In Brief Issue #1031

Christopher Blanden QC

I had the great pleasure on Wednesday morning of introducing the Honourable Chief Justice Anne Ferguson to open the Legal Professionals Mental Health Symposium. This inaugural event was co-hosted by the Bar and the Mental Health Foundation of Australia and was the first of its type targeted at the mental health of those in the legal profession. It was one of a range of activities taking place during Mental Health Month in October. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking Daryl Williams QC, a Director of the Foundation, for giving the Bar the opportunity of co-hosting this important event.

The Women Barristers Association recently held a session for junior members to discuss their experiences of remote appearances and working from home. I am grateful to them for sharing its summary. The general view seemed to be that, despite some remote advantages, attendance at chambers and in-person court appearances were preferable. This was perhaps best reflected by a general feeling of needing to get “back on the floor”.

I’m sure most of you share that sentiment, in particular those who have coped with the added burden of child minding and home schooling. The support of colleagues and friends in the chamber’s environment, eases the burden of what is already a stressful profession and adds some perspective to our daily challenges. It has been sorely missed.

As we have stressed for many months, decisions in relation to the ‘Authorised Worker’ provisions and the Victorian government health guidelines, are for individual barristers to determine according to their own circumstances. What I would like to reiterate, is that in determining whether it is appropriate to come into chambers, you consider the welfare of those with whom you may come into contact. Don’t come if there is any doubt about your health status, or that of your close contacts. If you do come, ensure you use the QR code when entering chambers buildings. Make sure you wear a mask in common or shared areas, unless you have an exemption. In short, make sure you show consideration for other barristers and staff.

The new mandatory vaccination directions have just been published this morning and we will update members shortly by way of separate bulletin.

Christopher Blanden QC



Vicbar News & Events
Nominations for the 2021-2022 Bar Council election

Members are reminded that nominations for election to the 2021/2022 Bar Council close at 5:00pm, Thursday 21 October 2021.

Nominations must be received by the Statutory Secretary on or before 5:00pm, Thursday 21 October 2021 by email to

Please find attached Candidate nomination form and Nominator form.

Nominations received out of time or in hard copy cannot be accepted.

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. Last week, 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.

Appointment – County Court of Victoria

The County Court of Victoria has announced the appointments of the following Judicial Registrars:

Judicial Registrar David Bennett has joined the Commercial Division

Judicial Registrar Rosalind Avis has joined the Crime Division

The appointments were effective from Tuesday, 5 October 2021.

BCL - ​​​​​​​Staying COVIDSafe at BCL: Swipe access required effective Monday 11 October

As we have throughout the pandemic, Barristers’ Chambers Limited and The Victorian Bar remain focused on safeguarding the health, safety and wellbeing of the Bar, our people, our contractors and the community.

All buildings and a large proportion of individual floors remain on restricted access as we have done throughout Lockdowns.  As we come out of restrictions and living with the virus it is important to continue to reiterate the importance of all of us (barristers, clerks, all occupants, BCL employees, contractors and public visitors) having responsibility in doing their part.

One small part of this is to ensure we are minimising the spread of COVID-19 as we increasingly return to chambers. Whilst most buildings and floors are already restricted and group representatives have been informed, effective Monday 11 October swipe cards are again required until further notice in all BCL buildings (including Owen Dixon Chambers East and West), lift lobbies and individual floors (if this arrangement is not already in place). 

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 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: National Security Law Committee

The Bar Council is seeking nominations for one (1) appointment to the LCA National Security Law Committee (NSLC).

The role of the Committee is, at the direction of the Law Council Executive, to advise the Law Council and prepare submissions on matters related to Australia’s national security policies and laws and laws to the extent that they relate to Australia’s national security framework.

Items on the National Security Law Committee agenda include:

  1. advise the Law Council in relation to the operation, effectiveness and implications of:
    1. Australia’s national security laws; and
    2. any other law of the Commonwealth to the extent that it relates to Australia’s national security laws;
  2. advise the Law Council on whether any policies or laws mentioned in paragraph (a):
    1. contains appropriate safeguards for protecting the rights of individuals; and
    2. remains proportionate to any threat of terrorism or threat to national security, or both; and
    3. remains necessary;
  3. inform public advocacy and bilateral government engagement, including but not limited to participating in the drafting of submissions, parliamentary or executive inquiries or reviews on behalf of the Law Council as requested; and
  4. consider any other relevant issues that may arise.

The Committee will meet as required to perform its functions. The Committee will normally meet by video conference and/or telephone but may meet face-to-face once per calendar year.

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 5:00pm Friday, 22 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. 

Victorian Bar and Monash University Open Justice Project

Members working on pro bono matters can once again seek assistance from selected Monash University law students through the Open Justice Project. Students can assist with legal and paralegal tasks, such as legal research, simple drafting, and preparing chronologies or summaries of evidence. The Project is now in its second intake; during the first intake, barristers reported that they received very high-quality assistance on a wide range of matters. Barristers seeking the assistance of a student for a pro bono matter should complete the request form on the Open Justice Project webpage.

The Open Justice Project is a collaboration between the Victorian Bar and the Monash Faculty of Law. It establishes a panel of later year undergraduate and postgraduate students at the Faculty who provide pro bono legal assistance (such as research and paralegal assistance) to barristers in pro bono matters. The Patron of the Project is the Honourable Chris Maxwell AC, President of the Court of Appeal. For further information about the Project, members can see the Open Justice Project webpage here.

WBA Women Leading the Conversation: Professor Kim Rubenstein

Women Leading the Conversation is a series of discussions facilitated by the Women Barristers Association which aims to amplify the voices of women involved in some of the most important issues currently facing the profession and the community.

In this second webinar in the series, Professor Kim Rubenstein will speak to us about her role with the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, her work on citizenship and gender and the Trailblazing Women lawyers project and her decision to stand for Federal Parliament where she seeks to change the gender debate at the heart of our democracy.

Tuesday 12 October 2021

4:45pm - 5:45pm

Online via Zoom

Thursday 11 October 

Click here to register.

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.

  • 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.
  • An introduction to Children, Young People and the Mental Health Tribunal is on Wednesday, 20 October, 5:00-6:00pm. This CPD introduces children’s law specialists to the Mental Health Tribunal and the role it plays in making compulsory treatment orders for children and young people experiencing mental illness. This is an online-only event. Click here to register.

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

Vicbar Life
VicBar choir

The VicBar Choir invites you to join its group. A new term recently commenced. 

Time: 1–2:00pm, Wednesdays, via Zoom during lockdown.

Dates: The choir will meet for a 10-week term, and started on Wednesday, 6 October, to Wednesday, 8 December 2021.

Cost: $30 a week (casual – fee relief readily available) – $250 a term.

For more information, contact the Bar office on 9225 7111 or

Click here to view the flyer.

BottledSnail Productions - Listen while you Lunch

BottledSnail Productions is delighted to present an online edition of its successful lunchtime concert series. Join Troy Burg (guitar/vocal), Nick Charles (guitar), Rebecca Clarke (violin), Freya Dinshaw (piano), Rafaela Cleeve Gerkens (vocal), Lachlan Scheuber (piano), Kylie Weston-Scheuber (vocal/piano) and Jonathan Xian (piano) for a relaxing hour of music that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home! There is no charge and all are welcome to attend at 1:00pm on Friday 15 October. Click here for the flyer. We look forward to seeing you! To register for the event, please contact

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.

Click here to see the monthly best buys!

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 joint jurisdictional statement from the Chief Justice, on behalf of the Victorian courts and VCAT in response to the Public Health directions published last night.

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.
  • 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.

LPLC - We've updated our Tax Checklist

UPDATED Checklist: Tax Issues

Practitioners who deal with conveyancing matters need to be both aware of tax issues in this area of law, and actively keep up to date with new developments.

LPLC has a dedicated webpage for all resources and publications relating to property tax. Including our recent articles and flowcharts about duty. 

We have updated our Tax issues checklist with more detail about foreign person additional duty surcharge, and extra duty where there is land development and nominations.


Revenue Ruling DA-064 Land transfer duty – meaning of land development

On 6 September the State Revenue office published Revenue Ruling DA-064 Land transfer duty – meaning of land development which provides further clarity around the meaning of land development in section 3(1) of the Duties Act.

Practitioners need to understand the different activities that constitute land development and advise their purchaser clients accordingly.

Legal Services Council Newsletter - Issue 3 - September 2021

The Legal Services Council September newsletter is available here, for your information.

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 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.

Bob Baxt AO Annual Address: Professor John C. Coffee

Join Professor John C. Coffee for the inaugural Bob Baxt AO Annual Address in Corporate & Commercial Law


Professor John C. Coffee, Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law, Columbia University Law School

John C. Coffee specialises in corporate law and governance, securities regulation and white collar crime.

In this Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies event on Friday, 26 October 2021, Professor Coffee will be speaking on his address title: The Coming Shift in Shareholder Activism: From "Firm-Specific" to "Systematic Risk" Proxy Campaigns (and How to Enable Them). Professor The Honourable Marilyn Warren AC QC, former Chief Justice of The Supreme Court of Victoria will provide the introductory remarks.

Register 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.

First Nations Peoples' Truth & Justice Commissions - Wednesday 24 November 2021

The Australian Academy of Law is holding an on-line event on Truth & Justice Commissions on 24 November at 6:00pm - 7:15pm.

In May 2021 the Victorian Government appointed five Commissioners to constitute a truth-telling Royal Commission, the Yoo-rrook [truth] Justice Commision, to inquire into historic and on-going systemic injustice perpetrated against First Peoples since the Colonisation of Victoria.  The event involves a panel discussion with two Commissioners, the Hon Kevin Bell AM QC and Dr Wayne Atkinson.  Professor Kate O'Regan, a former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, will offer a comparative perspective.  The event is chaired by the Hon Pamela Tate SC.

Click here for the flyer and more information.

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, 14th October 2021