In Brief Issue #1038

Róisín Annesley QC

Tuesday night was a busy night for Annual General Meetings.  

I attended the Victorian Bar Foundation [VBF] directors meeting followed by its Annual General meeting.  The Chair, the Hon. John Digby QC was pleased and excited to announce that the Hon. Justice Michelle Gordon AC has recently accepted an invitation to become the Patron of the Foundation.  The VBF, which was established as a not-for-profit organisation in 2011, works to promote several causes in the community, including encouraging and supporting young adults from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds to consider and pursue a career in the law and in particular a career at the Victorian Bar. The Foundation welcomes input from members as to how best to achieve its aims and to engage with any particular community to encourage the future diversity of our Bar. Members who are in a position to make a donation to the Foundation can do so via the donation form here

I then attended the Annual General Meeting of the Australian Bar Association [ABA], followed by a meeting of its new directors.  Mr Matthew Howard SC, who retired after two years as President, was thanked for his considerable work and commitment to the ABA.  The newly elected President of the ABA is the Victorian Bar’s very own Dr Matthew Collins AM QC, former President of the Victorian Bar.  I wish Matthew every success in his Presidency of the ABA.  One of the major events for the ABA in 2022 will be its annual conference which is to be held in Victoria. I encourage all members to attend the conference.  Bookings are now open here.  

On 25 November 2021, dinners were held in Melbourne and Sydney, connected by zoom, to announce the winner of the William Ah Ket Scholarship for 2021.  Charles Shaw QC, Vice President attended the Melbourne dinner on behalf of the Bar. As many members would be aware, William Ah Ket, the son of migrants from Canton, was born in Wangaratta in 1876 and practised at the Victorian Bar from 1904 until his death in 1936.  The William Ah Ket Scholarship was established by the Asian Australian Lawyers Association in 2017 to encourage law students and lawyers in the early stages of their career to contribute to the development and promotion of cultural diversity in the legal profession. William Lye OAM QC is the Chair of the scholarship committee.  This year's scholarship was won by Sarah Webster, a solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills in Sydney.

Last night the September 2021 readers, who virtually signed the Roll in October 2021, physically signed the Bar Roll. These readers completed the entire readers course on line and last night was the first official function for them to gather as a group and with their mentors. They were understandably excited and very happy.  I was delighted to welcome the 46 new members of the Bar and I wish each of them a happy and satisfying career. I would like to acknowledge and thank the many people who make the Readers such a success:  The Bar’s Education Manager Nina Massara; the Education Coordinator of the Reader’s course, Nikki Walker; the members of the Readers’ Course Committee, ably chaired by Justin Graham QC; the many members of the Bar, Judges, retired Judges and Magistrates who generously donate their time to teach in the course.  

On Monday morning, 29 November 2021, the new Senior Counsel for 2021 will take their bows in the Supreme Court of Victoria, the Federal Court and Federal Circuit and Family Law Court of Australia.  Unfortunately, and for a variety of reasons, the ceremonies will be conducted virtually. The new silks will take their bows together and in the presence of their families and peers, the Bar has organised a ‘courtroom’ in the Neil McPhee room. All members of the bar are welcome to attend, please note, registration is required via the link here. Counsel are required to be robed. If you would like to join virtually, please see links to join in the article below.

Sunday, 28 November 2021 marks the commencement of the eight day Festival of Chanukah. To members of the Bar who will be celebrating the Festival of Light -Happy Chanukah to them and their families.  

Róisín Annesley QC

Vicbar News & Events
Silks Bows Ceremony 2021

The Federal Court of Australia, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, and the Supreme Court of Victoria will welcome the new Senior Counsel in their respective virtual ceremonies on Monday, 29 November 2021.

The Victorian Bar will host the ceremonies in-person for the newly appointed silks in the Neil McPhee room on Level 1, Owen Dixon Chambers East. The ceremonies will be attended in person by the newly appointed silks, their families and collegues. All members of the bar are welcome to attend, please note, registration is required via the link here. Counsel are required to be robed. If you would like to join virtually, please see links to join below:

9:30am Please click here to view the Supreme Court of Victoria ceremony.

10:15am Please click here to view the Federal Court of Australia ceremony.

10:45am Please click here to join the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia ceremony via MS Teams.

Those observing the ceremony are requested to have their cameras switched off and microphones on mute.

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 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.
  • Magistrates’ Court Practitioner Townhall is on Wednesday, 1 December, 4:15-5:15pm. Similar to the previous Townhall, this session is to provide practitioners an update and an opportunity to ask questions regarding the ongoing work being undertaken in the Magistrates’ Court as Victoria continues to navigate through covid-recovery and a new normal. This is an online-only event. Click here to join the meeting or visit the Upcoming CPDs page for meeting details.
  • 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.
  • Misleading or Deceptive Conduct – Overview & Case Update is on Monday, 6 December, 5:15-6:15pm. The key elements, common types of claims, recent case law and defences will be summarised in this seminar, which is part of the Commercial Bar’s Silks/Juniors Mentored CPD series. 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

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.

County Court of Victoria Criminal Division

Following a determination by the Juries Commissioner to exempt unvaccinated jurors (without a medical exemption) under new provisions of the Juries Act 2000, the County Court will recommence criminal jury trials from Friday 26 November 2021 in Melbourne and some circuit locations.

Please find attached the following documents for your information:

Health and safety protocols

These protocols outline arrangements for the orderly and safe conduct of matters heard at the Court over the ‘opening up’ phases of the State Government’s Roadmap, taking into account the vaccination status of legal practitioners and other court users.

Jury trial guides

The protocols and guides are available on the Court’s website.

Subject to any additional PPE requirements consistent with the vaccination protocols, the Court remains at mask setting 2 for both jury trials, and non-jury matters, requiring masks to be worn by non-speaking participants.

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.

High Court of Australia Robing Protocol November 2021

Please click here to download the High Court of Australia Robing Protocol November 2021.

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.

The National Brief #6 and new ABA Executive Team

The National Brief #6

Please click here for the latest ABA National Brief.

ABA announces New Executive Team

The Australian Bar Association has announced the election of its executive team for 2021–22. Please click here to read the media release.


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 and 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
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:

Upcoming Monash events

Change Makers: Financial Barriers to Accessing Constitutional Justice

Thursday 2 December 2021

5:00pm – 6:15pm AEDT

Online via Zoom

Register here

Financial barriers may operate more widely and effectively than privative clauses in protecting government action from judicial review. Court fees are beyond the means of most Australians. A one-day hearing before the High Court in a constitutional matter will cost a litigant about $10,000 in court fees. And the risk of an adverse costs order is a serious disincentive to challenging government action. The Public Interest Law Clearing House estimated that in some situations up to 9 out of 10 meritorious cases do not commence due to fear of an adverse costs order.

Join Monash Law and the Australian Association of Constitutional Law for a special forum to explore Financial Barriers to Accessing Constitutional Justice.


In Conversation with Jon Faine: The Honourable Jennifer Coate AO

Thursday 2 December 2021

12:00pm – 1:00pm AEDT

Online via LinkedIn Live and YouTube Live.

Register here.

Now on the Victorian Law Reform Commission, Justice Coate will share her insights and experience with fellow Monash Law graduate Jon Faine.


Recent Trends in Climate Litigation and Human Rights by The Honourable Justice Brian Preston

Thursday 9 December 2021

5:00pm – 6:15pm AEDT

Online via Zoom

Register here.

To mark Human Rights Day, join this year's Castan Centre for Human Rights Law and King & Wood Mallesons Annual Lecture by The Honourable Justice Preston. This lecture will address human rights trends in climate litigation both in Australia and overseas, including examining the foundations of these trends, current cases, and possible future directions.

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

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, 2nd December 2021