In Brief Issue #1018

The Victorian Bar

We are now nearing the end of the court winter vacation and we hope you have enjoyed the break.

Christopher Blanden QC will return from holidays next week, and he will provide an update on matters relevant to the Victorian Bar in next Friday’s edition of In Brief.

Vicbar News & Events
Call for nominations for the Victorian Bar Council by-election

A by-election of the Bar Council to replace a departing member in Category A: Queen’s Counsel, Senior Counsel, or junior counsel who are of not less than 15 years’ standing) will take place on Wednesday, 28 July 2021.

Nomination forms will be circulated to eligible members on Wednesday, 14 July 2021. Nominations must reach the Honorary Secretary on or before 5:00pm, Tuesday 20 July 2021, via email to

Voting will open at 5:00pm on Wednesday, 21 July 2021.

The forms must be signed by members of counsel who are eligible to nominate or be nominated. Conditions of eligibility to nominate and be nominated are prescribed by clauses 45 and 48 of the Constitution of the Victorian Bar Inc.

Hard copies of the forms will not be accepted. Nominations received out of time will not be accepted.

One candidate will be elected in Category A: Queen’s Counsel, Senior Counsel or junior counsel who are of not less than 15 years’ standing.

The Bar Council has resolved to publish the following details following the conduct of the by-election: (a) the number of members who voted; (b) the vote tally for the successful candidate; and (c) the difference in vote tally between the successful candidate and the highest-ranked unsuccessful candidate. The names, ranking and vote tallies of unsuccessful candidates will not be published.

Proposed Reforms to the Constitution of the Victorian Bar

A Special General Meeting of the Victorian Bar will be held at 5:00pm on Wednesday, 4 August 2021, in the Neil McPhee Room, Level 1, Owen Dixon Chambers East, at which proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Victorian Bar will be put for the consideration of members.

The following documents are provided: notice of a Special General Meeting of the Victorian Bar Incorporated, explanatory memorandum and amendments, the proposed amended Constitution, and an interactive proxy form. Members must be logged in to view these documents.

Subscriptions for the 2021- 2022 Financial Year are now due

Thank you to those members who have already paid their subscriptions. Subscriptions for the 2021-2022 Financial Year are due for members, and to make payment of your subscription, please click here.  If you have any questions relating to your subscription, please contact membership or call on 9225 8326.

VicBar SEC Shadowing Program

The VicBar Student Engagement Committee (SEC) is looking at organising high school and tertiary student work experience (shadowing) again in the latter part of 2021 or early 2022.

The purpose of the shadowing program is to give students a first-hand perspective of what barristers do in their day-to-day work. The program focuses on including students from diverse backgrounds and circumstances.

It is proposed that a student or students be allocated to a chamber's floor (where interest has been indicated) for one week, rather than allocating students to a single barrister. This is intended to provide greater flexibility to barristers and greater opportunities for students.

Chambers floors that have indicated interest will be noted by the SEC and approached closer to when shadowing is arranged.

If there are a number of barristers on your floor who are interested in participating, please send an email indicating interest in participating in the shadowing program and identifying: (a) your chambers floor, and (b) interested barristers from the floor, to:

Call for nominations for the Law Council of Australia Corporate Governance Committee

The Bar Council is seeking nominations from interested members for appointment to the Law Council of Australia Corporate Governance Committee with expertise relevant to the Committee’s Terms of Reference.

Background information and further details are available here.

The Bar’s protocol for nomination and appointment of Victorian Bar members to external bodies can be viewed here. You are encouraged to provide a detailed expression of interest, which should identify any relevant areas of experience or expertise. This will assist the Bar Council to select the best candidate for the position.

Please forward your expression of interest to The closing date for EOIs is 5:00pm, Monday, 12 July 2021.

Nominations for Law Council of Australia Modernising Document Execution Working Group

The Bar Council is seeking nominations from interested members for appointment to the Law Council of Australia Modernising Document Execution Working Group.

The Working Group will build on the policy work that the Law Council, its Business Law Section, and several Constituent Bodies have been undertaking in this area, focusing on engaging with the Australian Government’s deregulation agenda as it relates to the modernisation of business communications.

It is intended that the Working Group will consist of representatives from each of Law Council’s Constituent Bodies and relevant Sections.

In accordance with clause 19 of the Law Council Advisory Committee and Working Group Charter, the Working Group will be established for a period of six months, unless otherwise extended by the Executive.

Further information is available here.

The Bar’s protocol for nomination and appointment of Victorian Bar members to external bodies can be viewed here. You are encouraged to provide a detailed expression of interest, which should identify any relevant areas of experience or expertise. This will assist the Bar Council to select the best candidate for the position.

Please forward your expression of interest to The closing date for EOIs is 5:00pm, Monday, 12 July 2021.

Technology services & support for the Bar: Security options available to protect your practice

BCL is now offering free cybersecurity training for all barristers with an email. Each month barristers will receive material and assessments to improve their security awareness, with certificates issued upon completion of each module. To register, click here.

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.

  • Lawyer Neuroscience: the plasticity of the human brain is on Monday, 12 July, 5:15-6:15pm. In this session, Elva Zhang, the founder of Peace Lab, will canvass recent research into the plasticity of the human brain and the impact of meditation and mindfulness in moulding more powerful minds. This is an online-only event. Click here to register.
  • Empathy: a lawyer’s superpower against the rise of the machines is on Thursday, 15 July, 5:15-6:15pm. In this session, Louise Mathias will map out the anatomy of empathy and reveal how to master empathy in the service of your client and how it will improve your own performance both in and out of court. This is an online-only event. Click here to register.
  • Intensive cross examination workshop is on Thursday, 22 and 29 July, 5:00-7:30pm. This two-part workshop gives participants the opportunity to work with experienced cross examiners and senior advocacy instructors to further develop cross examination skills. Each participant will have an opportunity to perform an allocated cross examination task and receive feedback. This workshop is for members only. Click here to register.
  • Advocacy Teacher Training Workshop is on Friday, 6 August, 5:00-7:30pm and all day on Saturday, 7 August 2021. This workshop is the first step in an ongoing program of advocacy teacher training. Those who successfully complete this program are eligible to teach in the mooting program of the Bar Readers’ Course. Click here to register.

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

BCL Staying COVIDSafe

Please refer to Staying COVIDSafe at BCL for all information, communications, helpful links to COVID safe plans, restrictions as they happen and what we all need to do.

Vicbar Life
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 takeaway.

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.

Practice & Profession News
Commonwealth and Victorian Courts' COVID updates

County Court of Victoria

On Friday, 9 July the County Court of Victoria provided an update on the jury trial process and COVID-19 testing procedure.

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.
Threat offences in Victoria: sentencing outcomes and reoffending

The Sentencing Advisory Council has released a new report, Threat Offences in Victoria: Sentencing Outcomes and Reoffending.

The report finds that:

  • people sentenced for threat offences are more than twice as likely to be sentenced again within three years than the Victorian average
  • more than half of all sentenced threat cases are family violence-related, and
  • the most common sentencing outcome for threat offences is imprisonment.

The report and factsheet are here.

The media release is here.

Legal Services Council newsletter - June 2021

The Legal Services Council June newsletter is available here.

LAWASIA newsletter - June 2021

The June edition of LAWASIA’s newsletter is out now. For information on upcoming events and other updates, please click 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

Profession CPD & Events
ABA 2021 National Conference

Registrations are now open for Re-emerge. The Australian Bar after COVID-19:  Energised, Innovative Enduring

16-18 September 2021. State Library of Victoria and fully live-streamed.

For more information and to register, visit

Major Sponsor: The Australian Financial Review

Monash University events

Tax Symposium: Critical Junctures/Critical Perspectives – A call for new voices in tax reform

Registrations are now open for the Critical Tax Symposium. The symposium being hosted by the Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies seeks to open the debate on reform to new voices and new perspectives that are able to challenge the status quo. It features papers from scholars from various disciplines (law, politics, economics, sociology) to offer critical perspectives on taxation. Topics include:

  • The role of taxation in addressing wealth and income inequality
  • Taxation and gender inequality
  • The differential impact of tax policy on marginalised groups such as Indigenous people, migrant and refugee communities and LGBTIQ+ groups
  • The role of taxation in addressing environmental issues.

When: Thursday 15 July 2021 - (9:00am to 7:20pm AEST) | Friday 16 July 2021 - (9:30am to 5:30pm AEST)

The symposium is free to register, visit the website to view the agenda for session times.

Register here.

Reflections on the 20th anniversary of the Corporations Act

The Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) is one of Australia's most significant and complex pieces of legislation. To mark the 20th anniversary of the Act, Monash Law, the Commercial Bar Association, and the Victorian Bar will host a joint panel comprised of eminent speakers who will provide insights about the operation and evolution of the Act from practitioners, academia, and the judiciary.

Join the Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies of Monash Law for this second instalment of the National Commercial Law Seminar Series in 2021. The event is being hosted online on Wednesday, 21 July 2021, and includes the following speakers:

  • The Honourable Justice Connock, Supreme Court of Victoria
  • The Honourable Associate Justice Hetyey, Supreme Court of Victoria
  • Professor Jennifer Hill, the inaugural Bob Baxt AO Professor of Corporate and Commercial Law at Monash University Faculty of Law and Director of the Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies (CLARS)
  • Philip Crutchfield QC, Barrister, Victorian Bar
  • Chair: Sam Rosewarne, Barrister, Victorian Bar

Register here.

Castan Centre – Human rights law conference

Gender inequality persists and women’s voices must be heard. Under a human rights-based approach, homelessness can and must be ended. Charters of rights have proved themselves in Victoria and other jurisdictions and can and must be implemented at the federal level.

The purpose of this conference being hosted on Friday, 23 July by webinar, is to focus attention on contemporary Australia's critical human rights issues with outstanding speakers and moderators who are experts in their field and rapporteurs to sum up the discussion. Speakers include:

  • Kristen Hilton, Former Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner
  • June Oscar AO, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner
  • Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, President, Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Leilani Farha, Global Director of The Shift, Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing

Register here.

DCA webinar – Managing complex mental ill-health conditions in the workplace

Join DCA to discuss how organisations can support the wellbeing and recovery of employees living with complex mental ill-health issues.

Don’t miss this important discussion on Wednesday, 14 July at 2:30pm with:

  • Lisa Annese, DCA CEO
  • Rachel Green, CEO of SANE Australia
  • Tim Hillier, SANE Peer Ambassador
  • Grant Thomson, Mental Health Coordinator for EPIC Assist, and
  • Rachel Jones, Marketing & Communications Officer for EPIC Assist.

To 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.

If you are already a member of DCA, you can register for the webinar here.

2021 Resolution Institute International Virtual Conference - 15 and 16 July 2021

Australasia's largest dispute resolution organisation, Resolution Institute, is pleased to invite you to its 2021 international virtual conference, Resilience and Reinvention: Dispute Resolution During a Crisis and Beyond, to be held 15-16 July. This premier two-day conference is the first major 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 100 key influencers and stakeholders from business, government, judiciary, commercial and academia, addressing developments and emerging trends across a wide range of sectors.

Vic Bar members can attend at the Resolution Institute member discount rate of $440. Please ensure you register at this special link.


Australian Law Reform Commission webinars 19 and 20 July 2021

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

These free, interactive webinars relate to the ALRC’s current inquiries.

Review of Judicial Impartiality

Judicial impartiality Q&A: exploring viewpoints

Monday, 19 July 2021 at 1–2:30pm

Join us as we explore different perspectives on proposals and questions raised in the Judicial Impartiality Consultation Paper.

In this webinar, we will discuss views from the bench, the profession, academia, and the community on proposals made and questions raised by the ALRC’s Judicial Impartiality Consultation Paper.

Review of the legislative framework for corporations and financial services regulation

The devilish detail of financial services laws

Tuesday, 20 July 2021 at 12–1:00pm

In partnership with Melbourne Law School, the Australian Law Reform Commission is excited to launch the Company and Securities Law Journal Special Issue: financial services laws – understanding the devil in the detail.

This webinar will explore financial services laws in Australia through the lens of the CSLJ Special Issue. The articles result from close collaboration between leading legal scholars and the ALRC as part of the current Inquiry into financial services legislation in Australia.

LAWASIA committee webinar month series – save the date

LAWASIA is excited to announce the launch of its LAWASIA Committee Webinar Month Series that will run over four consecutive weeks, in July and August 2021, with one webinar each week as follows:

  • Tuesday 27 July – One belt, one road
  • Tuesday 3 August – Alternative dispute resolution
  • Thursday 12 August – Taxation & customs
  • Tuesday 17 August – UNCITRAL

More information about the series is here.

More details and registration information are coming soon.

Australian Academy of Law – Emerging scholars: contemporary issues in crime and criminology

The Australian Academy of Law will be hosting a free event Emerging scholars: contemporary issues in crime and criminology from Perth, in person and online on Wednesday, 28 July 2021.

Click here for more information and to register.

Careers & Opportunities
Law Council of Australia Tom Yuncken Young Construction Lawyer Award 2021

The Construction and Infrastructure Committee of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia has been conducting the Tom Yuncken Young Construction Lawyer Award since 2008. The Award was established in memory of Allens Arthur Robinson, partner and construction lawyer, Tom Yuncken, a former Chair of the Victorian Committee.

The Award was initially offered to Victorian lawyers, but since 2018 has become a national award.

The Business Law Section (BLS) offers the Award, sponsored by the Society of Construction Law Australia (SCLA).

Thanks to the generous support of the BLS & SCLA, the winner of the 2021 Award will receive $2,500, and the finalist/s will be assisted to attend the Society’s Conference in Hobart in October 2021. For more information, visit

The flyer and entry form may be found here.

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 below.

The Prize is open to anyone, wherever resident, who is studying or has studied legal subjects at a tertiary level or 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 submitting an essay is 31 August 2021 and this time limit is strictly observed, as the Rules Governing the Annual Essay Award 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, 15th July 2021