In Brief Issue #1014

Christopher Blanden QC

Law Council of Australia Poll

The Bar’s membership of the Law Council of Australia (LCA) has been a topic of discussion for some months. To briefly recap, the capitation fee owing to the LCA had not been paid by the previous Bar Council and was overdue. We elected to pay the outstanding debt, thereby securing membership for the current financial year. In December last year, we gave notice to the LCA of our intention not to renew our membership when it fell due, in order to avoid automatically incurring capitation fees for the 2021-2022 year. We hoped to negotiate a better financial arrangement, however that has not been possible.

In line with our stated intent, we will conduct a poll of members to determine your views on whether we should remain a member of the LCA or cease our membership. Next week members will receive a fact sheet and a one-page summary of the arguments both for and against. We ask that as many members as possible vote so that we have a representative view. A simple majority will determine the result. Whatever the result, the poll will determine the Bar’s ongoing relationship with the LCA.

Applications for Silk

On Thursday night, I hosted the Silks information session for 2021 with the Honourable Stephen Charles QC and the Honourable Pamela Tate SC. A reminder to potential applicants that any further queries may be addressed to and we will endeavour to answer them as quickly as possible. Please note that applications will close on Friday, 18 June 2021.

Long Weekend

Although those members still in Melbourne will be unable to travel, the long weekend will at least provide some respite from the current lockdown. It is hoped that relative normality will return later next week. I wish everyone an enjoyable break.

Christopher Blanden QC

Vicbar News & Events
Practising Certificates - renew before 30 June

Members must renew their PC 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 deadline for renewing your PII premium was 31 May 2021 and if you have not already done so, please renew online here.

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 Mark Bryant on (03) 9225 7111.

Applications for Senior Counsel 2021

The Supreme Court announced that applications for Senior Counsel for 2021 opened at 9:00am on Thursday, 27 May 2021 and will close at 5:00pm on Friday, 18 June 2021.

Information for members considering applying for silk includes:

If you have any questions about the application process, including how to fill in your application form or if you would like to have a confidential discussion about making an application, please send an email to

Indigenous Law Students Clerkship at the Victorian Bar

Applications are now open for the Indigenous Law Students clerkship at the Victorian Bar. 

This clerkship program is run by the VicBar Indigenous Justice Committee.

We would like to encourage all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander law students to apply. 

Information about the program is here. Applications close Wednesday, 30 June 2021. 

Any enquiries about this application procedure and selection criteria or the clerkship generally may be made to Tim Goodwin or Anne Sheehan, members of the Bar’s Indigenous Justice Committee: or 03 9225 6323 or 03 9225 7333.

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.

  • Exercise, Mental Health & Habit Adoption to Improve Longevity at the Bar is on Tuesday, 15 June, 5:15-6:15pm. In this seminar, the speaker will discuss the link between stress, anxiety, depression and exercise; the cyclical nature of physical and mental health; how to fit in exercise; and understanding habit change. This is an online only event. Click here to register.
  • Coaching Confidence is on Wednesday, 16 June, 5:15-6:15pm. In this seminar the speaker will explain what coaching is (as distinct from counselling), the benefits of coaching and some strategies to support personal and professional confidence. This is an online only event. Click here to register.

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

Pathways to financial security for women barristers

On Wednesday 9 June, the Women Barristers Association, the Bar's Equality and Diversity Committee and legalsuper Pathways to financial security for women barristers.

If you missed out or would like to watch the presentation again, you can watch the video here.

As part of the presentation, attendees were able to see how legalsuper's Retirement Income Forecaster calculator works. The link to this tool is here.

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


Vicbar Life
Tailored EOFY support for Victorian Bar members

legalsuper is the industry super fund dedicated to Australia’s legal sector.

The Victorian Bar and legalsuper have shared goals of supporting the success of the Victorian legal community. Together, the Victorian Bar and legalsuper are proud to offer members complimentary, tailored support.

Book an appointment to discuss all things superannuation

This financial year has been a year like no other, so your super and EOFY affairs may need some extra attention.

To help ensure Bar members are:

  • optimising their retirement outcomes
  • maximising the available tax benefits, and
  • you’re well-informed regarding the 1 July 2021 changes, legalsuper is here to help.

2020-21 superannuation contributions and claiming a tax deduction for 2019-20

The end of the financial year is fast approaching. You can make a super contribution into your legalsuper account and potentially claim a tax deduction for the 2020/21 tax year. There are 4 ways you can contribute however your payment must be received by legalsuper before close of business on 30 June 2021.

  1. Cheque (recommend you post it prior to 23 June 2021)
  2. BPAY (recommended no later than 28 June 2021)
  3. EFT (recommended no later than 28 June 2021), and
  4. Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) - emergency - last minute (your bank will likely charge for this).

Due to restrictions, legalsuper’s William Street office is currently closed.

Reminder: to claim a tax deduction for your 2019/20 super contributions you must submit a Notice of Intent to Claim form to your super fund by no later than Wednesday, 30 June 2021.

Whether you are a legalsuper member or not, members of the Victorian Bar can book an EOFY consultation with local legalsuper experts, Ly Holian or Benjamin Fernandes.

Be prepared for new legislation effective from 1 July 2021.

Contribution caps are increasing

The concessional (before-tax) contributions cap increases from $25,000 to $27,500 per year.
The non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap increases from $100,000 to $110,000 per year.

The Transfer Balance Cap is increasing to $1,700,000

The transfer balance cap is the maximum total amount of superannuation that can be transferred into the retirement phase. On the 1st of July 2021, the general transfer balance cap will increase from $1.6 million to $1.7 million.

To demystify super jargon and understand what’s relevant to your personal circumstances, book your complimentary EOFY consultation with Ly or Benjamin:

The Essoign Club

Dear Essoign Club Members,

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

Breakfast - for dine-in or takeaway.

Lunch – Daily Café Menu for dine-in or take away.

Lunch Dine-In - see our A La Carte Menu here for dining in.

Bar – is 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.

The Torch: Virtual Indigenous Art Exhibition by ex-offenders

For over a decade The Torch has been providing art, cultural and arts industry support to Indigenous offenders and ex-offenders in Victoria through its Indigenous Arts in Prisons and Community program. The Torch assists artists to reconnect with culture, earn income from art sales (with 100% of the sale price going directly to the artist), foster new networks and to pursue educational and creative industry avenues upon their release.

The link to paintings currently available for purchase is here.  The exhibition is supported by a number of prominent legal organisations.

Practice & Profession News
Commonwealth and Victorian Courts' COVID updates – easing of restrictions

The Victorian Government has announced the easing of restrictions for Melbourne and regional Victoria. For more information on how restrictions will apply to Victorians, please click here.

Victorian Courts

On Thursday, 10 June 2021, the Supreme Court of Victoria published a joint jurisdictional statement from the Chief Justice Anne Ferguson, on behalf of the Victorian Courts and VCAT. The statement is in response to the recent easing of restrictions in Melbourne and regional Victoria, which is available here.

Court updates

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.
Family Court of Australia – Lighthouse Project update

Following the successful launch of the Lighthouse Project in the Adelaide, Brisbane and Parramatta registries, the Court issues a monthly newsletter which aims to assist, inform and provide updates to the profession about the Project.

The May 2021 edition (available here and on the website here) provides an overview of the Project’s progress, early data and observations. It highlights how Family Dispute Resolution offered by the Court was able to recently assist and support a client of the Lighthouse Project and their family.  Further, this newsletter touches on the amendments made to Practice Direction 3 of 2020 – Lighthouse Project and Evatt List.

We would also welcome any feedback or questions you have on the Project and they can be sent to these emails – or

Criminal Division update - Appeals List and Zoom registrations

On Monday, 31 May 2021 the County Court of Victoria issued the following update for the Criminal Division:


Commencing in June 2021, there will be an Appeals List for conviction appeals that will sit at 9:00am on the first two Fridays of each month.

New conviction appeals will have their appeal first listing in this List.

The List will be presided over by a judicial registrar or a judge.


Practitioners are reminded that they must register their appearance as counsel / instructing solicitor or accused in any of the following lists at least two days prior to the hearing. 

•  9:00am General Crime List

•  9:00am Sexual Offences List

•  9:30am Circuit List

•  9:00am Appeal List

Failure to register your appearance by 4:00pm the day prior to the hearing could result in a non-appearance being recorded or the matter being called at the end of the List.

Instructing solicitors can register for their client or counsel if they have the full name, email address and phone number of counsel or the accused.

A remote hearing notification form is not required for any of the 9:00am or 9:30am List Courts.

Once the registration has been received and approved, the link to attend the Zoom webinar hearing will be emailed to the attendee for use on the morning of the hearing.

For all other criminal virtual hearings and eHearings, including the 10.30am General Crime List and 10.30am Sexual Offences List, a remote hearing notification form must be filed.

CISP Pilot at the County Court of Victoria

As you may be aware the County Court Integrated Services Program (CISP) Pilot went live on Monday 11 January 2021.

In that regard, we have made some changes to our website and processes.

Please see below general information with regards to the CISP Pilot at the County Court for your perusal.


Referred persons are assessed for risk of re-offending and provided clear information about how CISP can support their needs and access to treatment. The assessment process is designed to meet the needs of both the participant and the Court. In order to be eligible for CISP, referred persons must:

  • not currently be sentenced to a parole or community corrections order
  • be eligible for bail or a relevant deferral of sentencing
  • have substantive matters committed to the Melbourne County Court
  • reside, or intend to reside, in the greater Melbourne metropolitan catchment
  • consent to be involved with CISP
  • be experiencing one or more of the following:
    • mental health issues
    • disability, acquired brain injury or cognitive impairment
    • substance dependence or otherwise harmful use
    • family violence
    • inadequate social, family and economic support that contributes to the frequency or severity of their offending
    • homelessness
    • other relevant clinical support need.


People accused of sex offences are ineligible for County Court CISP.

If a person's support needs are so significant that they may reasonably be unable to comply with the program requirements, then a recommendation is made to the Court around the most appropriate treatment and support pathway.

Referrer Guide

A copy of our new referrer guide can be accessed via our website here.

The document outlines elements of the CISP Pilot for people who are self-referring or referring another person to the program. This includes requirements for accessing the program, reports, pathways for referrals, review hearings, and program staff.

General Overview of CISP process

  1. Eligibility triage
    A brief check of the referral information against eligibility criteria is conducted by CISP staff. Anyone considering making a referral is encouraged to contact us for an eligibility triage at the earliest opportunity.
  2. CISP Assessment
    An assessment is scheduled for eligible persons and that arrangement is communicated to the Court and to defence by email from the CCV CISP inbox.
  3. CISP Suitability Report
    The assessment is conducted by CISP staff and a report on the suitability of the referred person for the program is written by the assessing CISP staff member. That report is made available to all parties by email via CCV CISP inbox. The Court expects these reports to be submitted 24-48 hours prior to the next Court hearing.
  4. Acceptance onto CISP Pilot
    A decision is made by the Judge at the next Court hearing to offer, postpone offering, or decline the referred person entry into the CISP program.
  5. CISP Review Hearings
    Where the referred person takes up an offer to engage the CISP program, the presiding Judicial Officer will take carriage of ongoing CISP review hearings and determine the frequency of those hearings. These generally occur monthly. CISP case management commences from this point onwards.

Associates take carriage of ongoing communication and notices of listings to all parties.

How a referral can be made:

●   Legal Practitioners: wishing to make a referral to CCV CISP must submit a CISP referral form together with all supporting documentation via the County Court of Victoria eLodgment Platform:
Important note: all documents must be filed under “CCV CISP Application Form" and “ CCV CISP Supporting Documents”

●   For self-referrals: please contact: or (03) 8636 6820

Examples of CISP supporting documents we require are as follows:

  • Priors, summaries and charges (including any interstate police records if applicable).
  • LEAP records.
  • Police Informant details.
  • Document relating to Mental Health e.g. psychiatric reports or assessments (if relevant).
  • Copies of current Intervention Orders.

Examples of useful information to include in the CISP referral form:

  • Client’s intended bail address; and
  • Details about why this referral has been made
    For example:
  • Does the individual have any formal supports currently in place (i.e. mental health, AOD, NDIS, DHHS Disability Justice, family). Please list contact details.
  • Has the individual ever been charged with sex offences?
  • Does the individual have any sex offence charges pending?
  • Are there any concerns related to individual, worker or community safety? Please explain.

A copy of our CISP referral form can be found via our website and we invite you to peruse our updated site here.


Sentencing Sex Offences in Victoria: An Analysis of Three Sentencing Reforms

This free 30-minute lunchtime webinar will launch and provide a summary of key findings of new research into the sentencing of sex offences in Victoria. Have multiple attempts by Parliament and the courts to increase the rate and length of prison sentences been effective? Police and court data are analysed to reveal the prevalence and trends in the sentencing of sex offences in Victoria over the 10 years to 2019. Tuesday 22 June, 1:15pm to 1:45pm

Click here to register.


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

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 participate in important discussions about what we must do to re-emerge energised, innovative and stronger than before.


The Australian Bar after COVID19: Energised, Innovative, Enduring.

The event will be held in Melbourne from 16 to 18 September 2021.

Read more here.

2021 LIV Careers Week

The Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) is excited to take our Careers Week digital this year. This will enable us to reach out to more attendees than ever before and also give our regional LIV Young Lawyers members a chance to participate.

Careers Week will take place between Monday, 28 June to Friday, 2 July 2021 and consists of eight sessions centered around the theme – a degree in the law can lead you to careers both within and outside of the courtroom.

Our Careers Week has been designed to help students, graduates and recently admitted lawyers build networking and professional development skills relevant to the modern workforce.

More information about the week, including sessions and speakers can be found our website here.

Melbourne Law School: 2021 James Merralls Visiting Fellowship in Law lecture

Melbourne Law School invites you to attend the 2021 James Merralls Visiting Fellowship in Law lecture on the topic Digital finance, COVID-19 and existential sustainability crises: building better financial systems, presented by Professor Douglas W. Arner, Kerry Holdings Professor in Law, University of Hong Kong.

The details of the event are as follows:

  • Wednesday, 30 June 2021
  • 6 – 7:00pm AEST
  • Webinar – Zoom (link provided upon registration)

Full event details and registration here.

Administrative Law on the Edge – AIAL National Conference 2021

The Conference invites discussion and debate on the many-faceted 'edges' of administrative law. It seeks to examine a number of themes and contemporary challenges in administrative law, including the nature of any 'boundary lines' of administrative law, the scope to challenge automated 'decision-making'.

The current state of judicial review, the scope to challenge the exercise of non-statutory executive power and whether the performance of government functions that are 'outsourced' is outside administrative law bounds.

Thursday, 22 July 2021 & Friday, 23 July 2021
RACV City Club, 501 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Conference Dinner – 6:15pm for 7:00pm start on Thursday, 22 July 2021 | Hotel Windsor, 111 Spring Street, Melbourne

All enquiries should be directed to: AIAL National Secretariat by phone on 02 6290 1505 or email at

Register here.

2021 Conference - Resilience and Reinvention - Supporting Organisation Members

This premier two-day conference is the first face-to-face event in the region’s ADR calendar. Supported by global institutes, government, industry associations, and sponsors, the program comprises 27 specialist sessions and six plenaries, bringing together over 90 key influencers and stakeholders from business, government, judiciary, commercial and academia, addressing developments and emerging trends across a wide range of sectors.

Victorian Bar members can attend at the Resolution Institute member discount rate. Early Bird closes on Sunday, 13 June 2021.

Careers & Opportunities
Judicial Registrar - Criminal Division, County Court of Victoria

The Chief Judge of the County Court of Victoria seeks expressions of interest from qualified persons for appointment as a Judicial Registrar of the County Court. Judicial Registrars are appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Attorney-General.

The Judicial Registrar will be assigned to the Court’s Criminal Division and perform delegated judicial functions in managing the pre-trial work of the Division, particularly in the Sexual Offences List.

The position requires a legally qualified (admitted for not less than five years), highly motivated leader with extensive experience in the practice of criminal law as well as an in-depth understanding of court processes and procedures. Experience and expertise in the conduct of indicatable trial matters, particularly in the County Court, is highly desirable.

Expressions of interest must be emailed to by COB on Monday, 21 June 2021. Queries should be directed to Ms Wang on 03 86366288.

Judicial Registrar - Common Law, County Court of Victoria

The Chief Judge of the County Court of Victoria seeks expressions of interest from qualified persons for appointment as a Judicial Registrar of the County Court. Judicial Registrars are appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Attorney-General.

The Judicial Registrar will be assigned to the Court’s Common Law Division and perform delegated judicial functions while presiding over directions hearings, interlocutory applications and mediations.

The position requires a legally qualified (admitted for not less than five years), highly motivated leader with extensive experience in the practice of civil litigation as well as an in-depth understanding of court processes and procedures. Experience and expertise in conducting mediations is highly desirable.

Expressions of interest must be emailed to by COB on Tuesday, 15 June 2021. Please direct queries to Judge Tsalamandris’ Senior Associate, Ms Rabia Virk on 03 8636 6612.

Deakin University Human Research Ethics Committee (Geelong panel) – Lawyer member vacancy

Deakin University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (DUHREC) reviews research projects involving human participants, from biomedical procedures to classroom learning studies.

The role of the Committee is to make sure that the rights of participants are respected and that no human research is approved unless it meets stringent requirements of integrity, justice and fairness.

We currently have a vacancy on the Geelong Panel of DUHREC for a voluntary lawyer member (where possible, someone who does not currently provide legal advice to Deakin).

We seek members who preferably live or work locally, with a variety of life experience, not specific skills or a research background.

Members attend meetings approximately every 2 months for approximately 2-4 hours, generally on a Monday afternoon, with some pre-meeting preparation required and activities outside of the meeting cycle.

Please see this document for more information about the position and how to submit an expression of interest.

Expressions of Interest – Victorian Legal Admissions Committee

The Victorian Bar has been invited to nominate two representatives to the Victorian Legal Admissions Committee.  The Committee's role is to consider suitability matters and determine whether applicants are fit and proper to be admitted for admission to the Supreme Court. 

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

Meetings are currently being held by Zoom but are ordinarily held at the Board’s office at 451 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne from 5:00pm onwards.

Members are required to sit approximately 6-8 times a year at monthly meetings and in addition, special hearings that may be held over consecutive nights.

The appointments are for a term of 3 years from July 2021 and a member will be eligible for reappointment once only.

Please submit your expression of interest, which should identify any relevant areas of experience or expertise, together with a copy of your CV to

The closing date for Expressions of Interest is 4:00pm, Thursday 24 June 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 amount of the Prize 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 31 August 2021 and this time limit is strictly observed, as the Rules Governing the Annual Essay Prize make clear.

Those Rules can be accessed on the Academy’s website:

Refer to the Academy’s website also for further information about the actual submission of an entry as well as information on previous winners.

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, 17th June 2021