On behalf of members, I extend my congratulations and best wishes to the Hon. Justice Karin Emerton on her appointment as President of the Court of Appeal, effective as of 16 July 2022. Justice Emerton has been a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria since 2009, initially in the trial division and since 2018 in the appellate division.
Further, on behalf of members, I extend my congratulations and best wishes to Dr Matthew Barrett on his appointment as an Associate Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria.
Details of any ceremonial sittings to mark the respective appointments of President Emerton and Associate-Judge Barrett will be advised when they are known.
On Monday evening Charles Shaw QC and I met with the Chief Justice, the Hon. Anne Ferguson and the judges in charge of the respective divisions of the Supreme Court to continue the conversation about the forum of court hearings post-Covid. On behalf of the Bar, Charles and I advocated for greater in-person hearings. The Chief Justice advised that the Court is continuing a process of consultation with a range of court users. Further that the Notice to the Profession issued on 3 March 2022 remains the relevant framework for how the Court operates for the time being. Both Justices Dixon and Riordan encouraged members to seek in person hearings where members thought it appropriate in all the circumstances.
On Wednesday, Charles Shaw QC delivered a Farewell on behalf of the profession to President Christopher Maxwell. On behalf of the Bar, Charles thanked the President for his 17 remarkable years of service as President of the Court of Appeal and acknowledged his Honour’s many achievements in a career on the Bar and at the Bench that has spanned nearly 40 years. His Honour’s commitment to access to justice and equality has been a hallmark of his career. On behalf of the Bar, I wish President Maxwell all the very best for his retirement.
Thursday was a busy day for the Executive of the Bar Council. On Thursday morning, I had the privilege of welcoming the Hon. Justice McEvoy on his appointment as a judge of the Federal Court of Australia. The Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency the Hon. Linda Dessau AC attended the ceremonial sitting, as did many of His Honour’s judicial colleagues, barrister friends, family and friends. It was a privilege to join the Commonwealth Attorney-General, the Hon. Mark Dreyfus QC, MP at the Bar table.
Also, on Thursday morning Charles Shaw QC had the privilege of welcoming Judge Rozen as a judge of the County Court. The welcome was well attended and was a happy occasion for the judge, the profession and the judge’s many friends and family.
On Thursday evening Darryl Burnett attended a function in the Supreme Court Library celebrating the Supreme Court Prize winners for all of Victoria’s law schools for 2019, 2020 and 2021. The Chief Justice and Associate Justice Matthews congratulated the winners on their hard work and achievement, recognising the difficulties Covid presented to all students and academic staff.
This evening, the Victorian Bar Foundation Student Achievement Awards will be celebrated in the Essoign Club. I extend my congratulations to all students on their awards and wish them well in their future studies.
School holidays commence today for most Victorian schools. I am conscious that many members, with or without children, are currently on leave. I wish all members fortunate enough to be on holiday a safe and relaxing time with friends and family.
Róisín Annesley QC