status between now and 2026. How should we rethink the way the Human Rights Council functions?

Find out more and register here.

Event: Charting a better recovery 

This online webinar on Thursday, 20 May 2021, is a partnership between the Castan Centre and the Human Rights Law Centre. The twin crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the first economic recession in 30 years, have highlighted and deepened many of the cracks in our community, and shown the fragility of many things we take for granted. In tough times, many are struggling to make ends meet, keep a roof over their heads, and ensure they can access services like health care and education. Hear from an expert panel who are working to find solutions to these major legal and social issues.

Find out more and register here.

Readings Melbourne Book Launch ‘Better Law for a Better World’

Join the launch of Better Law for a Better World by Dr Liz Curran as part of the Victorian Law Week. 

Tuesday, 18 May 2021 at The Collective, 139 Elgin St, Carlton 6:30pm- 8:00pm (registration required)

How as a society can we find ways of ensuring the people who are the most vulnerable or have little voice can avail themselves of the protection in law to improve their social, cultural, health and economic outcomes as befits civilised society? Better Law for a Better World answers this question by looking at innovative practices and developments emerging within law practice and education and shares the skills and techniques that could lead to confidence in the law and its ability to respond. Using recent research from Australia, practice initiatives and information, the book breaks down ways for law students, legal educators and law practitioners (including judicial officers, law administrators, legislators and policy makers) to enhance access to justice and improve outcomes through new approaches to lawyering.

This event is free to attend but bookings are essential as places are strictly limited.

Please book here.

ALRC financial services legislation webinars

The Australian Law Reform Commission invites you to attend two upcoming webinars.

These free, interactive webinars presented in partnership with Wolters Kluwer CCH Learning are part of the ALRC’s current inquiry into the potential simplification of corporate and financial services regulation in Australia.

The Regulatory Ecosystem for Financial Services in Australia

Monday, 17 May 2021 at 1:00pm AEST

Can Australian financial services regulation be simplified?

Join the ALRC to explore the initial findings of its current inquiry.

This 90-minute webinar will explore the ALRC’s preliminary findings on the regulatory framework for corporations and financial services in Australia.

Click here to find out more and register.

Webinar: Comparative Perspectives on Financial Services Regulation

Monday, 24 May 2021 at 5:00pm AEST

Join a panel of international experts to compare approaches to the design of financial services regulation across different jurisdictions.

In line with the initial focus of the ALRC’s inquiry, this 90-minute webinar will include a discussion of how key terms and concepts, such as financial products and services, are defined and delineated for the purposes of corporate and financial services regulation in different jurisdictions.

Click here to find out more and register.

UNCCA Seminar - Electronic commerce: past present and future

UNCITRAL National Coordination Committee for Australia invite you to join us for an online seminar on electronic commerce from 4:00pm (AEST) on Thursday, 20 May 2021. The live, interactive webinar will be chaired by Federal Court of Australia Justice the Honourable Katrina Banks-Smith and will include a keynote address from Senator the Honourable Amanda Stoker. The panel session will include Deputy Premier of South Australia, the Honourable Vicki Chapman MP, as well as presentations from prominent speakers in legal practice, academia and UNCITRAL in the relation to Australian law and international regulation of electronic commerce. For more details including registration and a list of speakers, see the flyer here.

SAVE THE DATE! 8th Family Law & Children's Rights Conference, 12-16 July 2021

Welcome to the 8th Family Law & Children’s Rights Conference: World Congress 2021 Through the Eyes of a Child, the major international event focusing on family law and family law processes and the rights of children and youth, jointly organised by the World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights and LAWASIA, The Law Association for Asia and the Pacific.

The conference will take place virtually over the five days of our proposed Singapore conference from 12 July through to 16 July 2021. Due to the need to hold a virtual conference, the number of sessions we are able to provide has been significantly reduced and we regret that we will be unable to accommodate all speakers whose papers have been previously accepted.

The conference will consist of 4-5 sessions per day. Because of international time zones, the sessions will be pre-recorded but as much as possible, we will endeavour to add on live Q&A sessions. 

For more updates about the programme and speakers, please visit the official website:

Careers & Opportunities
Expressions of Interest - Appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Expressions of interest (EOIs) are now open for consideration of appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

The AAT conducts independent merits review of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws. They review decisions made by Australian Government ministers, departments and agencies and, in limited circumstances, decisions made by state government and non-government bodies. They also review decisions made under Norfolk Island laws.

EOIs for appointment as a Senior Member in a Deputy Division Head role close at 11:59pm (AEST) on Sunday, 16 May 2021. EOIs for appointment as Deputy President, Senior Member or Member will be accepted on an ongoing basis over a 12-month period or until a new call is advertised.

If you expressed interest in 2019, you will need to submit a new EOI if you wish to be considered again.

Find out more about the AAT and how to apply by visiting our website. An advertisement has also been placed on the APS Employment Gazette

AIFS Research Project: Compliance with and Enforcement of Family Law Parenting Orders

Closing Soon: The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has been commissioned by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) to undertake research in relation to the compliance with and enforcement of family law parenting orders. The research will involve multiple studies, including a survey of legal and non-legal family law system professionals. 

You are invited to take part in this survey if you are a legal professional (including judicial officers, barristers and solicitors) or non-legal professional (including: FDR practitioners and professionals working in post-separation support services, including parenting order programs and family violence sector professionals).

Please click here if you would like to take part in this important study, or if you would like more information on the research. 

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, 20th May 2021