In Brief Issue #1139

Georgina Schoff KC

On Monday, I spoke at the introductory session of the March Readers’ Course to welcome the 48 Readers who will soon be members of our Bar. They are an impressive cohort who will add to the Bar's increasingly diverse cultural makeup with Readers born across the world in China, France, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom. The first week has seen them attend sessions by Rowena Orr KC, Solicitor General for the State of Victoria, on the role of a barrister, Kathleen Foley S.C. and Kateena O’Gorman S.C. on written and oral appellate advocacy, and The Hon. John Middleton AM KC, Anthony Strahan KC, Sarah Porritt, Owen Nanlohy on conduct in and out of court. The Readers’ course is a huge undertaking that relies heavily on members who give of their time and experience and to whom we all owe an immense debt of gratitude. On Monday night, the Readers were also welcomed at a function at the Essoign for the Readers and their Mentors.

On Monday, I also had the opportunity to catch up with Dr Catherine Williams, the Research Director at the Centre for Public Integrity (CPI), Sam Hay KC, and Amanda Utt to discuss the work of the CPI and how we might collaborate on future projects.

On Thursday, Elizabeth Bennett S.C., Sarah Keating, and I attended a meeting with the Director of the Judicial Commission, Alexis Eddy, and some of her colleagues. It was interesting to learn more about the Judicial Commission processes, particularly as the Bar Council works to develop a protocol to govern the way in which the Victorian Bar will exercise its power to make complaints to the Judicial Commission under the Act.

Whilst we did not discuss the specifics of any complaints made to the Commission, earlier in the week I received a letter from Ms Eddy informing the Victorian Bar that the Judicial Commission had published a statement concerning the complaint that it had received about the Honourable Lex Lasry AM S.C., whose resignation as a justice of the Supreme Court took effect last Friday. Members can read the statement here


Applications for appointment as Senior Counsel will open on Monday, 18 March, and close on Friday, 12 April 2024. Please note that this period includes the Easter break.

The Victorian Bar Silks Information Session will be held on Tuesday, 12 March, at 5:00pm via Zoom. Please click here for the registration link.

The 2024 Prescribed Sexual Harassment and Bullying Awareness Training for barristers 10+ years’ call will be held on Monday, 25 March 2024, and Wednesday, 17 April 2024, from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. This training is a prerequisite for barristers intending to make an application to be appointed Senior Counsel in 2024, as prescribed by the Chief Justice. Please click here to register. 2024 Silk applicants who completed the training in 2023 need not complete it this year, the training sessions are valid for two years.

Other Matters

Next week, the Victorian Bar and the Health & Wellbeing Committee will host a screen viewing to launch the film “Bar None”. The viewing will be held on Thursday, 14 March, at 8:00am, and I encourage all members to take the time to join us in the Neil McPhee room. Please click here to register.

Invitations to the 2024 Victorian Bar Dinner to be held at the National Gallery of Victoria on Saturday, 18 May, will be distributed to members next week.

I wish you all a happy International Women’s Day and a relaxing long weekend.

Georgina Schoff KC

Vicbar News & Events
Silks Information Session

Applications for appointment as Senior Counsel open on Monday, 18 March 2024 and are scheduled to close 5:00pm Friday, 12 April 2024.

Together with Georgina Schoff KC, President of the Victorian Bar, the Honourable Pamela Tate AM KC, will conduct an online information session for members of the Bar regarding the process of applying for, and the appointing of Silk, on Tuesday, 12 March 2024, at 5:00pm via Zoom. 

All interested members are welcome to attend, and registration is essential. The seminar is open to those members who are considering applying for appointment as Silk this year, as well as members considering making an application in future years who will find value in the session.

There will be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions during the session. The session will be recorded for those who are unable to attend.

For more information, please email

Please register here to receive the invitation link.


Bar Library Survey

The Bar's Library Committee are seeking members feedback regarding the existing arrangements with the Law Library of Victoria. Members are encouraged to respond to the survey so the Bar can make an informed decision regarding its library collections, new acquisition practices, and funding allocation.

Click here to complete the survey.

Bar None – Short film launch event

The Victorian Bar invites you to attend the launch of the short film Bar None on Thursday, 14 March 2024.

The film is the product of the Victorian Bar's Health & Wellbeing Committee and supported by the Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner. We hope that you will join us for a screening of the film, which will be followed by a light breakfast and refreshments.

Please click here to register your attendance. 

Open Justice Project Survey

You are invited to participate in a survey regarding the Victorian Bar/Monash University Open Justice Project. The purpose of the survey is to review the demand for the Project and assess its awareness amongst barristers. The survey will also help in identifying steps that can be taken to increase the requests for assistance from barristers.

The survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete and will be open until 5:00pm on Monday, 25 March 2024. Your participation in the survey would be greatly appreciated.

Please click here to complete the survey.


Call for nominations – Law Council’s Corporate Governance Committee and Finance, Risk, and Audit Committee

Call for nominations to Law Council’s Finance, Risk and Audit Committee

The Bar Council is seeking nominations for one (1) Non-Executive Director member to the Law Council’s Finance, Risk, and Audit Committee, with expertise relevant to the Committee’s Terms of Reference. Click to view the LCA memorandum and Terms of Reference.

The Bar’s protocol for nomination and appointment of Vic Bar members to external bodies can be viewed here. You are encouraged to provide a detailed expression of interest, which should identify any relevant areas of experience or expertise. This will assist the Bar Council to select the best candidate for the position.

Please forward your expression of interest to Sharni Doherty via email The closing date for EOIs is 5:00pm, Monday, 11 March 2024.


Call for nominations to Law Council’s Corporate Governance Committee

The Bar Council is seeking nominations for one (1) Non-Executive Director member to the Law Council’s Corporate Governance Committee, with expertise relevant to the Committee’s Terms of Reference. Click to view the LCA memorandum and Terms of Reference.

The Bar’s protocol for nomination and appointment of Vic Bar members to external bodies can be viewed here. You are encouraged to provide a detailed expression of interest, which should identify any relevant areas of experience or expertise. This will assist the Bar Council to select the best candidate for the position.

Please forward your expression of interest to Sharni Doherty via email The closing date for EOIs is 5:00pm, Monday, 11 March 2024.

Reform of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights: what needs to change?

PRESENTED BY: The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and the Victorian Bar

Charter enthusiasts, Charter sceptics and regular users of the Charter are invited to an evening of Charter trivia, discussion of the Charter’s flaws and what should be done about them.

Your hosts will be Rob Hulls, the Attorney General who introduced the Charter in 2006, and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner – Ro Allen – along with Quizmaster Elizabeth Bennett SC and Charter specialist Sarala Fitzgerald.

We will be joined by Charter academics Dr Julie Debeljak and Dr Bruce Chen and the Honourable Pamela Tate AM KC, who was Solicitor-General for the State of Victoria when the Charter was introduced. The event will be fully interactive and will draw on the knowledge and experience of all attendees.

Reform of the Charter is a major item on the VEOHRC’s agenda. This evening will provide attendees with direct input into the changes that the Commission will be advocating for in order to have a more effective Charter.

The night is also an opportunity for the VEOHRC to gain firsthand insights from users of the Charter and to understand the problems faced when litigating Charter rights using the current mechanisms.
Complain about the Charter no longer! Come along and contribute to Charter reform.

Places are limited, so register ASAP. The cost is to cover drinks and nibbles.

SPEAKERS: Rob Hulls, former Attorney-General Ro Allen, Commissioner Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission Elizabeth Bennett SC (Quizmaster)

DATE AND TIME: Thursday, 21 March 2024, 5:15pm – 7:15pmb

VENUE: The Essoign Club Level 1, Owen Dixon Chambers East


Click here to register.

Expression of Interest – Victorian Legal Admissions Board

The Victorian Bar has been invited to nominate a representative to the Victorian Legal Admissions Board. The Victorian Legal Admissions Board is a statutory body which performs functions associated with the admission of lawyers in Victoria in accordance with the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014.

Members of VLAB serve for a period of three years. The next three-year term commences Thursday, 1 July 2024. A position description can be viewed here.

The Bar is calling for Expressions of Interest from members who wish to be nominated as the Bar’s representative on the Board. The Bar’s protocol for nomination and appointment of Vic Bar members to external bodies can be viewed here.

To assist the Bar Council in selecting the best candidate for the position, your expression of interest should identify any relevant areas of experience or expertise.  Please also include a copy of your current curriculum vitae.

Please direct any enquiries or expressions of interest to Sharni Doherty at

The closing date for Expressions of Interest is 5:00pm, Thursday 21 March 2023.

Victorian Law Week 2024 – Interested in hosting an event?

Law Week is scheduled for Monday, 20 May, to Sunday, 26 May 2024.

The Victoria Law Foundation is now accepting proposals for events.

The Victorian Bar is a sponsor of Law Week, and we are seeking members and committees interested in hosting an event.

If you have a great idea for an event that will improve the Victorian community’s understanding of the law or the legal system, let us know by emailing the Victorian Bar team at

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 17-19 May & 24-26 May 2024) here. Places are limited.

End of CPD Year

The VicBar CPD Committee would like to remind members that the last day to complete your CPD requirements is Sunday, 31 March 2024.

If you haven’t completed your requirements yet, don’t worry — log in to the VicBar website, and an extensive list of recordings is available for viewing on our CPD catalogue.

If you have extenuating circumstances and are unable to complete it in time, please ensure you notify the CPD Committee ASAP by emailing

BCL Updates
  • Access Pass Reader Upgrades: Over the past seven months, BCL has been upgrading access pass readers across all buildings, with final upgrades to take place at Owen Dixon Chambers East, Owen Dixon Chambers West, and Douglas Menzies Chambers by 15 March 2024, see below for what barristers need to do:
    • Barristers in BCL chambers: You will have already received an updated blue Salto 'fob' or White Salto 'dot' for these locations. If you already have a pre-existing 'fob' or 'dot' this will be programmed by BCL automatically.
    • Barristers without BCL chambers: As your current access passes will no longer work, click here to submit a request for a new access pass, which can be picked up from the BCL Service Desk (8:30am to 5:30pm) or delivered to your clerk.
  • Direct Debit Payments: As previously communicated, Victorian Bar 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.
  • 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.

  • Ethics Update is on Monday, 18 March 2024, from 5:15pm to 6:15pm. In this seminar, the speakers will address a variety of topics, including the duty not to mislead the Court by omission; junior counsel's independent duty to the Court; devilling; Family Law Act s 102NA retainers; when confidential information may be disclosed without the client's consent; the position of barristers who are former Judges' associates; and when a brief may be returned for non-payment of fees. This is an online-only event. Click here to RSVP.
  • The CBA CPD and Networking Event is on Thursday, 21 March 2024, from 2:15pm to 6:00pm. The Criminal Bar Association is pleased to invite you to a CPD and Networking Afternoon on 21 March 2024, and the topics discussed will be about Cyber Security, Sentence Indications and the Amendments to the Bail Act 1977. For more information, please see the flyer here. Click here to RSVP.

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

Vicbar Life
The Essoign Club

We are open daily from 7.30am – till late

Breakfast – for dine-in or takeaway.

Lunch – Daily Café Menu dine-in or takeaway.

Lunch Dine-In – A La Carte from midday.

Bar – EVERY EVENING   $5 Beer & Wine from 4.30pm – 5.30pm

Catering & Events – Special lunches, working lunches, private dinners, or something special you may have in mind. Email us at

Our new Spring Summer Menu is available here

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!

Practice & Profession News
Updated Practice Note

The Supreme Court of Victoria have published Practice Note SC CR 4, published 4 March 2024, which provides direction on procedure in the Criminal Division, and supersedes the version issued 1 July 2018.

Juries Victoria changes

Juries Victoria has recently implemented changes to its model for delivering jury services across the state, which have necessitated changes to jury empanelment processes. Further information regarding these changes is available here.

Celebrating excellence in judicial administration

On Friday, 1 March 2024, the Judicial College of Victoria’s Judicial Information Advisor Matthew Weatherson was presented with the 2023 Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration (AIJA) Award for Excellence in Judicial Administration.

In a ceremony held at the Judicial College of Victoria, AIJA President Justice Murray Aldridge presented Matthew with the award celebrating his work in developing judicial precedent builders, a digital resource that streamlines the preparation of jury directions.

Read more

Mediator Standards Board | New article - AMDRAS

The Board has released an article via our Website and Lawyers Weekly.

The Board will continue to keep you updated as we work towards the transition from NMAS to AMDRAS.

Richard Griffith Library – onsite librarians

Law Library Victoria librarians Nadine and Alissa are onsite at the Richard Griffith Library weekly. They can introduce you to expert commentary, guide you to practical resources, and connect you to the right information.

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

Staffed hours at the Richard Griffith Library are:

Wednesdays, 9:00am - 11:00am

Thursdays, 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Contact the Library anytime during business hours on 8600 2009 or with queries about access or resources.

Profession CPD & Events
​​​​​​​Allen Hope Southey Memorial Public Lecture 2024

Allen Hope Southey Memorial Public Lecture 2024

Knowing Receipt, Fiduciary Duties, and Equitable Interests in Property

Presented by Prof. Charles Mitchell KC FBA, University College London

Liability for knowing receipt is incurred when defendants receive legal title to trust property with unconscionable knowledge that the trustee was not authorised to transfer it to them. Liability is also incurred when defendants receive property from other people who act beyond limits enforceable in equity that are placed on their powers to transfer legal title, e.g., company directors and administrators of a deceased person’s estate. It is often said that claimants must show that the property was transferred ‘in breach of fiduciary duty’. However, this is confusing because courts often use this term in two different senses – to denote either a duty to avoid conflicts of interest or a duty of due administration (meaning a duty to comply with the terms on which a power has been given to control and dispose of property). Confusion has also been caused by findings that a claimant must have had an ‘equitable interest’ in the relevant property that was not destroyed before, or at the time of, a defendant’s receipt. The problem with this is that the juridical content of the claimant’s ‘interest’ has not been clearly defined. The lecture will examine both sets of problems and suggest some solutions.

Date & Time:  Wednesday, 27 March, 6:00pm - 7:00pm AEDT
LocationTheatre G08, Ground floor, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham St, Carlton  

Registration: Here

The CLA's Legal Technology and Ethics committee webinar

Episode 5 – “AI and Ethics in Intellectual Property”

13 March 2024, taking place at 1:00pm GMT.

Webinar details:

  • Overview of AI in intellectual property law, including its benefits and drawbacks
  • Ethical considerations in using AI in intellectual property law, such as ensuring accuracy, avoiding plagiarism, and protecting intellectual property rights
  • Best practices for using AI ethically in intellectual property law, such as training personnel and conducting regular audits

Practical examples:

  • Use of AI tools such as natural language processing and machine learning to analyse patent applications and identify potential infringements.
  • Ensuring the accuracy and integrity of AI tools used in intellectual property law, including avoiding plagiarism and protecting intellectual property rights.
  • Examining the role of human ingenuity and creativity in the patent process when considering AI-generated inventions.

For more information on the event, click here.
To Register, click here.

“A New System of Administrative Review” CPD

The Whitlam Institute is pleased to present an in-person CPD on “A New System of Federal Administrative Review”.  Please join the Commonwealth Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP, the Hon Justice Emilios Kyrou AO and the Hon Justice Lisa Hespe JJ (President and Deputy President of the AAT), and two leading silks, Ruth Higgins SC and Tom Brennan SC, as they examine the law, policy and practice underpinning the recent legislation that would abolish the AAT and establish a new, fit-for-purpose administrative review body to be named the Administrative Review Tribunal.

Friday, 15 March, 2024

1:00pm – 5:00pm
Owen Dixon Commonwealth Law Courts
Court 1, Level 8, 305 William Street, Melbourne

Limited tickets are available here.

This CPD seminar is part of a series that explores the contemporary relevance of the bold legal transformations introduced by the Whitlam Government.

Mechanisms in the ART Bill to thwart Robodebt-type Maladministration

Date: Monday, 18 March 2024

Time: 5:00pm – 6:15pm AEDT

Place: Online and at Court No 1, Level 8, Federal Court, 305 William Street, Melbourne – this is a free event and a link will be provided prior

On 7 December 2023, the Commonwealth Attorney-General introduced into the Federal Parliament the Administrative Review Tribunal Bill 2023 and the Administrative Review Tribunal (Consequential and Transitional Provisions No. 1) Bill 2023. When enacted, the Bills will abolish the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and replace it with the Administrative Review Tribunal.

Click here for more information and to register.

Expert Determination Accreditation Course | 21-22 March 2024 | Online

Learn about expert determination, mastering the entire process from appointment to publication.

This course is designed for individuals seeking a deeper understanding of expert determination, including those considering becoming expert determiners & those already practicing who wish to refine their skills.

  • This course aims to:
    Advance the knowledge and understanding of the practice of expert determination in the dispute resolution and wider community.
  • Provide participants with a practical understanding of the process and legal requirements for the conduct of the expert determination.
  • Assess participants on the practice of expert determination and the writing of a reasoned determination.
  • Provide a pathway for Resolution Institute members to be listed on Resolution Institute’s Register of Practicing Expert Determiners.

Click here for more information and to register.

Law Society of Singapore Litigation Conference 2024 - 3 & 4 April

The Litigation Conference 2024 is proudly presented by the Civil Practice Committee of The Law Society of Singapore.

This year, the Conference marks a significant milestone in the history of the series as we celebrate the 10th full edition of the Conference series.

In line with the many firsts of the Litigation Conference series, we are pleased to announce a unique opportunity for this year’s Conference.

Participants attending the Conference will be able to interact with The Honourable Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon by submitting questions to the Chief Justice. Do register early for an opportunity to ask your questions, as there is a limited number of questions that we can deal with during this session.

To celebrate the 10th full edition of the Conference series, the Conference Dinner on Day 2 of the Conference will be one at which delegates can participate by purchasing a ticket. Seats are limited and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, and all delegates are encouraged to purchase their tickets as early as possible.

Click here to visit the Conference website for more information!

Asia Pacific Diploma Course

Save the date! Ciarb’s Asia Pacific Diploma Course in International Commercial Arbitration starts on 11 May 2024. This Diploma takes place in person in Singapore.

Click here for more information.

Careers & Opportunities
Expressions of Interest – Republic of Nauru

The Republic of Nauru (Republic) is seeking expressions of interest from qualified barristers to assist its Refugee Status Determination (RSD) team with the determination of applications made pursuant to Part 2 of the Refugees Convention Act 2012 (Nr).

The Republic wishes to enter into ‘Terms of Engagement’ with a pool of suitable candidates, who may then be called upon (‘engaged’) to perform the role of ‘RSD Assessment Officer’ on behalf of the Department of Multicultural Affairs of the Republic, in relation to an allocation of applications.  Counsel will only be engaged as their availability allows and will:

  • Conduct initial consideration of applications as allocated
  • Prepare for and conduct any necessary interviews, including RSD interviews, supported by relevant permanent RSD staff
  • Liaise with relevant permanent RSD staff in relation to any necessary follow-up communication or correspondence with applicants and/or their representatives
  • Draft written statements of determination in respect of applications as allocated for consideration by the Secretary for Multicultural Affairs (Secretary)
  • Liaise with relevant permanent RSD staff in relation to any alterations, amendments, or further work required by the Secretary in relation to a draft determination

Travel to Nauru will be required for the conduct of RSD interviews.  It is anticipated that counsel would travel to Nauru once per allocation, to conduct RSD interviews for all applications within that particular allocation.  The costs of travel to and accommodation in Nauru will be met by the Republic.

Counsel will receive a fixed amount for each completed determination.

The following matters will be viewed favourably:

  • Qualifications and/or experience drafting and/or making administrative decisions
  • Qualifications and/or experience in refugee and international law

Expressions of interest should be sent to Francine Audoa at no later than 15 March 2024.  Enquiries, including a request for a phone conversation, may be sent to the same address.

Expressions of Interest – Examiner

The Attorney-General, the Hon Jaclyn Symes MP, and the Minister for Police, the Hon Anthony Carbines MP, seek expressions of interest from suitably qualified individuals for appointment as an Examiner.

Examiners are appointed under the Major Crime (Investigative Powers) Act 2004 (Vic) (the Act). The role of the Examiner is to prepare and conduct examinations of witnesses in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Experience in criminal law, administrative law, an understanding of law enforcement investigative methodologies and previous experience dealing with information subject to stringent secrecy provisions is required. A demonstrated capacity to examine or cross-examine witnesses is also required. The position of Examiner also requires a high level of integrity, sound judgement, and exceptional interpersonal and communication skills. 

The salary range for this position is $279,239 to $401,091, inclusive of superannuation.

Applications close Sunday, 17 March 2024.

Click here for more information and to apply. 

Expression of Interest now open — Casual Sessional Teaching

Monash Law is one of the largest and most dynamic law schools in Australia.

We invite Expressions of Interest in working with our team of experienced educators and leading academics.

As a casual (sessional) academic staff member, you are an important part of the Faculty’s teaching program. You will assist the Law Faculty to maintain our high quality in teaching and learning, addressing students’ learning requirements for core units, and increase flexibility in subject offerings.

You are encouraged to submit an Expression of Interest application if you have obtained an Australian law degree with excellent results, have relevant experience, and have the capability to work within our teaching teams at either Clayton and the City Chambers, daytime or evening classes. Casual work may be available in lecturing, tutoring, and marking in private and public law units and clinical offerings.

Please contact us via the Expression of Interest portal here.

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, 14th March 2024