Last night I chaired the Special General Meeting of the Bar. The only item of business was the proposed amendment to the Bar’s Constitution to ensure certain numbers of silks and non-silks in Category A. The SGM was well attended, and 382 members had submitted proxies. Darryl Burnett proposed the motion and spoke in favour of it. No one spoke against the resolution. In order to pass the resolution, a vote of 75% of those who voted (whether in person or by proxy) was required. 286 members voted in favour of the resolution; 120 members voted against the resolution. The percentage for the motion was 70.44% of members who voted. Accordingly, the resolution was not carried, and there will be no amendment to the Bar’s Constitution.
The Order of Australia recognises Australians who have demonstrated outstanding service or exceptional achievement. On behalf of the Bar, I congratulate the Hon Chief Justice William Alstergren AO, Rear Admiral the Hon John (Jack) T Rush AO RFD QC RAN and the Hon Justice John Middleton AM, who were recognised in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List for their respective contributions to the law, and the community more widely.
On Tuesday, I attended the unveiling of the portrait of Brendan Murphy QC in the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery. It was great to see a strong cohort of the criminal law bar in attendance. In an entertaining speech, Geoff Steward spoke of Brendan’s long and distinguished career, his character and the assistance he has given to many barristers over his over 50 years at the Bar. In reply, Brendan spoke of his passion for the Bar, the important work of barristers, and how it is fundamental to the administration of justice that there be a strong Bar to make a strong Bench.
On Thursday, I had the privilege on behalf of the Bar of welcoming Judge Caitlin English as a Judge of the County Court.
Next week, members may wish to attend the following ceremonial sittings:
Wednesday 22 June
A farewell ceremony to mark the retirement of the Honourable Justice Chris Maxwell AC, President of Court of Appeal, at 4:30pm
Thursday 23 June
The Hon Justice Timothy McEvoy as a judge of the Federal Court of Australia at 9.30am.
His Honour Judge Peter Rozen as a judge of the County Court of Victoria at 9:15am.
Róisín Annesley QC