Last Friday, I met with Malcolm Harding SC, Chair of the Industrial Bar Association, to discuss the lack of in-person hearings being listed in that jurisdiction in Victoria. A number of barristers have separately raised with me that there appears to be some reluctance to return to in-person hearings in the Federal jurisdictions more generally and/ or inconsistent practices in relation to in-person hearings. The Bar Council continues to advocate with the heads of jurisdiction for consistency in the return to in-person hearings as the default position for all trials and appeals and, more generally, for a return to in-person hearings.
The Common Law Division of the County Court has released an updated Arrangements and Expectations during coronavirus (COVID-19) easing of restrictions protocol. The main change in the Protocol is the reinstatement of in-person hearings for all matters where there is contested oral evidence, no matter the length of the hearing. The changes come into effect on 16 May 2022. A copy of the protocol is available here.
Applications for Silk close next Friday, 20 May 2022. It is a requirement that all applicants complete a Sexual Harassment Awareness training course prescribed by Chief Justice Anne Ferguson. The Bar will conduct a course prior to the announcement of the Silks for 2022, and I anticipate prior to 31 October 2022. The Bar will devise a mechanism by which applicants for silk will be able to inform the Court that they have completed the course.
Ticket sales for the Bar Dinner on 27 May 2022 close today, 13 May 2022. Over 500 tickets have been sold to date, so we are nearly at capacity. It should be a great night. Tickets can be purchased here.
On Tuesday Amanda Utt, Executive Director of the Bar and I attended the quarterly meeting with the Law Institute of Victoria’s President and CEO. Discussion centred around the anticipated introduction of mandatory reporting in respect of legal practitioners, which both arms of the profession continue to oppose.
On Wednesday, I attended celebrations for the 74th anniversary of the Independence of Israel. There were a number of members also in attendance.
This morning Vice President Darryl Burnett attended the Welcome ceremony for Magistrates Tim Greenway and Rohan Lawrence.
There are four Welcome ceremonies next week which members may wish to attend/ view online as follows:
Details of the welcomes are set out below.
Victorian Law Week will be held next week. The Bar is hosting two events, details to register are included in the notice below.
Róisín Annesley QC