In Brief Issue #1127

Sam Hay KC

Voting for this year’s Victorian Bar Council election is currently open and closes next Wednesday, 8 November at 5:00pm. The result will be declared next Thursday evening at the final meeting of the current Bar Council. Consequently, this will be my final edition of In Detail.

Without a doubt, performing the role of President has been the highlight of my career. I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to serve the Bar in this way. I have very much enjoyed the challenge.

There are too many people to thank here, but I would like to mention a few. First, I would like to thank each member of Bar Council for their efforts during the year. We have had some difficult issues to grapple with and I have been assisted by our debates.

Second, I sincerely thank Amanda Utt and each member of the Bar Office team. We are very lucky to have such excellent and loyal support. Their efforts allow us as an organisation to punch well above our weight year after year.

Third, I would like to thank the Bar Council Executive: Gina Schoff KC, Liz Bennett S.C., Mark Robins KC, and Cat Boston S.C.. We have worked together exceptionally well, and I am very grateful for the sound advice and willing assistance each of them has given me.

Finally, thank you to all the members who have devoted time, energy, and skill to our committees, working groups, education programs, and events. It has been a successful year because of your efforts.

This week

A lot of this week has been taken up with preparations to hand over to the new Bar Council next week.

On Tuesday, it was announced that the Hon. Justice Kevin Lyons had been appointed to the Court of Appeal and that Claire Harris S.C. had been appointed to the trial division of the Supreme Court of Victoria. Mr Andrew Watson (formerly of Maurice Blackburn) was also appointed to the trial division of the Court, as was Ms Caroline Goulden (formerly of ABL) as an Associate Justice. On behalf of the Bar, I congratulate each of them. We will publish details of the welcome ceremonies as soon as they are available.

This morning, I attended the welcome ceremony for her Honour Magistrate Carolyn Howe and her Honour Magistrate Allison Vaughan this morning. I wish them both well as they start out in their new roles.

I should mention the very sad news of the death of Ms Deborah Chemeke, wife of the Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP. Deborah passed away on Tuesday night after a long illness. On behalf of the Bar, I extend my deepest sympathies to Mark, their children Joe, Tom and Laura, and their grandchildren.  

Next week

On Sunday, I’m heading to Canberra to attend the Hon. Chief Justice Gageler’s swearing in ceremony at the High Court of Australia on Monday morning, followed by the Hon. Justice Beech-Jones’s swearing in that afternoon.

On Wednesday, I’ll attend the ceremonies for our new silks in the Supreme Court, the Federal Court and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

On Thursday, the declaration of the poll for the Bar Council election will cap off my last day as President.

Other matters

The use of Artificial Intelligence in legal practice is something that is gaining more attention. I thought I might take this opportunity to remind members that the Innovation and Technology Committee put out two very useful CPD sessions earlier this year which dealt with AI technology and legal ethics. You can find them in our CPD Catalogue.

The Open Justice Project has recently taken on a new group of later year undergraduate students from Monash’s law faculty onto its panel; they’re ready, willing, and able to participate in the program. Given its universally positive reception since being launched, I’d encourage members from across the Bar to make the most of the program. It is a valuable resource. Find out more here.

If you are taking a long weekend, I hope you enjoy it.

Sam Hay KC

Vicbar News & Events
Vote Reminder: Victorian Bar Council Election 2023-2024

Voting for the 2023-2024 Bar Council election opened at 9:00am on Wednesday, 1 November 2023 and closes at 5:00pm on Wednesday, 8 November 2023.

Eligible members will have received an email on Wednesday from Vero Voting with a link to vote.

If you have not received this email, and have checked your Junk/Other Folder, please contact Vero Voting on or on 1300 702 898 and they will assist you.

You must be financial to be eligible to vote, and only eligible members will receive the email from Vero Voting. For voting eligibility enquiries please contact the Victorian Bar on (03) 9225 8314.

Appointments — Supreme Court of Victoria

Court of Appeal

The Honourable Chief Justice Ferguson of the Supreme Court of Victoria has advised that the Executive Council appointed the Honourable Justice Kevin Joseph Aloysius Lyons as a Judge of the Court of Appeal, effective 31 October 2023.

Supreme Court of Victoria

The Honourable Chief Justice Ferguson of the Supreme Court of Victoria has advised that the Executive Council appointed Claire Michelle Harris SC as a Judge of the Supreme Court, effective 04 November 2023.

The Bar also acknowledges the appointments of Andrew John Watson as a Judge of the Supreme Court and Caroline Anne Goulden as an Associate Judge of the Supreme Court.

Details of the welcome ceremonies will be advised when they are known.

Vale — Charles G Gidley

Bar Roll No.: 1248

It is with deep regret that the Bar informs members of the death of Charles Gidley.

Charles signed the Bar Roll on 11 March 1976 and read with Mr William D Magennis. He was a member of the Bar for 47 years.

A full obituary will be published in the coming days.

Deepest sympathies are extended to Charles’s family and friends.

Vale — Laurie Robson

Bar Roll No.: 1933

It is with deep regret that the Bar informs members of the death of Laurie Robson.

Laurie signed the Bar Roll on 22 November 1984 and read with Mr Philip Dunn. Laurie was a member of the Bar for 38 years.

Funeral details will be published in the coming days, along with a full obituary.

Deepest sympathies are extended to Laurie’s family and friends.

Retirement — The Honourable Justice Timothy Ginnane

Supreme Court of Victoria

The Honourable Justice Timothy Ginnane will retire as a judge of the Trial Division of the Supreme Court of Victoria, effective from 4 November 2023.

Justice Ginnane has been appointed as a reserve judge and is therefore able to be engaged on the basis of the needs of the court.

Lawyers Mediation Certificate Course

Mediation is an essential part of the justice system with a great many litigated matters being referred to mediation. Barristers and law professionals wishing to become an accredited mediator under the National Mediator Accreditation System can register for the Lawyers Mediation Certificate (LMC) six-day course (on 24-26 November & 1-3 December 2023) here.

When it Gets Personal: Addressing Judicial Bullying

When it Gets Personal: Addressing Judicial Bullying is on 14 November 2023 from 5:00-6:00pm. Join the Honourable Chief Judge Peter Kidd and Alexis Eddy Director of the Judicial Commission of Victoria in an engaging and highly interactive discussion that explores bullying within the court. The expert panel will explore the recent findings around Judicial Bullying by the Commission, through an everyday courtroom case study. Joined by David Hallowes S.C and Stella Gold from the Bar, the panel will be chaired by Lisa Hannon KC and explore how judicial bullying occurs in courts, the importance of professional standards and ethics for the judiciary, and how standards decline when things get personal. This is an in-person event only. Click here to RSVP.

BCL Updates
  • Effective 1 December 2023, members who do not have chambers with BCL are required to pay via direct debit for technology services. Click here to register for direct debit and click here for most recent communication.
  • Melbourne Cup Public Holiday: The BCL Service Desk and be unattended on Tuesday 7 November 2023. Click here for more information.
  • Why Take Chambers with BCL? As a wholly owned subsidiary of the Victorian Bar, BCL provides a flexible and unique solution of chamber and technology support only available to members of the Bar. Click here to view our current vacancies.
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.

  • Cyber risk – presentation on cyber insurance for barristers is on 9 November 2023 from 5:15pm-6:15pm. The seminar will address the nature and extent of the cyber risks to the work tasks of barristers, how cyber insurance works from an underwriting perspective, and how claims are managed. This is an in-person event and will also be available online via livestream. Click here to RSVP.
  • Intervention Orders: Everything you wanted to know but were too afraid to ask is on 13 November 2023 from 5:15pm-6:15pm. This seminar will address matters including the intersection of the criminal law and intervention orders, the practical implications of DPP v Cormick [2023] VSCA 186, and counselling orders: essential knowledge for any barrister appearing in both intervention order and breach proceedings. This is an in-person event and will also be available online via livestream. Click here to RSVP.

  • Commanding the Room – A practical workshop with Richard Lawton and Mary Ferguson is on 21 November 2023 from 5:30pm-7:30pm. This seminar demonstrates simple, powerful secrets and strategies of body language and voice to empower barristers in consultative and advocacy areas to reach their peak effectiveness. This is a practical and interactive session which aims to equip them with tools for dealing with performance nerves and creating a strong courtroom presence. This is an in-person event only for barristers. Click here to RSVP.
  • Office of the Public Prosecutions (OPP) New Barrister Development Program is on 24 November 2023 from 9:00am-4:00pm. The Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) is pleased to announce a new specialist course – the OPP New Barrister Development Program. The program includes structured educational sessions (including CPD points) led by the Chief Crown Prosecutor, Senior Crown Prosecutors and experienced OPP solicitors and social workers. For more information see the flyer here. This is an in-person event only. Click here to RSVP.
  • Serious injury cases in child protection: A medico-legal perspective from the Victorian Forensic Paediatric Medical Service is on 16 November 2023 from 5:00pm-6:00pm. The Children’s Court Bar Association is pleased to present Dr. Anne Smith, Director, Victorian Forensic Paediatric Medical Service at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. Dr. Smith will discuss the role of the VFPMS in serious injury cases, the interaction between VFPMS, DFFH, legal practitioners and the Court, and important recent cases on the forming of medico-legal opinions. This is an in-person event and will also be available online via livestream. Click here to RSVP.

For more upcoming CPD events, please visit our listings here.

Vicbar Life
Artists for Kids Culture Charity Art Auction

Artists for Kids Culture Charity Art Auction 2023 is being held at the iconic George Ballroom on Thursday, 16 November, 7:00pm - 11:00pm.

MCs: Brian Nankervis / Dylan Lewis.

Established in 1994, the AKC is a registered charity that supports children who face financial hardship by giving them the opportunities they wouldn't otherwise have to participate in various arts activities such as art, dance, drama, and music. 

52 artworks have been generously donated by the leading and emerging Australian artists. 100% of the proceeds go directly to supporting the kids. 

An opportunity to acquire an artwork, meet the artists and make a difference to a child's life. 

Tickets - $85

Ticket price includes: Complimentary drinks on arrival from 7-8pm, cocktail food by 'Damm Fine Food', live musical entertainment, catalogue and art bidding paddle. 

Enquiries - Shivani Pillai, AKC Committee / Barrister Foley's List 205 William Street Melbourne 0411446500

Opera to Elvis

On Sunday, 5 November at 3:00pm, Opera to Elvis will be performed at the Wesley Church, 130 Lonsdale St. Featuring performances by talented tenor Samuel Thomas-Holland and soprano Helen Koehne, accompanied by Kylie Weston-Scheuber, the concert will feature a series of opera classics, some Elvis numbers and some other favourites. With guest performer, solicitor Henry Wei, performing Chopin’s First Ballade.

Tickets are $35 and available here.

The Essoign Club coffee cart

The Essoign now has a coffee cart open on the ground floor of Owen Dixon West.

Available daily from 7:30am is tea, coffee and a selection of sweets and pastries.

Ask about our VIP coffee cards at the cart.

Click here to view the flyer.

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 to access the monthly Best Buys!

Practice & Profession News
Silk Bows 2023

A joint sitting of the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court of Australia (Division 1) and Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 2) will be held on Wednesday, 8 November 2023 at 10:45am in Courtroom 4A, Level 4, Owen Dixon Commonwealth Law Courts, 305 William Street, Melbourne to recognise the Senior Counsel appointed in and for the State of Victoria in 2023. The sittings are being held directly after the sittings in the Supreme Court of Victoria and the Federal Court of Australia.

Chief Justice Alstergren AO invites members of the Bar to attend to celebrate the new Senior Counsel appointed in and for the State of Victoria.

The ceremonial sitting will be livestreamed for those of you unable to attend: Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Division 1) & (Division 2) | Silk Bows 2023

New approach for family law property disputes saves time, money and stress for people facing family violence and other risks

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia have published a media release on 'New approach for family law property disputes saves time, money and stress for people facing family violence and other risks'. 

Click here to view the media release.

More information, including Updates to the Profession, is available from the Courts’ website.

Supreme Court of Victoria updates

Practice Note: Schemes of Arrangement

The Supreme Court of Victoria have published a new Practice Note — SC CC 9 Schemes of Arrangement.

Judicial Announcements

Click here to see the Supreme Court statement on the latest judicial announcements.


Click here to see the Supreme Court statement on the retirement of Justice Ginnane.

Richard Griffith Library – onsite librarians

Law Library Victoria has librarians onsite at the Richard Griffith Library every week. Our librarians can introduce you to expert commentary, guide you to practical resources, and connect you to the right information.

Three onsite computers provide you with access to the same online resources as the judiciary.

Staffed hours at the Richard Griffith Library are:

  • Wednesdays, 9:00am - 11:00am
  • Thursdays, 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Barristers can contact the Library any time via the website contact form.

Profession CPD & Events
Australian Bar Association: Advanced Trial Advocacy Intensive

The skills of a barrister are best learned in an environment that is as close to the real experience as possible. This involves providing realistic briefs to counsel in sufficient time for counsel to properly prepare the matter for hearing and then giving them the opportunity to perform in real court settings.

The Advanced Trial Advocacy Intensive involves discussion and comment on each aspect of trial performance.

Places are limited to 42 barristers for this intensive. Seniority of at least five years at the private bar is a pre-requisite.

Find out more about the course here.

Location: Sydney

Dates: 22 - 26 January 2024

Cost: Criminal Brief $5,000.00

Civil Brief $5,400.00

Registrations close 30 November 2023

Register here.

Melbourne Law School Upcoming Events

Melbourne Law School is pleased to present the following events:  

2023 Allen Hope Southey Memorial Lecture  

Deception by Design

Presenter: Professor Lauren E. Willis, LMU Loyola Law School (Los Angeles)

Businesses are increasingly able to disseminate rapidly proliferating permutations of digital marketing materials, sales interfaces and scripts, and products themselves, each of which can be aimed at particular consumers in real-time and space. When the algorithms that design these are optimised only for profit and deception is profitable, consumers will be deceived. Yet as dark patterns and other forms of digital deception are becoming inevitable, they also are racing toward immunity from liability. Common legal methods for assessing whether conduct is misleading or deceptive are either inapplicable or impracticable when applied to vast numbers of machine-produced micro-targeted designs. In this lecture, Professor Lauren E. Willis will review these developments and propose a regulatory model devised to incentivise businesses to engage in fair marketing by design. We hope you can join us for this opportunity to hear Prof. Lauren E. Willis speak. The theatre doors will be open from 5:45pm and the lecture will begin at 6:00pm. The entrance doors to the David P. Derham Theatre are located on level 1 and on the Mezzanine floor.
Date & time: Thursday, 16 November 2023, 6:00pm - 7:00pm  
Location: Melbourne Law School, GM15 David P. Derham Theatre, 185 Pelham St, Carlton   

Further information and registration


2023 James Merralls Fellowship Law Lecture

The Resurgence of Indigenous Law

Presenter: Professor John Borrows, University of Toronto Law School

In this lecture, Professor Borrows will discuss how Indigenous peoples’ legal principles can generate rich resources for decision-making in contemporary circumstances. They can be reinvigorated, revised or newly created to enhance governance and policy within Indigenous communities and beyond. This can develop community capacity, foster local, state and national leadership, develop business opportunities, and influence policy. Revitalizing and newly developing Indigenous law can help develop well-being and economic success. Corporations and other commercial actors can also benefit from understanding, applying and incorporating Indigenous law in their agreements and activities with Indigenous peoples. When we see law as something people do, which invites participation, deliberation, persuasion, disagreement, discussion and agreement, this opens space for the revitalization of law and economic opportunities in broader ways. We hope you can join us for this opportunity to hear Prof. John Borrows speak. The lecture will commence at 6:00pm sharp and is proudly co-hosted alongside the Victorian Bar.
Date & time: Wednesday, 22 November 2023, 6:00pm - 7:00pm  
Location: Melbourne Law School, G08 Theatre, 185 Pelham St, Carlton  

Further information and registration


2023 Francis Gurry Public Lecture on Intellectual Property:  

Towards a sustainable patent system and society

Presenter: Mr António Campinos, President of the European Patent Office

This year the European Patent Office (EPO) celebrated 50 years of the European Patent Convention (EPC). In that time, the signatories to the EPC have grown from 16 to 39 Member States, and the EPO has granted over 2 million European Patents. Building upon the achievements of the EPO’s Strategic Plan 2023, the new Strategic Plan 2028 is about to be launched and will centre on one overarching goal: sustainability. SP2028 is set to guide the EPO towards establishing a more sustainable European Patent Organisation and patent system that can support the innovation ecosystem, economic growth and competitiveness in Europe and beyond. In this presentation, the President of the EPO will share his vision for the next stage of the Organisation’s contribution to the patent system and the societal benefits it brings. We hope you can join us for this opportunity to hear Mr António Campinos speak. Please join us for welcome drinks and refreshments from 5:15pm, before the lecture presentation commences at 6:00pm sharp.

The Francis Gurry Lecture series has been generously supported by AIPPI Australia, IP Australia, IPSANZ, and LESANZ.
Date & time: Tuesday 28 November 2023, 5:15pm - 7:00pm
Location:  Woodward Conference Centre & Online livestream, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham St, Carlton  

Further information and registration

ALA panel: Eliminating racism in the legal profession

The ALA is proud to host a panel discussion CPD seminar on cultural diversity and combatting racism in the legal profession.

The conversation will bring to light issues experienced by practitioners from ethnically diverse backgrounds, and include a discussion on the types of policies and procedures that can be implemented by law firms, the bar and the judiciary to ensure that ethnic minorities are fairly represented. The panel will also offer practical solutions to tackling difficult situations.

The panel features a stellar lineup of solicitors and barristers: Maria Pilipasidis S.C., Viola Katotas, Yi-Chuan Chen, Zahida Popal and Jayr Teng, with Sach Fernando as moderator.

Melbourne Marriott, Thursday, 9 November, 5:00pm.

Click here for more information and to register.

Annual General Meeting and Dinner Invitation

Members and guests are invited to attend the Australian Academy of Forensic Science (Victorian Chapter) Annual General Meeting with Dinner and Plenary Presentations by

Dr Maria Corazon A. De Ungria

Head, DNA Analysis Laboratory, Natural Sciences Research Institute
University of the Philippines Diliman

Director, Program on Biodiversity, Ethnicity, and Forensics

Philippine Genome Center

Presentation Topic: Changing Lives Through Forensic DNA Testing


Attorney Jose M. Jose

Director, Innocence Project Philippines Network, Inc.

Litigator handling civil and criminal cases, estate proceedings, election law, and agrarian reform law

Presentation Topic: Death Penalty and the Drug War in the Philippines: Can Forensic Sciences Make A Difference?

Tuesday, 14 November, 2023, 6:30pm

Bayside Room

Level 2, RACV Club, 501 Bourke St., Melbourne

Dress: Business attire

Cost: Members $110 | Partners & Guests $125

2 Course Dinner

Beverages included

Reduced car parking fee

Please RSVP by Wednesday, 8 November using the form here.

Dispute Resolution: The Media Challenge

With Peter Bartlett (Media Partner, MinterEllison)
Tuesday, 05 December 2023 | 12:00pm – 2:30pm AEDT | InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto 

Dispute Resolution: The Media Challenge 
“The Defamation Trial of the Century”

You are invited to attend the 2023 Resolution Institute Annual Lunch featuring special guest speaker, Peter Bartlett, Media Partner, MinterEllison and the leader of the Nine Defence Team.

Litigation throws up many challenges. Few like this case. Ben Roberts-Smith, one of Australia’s most decorated War Heros, took on the Nine Network (the Melbourne Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and two of Australia’s leading journalists). It was a significant challenge to the public’s right to know. Roberts-Smith was able to use every legal option at his disposal. Peter Bartlett will provide key insights on meeting the challenges of the matter that ultimately delivered a comprehensive win (now subject to Appeal) in what has been hailed by Australian media as ‘The Defamation Trial of the Century’.   

The lunch will be held at InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto.  Located in the heart of Melbourne on Collins Street in the business and legal precincts,  the hotel  is a fine dining destination with a stylish mix of heritage and modern luxury surrounded by contemporary artworks. Comprising Entrée, Main, Petit Fours and Beverages, lunch will commence with Networking Drinks on Arrival from 12:00 to 12:30pm and will conclude at 2:30pm.    

Join fellow members and guests of the judiciary, government, media and commerce for what will be a must-attend event. As seats are strictly limited, be sure to register asap.

Click here for more information and to register.

Inquiries: Gianna Totaro

0438 337 328

Careers & Opportunities
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, 9th November 2023