In Brief Issue #1141

Georgina Schoff KC

On Tuesday evening, the Hon. John Digby KC, Chairman of BCL and its CEO, Paul Clark, attended the Bar Council meeting to provide their quarterly update, including with respect to how they are managing the increasing number of vacancies and the expected departure of a number of floors later this year. The BCL model, which provides such great flexibility to our members has, on the flip side, some great challenges for those tasked with managing it. To this end, a BCL survey seeking member’s feedback on chambers and technology services has been sent to all members this week. I encourage you all to participate in the survey, which will help inform BCL’s future strategic direction. Click here to complete the survey. The Bar Council remains very focused on the Bar’s accommodation needs, and we are grateful for the assistance of John and Paul and the rest of the BCL board. This year has seen the appointment to the BCL board of Liz Bennett S.C. and Stewart Maiden KC, and I am happy to announce that on Tuesday night, Bar Council also appointed Sam Hay KC to the Board. This morning the Board elected to appoint Sam as its Deputy Chair.

At our meeting on Tuesday, we also endorsed the Bar’s Annual Professional Standards Report to the Professional Standards Councils. It is a comprehensive document setting out how the Bar has complied with its obligations under the Professional Standards Act 2003. Pleasingly, results from the Bar’s 2023 Professional Standards Scheme audit and 2023 CPD audit demonstrate a very high level of compliance by members with their obligations under the scheme.

We also received an update on the progress of the Strategic Plan Working Group, which continues to consult widely with members, the judiciary, and our other stakeholders as it considers the Bar’s strategic plan for the next five years.

The Bar Council has received the report of the 5-Year Readers’ Course Exam Review Panel. The report includes recommendations regarding the Exam and what might be done to allow the number of places available in the Readers’ Course each year to increase. A special purpose Bar Council meeting will be held next week to review the recommendations.

I extend my sincere thanks to the 5-Year Readers’ Course Exam Review Panel for their extensive consultations and significant work in producing the report, particularly the Chair, the Hon. Peter Riordan KC and panel members Georgina Costello KC, Justin Graham KC, Ashlee Cannon, James McComish, Laura Johnston, Felicity Fox and Yusur Al-Azzawi.

On Wednesday evening, I attended an event to celebrate the 49th anniversary of the Family Court of Australia and the 25th anniversary of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. The honoured guests included former chief justices and deputy chief justices of the courts, including the Hon. Elizabeth Evatt AC, the Hon. Alastair Nicholson AO RFD KC, the Hon. Diana Bryant AO KC, the Hon. John Faulks and the Hon. John Pascoe AC CVO. They were each interviewed by the Hon. Chief Justice Alstergren AO about key developments in the life of the Courts and their challenges. I thank the Chief Justice and the judges of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, Divisions 1 and 2, for their hospitality. 

On Wednesday, Victoria Legal Aid held an information session for members regarding their Equitable Briefing Strategy and new pilot Equity and Diversity List. The diversity list will be launched on Tuesday, 26 March. Members can read more information about the equitable briefing strategy here. The list will assist lawyers to find and brief diverse counsel for legally aided matters.

Last night, Liz Bennett S.C. hosted a trivia evening about the Human Rights Charter at the Essoign Club. The Hon. Rob Hulls AM introduced the Charter in 2006 as Attorney-General, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, Ro Allen, and Charter specialist Sarala Fitzgerald were also present. The Hon. Pamela Tate AM KC, who was Solicitor-General for the State of Victoria when the Charter was introduced, also attended the event. According to all reports, the evening was a great success and provided a fun way to discuss what has worked and what reforms may be necessary.

Mediation Centre – New booking system

The Bar’s digital transformation project is well underway. The culmination of much hard work and planning by the Bar Office will be showcased later this year when our new website goes live. The Victorian Bar Mediation Centre's new booking platform was successfully launched this week. The new booking system shows availability in real time and allows clients to manage their bookings online. If you have not had an opportunity to visit the Bar’s Mediation Centre, it is located at Levels 1 and 3, Douglas Menzies Chambers. You can find further information here.                      


I remind silk applicants to register for the prescribed sexual harassment and bullying awareness training. Click here to register. Silks applications are now open. For further details, see the Supreme Court website here. Applications close on Friday, 12 April 2024 at 5:00pm.

Bench Farewell

Magistrate Anne Goldsbrough's farewell will be held next Monday, 25 March, at 4:15pm. I encourage members to attend either in person in Court 1, Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, or via Webex here

Bar Dinner 2024

Members should have received an invitation to the Bar Dinner. Please secure your ticket or table here as soon as possible.

Georgina Schoff KC

Vicbar News & Events
Vale — The Honourable Richard Francis Edmonds AM S.C.

Bar Roll No: 2463

It is with deep regret that the Bar informs members of the death of the Honourable Richard Francis Edmonds AM S.C.

Richard became a member of the Victorian Bar in 1990. He took silk in NSW in 1995 and was a Justice of the Federal Court of Australia from 2005 until 2018.

We extend our deepest sympathies to Richard’s family and friends.

Farewell — Her Honour Magistrate Anne Goldsbrough

Magistrates’ Court of Victoria 

A ceremony to farewell her Honour Magistrate Anne Goldsbrough of the Magistrates’ Court will be held in Court 1 of the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, 233 William Street, Melbourne on:

Monday, 25 March 2024 at 4:15pm

All counsel who are able to do so are asked to attend. The ceremony will also be livestreamed via Webex here.

Are you a parent or carer juggling a career at the Bar?

The Equality and Diversity Committee and the Health and Wellbeing Committee (in conjunction with Bar Mums and Bar Dads) are pleased to host a “Chatham House Rules” session for Parents and Carers at the Bar.

Whether you are returning from parental leave, about to undertake parental leave, or are juggling the demands of caring responsibilities, we want to hear from you. What support would you like to see provided by the Bar? We will also update attendees about new initiatives and CPDs that may be of interest. 

Please come and have your say and connect with other parents and carers at the Bar.

Date: Wednesday, 27 March 2023

Venue: Neil McPhee Room

Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Water, Tea, Coffee and Biscuits will be provided. Please BYO lunch.

Click here to register.

Call of Expressions of Interest – Tasmanian Farm Debt Mediators

The Tasmanian Government is in the process of establishing a Farm Debt Mediation program. Once established, the program will require register of accredited mediators available to be hired by farmers or creditors for mediation. The Tasmanian Government is currently seeking to understand the availability of appropriately qualified Farm Debt Mediators in Tasmania, as well as any mediators that would be able to provide services but are located nationally.

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee is calling for Expressions of Interest from members who wish to be part of the register that the Tasmanian Government is currently establishing.

To assist the ADR Committee in selecting the names to be forwarded, 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 The closing date for Expressions of Interest is 5:00pm, Friday, 5 April 2024.

Victorian Bar Dinner

All members of the Bar and Judiciary are warmly invited to the Dinner on Saturday, 18 May 2024, 7:00pm at the National Gallery of Victoria. The event is black tie and will feature guest speaker The Honourable Justice Robert Beech-Jones, High Court of Australia.

Tickets for the event are now available. You can book individually, as a guest on an organised table, or as a table organiser.

Event: 2024 Victorian Bar Dinner

Date: Saturday, 18 May 2024
Time: 7:00pm for 7:30pm start

Venue: National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3006
Dress: Black Tie

Click here to purchase your ticket.

If you did not receive an invitation, please contact

Bar Library Survey

The Bar’s Library Committee are seeking members’ feedback regarding the library’s existing facilities and resources, as well as 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.

The survey will close on Tuesday, 30 April 2024.

Click here to complete the survey.

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 identify steps that can be taken to increase the requests for assistance from barristers.

The survey will take approximately five minutes to complete and will be open until 5:00pm on Tuesday, 2 April 2024. Your participation in the survey would be greatly appreciated.

Please click here to complete the survey.


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
  • BCL Chamber Insights Survey: In follow up to the recent Future of the Bar Survey results, it is important for BCL to understand how these affect the BCL model and the need for chambers in the future. If you have BCL chambers, please click here and spend less than 5 minutes to provide your valuable, anonymous feedback by 5pm Thursday, 28 March.
  • 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.

  • Risky Business: Isles & Nelissen & considerations in parenting cases involving allegations of unacceptable risk is on Tuesday, 26 March 2024, from 5:15pm to 6:15pm. This CPD will review the decision in Isles & Nelissen [2022] FedCFam1A 97 and subsequent decisions which apply the law arising, while discussing practical ways to approach unacceptable risk cases. This is an online only event. Click here to RSVP.

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

Vicbar Life
Vic Bar Rainbow Drinks – Welcome Readers 3 April 2024, 5:00pm

Please join us for a cocktail after the Easter recess and help us welcome the latest cohort of Readers.

Event details:

When?  Wednesday, 3 April 2024, from 5:00pm onwards

Where? The Douglas Club, 472 Bourke Street (Equity Chambers).

This is an inclusive event, welcoming members of our LGBTQI+ community as well as friends and allies. Wear what you want. Everyone is welcome. 

If you haven’t been along before and want some company, feel free to email John Heard or Beth Warnock, and they will look out for you on the night.

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
Magistrates’ Court of Victoria Civil Fee Change

Magistrates’ Court of Victoria are putting a new civil fee structure in place which will commence on 1 April 2024. There will be an outage of the CMS Portal from 6:00pm Thursday, 28 March, to 12:30am on Friday, 29 March 2024, to implement this change. CMS Portal users should not file a fee document until 1 April 2024 to avoid an incorrect fee being applied. For further information on this fee change, please click here after 1 April 2024.

Victoria Legal Aid’s pilot Equity and Diversity List launching next week

On Tuesday, 26 March, Victoria Legal Aid will be launching a pilot Equity and Diversity List as part of their Equitable Briefing Strategy.

The list will assist lawyers in finding and briefing diverse counsel for legally aided matters, and it has been developed following industry consultation.

The list will be opt-in for barristers and advocates who self-identify with one or more diversity traits. Please look out for full details from Victoria Legal Aid next week.

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
Efficiency of Arbitration: A Ground for Challenging Arbitrators

The Monash Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies is hosting a seminar at Monash University Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, on Wednesday, 27 March 2024, at 5:15pm.

The presentation will be given by Dr Hop Dang, an arbitrator and academic based in Hanoi, Vietnam, who previously worked as a partner at Allens for many years and practised in cross-border infrastructure projects and international commercial arbitration. He has regularly arbitrated cross-border disputes at institutions such as the SIAC, the ICC, and the SCC. Dr Dang is currently an alternate court member of the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC and a court member at the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

A link containing further details, including how to register for the event, can be found here.

​​​​​​​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

Artificial Intelligence and the Courts – Master or Servant

The National Judicial College of Australia is hosting a Symposium in Canberra on Saturday, 6 - Sunday, 7 April 2024.

Join us for this important Symposium and hear from senior judges, barristers, lawyers, and experts in their field.

Click here for more information.

IBA Annual Conference

The IBA's forthcoming Annual Conference is taking place in Mexico City from 15-20 September 2024 at the Centro Citibanamex.

This conference offers a unique opportunity to engage in a diverse array of legal sessions, extensive networking prospects, and insights from some of the globe's top legal professionals.

Click here to find out more.

Careers & Opportunities
Senior Crown Prosecutor and Crown Prosecutor Role

Applications are sought from qualified persons for appointment as Senior Crown Prosecutor and Crown Prosecutor under the Public Prosecutions Act 1994. This is an exciting opportunity for suitably qualified and experienced Australian legal practitioners to undertake and support criminal prosecutions on behalf of the Victorian community.

Senior Crown Prosecutors are appointed for a minimum term of ten years with remuneration and conditions in accordance with the Public Prosecutions Act 1994. Senior Crown Prosecutors are generally senior barristers either of Senior Counsel or close to becoming Senior Counsel. Successful applicants are entitled to a motor vehicle.  Section 35 of the Public Prosecutions Act 1994 sets out additional entitlements. 

Crown Prosecutors are appointed for a fixed term of three years that may be renewed.

The successful appointee(s) will have access to flexible working conditions, and Crown Prosecutors may be appointed on a part-time basis.

Crown Prosecutors conduct proceedings and act as independent Counsel on behalf of the DPP in the most significant trials and appeals in the Superior Courts.  Crown Prosecutors also advise, provide instructions, and assist private Counsel briefed to prosecute.

The Senior Crown Prosecutor and Crown Prosecutor sign indictments and advise the DPP on significant matters referred for advice.

The key skills and knowledge required for these roles is contained in the online position description and must be addressed in the application. Persons considering applying for this position should note that commensurate positions may be filled within 12 months of the completion of the process without any further advertisement.

To submit your expression of interest, please click here. You will need to submit a resume and cover letter.

For more information, please contact

Applications close: 11:59pm on Tuesday, 9 April 2024

National Sports Tribunal Member Vacancies

The National Sports Tribunal (NST) is seeking applications from suitably qualified candidates to fill a small number of positions on the Panel of Tribunal Members. We are seeking experienced legal professionals and sports subject matter experts, including medical practitioners, with specific skills and experience.

The NST provides independent, effective and efficient dispute resolution services to sporting bodies, athletes and support personnel in Australia. Tribunal Members play a central role in the provision of these services, forming a diverse panel of independent arbitrators, mediators, legal and subject matter experts to be called upon on a case‑by‑case basis.

Applications will be assessed by an independent selection advisory committee for consideration by the Australian Government. Successful candidates will be appointed by the Minister for Sport for up to five years.

Women and practitioners from First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are particularly encouraged to apply.

Further information, including how to apply, can be found at: National Sports Tribunal Member Vacancies.

Applications close at 11:00pm AEDT on Friday, 5 April 2024.

Recruitment of Specialist Registrars in VCAT’s Planning & Environment Division

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal is seeking two experienced legal or planning professionals to assist with the case management of applications in its Planning and Environment Division.

To see the roles, please click here and 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, 27th March 2024