In Brief Issue #1037

Róisín Annesley QC


On Tuesday, I attended the State Funeral for the Hon. Sir James Gobbo AC CVO QC.  The funeral was well attended by current and former judiciary, including the Chief Justice, Anne Ferguson and the President of the Court of Appeal, Christopher Maxwell.  The Hon. Daniel Andrews and former Premiers of the State were also in attendance, as were a number of members of the Bar. The Governor of Victoria, the Hon. Linda Dessau AC, Allen Myers AC QC and Jeremy Gobbo QC delivered eloquent eulogies that told of Sir James’ commitment to community service, his faith, the law and his family.

On Wednesday, I attended the unveiling of the bust of Alfred Deakin, by Simon Benwell, now on display in the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery. Emeritus Professor Judith Brett, gave an entertaining and informative lecture on the life of Deakin, Australia’s second Prime Minister and a member of our Bar. If members would like to read about the life of Alfred Deakin, Prof. Brett’s biography The Enigmatic Mr Deakin is being offered at a special price to members.  See details below.

Bar Council

The new Bar Council had its first working meeting last night.  The Bar Council will continue the practice of making minutes of Bar Council meetings available to members.  I had an opportunity to review the election data this week.  This year’s election attracted a voter turnout of 65%, only slightly down on last year’s record turnout of 70%, and well up on the historical average of just over 40%.  I am very pleased that this year 3 barristers of more than 15 years call, but not senior counsel, were elected in Category A.  This is unprecedented in modern times.

This week, the Victorian State Government tendered proposed amendments to the Pandemic Management Bill. The amendments do not cure the fundamental criticisms made by the Bar of the Bill. Click here to view the Victorian Bar media release.

The Bar Council has resolved to establish a Rule of Law Sub-Committee.  Any member interested in being on the Sub-Committee should complete an expression of interest for the Human Rights Committee.  I remind members that EOI for Membership of Bar Committees 2022 is now live. The deadline for receipt of expressions of interest is 5:00pm on Monday, 22 November 2021. 

Expressions of Interest – Directors, Barristers Chambers Limited

The terms of a number of current directors of Barristers Chambers Limited (BCL), are soon to expire. Appointment of directors to BCL is done in consultation with it. It is important that the directors of BCL have the requisite skills to manage and administer the business of BCL. Experience and expertise in corporate governance, business, town planning and/or the property industry is important. The deadline for receipt of expressions of interest is 5:00pm on 1 December 2021. Please direct any interest to Denise Bennett at

Róisín Annesley QC

Vicbar News & Events
Honorary Secretary and Assistant Honorary Secretary: Expressions of Interest close 5:00pm on Thursday 25 November 2021

At its meeting on 11 November 2021, the Bar Council resolved to seek expressions of interest for the positions of Honorary Secretary and Assistant Honorary Secretary. 

Click here to express interest.

Expressions of interest must be received before 5:00pm on Thursday 25 November 2021.

The Honorary Secretary and Assistant Honorary Secretary:

  • assist in the administration of membership matters, which includes dealing with applications to sign the Roll of Counsel and transfer requests from existing members;
  • interview prospective readers prior to each Readers’ Course;
  • attend Bar Council and management meetings of officeholders and staff when required;
  • assists the Bar Council Officeholders and members particularly in respect of the constitutional responsibilities of the Bar Council.

The time required to perform the role varies from week to week. On average, about 3-4 hours should be allocated each week, however the time required will be greater at certain times during the year, especially when reader interviews are being conducted prior to each Readers’ Course.

Expressions of Interest for Membership of Bar Committees 2021-2022

Expressions of interest are sought from members of the Bar who wish to remain on, or become a member of, one or more of the Bar committees.

It is through the Bar’s committees that a great deal of the work of the Bar as a representative professional institution is done. The selfless contribution of time and effort given by members is a donation of great value to the Bar and to the wider community.

All members who have an interest in serving on any of the committees in 2021-2022 must submit an expression of interest, even if they have previously served on the committee.

You will need to be logged in to the Bar website to express interest.

Click here to express interest.

All practising counsel are invited to express interest. Experience is not a prerequisite to serve on a committee.

Each Bar committee takes seriously its role in advancing the interests of members of the Bar fulfilling the purposes of the committee. Those seeking election to a committee should, therefore, not underestimate the workload. Click here for a copy of the role descriptions and responsibilities of each of the committees.

Barristers who have not previously served on Bar committees are particularly encouraged to express their interest. 

The deadline for receipt of expressions of interest is 5:00pm on Monday, 22 November 2021.

Existing committee members should note that if you do not complete an expression of interest, it will be assumed that you no longer wish to continue your membership of any committee.

If you have any enquiries, please contact Miranda Tulloch:

VicBar’s Indigenous clerkship program expands to include the County Court

The Victorian Bar’s Indigenous Justice Committee is delighted to announce the expansion of its prestigious clerkship program to include a placement at the County Court from 2022. The clerkship provides an opportunity each year for Indigenous law students to undertake paid work experience at the Bar, with a week-long placement at each of the Federal and Supreme Courts and a week ‘at the Bar’ with a Barrister. The Indigenous Justice Committee now welcomes the County Court to this program, which will see the students undertake placement with a Judge and observe their work up-close in chambers and the courtroom. The Indigenous Justice Committee thanks County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd and Judge Pillay for their enthusiastic support of the clerkship, which provides an unrivalled opportunity for the Indigenous barristers of the future. More information about the clerkship program can be found here.

Expressions of Interest for profile photo shoot – 24-25 November 2021

The Victorian Bar is now taking expressions of interest for those members looking to refresh their profile photo. We are holding a photoshoot on Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 November 2021.

If you are interested in having your photo taken on the day, please click here and register your interest.

Cost: $60.00 incl GST

Expressions of Interest for trustee nominations to the Law Aid Trust

The Victorian Bar has been invited to nominate a trustee to the Law Aid Trust, a charitable trust managed by the Law Institute of Victoria and the Victorian Bar to support the funding of civil disbursements in civil litigation matters undertaken by law firms on a pro bono and “no-win, no-fee” basis. 

The Bar is calling for expressions of interest from members who may wish to contribute as one of the Bar’s nominated Trustees. The appointment will be for a term of two years.

A position description for the role may be viewed here. The Bar’s protocol for nomination and appointment of Vic Bar members to external bodies can be viewed here.

To assist the Bar Council in selecting the best candidate for the position, your expression of interest should identify any relevant areas of experience or expertise, including:

  • Experience or expertise in the matter/claim types referred to in the Position Description
  • Previous contribution to or involvement with the Trust, and
  • Contribution as a trustee or in a similar capacity with other bodies.

Please submit your expression of interest to Denise Bennett, Executive Assistant to the President and Bar Council, at the Victorian Bar office at

The closing date for expressions of interest is 5:00pm, Monday 29 November 2021.

BCL - ​​​​​​​Staying COVIDSafe at BCL

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 are living with the virus it is important to continue to reiterate the importance of us all (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. This includes 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 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.

  • Statutory unconscionable conduct – recent developments is on Monday, 29 November, 5:15-6:15pm. This seminar, which is part of the Commercial Bar’s Silks/Juniors Mentored CPD series, will summarise recent developments in this field. This CPD is only for Barristers and is an in-person event and will also be available online via live stream. Click here to register
  • Party politics, private bodies and prerogative powers: the limits of supervisory review is on Tuesday, 30 November, 5:15-6:15pm. In this seminar, the speakers will discuss recent developments in the scope and limitations of supervisory review by the Courts. This is an in-person event and will also be available online via live stream. Click here to register.
  • Oppression: Between the devil and s233 is on Thursday, 2 December, 5:15-6:15pm. This session will provide an overview of oppression remedies under s233 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). This is an in-person event and will also be available online via live stream. Click here to register.

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

Vicbar Life
Alfred Deakin - Art & Collections Committee

The Bar’s bust of Alfred Deakin, Australia’s 2nd Prime Minister and a member of the Victorian Bar, was unveiled on Wednesday 17 November with a lecture by Emeritus Prof. Judith Brett in the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery. Thanks to Prof. Brett and Text Publishing, members can purchase the book for $29.99 [normal RRP is $34.99] from Dymocks’ CBD outlet at Lower Ground Floor, 234 Collins Street, Melbourne (9663 0900 or

Great timing for Christmas!

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.

Click here for the monthly best buys!

The Essoign Club

Dear Essoign Club Members,

Art Exhibition - Join us at the club on Tuesday, 30 November from 5.30pm. See flyer here for details.

We are open daily from 7am – till late

Breakfast - for dine-in or takeaway.

Lunch – Daily Café Menu take away or delivery.

Lunch Dine-In - A La Carte from midday.

Bar – is open till late with light snacks available.

Catering & Events - Special lunches, working lunches, private dinners or something special you may have in mind. Email us at

We appreciate your ongoing support and look forward to seeing you in the Club.

Practice & Profession News
Commonwealth and Victorian Courts' COVID updates

The Supreme Court of Victoria published a joint jurisdictional statement from the Chief Justice, on behalf of the Victorian courts and VCAT in response to yesterday's announcement about easing restrictions.

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.
Annual reports available from the Victorian Parliament Tabled Document Database

Many annual reports, including from the Courts and VCAT are now available from the Victorian Parliament Tabled Document Database. Click here to view.

FCFCOA Information Notice: Applications for Review

Please click here for an update to the profession for your family law members from Senior Judicial Registrar Andrea Evans, Executive Director – National Registrar Operations, Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

Role of Junior Counsel - Notice to the Profession

The Supreme Court published an updated Notice to the Profession – Role of Junior Counsel. The Court encourages junior counsel to actively participate in cases where two or more counsel are briefed for a party. The Supreme Court recognizes that substantial contributions are made by junior counsel when preparing cases.

eCase and Section 198B application form

The County Court of Victoria launched its eCase portal, an electronic platform for the subpoena process, in September 2021.

eCase is the Court’s preferred method for the submission of subpoena responses, objections, objection withdrawals, inspection requests and inspection itself amongst other things.

For criminal matters, parties should eLodge their subpoenas for issue via eLodgement. Parties will receive an email notification if their subpoena has been approved for issue, and should contact the Court’s subpoena team ( after the date of production, to ascertain whether the subpoenaed material has been received by the Court.

Parties can request a subpoena release hearing date from the subpoena team, via email, after the Court receives the subpoenaed material. A listing date for an administrative release, or substantive hearing, will be provided to parties depending on whether release is opposed.

For more information on eCase, please refer to the Court’s eCase: electronic subpoenas practice note and for any questions relating to eCase or subpoenas, please contact the Court’s subpoena team

Section 198B application form

The Court has developed a s 198B application form which should be used by parties when seeking to file a s 198B application.

The template form is here and will be available on the Court’s website.

From #metoo, through #ustoo and Respect@work, to changes to the Sex Discrimination Act. Bringing the Bar to account

In this fourth podcast, Matthew Howard SC, President of the ABA, and Kate Eastman AM SC, Chair of the ABA Diversity & Inclusion Committee, discuss how the #metoo movement set off a string of legal and social action, which has now brought the judiciary and the Bar under the legal framework of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth).

You can find it here ABA | ABA Podcast #4 (

Law Council of Australia - Launch of The Lawyer Project Report

The Law Council of Australia has launched The Lawyer Project Report. The Lawyer Project Report seeks to highlight the value of the legal profession and the differences it makes each day to its clients and to the broader community.

Thank you for all your help in developing this key resource. Please find a full copy of The Lawyer Project Report, its key findings, and the media release issued today here.

We have now initiated a long-term campaign to increase public awareness of the role of the legal profession, in particular the beneficial contribution of the profession to the community through supporting trade and commerce, promoting certainty and the rule of law, and empowering individuals and civil society.

2020/21 Judicial College Annual Report – Once round the sun…out we come

The Judicial College has released its 2020/21 Annual Report, marking a year of challenge and transformation.

Access the report here.

Estate of the late James Bruce Milroy McKenzie

The Estate of the late James Bruce Milroy Mckenzie formerly practising as J Mckenzie Family Law Pty Ltd T/A J Mckenzie Family Law, Toowoomba

The Queensland Law Society advises that on 27 October 2021, the Executive Committee of the Council of the Queensland Law Society Incorporated, as Council's delegate, passed the following resolutions in respect of the law practice, J McKenzie Family Law Pty Ltd Tia J McKenzie Family Law, Toowoomba.

  1. The following circumstance warranting external intervention mentioned in s497 of the Legal Profession Act 2007 (LPA) exists in relation to J McKenzie Family Law Pty Ltd TIA J McKenzie Family Law (the Law Practice):
    1. The Queensland Law Society Inc (Society) is aware that James Bruce Milroy McKenzie, Sole Practitioner of the Law Practice, died on 24 October 2021 (s497(a) LPA).
  2. The Society being aware of that circumstance and having regard to the interests of the clients of the Law Practice and to other matters that it considers appropriate decides external intervention is warranted.
  3. The Council Executive Committee considers that the appointment of a receiver for the law practice is necessary to protect the interests of clients in relation to trust money or trust property (s498(2)(c)(i) of the Act).
  4. The Society appoints William Thomas Hourigan, Michael Craig Drinkall, Deborah Yumin Mok and Lanka Perera Mahagamage all members of CPA Australia employed by the Society; Hwee Cheng Goh and Ann-Louise Connolly, both solicitors employed by the Society; David John Franklin and Caitlin Anne Martin, both being accountants employed by the Society, jointly and severally as receivers of regulated property of the former law practice and former ILP pursuant to s498 (2)(c) of the Act.
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
Lexology Connect: Australia - 24-25 November 2021

There is only one week until Lexology hosts Lexology Connect: Australia.

The Victorian Bar is delighted to be supporting this virtual event taking place from 24-25 November 2021 via Zoom.

To secure your place, simply register here.

Sessions will focus on the Australian market and will tackle the key issues facing in-house and compliance professionals and discuss these from both a local and international context to provide delegates with an engaging, challenging and rewarding programme.

Please click here for the full programme and list of speakers.

Don’t miss the chance to connect with representatives from: Google, Salesforce, Vodafone, Canva, USNW and many more!


Secure your free place now and register here.

We look forward to seeing you online next week!

First Nations Peoples’ Truth & Justice Commissions event - 24 November

The flyer available here is for a free event being held by the Australian Academy of Law, streamed online.

In May 2021 the Victorian Government appointed five Commissioners to constitute a truth-telling Royal Commission, the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission. The Commission is Indigenous led.  Three Commissioners are from the First Peoples of Victoria and one is from the First Peoples of Tasmania.  The Commission is to inquire into historic and on-going systemic injustice perpetrated against First Peoples since the Colonisation of Victoria

The Australian Academy of Law is delighted to host this event, First Nations Peoples’ Truth & Justice Commissions to be held on Wednesday 24 November 2021, chaired by the Hon Pamela Tate SC.

Free seminar: Testator family maintenance claims in the County Court

Watch the livestream on Thursday 2 December 2021 at 4:30pm to hear from a panel of experts on representing clients in testator family maintenance proceedings in the County Court.

Panel guests include:

  • Judge Tran, Judge in Charge of the Family Property List at the County Court
  • Lawson Fletcher, the registry officer responsible for managing testator family maintenance claims
  • Tony Elder, barrister, accredited mediator and chair of the Victorian Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
  • Ursula Stanisich, a barrister and accredited mediator practising exclusively in the areas of trust, equity and succession law.

Topics covered include:

  • The new Family Property List practice note and standard orders
  • The new Victorian Bar/Family Property List Mediator Referral Scheme
  • Communicating with the Court
  • The Court’s approach to keeping costs reasonable and proportionate
  • Options for alternative dispute resolution
  • Drafting position statements.

When: Thursday 2 December 2021, 4:30–5:30pm
RSVP: email by 30 November 2021. The livestream link will be emailed to attendees prior to the event.

There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the seminar. Questions may also be submitted in advance by email to:

Careers & Opportunities
Expressions of Interest for Senior Crown Prosecutors and Crown Prosecutors

Legal practitioners with experience in criminal law and advocacy, and a passion for the administration of justice, are invited to apply for Senior Crown Prosecutor and Crown Prosecutor positions.

This is an exciting opportunity for suitably qualified and experienced barristers to undertake and support criminal prosecutions on behalf of the Victorian community.

Crown Prosecutors perform a vital role in the criminal justice system, appearing on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions in criminal trials and appeals and providing legal advice to the Office of Public Prosecutions.

Working within the Crown Prosecutors’ Chambers is an opportunity to advance your career and be at the forefront of the move to sophisticated technology changes within criminal law, including e-trials.

The successful applicant/s will prosecute and advise on serious crimes, appear in a wide range of matters in all criminal jurisdictions, including regional courts.

Persons considering applying for this position should note that commensurate positions may be filled within 12 months of the completion of the process without any further advertisement.

The successful appointee(s) will have access to flexible working conditions.

Salary will be commensurate to relevant experience.

To submit your expression of interest please visit and provide a current CV and cover letter.

For more information please contact:

Chief Crown Prosecutor Brendan Kissane QC

Applications close: 11:59pm Sunday 28 November 2021

Disaster Legal Help Victoria - Program Manager

The new, fixed term (12 months)  Disaster Legal Help Program Manager (VLA6) role is now available.

This a great opportunity to lead and manage the implementation of the Disaster Legal Help Victoria (DLHV) strategy and service model by coordinating a team of DLHV staff and working with our strategic partners. This role has been established to mobilise DLHV partners to respond as appropriate to future disasters, including through coordinating legal sector volunteers, strategic engagement with emergency management agencies and overseeing other aspects of the service.

We are seeking an innovative and experienced organisational leader with proven experience in a fast-moving, agile environment. Ideally, the Program Manager will have a strong background of working with communities affected by disaster and a complex understanding of the legal challenges that these communities are faced with. Crucial to the success in this role is the ability to coordinate legal services and partner with Victorian emergency service management and respond where appropriate to future disasters by mobilising teams to respond to local need via digital, phone, chat and other channels.

Applications close 21 November 2021.

Melbourne Law School - Academic research project - judicial bias/recusal

The study is conducted with the support of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC), as part of its current Review of Judicial Impartiality, and is likely to inform the ALRC’s final report. It is a part of a wider research project in Australia and the UK comparing the views of judicial officers with those of practitioners and members of the public on matters of recusal.  This study is examining people’s attitudes as to when they think judges should, or should not, be disqualified from hearing a case on the grounds of possible bias. The questionnaire is completely anonymous; you will not be asked to provide any identifying details. We are only interested in your views.    

The study includes a few case scenarios. The case scenarios are fictional, as is the law set out in the scenarios. The case scenarios may bear some resemblance to real cases, and the legal test may be similar to the law in your country. However, we are only interested in your opinion about whether the judge in the case scenarios should be disqualified based on the legal test we ask you to apply.  

We would be very grateful for your participation. The results of the study may be used to inform policy changes on this important topic and your input would be extremely valuable.   

The survey is of course completely anonymous, we do not collect any identifying details.  

The survey is based on our previous work on the topic, available here.

Click here to participate in the survey.

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, 25th November 2021