In Brief Issue #1023

Christopher Blanden QC

Another lockdown has just been extended for at least another week. If nothing else, it demonstrates how adept the courts have become at dealing with such upheavals when they occur. Cases that can be accommodated are in an unfortunately practised routine. However, there are always cases that cannot proceed and access to justice suffers.

No doubt, as part of the desire to address a mounting backlog of criminal trials, we have seen the appointment of six new judges to the County Court of Victoria this week, for which we thank the Attorney-General. Our congratulations to the new County Court appointees: Their Honours Judges Stewart Bayles, Kellie Blair, Nola Karapanagiotidis, Daniel Holding, Angela Ellis and Kate Hawkins. Our congratulations also to Nick Papas QC, appointed as the acting Director of Public Prosecutions in the Northern Territory.

As a result of the lockdown extension, the Readers’ Course commencing Thursday, 19 August, will now begin online. It will revert to face-to-face learning as soon as possible.

On a cheerier note, this week, the Bar opened a new ‘Members Benefits’ portal, which provides a range of exclusive benefits for VicBar members. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the range of offers here.

Christopher Blanden QC

Vicbar News & Events
Appointments – County Court of Victoria

The Governor in Council has appointed the following as judges of the County Court of Victoria:

His Honour Judge Stewart Bayles

Her Honour Judge Kellie Blair

Her Honour Judge Nola Karapanagiotidis

His Honour Judge Daniel Holding

Her Honour Judge Angela Ellis

The appointments were effective Tuesday, 10 August 2021. Details of any welcome ceremonies will be made available when they are known.

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 and staying COVIDSafe

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 overdue

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 or are experiencing financial hardship, please contact membership or call on 03 9225 8326.

Victorian Bar member CPD and events

The following is a highlight 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.

  • Equal opportunity and the law: LGBTIQ developments and where to from here? is on Monday, 16 August 2021, at 5:15-6:15pm. This seminar will discuss current issues affecting the LGBTIQ community, including proposed reform to the Equal Opportunity Act, protection from vilification and medical treatment issues since Re Kelvin [2017] FamCA 78. This is an online-only event. 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 log in using your login details.

The Essoign Club

Dear Essoign Members,

The Essoign Club will remain open from 7:00am and will operate as a takeaway and delivery as per the current restrictions.

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

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

As always, we would like to thank you for your support.

See you soon!

Practice & Profession News
Commonwealth and Victorian Courts' COVID updates

The Victorian Government has announced an extension to the restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne for seven days until 11:59pm, Thursday 19 August 2021. 

The Supreme Court of Victoria has published a joint jurisdictional statement from the Chief Justice on behalf of the Victorian courts and VCAT in response to changes to regional restrictions and the Melbourne extension.

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

Melbourne criminal jury trials

Those criminal jury trials underway may continue at Melbourne, 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.  

At this stage, criminal jury trials, which were due to be empanelled between Thursday, 12 August 2021 and Thursday, 19 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. 

We will aim to resume jury trials in Melbourne on Friday, 20 August 2021.

Melbourne 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 conclusion as efficiently as possible. By their nature, the Court considers the completion of such trials essential to the administration of justice. Where onsite attendance is needed to efficiently complete trial by judge alone, the Court would authorise it.

Melbourne other non-jury trial work

Each presiding judge will determine whether the onsite attendance of practitioners and other courts users is deemed necessary (as opposed to convenient or preferable).

If the hearing can be practically conducted with the practitioners and other court users participating remotely, it must be done that way.

Parties with non-jury matters listed during the lockdown period should contact the presiding judge's chambers in the event of any uncertainty.   

Circuit criminal jury trials

The Government has eased restrictions in regional Victoria from 11:59pm Monday, 9 August 2021. As a result, the Court will resume new jury empanelments for trials at circuit locations from Friday, 13 August 2021. The Court will contact parties with matters listed at circuit locations from this date in relation to their matter.

Melbourne and Circuit - mask-wearing

Mask wearing is at Setting 2 for cases 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. Mask setting 2 extends to all circuit matters.

Melbourne and Circuit - letters of authority

The profession should obtain any letter of authority to attend onsite at court from their respective organisations, should this be required. This includes for those practitioners who may need to travel from Melbourne to a regional court location for a circuit matter. An accused’s bail papers will suffice to attend onsite at court.  

Update to the family law profession: commencement of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

The Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia released information last week outlining changes to court operations that will occur on the commencement of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) from 1 September 2021.

On the first of September, we will see a new Court that is innovative, fair and efficient and focuses on risk, responsiveness and resolution, by:  

  • Improving early risk identification and safety of children and vulnerable parties
  • Encouraging smarter ways to separate with less acrimony, less cost and more dispute resolution, where it is safe to do so
  • Expecting compliance with court orders
  • Enhancing national access to justice for vulnerable parties and regional communities through the use of technology, and 
  • Resolving up to 90 per cent of cases within 12 months, where possible.

The following details provide an overview of changes to the FCFCOA’s harmonised rules, practice directions, forms and website. There is an overview of how appeals will be dealt with in the new structure and changes to Child Dispute Services and registrar roles. Details of the new National Contraventions List is also provided.

The majority of the changes relate to the FCFCOA’s family law jurisdiction. This update provides information about those changes, but some, such as the new website and new forms, also relate to the Court’s general federal law jurisdiction.

Click here for more information.

Lighthouse Project monthly update - July 2021

Please click here for the July 2021 edition of the Lighthouse Project newsletter.

This edition focuses on the core objectives of the Lighthouse Project, the benefits and effectiveness of screening, and the positive impact the Project has had on families to date.

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

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.

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.

The 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
Upcoming Monash University events

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.

Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

Australia’s Legal Obligation to Protect Afghan Interpreters

Join this webinar on the treatment of Afghan interpreters and Australia's legal obligation to protect those who have helped Australia. The Australian government’s treatment of Afghan interpreters and other Afghan nationals who have assisted Australia has been a topic of controversy in past months. This panel will examine Australia’s moral and legal obligation to protect workers who have helped Australian troops.

In this online seminar on Tuesday, 31 August 2021, speakers will discuss historical examples of Australia’s past troop withdrawals (e.g. from Vietnam and Iraq) and how other countries have dealt with the issue (particularly the United States and the United Kingdom). It will also place the debate within the broader context of granting humanitarian visas and Australia’s approach to refugee applications from Afghanistan. In particular, what does the grant of special visas to interpreters and other workers mean for how we treat other refugees fleeing Afghanistan?

Speakers include:

  • Emeritus Professor William Maley, Australian National University
  • Sitarah Mohammadi, Deputy Chair of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network

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.

Mental Wellness of Lawyers webinar

Join the Law Council of Australia and the Law Society of Singapore for a special webinar discussion on the mental health challenges facing legal practitioners on Tuesday, 7 September 2021.

While solicitors and barristers carry out vitally important work daily, the pressures and stresses associated with that work can negatively affect a person’s mental health and wellbeing.

Opened by Presidents Dr Jacoba Brasch QC and Gregory Vijayendran SC, the webinar will consider the structural issues contributing to mental health challenges in the legal profession and options to ameliorate these.

This is a free event for Australian lawyers; however, registration is essential.

Register here.

ACLM 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting

Legal Aspects of Child & Adolescent Health

Saturday, 11 and Sunday, 12 September 2021 |  Hybrid events | Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart and online

Guest speakers

  • Her Excellency The Honourable Barbara Baker AC - Governor of Tasmania - Opening Address
  • His Honour Coroner Simon McGregor - Victorian Coroner - Recent Trends and Coronial Insights into Child & Adolescent Health (Maurice Wallin Address)
  • The Honourable Elise Archer MP - Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Corrections, Workplace Safety & Consumer Affairs, & the Arts, Liberal Member for Clark - Dinner Speech
  • Senior Sergeant Marcus Cryer - QLD Police Officer  - Youth in Custody
  • Mr Bill Madden - Lawyer, Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers - Financial Compensation for Child Sex Abuse Victims
  • Dr John Kasinathan - Consultant Forensic, Child, Adolescent and Generalist Psychiatrist - Treatment of Sexual Deviant Disorders in Adolescents and Young People: Opportunities to Reduce Harm
  • Dr George Williams - Paediatrician - Autism in Children

Plus many more ACLM speakers!

Click here for the program.

Register to attend:

  • Live: Open $700 / ACLM: $600 (incl. GST)
  • Virtual: Open $600 / ACLM: $500 (incl. GST)

Flexible attendance options!

  • Live attendees can instantly switch to virtual attendance if unable to attend Hobart.
  • Virtual attendees can switch to live attendance up until 14 days before the event.

Register here & read full inclusions.

About ACLM

The Australasian College of Legal Medicine provides a network for doctors and dentists who have completed dual qualifications in law, and medicine or dentistry, or whose areas of practice are impacted by the law. ACLM holds Annual Scientific Meetings to discuss a variety of legal medicine themes.


ACLM is working with our venue, Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart, to ensure a COVID Safe event in line with government requirements. We have the ability to switch the entire event online in case of a worst-case scenario.

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 Saturday, 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.

Expressions of Interest: Magistrates' Courts of Victoria

The Attorney-General, Jaclyn Symes, seek expressions of interest from suitably qualified persons for appointment as magistrates of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.

Magistrates are appointed by the Governor in Council, on the advice of the Attorney General. Further information is accessible by clicking the hyperlink:

Magistrate |

Magistrate |

Potential applicants are encouraged to consider the Framework of Judicial Abilities and Qualities for Victorian Judicial Officers, available here.

Expressions of interest close at midnight on Wednesday, 1 September 2021.

Commonwealth Lawyers Association nomination period now open for candidates for 2021-2024

The Bar received an invitation from the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) to provide a nomination for appointment to the CLA Council. The current composition of the Council is available here. For further information about the nomination, please click here.

One of the prerequisites to be able to nominate is CLA membership. The Bar is currently not a CLA member organisation, and members who have individual CLA membership are encouraged to submit a nomination. You can access the form by clicking here.

The CLA is a membership organisation for professional lawyers, academics and students practising within the Commonwealth. It also welcomes international lawyers and academics with an interest in its works. The Council is the governing body of the CLA, with a membership of the Council a highly prestigious appointment, bringing credit and Commonwealth-wide recognition to the individual concerned and to his/her parent institution and country.

Please note that nomination does not guarantee election, as the full CLA membership will participate in an e-vote in December 2021 to select the final composition of the Council.

2022 John Koowarta Scholarship

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, 19th August 2021