In Brief Issue #1041

Róisín Annesley QC

On behalf of members, may I extend my congratulations and best wishes to Samantha Poulter and Tim Greenway on their appointments as Magistrates of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. The appointments are effective immediately.  Details of the welcome ceremonies will be advised when they become known.

Last Friday I met with Louise Glanville, Chief Executive Officer of Victoria Legal Aid.  On Wednesday Charles Shaw QC, Vice-President and Amanda Utt, Executive Director met with the Legal Services Commissioner and her executive team.  Both meetings are part of the Bar Council’s commitment to fostering and strengthening good working relationships.

This week I attended a meeting of the Police Informants Royal Commission Implementation Taskforce.  The Victorian Bar has acquitted the recommendations made by the Royal Commissioner which are applicable to it and which it can accomplish on its own right.  The Taskforce will continue in 2022. I wish to particularly acknowledge and thank Amy Wood who has worked assiduously throughout 2021 on the Taskforce on behalf of the Bar Council.

On Wednesday night the Common Law Bar Association had its Annual General Meeting followed by dinner in the Essoign Club which was well-attended by members and judges from the Supreme and County Courts.  It was a happy occasion to end the year and to toast the new common law silks.

On Thursday evening the Honourable Michelle Gordon AC unveiled a photographic portrait of the late Brian Shaw QC in the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery.  As noted by Justice Gordon, Brian Shaw QC was an extraordinary leader of the Victorian Bar.

End of Year drinks will be held tonight in the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery. I look forward to seeing you all there as we celebrate the end of the year.

As this is the last In Brief for 2021, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday. To members of the Bar who will be celebrating Christmas - Merry Christmas to you and your families.


Róisín Annesley QC

Vicbar News & Events
Appointments – Magistrates' Court of Victoria

The Governor in Council has appointed four new magistrates, including two members of our Bar.

His Honour Magistrate Tim Greenway

Her Honour Magistrate Samantha Poulter

The appointments were effective from Tuesday, 14 December 2021. Details of the welcome ceremonies will be advised when they become known.

End of Year Drinks - 5:00-6:30pm Friday, 17 December 2021

A reminder to members who registered to attend the Victorian Bar End of Year Drinks at 5:00-6:30pm Friday, 17 December 2021 in the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery.

We look forward to seeing you there this evening.

Peer Support Barristers

Peer Support Barristers are barristers who have volunteered to be contacted by, and who have been trained to provide support and advice to, those who have experienced, or observe, discrimination, sexual harassment and/or workplace bullying.

Please see here for the list of Peer Support Barristers.

Congratulations Werner Dittrich for winning the Moondani Balluk Outstanding Indigenous Student award

The Victorian Bar’s Indigenous Justice Committee congratulates one of its law clerks, Mr Werner Dittrich, for being awarded the Moondani Balluk Outstanding Indigenous Student award by Victoria University’s College of Law and Justice.

Werner is a Muruwari man, whose traditional country is in north-western NSW and southern Queensland and who was born in Innisfail in North Queensland. Werner is in his third year of a Bachelor of Laws at Victoria University. His particular interests are constitutional law and criminal law.

Moondani Balluk is a culturally safe and supportive place for Aboriginal students and staff at Victoria University. Moondani Balluk means ‘embrace people’ in the Woiwurrung language of the Wurundjeri people. The award Mr Dittrich received is for an outstanding Indigenous student in the Moondani Balluk program.

Now in its 13th year, the Victorian Bar Indigenous clerkship provides an opportunity for Indigenous law students to undertake paid work experience, with a placement at each of the Federal, County and Supreme Courts and a week spent ‘at the Bar’ with a Barrister. More information about the clerkship program can be found here.

Victorian Bar office closure dates

The Victorian Bar office and Victorian Bar Mediation Centre will close for the Christmas-New Year holidays at 5:00pm on Thursday, 23 December 2021. The Bar office and Mediation Centre will reopen at 9:00am on Monday, 10 January 2022.

We wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.

Opening of the Legal Year 2022

The following services for the 2022 Opening of the Legal Year will be taking place:

Friday, 28 January 2022

  • Synagogue Service

9:00am at the East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation, 488 Albert Street, East Melbourne. Counsel are asked to robe (but not wig).

Monday, 31 January 2022

  • Eastern Orthodox Service

9:00am at St Eustathios Greek Orthodox Church, 221 Dorcas Street, South Melbourne. A collaborative service involving the Greek, Antiochian, Russian, Serbian and Romanian Orthodox Churches followed by morning tea. Judges and counsel robe. Assemble at 8:45am for the procession. For more details, click here.

  • Red Mass

9:00am at St Patrick’s Cathedral, East Melbourne. Subject to Covid-19 restrictions, His Grace, Archbishop Peter Comensoli will host morning tea after the mass in the presbytery grounds adjacent to the cathedral. RSVP to or 9602 5440 for the morning tea by 14 January 2022. Judges and counsel: robe and medals are worn. For more details, click here.

  • Ecumenical service

9:30am at St Paul’s Cathedral, Flinders St Melbourne. A Choral Morning Prayer service will be led by the Dean of Melbourne, the Very Revd Dr Andreas Loewe. The preacher will be the Master of Catholic Theological College, the Very Revd Dr Kevin Lenehan, STL, STD, PhD. Members of the Legal Profession are invited to process and robe.

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

  • International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) community opening

9:00am at Waldron Hall, County Court of Victoria. Click here to view the program.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

  • Virtual Legal Laneway Breakfast 2022

8:00am online and is open to all members of the legal community. Speakers at the event include Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes MP and Victorian Legal Services Board CEO, Commissioner Fiona McLeay and Socceroo, human rights activist and recent law graduate Craig Foster AM. Click here to register.  

Thursday, 3 February 2022

  • Geelong Community Opening of the Legal Year

9:00am online and will be hosted by the Honourable Justice Michelle Quigley.

Save the Date - 2022 Victorian Bar Dinner

The 2022 Victorian Bar Dinner will be held at the Plaza Ballroom on Friday, 27 May 2022. Be sure to keep the date free in your diary.

Victorian Bar and Monash University Open Justice Project

The Open Justice Project will take a break between 17 December 2021 and 14 February 2022. Requests for assistance can still be sent through via the online form during that period, and the barrister allocated a student upon return of the project.

BCL - ​​​​​​​Staying COVIDSafe at BCL and Service Desk closure

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.

Please note the BCL Service Desk and will be unattended from 12:00pm Friday 24 December 2021 to 8:30am on Monday 10 January 2022.

In the case of an urgent service request please call the Service Desk on 9225 8888 and follow the prompts for: 

     •  Security services
     •  Property maintenance
     •  Technology and Network services 

Security, building and chamber access will continue to be available through our contractor Wilson Security during the holiday period (including public holidays). To report any urgent security matters during this time, please contact the BCL Service Desk and follow the prompts.

Please secure your chambers and take any valuables with you whenever you are not on premises during this period.

Victorian Bar member CPD and events

Look out for our new and exciting events in the new year, including CPD offerings from the Children’s Court Bar, Compensation Law Bar, Common Law Bar and Tax Bar Associations in February and the Junior Bar Conference on 25 February 2022, proudly sponsored by legalsuper.

Be sure to visit the CPD Catalogue to watch those CPD’s or In Conversations that you may have missed this year and to ensure you meet your CPD obligations for the year.

The Victorian Bar team wishes you a joyous festive season and a restful holiday break. 

Vicbar Life
Converge - new My Mental Fitness app

Converge International is excited to be able to offer a new mental fitness app to all Bar members and their family members. The My Mental Fitness App allows individuals to gain an understanding of their current levels of wellbeing and mental fitness, allowing them to connect to EAP for support or take up a range of other strategies to improve their health. For more information, please see

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 - Introducing new Executive Chef Andrea Rigodanza

The Essoign officially announces the appointment of the Club’s new Executive Chef Andrea Rigodanza.

Andrea started in the field at a very young age in his family restaurant in Florence where he fell in love with cooking. He graduated as a chef and found himself a role as a commis chef in a Michelin star restaurant in Padova. He moved to Australia following his heart and continued to pursue his dream to become a head chef. He is very business-minded and has a passion for managing and developing people. He has experience leading teams and managing multiple outlets across casual to fine dining. Andrea is a hardworking and dedicated kitchen leader with strong experience in maintaining cohesive and collaborative working environments, managing fast-paced operations, quality control, and budgets. He has a passion for introducing customers to new culinary experiences.

Andrea will join the team in readiness for the reopening on Monday, 17 January 2022.

We wish you all a very happy and safe festive season and look forward to a good and prosperous year with you in 2022. The Essoign team would like to thank you for your support in 2021.

Please note the following dates:

Wednesday, 22 December 2021 – the final day of trade 2021 club will close at 3:00pm (after lunch service)

Monday, 10 January 2022 – open café for coffee, drinks, light options 7:00am – 1:30pm 

Monday, 17 January 2022 – return to normal trade from 7:00am daily

Practice & Profession News
Commonwealth and Victorian Courts' COVID updates

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.
Foley’s List Appoints Andrew Turner as New Chief Clerk and CEO

Foley’s List is pleased to announce that Mr Andrew Turner has been appointed as the new Chief Clerk and Chief Executive Officer of Foley’s List. Mr Turner will succeed incumbent CEO Mr John Kelly effective 1 January 2022, following Mr Kelly’s retirement after more than 27 years of service.

County Court of Victoria CISP Pilot Update

Dear Practitioners

As you may be aware the CISP Pilot at the County Court of Victoria went live on 11 January 2021.

Please see below information concerning CISP operations for your attention:

CISP Assessment Timeframes:

Please be advised that with the last Court sitting date (17 December 2021) and Christmas period approaching, CISP will have very limited operations during the Court’s non-sitting period (17 December 2021 to 17 January 2022).

In those circumstances, CISP will be conducting assessments from Monday, 10 January 2022 and the indicative turnaround period for the CISP report is one week from the date of assessment.

We kindly request that the matters seeking a CISP component be listed to a date from the week commencing Monday, 24 January 2022 which will allow the CISP assessment and report process to take place for eligible persons.

CISP Pilot Participants:

All CISP staff will be unavailable from Friday, 24 December 2021 with administration staff returning Tuesday, 4 January 2022.

CISP operations such as case management for accepted participants only will recommence in the week commencing 10 January 2022.

Unfortunately, CISP are unable to provide crisis support during the closure period. However, as required accepted participants will be provided with details of services to contact over the Christmas period.


For completeness, please see below general information with respect to the CISP Pilot at the County Court for your perusal.


Referred persons are assessed for risk of re-offending and provided clear information about how CISP can support their needs and access to treatment. The assessment process is designed to meet the needs of both the participant and the Court. In order to be eligible for CISP, referred persons must:

  • not currently be sentenced to a parole or community corrections order
  • be eligible for bail or a relevant deferral of sentencing
  • have substantive matters committed to the Melbourne County Court
  • reside, or intend to reside, in the greater Melbourne metropolitan catchment
  • consent to be involved with CISP
  • be experiencing one or more of the following:
    • mental health issues
    • disability, acquired brain injury or cognitive impairment
    • substance dependence or otherwise harmful use
    • family violence
    • inadequate social, family and economic support that contributes to the frequency or severity of their offending
    • homelessness
    • other relevant clinical support needs.


People accused of sex offences are ineligible for County Court CISP.
If a person's support needs are so significant that they may reasonably be unable to comply with the program requirements, then a recommendation is made to the Court around the most appropriate treatment and support pathway.

Referrer Guide
A copy of our new referrer guide can be accessed via our website here.

The document outlines elements of the CISP Pilot for people who are self-referring or referring another person to the program. This includes requirements for accessing the program, reports, pathways for referrals, review hearings, and program staff.

General Overview of CISP process

  1. Eligibility triage
    A brief check of the referral information against eligibility criteria is conducted by CISP staff. Anyone considering making a referral is encouraged to contact us for an eligibility triage at the earliest opportunity.
  2. CISP Assessment
    An assessment is scheduled for eligible persons and that arrangement is communicated to the Court and to defence by email from the CCV CISP inbox.
  3. CISP Suitability Report
    The assessment is conducted by CISP staff and a report on the suitability of the referred person for the program is written by the assessing CISP staff member. The indicative turnaround period of the CISP report is one week from the date of assessment. That report is made available to all parties by email via CCV CISP inbox. The Court expects these reports to be submitted 24 hours prior to the next Court hearing.
  4. Acceptance onto CISP Pilot
    A decision is made by the Judge at the next Court hearing to offer, postpone offering, or decline the referred person entry into the CISP program.
  5. CISP Review Hearings
    Where the referred person takes up an offer to engage the CISP program, the presiding Judicial Officer will take carriage of ongoing CISP review hearings and determine the frequency of those hearings. These generally occur monthly. CISP case management commences from this point onwards.

Associates take carriage of ongoing communication and notices of listings to all parties.

How a referral can be made:

  • Legal Practitioners: wishing to make a referral to CCV CISP must submit a CISP referral form together with all supporting documentation via the County Court of Victoria eLodgment Platform here.
    Important note: all documents must be filed under “CCV CISP Application Form" and “ CCV CISP Supporting Documents
  • For self-referrals: please contact: or (03) 8636 6820

Examples of CISP supporting documents we require are as follows:

  • Priors, summaries and charges (including any interstate police records if applicable).
  • LEAP records.
  • Police Informant details.
  • Document relating to Mental Health e.g. psychiatric reports or assessments (if relevant).
  • Copies of current Intervention Orders.

Examples of useful information to include in the CISP referral form:

  • Client’s intended bail address; and
  • Details about why this referral has been made
    For example:
    • Does the individual have any formal supports currently in place (i.e. mental health, AOD, NDIS, DHHS Disability Justice, family). Please list contact details.
    • Has the individual ever been charged with sex offences?
    • Does the individual have any sex offence charges pending?
    • Are there any concerns related to individual, worker, or community safety? Please explain.

A copy of our CISP referral form can be found via our website here.

Digital Bar Library

Reinforce your argument with authoritative legal resources available to you 24/7 at the Richard Griffith Library and the Digital Bar Library.

The collections are curated by law librarians who can also assist you with case research, database selection, and research strategies.

Find out more at

Appointment of Manager to the sole practitioner law practice of John O'Brien trading as 'John O'Brien Associates'

The Bar has been informed that on 13 December 2021, the Victorian Legal Services Board (‘the Board’) resolved to appoint Alan Splatt as Manager of the sole practitioner law practice of John O’Brien trading as ‘John O’Brien Associates’ (‘the Law Practice’), pursuant to section 334 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (Victoria) (‘Uniform Law’). The appointment is for a period of approximately nine months and expires on 12 September 2022, unless the Board determines to extend the appointment, or the appointment otherwise ceases in accordance with section 340 of the Uniform Law.

The Board determined to appoint a manager because the Board is satisfied that there is a need for an independent person to be appointed to take over professional and operational responsibility for the Law Practice.

Members of the Victorian Bar who have recently been briefed and/or undertaken work for the Law Practice may be impacted by this appointment. Please contact Mr Splatt on (03) 9873 7700 or at if you have any concerns about payment of your fees.

The Bar will be notified upon the termination of the management.

Profession CPD & Events
ABA 2022 National Conference - Re-emerge - register now

Registrations are now open for Re-emerge. The Australian Bar after COVID-19:  Energised, Innovative, Enduring

28-30 April 2022. State Library of Victoria and fully live-streamed.

For more information and to register, visit

Major Sponsors: The Australian Financial Review and Legal Home Loans

Celebrate the new legal year at the Virtual Legal Laneway Breakfast

Join Victoria Law Foundation to celebrate the start of the legal year at the 19th annual Legal Laneway Breakfast.

Hear from Attorney General, Jaclyn Symes, and Victorian Legal Services Board CEO and Commissioner Fiona McLeay, about the important issues for the legal profession in the year ahead.

Special guest speaker is former Socceroo, human rights activist, and recent law graduate Craig Foster AM. Craig works tirelessly to tackle the big issues of our time – from indigenous rights and refugee advocacy to homelessness, domestic violence, and the climate crisis. Drawing on his personal experience, Craig will explore why giving back is so important and how we can all make a difference using our own skills and strengths.

The event will be held online on Wednesday, 2 February 2022, from 8.00am.

Everyone working in Victoria’s legal sector is invited to attend from wherever they may be, to mark the opening of the legal year.

Register today.


Careers & Opportunities
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, 27th January 2022