In Brief Issue #1022

Christopher Blanden QC

On Wednesday evening, the Victorian Bar Inc. held a Special General Meeting in the Neil McPhee room to propose a number of amendments to the Constitution. The first amendment provided that a member who ceases to be an Australian lawyer may be removed from the Victorian Bar Roll, in line with Recommendation 2 of the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants.

The other two amendments removed the term “Chief Executive Officer” and replaced it with “Executive Director” to give effect to the Bar Council’s view that the title more accurately reflects the requirements and expectations of Victorian Bar employees and members. Each of the proposed amendments was approved.

Our congratulations to the two new appointees to the Supreme Court of Victoria: Dr Catherine Button QC and Her Honour Judge Amanda Fox. We wish their Honours well. Congratulations also to Richard Wilson on his appointment as Deputy President of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

As with every new lockdown, events require cancellation or postponement. Our sympathies particularly go out to the September 2020 Readers, who have had their Signing Ceremony and Dinner postponed on three occasions. Despair not, it will happen!

Christopher Blanden QC

Vicbar News & Events
2021 Re-engagement Lunch

The Victorian Bar wishes to invite you to attend the 2021 Re-engagement Lunch from 1-3:00pm on Friday, 27 August 2021

The session will bring together members of the Bar currently on, recently returned from, or planning to take, parental leave for an informal discussion on issues such as returning to practice after an extended leave and maintaining connection while away. The discussion will be guided by insights from a barrister who has recently become a parent, with her experience acting as a springboard for discussing your own particular challenges and successes.

Lunch will be provided. Please advise of any dietary requirements.

RSVP here by Friday, 20 August 2021.

BCL updates

Urgent Apple software update

Please update your Mac, iPad, and iPhone as soon as possible

A BCL cybersecurity partner has confirmed that Apple has released a software update to correct a vulnerability found in previous versions of their software and systems. Please click here for information on how to update your devices.

Staying COVIDSafe at BCL

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

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 03 9225 8326.

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.

  • An introduction to the Visa Cancellations Working Group – AAT Limited Assistance Scheme is on Wednesday, 11 August, 5:30-6:30pm. This seminar will include a panel discussion presented by expert migration law barristers, who will provide practical insights into their experience of visa cancellation matters. It will also outline the key features of a new “AAT Limited Assistance Scheme”, including three zoom training sessions on Thursday, 26 August, Monday, 30 August, and Thursday, 9 September 2021. This is an online-only event. Click here to register.
  • Concurrent evidence: part one is on Thursday, 12 August, 5:15-6:15pm. In this seminar, Professor Ian Freckelton AO QC will discuss the philosophy behind the concept and challenges to be considered in the use of conclaves, joint reports, and concurrent evidence. This is an in-person event and will also be available online via live stream. Click here to register.

For more details about these events and other upcoming CPD and events, please visit our listings here.

Vicbar Life
Introducing a refreshed Member Benefits portal for Bar members

The Victorian Bar is delighted to announce the refreshed Member Benefits online portal, where you can access a wide variety of discounts, special offers, and member-only deals as part of your Bar membership.

The exclusive benefits are available Australia-wide and are not generally open to the public.

To activate your account and access the benefits, please click here. You must login using your login details.

The Essoign Club

Dear Essoign Members,

The Essoign Club will continue to be open from 7:00am and will operate as a takeaway and delivery as per the current restrictions in place.

On offer we will have coffee, juices, soft drinks, salads and sandwiches along with daily specials and take away beer or wine.

A daily menu will continue to be sent to our members.

We would like to thank you for your support as always.

See you soon.

Practice & Profession News
Commonwealth and Victorian Courts' COVID updates

The Victorian Government has announced a seven-day statewide lockdown from 8:00pm, Thursday 5 August 2021, inclusive. 

The Supreme Court of Victoria have published a joint jurisdictional statement from the Chief Justice, on behalf of the Victorian courts and VCAT. The statement is in response to the lockdown announced yesterday afternoon.

You can access the statement here.

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

As a result of the current lockdown, the Court will revert to the same settings we had in place for the previous lockdown on 15 July 2021. The only work that can continue with any onsite attendance at the Court during this time is that which is deemed essential to the administration of justice. This means the following for the Court:

Criminal jury trials

Those criminal jury trials underway may continue at Melbourne and on Circuit, subject to the views of the judge and the parties. Self-evidently, there is a strong public interest in those trials proceeding to verdict, where possible. The Court deems the continuation of any jury trial which has begun as essential.  

Criminal jury trials that were due to be empanelled between Friday, 6 August 2021 and Thursday, 12 August 2021 inclusive will not proceed. Every effort will be made to relist these trials over the coming weeks. The Court will be in contact with the parties soon in relation to these re-listings. 

Criminal judge alone trials

A trial by judge alone, which is midstream, will continue. Given its equivalence with jury trials, the interests of justice demand that it proceeds to a conclusion as efficiently as possible. By their nature, the Court considers the completion of such trials as essential to the administration of justice. Where onsite attendance is needed to complete a trial by judge alone efficiently, the Court would authorise it.

Other non-jury trial work

Save for work considered essential to the administration of justice, all other non-trial jury work in all Divisions will have to be conducted, if at all, completely offsite. This means that all matters are to be conducted remotely.  

A case will only be considered essential where is it essential that it be heard during the lockdown period. There must be compelling reasons why the case must go ahead during the lockdown period and why it must involve onsite attendance.  

Given the timing of this announcement, the Court appreciates that it may be too late to organise alternative arrangements, which may lead to some unavoidable attendance on Friday 6 August 2021. Parties with matters listed during the lockdown period should contact the presiding judge's chambers in the event of any uncertainty.   


As this is a statewide lockdown, the above considerations apply equally to all circuit work – jury and non-jury work.

Mask wearing

Mask wearing is at Setting 2 for cases that are conducted onsite, namely those in a speaking role, including counsel, are not required to wear a mask, but all other participants and other court users (including jurors) must wear a mask. Setting 2 will extend to all circuit matters.

Letters of authority

The profession should obtain any letter of authority to attend onsite at court from their respective organisations, should this be required.  

An accused’s bail papers will suffice to attend onsite at court.

Countdown to the commencement of the new Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

The new Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia will officially commence operations on Wednesday, 1 September 2021, following the passing of legislation to amalgamate the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia.

The legislation and the new Court has provided an opportunity to change the conversation about family law litigation in particular. The architecture of that conversation includes asking litigants if there is a smarter, better way for them to separate without the impact, stress and expenses of protracted family law litigation.

Click here for more information.

New AIFS survey of parents and carers: compliance with and enforcement of Family Law Parenting Orders Project

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 parents and carers.

Parents or carers who have had family law parenting orders made in the past 5 years are invited to participate in this survey. Please take the survey if it applies to you or help by sharing with your networks and/or client base.

This research will help us understand whether parents comply with parenting orders, how the enforcement process in the Family Law Act operates, and how well it works.

Please see the link to the participant information sheet and survey here.

Bar Library – New textbooks and Digital Bar Library

Guided by feedback and specific requests for particular areas to be better represented, the Bar Library has recently purchased many useful new books in various areas. Here is a taste of some of the titles that can be found on the shelves in the Richard Griffith Library:

The law affecting valuation of land in Australia

Rectification of documents

Judicial review of non-statutory executive action

Ong on estoppel

Principles of equity and trusts

Ethics and legal professionalism in Australia

Aviation law and drones: unmanned aircraft and the future of aviation

Sir Owen Dixon’s legacy

The Washington diaries of Owen Dixon, 1942-44

When doctors and patients disagree: ethics, paediatrics and the zone of parental discretion

General theory of law and state

Annotated Bankruptcy Act 1966

Law of agency

Statutory interpretation: principles and context

Uniform evidence in Australia

Corporations and associations law: principles and issues

Social media and the law

Law in commerce

Annotated administrative appeals legislation

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Cybercrime: legislation, cases and commentary

Glissan’s advocacy in practice

Effective legal writing: a practical guide

Children and the law in Australia

Cross on evidence

Lawyer discipline

Annotated National Credit Code

The modern contract of guarantee

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

Law Institute of Victoria recognises outstanding contributions to legal profession in annual awards

The Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) has recognised 14 lawyers for their outstanding contributions to the legal profession.

Bill O’Shea and Steve Stevens are the newest recipients of the LIV Honorary Life Membership, the highest honour the LIV can bestow on a member.

Honorary Life Membership recognises significant achievements, service and contribution to the LIV, legal profession and community over a distinguished career.

Suzanne Bettink, Eila Pourasgheri, Tony Riordan, Tim Robinson, and Frank Tisher have received the LIV Distinguished Service Award.

The LIV Distinguished Service Award recognises individuals who have rendered significant and distinguished service of a high degree to the LIV or the legal profession over an extended period of time.

Bettina Evert, Lena Hung, Aaron Jolly, Greg Reinhardt, Antonella Terranova, Amanda Toner, and Mel Walker are recipients of the LIV President’s Award for Outstanding Service.

The LIV President’s Award for Outstanding Service recognises a voluntary contribution to the LIV or legal profession over and above what might reasonably be expected in a particular field.

LIV president Tania Wolff congratulated the award recipients and thanked them for their work.

“Each of the 14 individuals recognised this year has made a significant contribution to the legal profession and the community over years and decades, some over their entire careers,” Ms Wolff said.

“Their extra efforts change people’s lives for the better, which is at the heart of why it’s done.”

“On behalf of the LIV, I’d like to thank the 14 members, some in the relatively early stages of their careers in the law, some towards the end, for their efforts and their care. There is no doubt that the LIV, the profession, the community and the laws of Victoria have benefited from the input of this group of lawyers.”

See the full list and details of Award recipients here.

Appointment of Manager to the incorporated legal practice Settle Safe Pty Ltd trading as ‘Goodman Group Lawyers’

On Friday, 23 July 2021, the Victorian Legal Services Board (‘the Board’) resolved to appoint Mr Paul McCarthy as Manager of the incorporated legal practice Settle Safe Pty Ltd trading as ‘Goodman Group Lawyers’ (the ‘Practice’)—pursuant to section 334 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (Victoria) (‘the Uniform Law’).

The appointment is for a period of approximately nine months, expiring on 1 April 2022, unless the appointment is extended or otherwise terminated in accordance with section 340 of the Uniform Law.

Members of the Victorian Bar who have recently been briefed and/or undertaken work for the Practice may be impacted by this appointment. Please ensure that this information is made available to all Bar members and ask that they contact Mr McCarthy 03 9609 1643 or by email on if they have any concerns about payment of their fees.

Profession CPD & Events
International Bar Association - upcoming webinars

A complete list of upcoming IBA events can be found on its events diary page.

For details on how to become a sponsor, please email

Certificates of attendance for the above sessions will be provided to all IBA members who have registered in advance and attended the live broadcast for a minimum of 30 minutes; please make enquiries at

Webinar on legal issues associated with Covid 19 vaccinations

On Thursday, 12 August 2021, New Chambers in Sydney is hosting a webinar on legal issues associated with Covid-19 vaccinations. It is a free event, and the flyer for the webinar is available here, including registration details.

CLARS Law & Business Seminar Series: How much do investors care about social responsibility?

In this CLARS Law & Business seminar, Associate Professor Hirst will discuss empirical evidence on investors' willingness to sacrifice investment returns for social purposes and how investor preferences relate to the important current debates about social responsibility, corporate purpose, and stakeholders.

In this online seminar on Tuesday, 17 August 2021, Scott Hirst, Associate Professor of Law of Boston University, will also be joined by Dean Paatsch of Ownership Matters, who will provide commentary.

Register here.

Judicial Review of IAA Decisions

Tuesday 17 August 2021, 4–5:00pm.

Presenters: Mathew Keneally, Victorian Bar, and Greg Hanson, Victorian Legal Aid

This session will provide an update on case law relating to judicial review of decisions made under Part 7AA of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).

It will assist barristers and practitioners in identifying legal errors in decisions of the Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA).

Click here to register.

Lucinda Lecture 2021: The Honourable Justice James Edelman - Aliens, Defence, Juries, and Marriage

Monash Law is honoured to present the 2021 Lucinda Lecture, to be delivered by The Honourable Justice James Edelman, High Court of Australia, on Thursday, 19 August 2021, from 6:00pm–7:10pm. The session will take place online via webinar. Register here.

About the lecture - Aliens, defence, juries, and marriage

There is an important divide in constitutional interpretation that has been described as a difference between interpretation and construction, or between concept and conception, or between meaning and application, or between essential meaning and non-essential meaning. However it is described, this difference has been recognised in many decisions of the High Court of Australia. This lecture will explore the difference by reference to High Court decisions in relation to four constitutional concepts: aliens, defence, juries, and marriage.

Upcoming Melbourne Law School events

Melbourne Law School invites you to attend the following upcoming free public events:

2021 Allen Hope Southey Memorial Lecture: Climate-conscious lawyering presented by The Hon. Justice Brian J Preston FRSN SC, Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales, on Wednesday, 25 August 2021, 6–7:00pm, online via Zoom. Visit the event's webpage for more information. Register here to receive the Zoom link to watch online.

Reimagining the relationship and reshaping our institutions presented by Tim Goodwin, Barrister, Victorian Bar, on Wednesday, 8 September 2021, 6–7:00pm, in-person at the G08 theatre, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham St, Carlton, or online via Zoom. Visit the event's webpage for more information. Register here to attend in person. Register here to receive the Zoom link to watch online.

Gridlock: reforming Australia’s institutions to unblock policy reform presented by Professor John Daley, Professorial Fellow at Melbourne Law School, Wednesday, 15 September 2021, 6–7:00pm, in-person at G08 theatre, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham St, Carlton. Visit the event's webpage for more information. Register here to attend in person.

2nd LAWASIA Human Rights Conference - 9 October 2021

"Rediscovering and Reshaping Human Rights in a Post Pandemic World"

LAWASIA's Human Rights Committee, in conjunction with the Korean Bar Association, is pleased to invite the participation of members and legal professionals at the 2nd LAWASIA Human Rights Conference to be held online in a virtual format on 9 October 2021. 

This is the second LAWASIA Human Rights Conference, providing a unique opportunity for lawyers and associated professional members to exchange insights and expertise on topics of significant importance to all. 

The conference will explore a broad range of human rights issues of relevance in the Asia Pacific region, including:

  • Human Rights and COVID-19 in the Asia Pacific Region
  • Human Rights crisis in Myanmar
  • Racial discrimination in the era of COVID-19
  • Trends in freedom of expression regulations in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Emerging norms in climate change litigation
  • Labour rights in a gig economy, and
  • Gender Equality and Human Rights, towards diversity and inclusiveness.

LAWASIA and the Korean Bar Association look forward to welcoming you to the conference.

Click here for more information.

International Trademark Association 2021 Annual Meeting

We are pleased to announce that INTA’s 2021 Annual Meeting will be held virtually 15-19 November 2021 and features a robust virtual program over five days and one-day in-person mini-conferences in four cities. More details can be found here.

The mini-conferences will take place on the following days and cities:

  • November 15: Hong Kong SAR, China
  • November 16: New York, New York USA
  • November 17: Berlin, Germany
  • November 18: Los Angeles, California USA
Careers & Opportunities
Expressions of interest: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory

The Attorney-General of the Australian Capital Territory, Mr Shane Rattenbury MLA, invites expressions of interest from eligible and suitably qualified people for appointment as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory.

The Chief Justice is responsible for ensuring the orderly and expeditious discharge of the business of the Supreme Court.

Expressions of interest are sought from all areas of the legal community, including the private, government and community sectors. Women, people with disabilities, people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, people from culturally diverse backgrounds and those who identify as LGBTIQ are encouraged to apply.

Click here for more information and to apply.

2022 John Koowarta Scholarship round

The Law Council would like to inform the Constituent Bodies that applications for the 2022 John Koowarta Reconciliation Law Scholarship (Koowarta Scholarship) are now open.

Applications close COB Friday, 3 September 2021.

The Eligibility Criteria for the Koowarta Scholarship is attached with this memo and is also available online. Scholarships will be awarded on the recommendation of an Advisory Committee appointed by the Law Council of Australia. The successful applicant will receive a scholarship to the value of up to $5,500 for the 2022 academic year or, on a pro-rata basis, an offer for periods of part-time study.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Council by email at

Click here for the application form.

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, seniority, 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 for further information about the actual submission of an entry and 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, 12th August 2021