In Brief Issue #1030

Christopher Blanden QC

Tuesday evening witnessed the very successful launch of the Bar’s Revised Code of Conduct comprising policies against sexual harassment, workplace bullying and discrimination. Well over 200 people attended the on-line launch.

The revised Code required a substantial amount of work and effort in the planning and delivery. I wish to extend my personal thanks to SVP Roisin Annesley QC, JVP Darryl Burnett and Nawaar Hassan of the Bar Council for their tireless efforts in bringing this important new policy to fruition.

Thursday morning was the online Work Experience Day for the 30 winning students of the Victorian Bar Foundation Student Achievement Awards.  The Award encourages young adults from all walks of life to consider a career at the Bar and convey the message that the Bar is open to all on merit, irrespective of their social status, economic circumstances, ethnic background, religious affiliation, sexual orientation or gender.  The 30 winning students are studying legal studies at the 16 high schools in the Hume region, and this morning heard from the Honourable Justice Rita Incerti about her legal career and the Supreme Court. Then the students had a Q and A session with Bar members Sandip Mukerjea and Christopher Tran, who answered their thoughtful questions about how and why to pursue a career in the law before the Honourable Justice Gordon AC, the Patron of the Award, surprised the students by dropping into the Zoom to wish them luck with their exams! Members who would be interested in participating in future VBF Student Achievement Award programs are welcome to register their interest with Georgie Coleman ( 

Christopher Blanden QC

Vicbar News & Events
Notice of Annual General Meetings ­of Victorian Bar Inc, and Barristers’ Benevolent Association of Victoria

The Annual General Meetings of Victorian Bar Inc, and Barristers’ Benevolent Association of Victoria will be held on Monday, 25 October 2021 at 5:00pm via Zoom. Earlier today, members were sent an invitation containing the agenda for each meeting and a link to register their attendance. Those who register will be sent a Zoom link to the meeting by email following registration.  Registrations close at 4:30pm on Monday, 25 October 2021.

Nominations for the 2021-2022 Bar Council election open on Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Nomination forms and the process for nominating for election to Bar Council will remain the same as in 2020, as members of the Bar and staff are not able to attend chambers in person due to COVID-19. For this reason, we are unable to accept forms in hard copy. There will be separate interactive PDF nomination forms for candidates and their nominators. A call for nominations for election to the 2021-2022 Bar Council will be emailed on Wednesday, 6 October 2021 to members of counsel eligible to nominate and be nominated, containing the forms, and including instructions on completing the forms.

Appointment – Supreme Court of Victoria

The Supreme Court of Victoria

Victorian Bar member Ms Elizabeth Jane Tueno has been appointed as a Judicial Registrar of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

The appointment was effective from Tuesday, 28 September 2021.

Reverse Mentoring Scheme – applications now open for Bar members

Last week, the Information and Technology Committee launched the Reverse Mentoring Scheme. The scheme involves pairing barristers under five years’ call (the mentors) with more senior barristers who wish to develop their technological and digital skills (the mentees).

The scheme will facilitate meaningful professional connections between junior and senior barristers and enable senior barristers to gain valuable insight into how juniors take advantage of the technological and digital opportunities of online and remote practice.

The scheme will run for at least three months. The pairs will meet at least three times, but the number of meetings and how often they meet is up to each pair.

In addition to specific goals set by the pairs, all mentees will have developed or improved the following skills as part of their interaction with their mentor:

  1. Managing matters and briefs by email.
  2. Accepting electronic briefs.
  3. Using digital documents in court hearings.
  4. Editing PDF documents: mark ups, highlights, tabs/bookmarks etc.
  5. Formatting Word documents: headings, tables of contents, bullets and numbering etc.
  6. Using all main video conferencing platforms relevant to the practice area.
  7. Planning for cybersecurity and digital document security.
  8. Risk management planning: including working from home, internet outages, damage to devices and losing files.
  9. Establishing which devices, tools and software may be relevant and useful to the practice area.

The Information and Technology Committee, which is administering this scheme, will make the matches and will aim to match mentors and mentees in the same practice areas if possible.

If you are interested in joining the first intake of this scheme as a mentor or mentee, please submit this application form here. The deadline for initial applications is Friday 8 October 2021.

Victorian Bar News: Call for contributions from the editors

After a suboptimal Winter, we are turning our minds to Summer … that is, to our Summer Issue of Victorian Bar News, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2021 (Issue 170)! 

We are now calling for contributions. 

Victorian Bar News has been documenting what matters to Victorian barristers since it was first published in 1971. As most of you know it is now published twice a year. Our next publication is due in December, hopefully coinciding with our return to chambers. 

A lot has been happening, it just hasn’t been as visible as we would like it to be.  We want to ensure that the stories of our vibrant community are known to all of us. Now is not the time to hide your light under a bushel.  

Here are some ideas:

  • In the spirit of ‘paying it forward’, has a fellow barrister done something positive and notable which should be shared with our broader community?
  • VBN war stories: if a VBN story from the first 49 years of its publication made an indelible impression on you, we would like to hear from you.
  • Bar collegiality: We may not have had face-to-face conviviality but we’re an inventive bunch. Please send us your photos and stories.
  • Our virtual practices: What we do hate, and what do we love?  Have your views on online hearings evolved during the course of the pandemic? What elements of online practice should stay and what should go when we return to ‘COVID normal’? Expert tips and tricks are welcome.
  • Verbatim: we’re looking for all transcript passages which made you laugh out loud in a good way.
  • Bar Committees: Please share with us reports of significant developments, events, programs, networking and 2022 plans.
  • Legal issues - whether pandemic related or not.
  • Letters to the Editor.

We are keen for your photos, vignettes, insights and articles.  We can’t wait to hear from you!

Our content deadline is 29 October 2021. Please submit to

You are also most welcome to contact us directly to discuss your topic ideas and suggested word length.

Best wishes,

Natalie Hickey, Justin Wheelahan and Annette Charak
The Editors

Call for Nominations for Law Council of Australia: Business & Human Rights Committee

The Bar Council is seeking nominations for one (1) appointment to the LCA Business and Human Rights Committee (BHRC).

The Law Council’s Business and Human Rights Committee was established by the Executive in September 2014. It was formed to develop a policy focus in the emerging field of business and human rights law, consider how the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the Guiding Principles) can be implemented by Australian law firms, and raise awareness about the Guiding Principles for the legal profession.

Items on the Business and Human Rights Committee agenda include:

  • developing networks with government, industry associations and key stakeholders to understand their work on business and human rights;
  • providing feedback to government on the role of the legal profession in the implementation of the Guiding Principles;
  • organising events on the Guiding Principles and their applicability to the legal profession;
  • liaising with the Law Council’s Constituent Bodies on their engagement with business and human rights issues;
  • supporting the development of a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights for Australia;
  • utilising the Law Council’s Special Consultative Status to attend and participate in relevant UN business and human rights events; and
  • looking at how business and human rights training can be incorporated into legal education.

The Committee typically meets 3 – 4 times per year, with one face to face meeting, and the others by telephone conference. Additionally, the Committee shares information regularly by email.

The Bar’s protocol for nomination and appointment of Vic 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 Miranda Tulloch at The closing date for EOIs is 4:00pm, Monday, 4 October, 2021.

Inquiry into the Territories Stolen Generations Redress Scheme Bills – Appearance at Senate Committee alongside the LCA

On Thursday 5 August 2021, the Federal Government announced its intention to fund and implement a redress scheme for living Stolen Generations survivors in the Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and Jervis Bay Territory (i.e. in those jurisdictions that were under Commonwealth control at the time the harm was perpetrated). This announcement formed part of the Government’s release of its Implementation Plan under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

In its recent media release regarding the Government’s Implementation Plan, the Law Council of Australia (the LCA) welcomed the commitment but hoped it might be replicated for Stolen Generations survivors across the country. LCA has previously engaged with inquiries into similar redress schemes, such as those for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

On 31 August 2021, the Bar was invited to provide input for an LCA submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee’s inquiry into the Territories Stolen Generations Redress Scheme (Facilitation) Bill 2021 (Cth) and Territories Stolen Generations Redress Scheme (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2021 (Cth). The Bar’s submission is accessible here.

On 17 September 2021, the LCA provided its submission to the Committee and acknowledged the assistance of the Bar in providing the majority of the information and views that form the basis of its submission. The LCA also invited the Bar to send a representative to appear alongside the LCA’s Indigenous Legal Issues Committee Chair, Tony McAvoy SC, in a short hearing on Friday, 24 September 2021. On recommendation of the Indigenous Justice Committee, Ms Kate Stowell of Counsel attended as the Bar’s representative. Topics discussed at the hearing included expanding the scheme so that families of deceased members of Stolen Generations are allowed to make applications, access to justice issues, the importance of transparency and accountability and the redress amount (currently $75,000). Some finer detail about the asset’s tests issue and the primary delegation legislation question were also raised. 

CPD seminar - Recommendation 83 - Specific guidance for barristers on maintaining appropriate professional boundaries

Recommendation 83 - Specific guidance for barristers on maintaining appropriate professional boundaries is on Thursday, 7 October, 5:15-6:15pm. Following the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants (RCMPI), the Commissioner made a number of recommendations. In response to Recommendation 83, Roisin Annesley QC and James Barber will deliver a lecture for members to provide specific guidance on maintaining appropriate professional boundaries. This session is open only to barristers and is an online-only event. Click here to register.

BCL - commercial tenancy relief and staying COVIDSafe

Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme Regulations 2021

The new Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme Regulations 2021 were passed on Tuesday, 24 August 2021 and are effective from Wednesday, 28 July 2021 to Saturday, 15 January 2022.

Click here to view the COVID-19 BCL Rent Relief Scheme with details on eligibility, criteria and application form.

BCL’s ability to continue to provide this relief and support to those most in need depends on the support of those Bar members who can continue to pay rent.

If you have any questions, please contact BCL by email at


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.

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.

  • Gender Equitable Briefing – some strategies for improving briefing rates is on Tuesday, 5 October, 5:15-6:30pm. This seminar will discuss achieving equitable briefing, particularly in civil matters and by private firms in particular. WBA has invited four firms who achieved the overall briefing target of 30% and are also signatories to the Gender Equitable Briefing Policy to outline their experiences and strategies for improving their performance, and transparency, in gender equitable briefing. This is an online-only event. Click here to register.
  • Legal Professionals Mental Health Symposium is on Wednesday, 6 October, 09:00-11:00am. This seminar is about mental health and wellbeing in the legal profession which is an issue of critical importance. While solicitors and barristers carry out vitally important work on a daily basis, sometimes the pressures and stresses associated with that work can have a negative effect on a person’s mental health and wellbeing. This is an online-only event. Click here to register.
  • The New Court: down to business in the FCFCOA is on Wednesday, 6 October, 5:15-6:15pm. At this session, our expert panel will talk about the new Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia and address what we all need to know. This is an online-only event. Click here to register.
  • Recommendation 80 - Guidance in relation to the duty of confidentiality is on Wednesday, 13 October, 5:15-6:15pm. Following the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants (RCMPI), the Commissioner made a number of recommendations. In response to Recommendation 80, criminal law barristers, Peter Chadwick QC, Colin Mandy SC and Jason Gullaci will deliver a lecture for members focused on the duty of confidentiality. This session is open only to barristers and is an online-only event. Click here to register.
  • Leadership at the Bar is on Thursday, 14 October, 4:30-6:30pm. For the first time, the Victorian Bar presents a two-part seminar dedicated to the leadership role of senior members of the Bar. It is open to silks and senior junior counsel with ten or more years of seniority only. The session will now be delivered online via Zoom. This session is open only to barristers. Click here to register.
  • Protecting confidential information in the 21st century: The new technologies and some practical tips for litigation is on Tuesday, 19 October, 4:30-6:00pm. This session will discuss the tips and traps from both the plaintiff and defendant perspective for running a breach of confidence claim, and in particular, the initial stages of seeking interlocutory relief. Deloitte’s Forensic Services team will join us to explain the new software available to business to protect confidential information and detect its misuse. This is an online-only event. Click here to register.

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

Vicbar Life
Member Benefits portal for Bar members

Victorian Bar members are encouraged to use the 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 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 Supreme Court of Victoria have published a cross-jurisdictional announcement from the Chief Justice, on behalf of the Victorian courts and VCAT, in response to today's announcement regarding Authorised Workers.

You can read the message here.

For up-to-date information about the Courts’ responses, please visit their websites:

  • Federal Court of Australia – see here.
  • Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia – see here.
  • Supreme Court of Victoria – see here.
  • County Court of Victoria – see here.
  • Magistrates’ Court of Victoria – see here.
FCFCoA – Launch of Major Complex Financial Proceedings List Pilot for financial cases in family law

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia is launching a Major Complex Financial Proceedings List (MCFP List) to more efficiently deal with commercially complex financial family law cases.

Without effective case management, family law cases that involve complicated commercial issues can require the additional and sometimes unnecessary allocation of significant Court resources in dealing with ongoing interim and protracted disputes. These may include disputes about disclosure or discovery, the management of technical or complex expert evidence and disputes concerning interests in trusts or other corporate structures.

The purpose of the MCFP List will be achieved by strict timetabling, early dispute resolution, and intensive case management.

The new List will manage family law matters involving complex financial disputes where the value of net asset pool is over $20 million.

The MCFP List commences on 1 October 2021 and will operate as a pilot program in the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane registries of the Court. Cases in other registries that meet the criteria for the List may be included if they are appropriate to be heard and managed electronically.

The Chief Justice, the Hon Will Alstergren, said that the Pilot of the MCFP List is one of many initiatives that the Court has implemented to improve case management in the family law system:

“The Court acknowledges that matters that involve high net property pools and include complex financial or commercial issues have often required numerous court events and generated significant costs to the parties. The Court is committed to ensuring these disputes are resolved in a timely manner and at a cost that is proportionate to the complexity of the matters in dispute.”

“The MCFP List aims to ensure that complex financial matters are dealt with more efficiently and consistently by providing specialised case management that is tailored to the needs of the case.”

“Proper management of these complex cases will ensure efficient use of the Court’s resources. This will benefit other urgent and priority cases that also need to be heard in a timely manner.” Chief Justice Alstergren said.

More information on the Pilot is available in Family Law Practice Direction – Major Complex Financial Proceedings List.

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
Age of innocence? Revisiting the age of criminal responsibility in Victoria

Kids in grade 5 can be charged, convicted and sentenced with crimes under Victorian law.

In Victoria, children are deemed to be criminally responsible at the age of ten. In contrast, many other countries have set the minimum age at 14 years – the age recommended by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Earlier this year, 31 countries called on Australia to raise the age of criminal responsibility. It has also been the subject of recent consideration by all Australian Attorneys-General and the Commonwealth Government. Nothing has happened.

What is the law that applies to very young offenders in Victoria? How does it work in practice? How ‘responsible’ can pre- and early teens be? And why do so many think the law needs urgent change?

Join us as we explore these questions at The Law and You Forum – Age of innocence? Revisiting the age of criminal responsibility in Victoria.

Tuesday 12 October 2021
5:30pm – 6:45pm

Online - We will email you a link before the event

Panellists will be announced soon! Stay tuned for updates

Free - Registration required

Click here to register.

Upcoming CIArb events

ACICA & CIArb International Arbitration Conference 2021

ACICA and CIArb Australia will be hosting the 2021 International Arbitration Conference during Australian Arbitration Week on 18 October 2021.

Our one day program includes a Welcome Address from the New South Wales Governor, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC and a Keynote Address from James Spigelman AC QC, and features a host of eminent speakers and expert practitioners from around the globe.

Click here to view the flyer for more information and to register.


CIArb Australia Annual Lecture 2021

CIArb Australia will be hosting the Annual Lecture 2021 during Australian Arbitration Week on Tuesday, 19 October 2021 between 5:00–6:00pm AEDT. The speaker for this year's lecture is Mr Bret Walker AO SC and the lecture topic is Privacy or Secrecy? Open Justice Values as a Challenge to Arbitral Procedure.

Click here to view the flyer for more information and to register.

UNCCA UN Day Lecture on the Singapore Convention on Mediation

UNCITRAL National Coordination Committee for Australia invite you to join us for an online lecture on the Singapore Convention on Mediation. The live, interactive webinar will occur across two consecutive afternoons from 5:00pm (AWST) on Wednesday, 20 October 2021 and from 5:00pm (AEST) on Thursday, 21 October 2021.

The lecture will include a keynote address from Khory McCormick, a past Australian delegation member for UNCITRAL Working Group II, which produced the Singapore Convention. Laura Keily, Founder and Managing Director of Immediation, an online dispute resolution platform, will join the discussion.

For more details, including registration (free of charge) and about the speakers, see the flyer here.

Australian Insurance Law Association E-Trials Webinar - Thursday, 28 October 2021

Please click here to view the flyer for the upcoming AILA webinar on Thursday, 28 October 2021 (1:00–2:00pm).

The webinar focuses on ‘judicial expectations and arrangements for remote hearings’ and includes Bar members Mary Anne Hartley QC, Michael K Clarke and Lachlan Howe.

Careers & Opportunities
Expressions of Interest – Judicial Registrar, Magistrates' Courts of Victoria

The Chief Magistrate of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria seeks expressions of interest from qualified persons for appointment as a Judicial Registrar of the Court.

Judicial Registrars are appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Attorney-General. All expressions of interest are treated confidentially and may be drawn upon on an ongoing basis as future vacancies arise.

The successful candidate will be legally qualified (admitted not less than five years), with substantial commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution experience and a demonstrated understanding of the Court’s processes. The candidate must also have superior communications skills, resilience, and the ability to make timely decisions according to law.

In particular, the candidate must possess a practical working knowledge of the following statutes that fall for consideration within the Court’s Industrial Division: -

Fair Work Act 2009
Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic)
Outworkers (Improved Protection) Act 2003 (Vic)
Child Employment Act 2003 (Vic)
Long Service Benefits Portability Act 2018 (Vic)
Long Service Leave Act 2018 (Vic)
Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005 (Vic)
Public Holidays Act
Patient Care (Nurse to Patient and Midwife to Patient Ratios) Act

Judicial Registrars may deal with and exercise all or any powers of the Court delegated to them pursuant to the Magistrates’ Court (Judicial Registrars) Rules 2015. These Rules delegate power in most jurisdictions of the Court. Candidates’ attention is drawn to the Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Other Acts Amendment (Federal Jurisdiction and Other Matters) Bill 2021.

Judicial Registrars are required to sit at all the locations of the Court throughout Victoria from time to time.

Expressions of interest, to be marked ‘Private and Confidential’, should include a resume, a short covering letter outlining your interest in the role and details of appropriate professional and personal referees. They should be posted to:

Ms Johanna Begbie
Director, People and Culture
Magistrates’ Court of Victoria
Level 6, 223 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Alternatively, expressions of interest can be emailed (please include all documents as one pdf attachment) to

All expressions of interest must be received by no later than close of business on Friday 8 October 2021. Any queries should be directed to Johanna Begbie on 03 9032 0904.

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, 7th October 2021