In Brief Issue #1154

Georgina Schoff KC

Bar Council Meeting

At our monthly meeting last night, Bar Council worked efficiently through its agenda of largely regular business. We approved a further three-year agreement for the provision of library services to the Bar by the Law Library of Victoria, approved a pilot scheme for the provision of financial counselling services to our members who find themselves in financial strife, and reviewed the BCL Chambers Rules of Occupancy and established a BCL Liaison Committee to act as a conduit between tenants and BCL. We continue to make decisions necessary to implement the changes that we have made to the Bar Exam and Readers’ Course, and I am happy to report that this work is proceeding well and on time. Members who wish to know more about the business of Bar Council can read the minutes of our meetings in the Members’ section of the website.

Dinner for the Honourable Stephen Charles AO KC

On Wednesday evening, Bar Council hosted a dinner at the Essoign Club to honour the Honourable Stephen Charles AO KC. Since he signed the Bar Roll in 1961, Stephen has served the Bar in so many ways, including as a member and Chair of Bar Council before his appointment to the bench and since his retirement, as the Chair of both the Indictable Crimes Certificate Committee and the Chief Justice’s Preliminary Evaluation Committee. It was a great pleasure to hear Stephen speak of his life at the Bar and the barristers who inspired him- as he inspires us. I thank Georgina Costello KC, who gave a very funny and warm introduction to Stephen, and also Stephen Porter of the Bar Office and the staff at the Essoign Club for the exceptional quality of the event. 

CPD Masterclass series

This morning, the CPD committee held the first of the CPD Masterclass series that I wrote of last week. It was a privilege to introduce the Honourable Justice McLeish of the Court of Appeal to officially launch the series, which commenced with an excellent panel discussion of Judicial Review proceedings by the Honourable Justice Niall, Nick Wood SC, and Frances Gordon KC. I thank all those involved, particularly the CPD Committee led by Rachel Walsh, for this exceptional initiative. The next in the series “How to be an effective leader”, with the Honourable Lex Lasry AM SC, the Honourable John Dixon SC, and Rachel Doyle SC on 16 July  at 5:00pm. For those who were unable to attend, the Masterclasses will be available to be viewed on the website.

Train the trainer - call for volunteers

The Victorian Bar, in collaboration with the Papua New Guinea Centre for Judicial Excellence, the Pacific Justice Sector Programme, and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will host and conduct a ‘Train the Trainer’ Program in Owen Dixon Chambers over two weeks from 29 July to 9 August. This significant initiative will deliver intensive advocacy training to 20 lawyers from Pacific nations, who will then be equipped to deliver advocacy training in their own countries.

The International Advocacy Training Committee seeks volunteers to deliver the training and mentor the delegates through the Program. If you wish to be involved in what is sure to be a rewarding experience, you should submit an expression of interest by Friday, 4 July. Click here to submit your EOI. For more information, please contact Michelle James, Education Manager at the Bar Office.

Victorian Bar News issue 175 Winter

Members will start receiving the winter issue of VBN today. I congratulate the Editors and their committee and all those who have participated in the publication. It is full of interesting and entertaining content, and there is a great spread of photographs from this year’s Bar Dinner. 

West Brighton Club dinner

This evening, I will attend the Friday night Law Dinner hosted by the West Brighton Club. Although I am, of course, looking forward to this event, as someone who cannot sing, I do so with some trepidation.  Wish me luck.

Georgina Schoff KC

Vicbar News & Events
Practising Certificates — renew before 30 June

Members must renew their PC before 30 June to continue to practise on 1 July. Members who renew after this date may incur a late renewal surcharge from the LSB+C.

The deadline for renewing your PII premium was 31 May 2024, and if you have not already done so, please renew online here. You must renew your insurance to first to complete the PC renewal.

Information on renewing practising certificates can be found on the VicBar website here.

Links for online lodgement, which can be found on the above webpage, will be available from the LSB+C and LPLC live dates, or you may go directly to LSB Online and the LPLC website.

Login to LSB Online and the LPLC renewal portal using your Practitioner Number as the username (your Practitioner Number will be included in the email sent to you by the VLSB+C, or you can contact the Bar office for assistance). LSB Online deals with all PC administrative matters, and there is no printed PC renewal form.

Once you have completed the renewal process, you will receive an email from the LSB to confirm that your PC has been issued. You will then be able to download it via LSB Online.

If you experience technical difficulties with LSB online, please contact the VLSB+C via their lawyer enquiry form in the first instance. In addition, answers to frequently asked questions and LSB online user guides can be found here.

Should you require assistance renewing your PC, the Victorian Bar office can help you, and members who need assistance should email or contact Daphne Ioannidis on (03) 9225 8326 or Mark Bryant on (03) 9225 7111.

Last chance to participate! Shadowing Program — July 2024

The Student Engagement Committee is looking for barristers interested in mentoring university students in July’s Student Shadowing Program.

Students typically shadow barristers in court, during client conferences, and the like. They often undertake research tasks, further engaging them in the day-to-day experience of barristers.

If you are interested in participating in this program, please urgently submit an EOI via the form here

Neurodiversity at the Bar Survey

Do you identify as neurodiverse? Is someone near or dear to you neurodiverse?

The Health and Wellbeing Committee is seeking feedback from bar members about the challenges faced and advantages enjoyed by people who identify as neurodivergent

The information we gather will help the committee identify as yet unrecognised needs for services, support, or information for those who identify as neurodivergent as well as those who care for, live with or are otherwise involved with a person who identifies as neurodiverse.

Click here to submit your response. 

The Victorian Bar Mediation Mentoring Program (ADR Committee) — Expression of Interest

The ADR Committee seeks expressions of interest from members of the Bar who wish to participate as mentors and mentees in the inaugural Mediation Mentoring Program, to commence in July 2024.

To be eligible as a mentee, a person must:

  • be a member of the Bar; and
  • have obtained their accreditation as a mediator within the last [five] years. Any accreditation from a recognised provider will suffice.

To be eligible as a mentor, a person must:

  • be a member of the Bar;
  • have been an accredited mediator for at least the last five years

Applications for both mentees and mentors will be open from 1 June 2024 to 22 June 2024 at 5:00pm.

All applicants should email Tasman Ash Fleming at, providing the following information:

  • Name of the applicant and whether the person wishes to be a mentee or mentor.
  • When the applicant obtained accreditation and from which institution.
  • Area of mediation that the applicant practises or is interested in (e.g., Family Law, Building and Construction Law, Employment Law, General Commercial). If the person has no preference, please state ‘no preference’.
  • Area of mediation that the applicant wishes the mentee/mentor to be preferably from. If the person has no preference, please state ‘no preference’.

Places will be subject to availability and allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Click here for more information.

Train the trainer

The Victorian Bar has partnered with the Papua New Guinea Centre for Judicial Excellence, the Pacific Justice Sector Programme, and the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to deliver a Train the Trainer Program. The program is designed to build capacity within the legal profession of Pacific Nations in advocacy training for court appearances.

We are seeking members to volunteer their time to help deliver the program. The program runs across two weeks, from 29 July to 9 August. We are asking volunteers to be involved in the teaching of the intensive advocacy training and mentoring delegates through the program. Expressions of interest are due by Friday, 4 July.

Click here to submit your EOI. For more information, reach out to Michelle James, Education Manager at the Bar Office.

Call for Expressions of Interest – Law Council of Australia’s Futures Committee

Expressions of Interest are sought from interested members for nomination to the Law Council of Australia (LCA)’s Futures Committee.

The Committee was re-established by the LCA Executive in 2020 to advise the LCA on the challenges and opportunities presented by social, technological, and regulatory changes that impact the Australian Legal Profession.

Further information and the Committee’s Terms of Reference are available here.

The Bar’s protocol for nominating and appointing Vic Bar members to external bodies can be viewed here.

Please forward your expression of interest to The closing date is COB, Friday, 21 June 2024.

BCL Updates
  • Prepayment of chamber fees (rent) for the 2025 financial year: With the 2024 financial year coming to a close, this is a reminder to contact the finance team if you are considering prepaying part or all of next financial year's chamber fees (rent) plus any other BCL invoiced charges. To organise an invoice please email providing the first and last month of your required prepayment period.
  • Open to expressions of interest: Levels 11, 13 or 15 Castan Chambers: With regular interest from Registered or new Groups seeking full floors, a rare opportunity has now presented itself at Castan Chambers. We are seeking expressions of interest from all members of the Bar for potential occupancy of levels 11, 13 or 15 at 460 Lonsdale Street Melbourne. To view all floor information and register your interest click here.
  • 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 read more about the benefits of having chambers with BCL and 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.

  • Cybersecurity for Barristers (Vol 1): Rules and expectations is on Monday, 24 June 2024 from 5:00pm to 6:00pm. The Victorian Legal Services Board & Commissioner introduced ‘Minimum Cybersecurity Expectations’ that apply to all lawyers, including barristers, in February 2024. The Innovation and Technology Committee invites members of the Bar to find out more directly from the VLSB's Policy and Regulatory Strategy team and, with members of the Ethics Committee, review how the existing ethical rules apply to barrister's cybersecurity. This is an online only event via Zoom. Click here to RSVP
  • The Workcover Scheme Modernisation Act – Get the Inside Info is on Monday, 24 June 2024 from 5:15pm to 6:15pm. The Compensation Law Bar Association is honoured to host Tom Lynch (Director, Dispute Management Division) and Jason Lardelli (Executive Director, Return to Work Victoria) from Worksafe to present on the changes to the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013, in conjunction with barrister Luke Perilli, who will provide insight into what the changes mean for practice in the State workers' compensation arena. This is an in-person event and will also be available online via livestream. Click here to RSVP
  • Competition Law Update – Merger Reform is on Wednesday, 26 June 2024 from 5:00pm to 6:00pm. This seminar will provide a brief introduction to the principles of merger law, outline the proposed changes and examine their significance. 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
Auditions Open — Nina Raine's "Consent"

Why is Justice blind? Is she impartial? Or is she blinkered?

This year, BottledSnail Productions stages Nina Raine's powerful and poignant play "Consent". When two barrister friends take opposing briefs in a sexual assault case, Justice herself is in the dock.

Auditions are being held on Saturday, 29, and Sunday, 30 June 2024, and barristers are encouraged to apply. Auditions and rehearsals will be held in Owen Dixon Chambers East.

For more information about the production or to view the audition pack, click here.

To register for an audition, contact Laura Bentley at

The Essoign Club

Dear Members,

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

Essoign Coffee Cart - Daily from 7:30am

Ground Floor Owen Dixon West

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

See our Catering and Events Package 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
Supreme Court Updates

Please find information to an update on technical issues impacting the Court.

Please find a news item on the Victorian Government’s RIS on proposed changes to some Probate Office fees.

Lawyer Wellbeing Theory of Change project

The Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner (VLSB+C) has issued a system-wide Lawyer Wellbeing Theory of Change – an initiative that will see the legal system co-design a shared model for system-wide change in lawyer wellbeing. More details about this program can be found on the VLSB website here.

New Sentencing Advisory Council Report — Sentencing in Victoria 2012-13 to 2021-22

The Sentencing Advisory Council has released its latest report, Sentencing in Victoria: 2012–13 to 2021–22. The report provides a high-level overview of sentencing trends in Victoria during that 10-year period. The report is the first in a new series that the Council will be publishing annually. 

View the Report here.

view the media release here.

Richard Griffith Library – new online titles

Six new titles are now available online and onsite at the Richard Griffith Library,  Level One, Owen Dixon Chambers East. 

  • Meagher, Gummow & Lehane’s Equity Doctrines & Remedies 5ed (2014)
  • Jacobs' Law of Trusts in Australia 8ed (2016 )
  • Commercial Tenancy Law 5ed (2023)
  • Expert Evidence 7ed (2023)
  • Lawyers Professional Responsibility 7ed (2020)
  • Uniform Evidence Law 18ed (2023)

Some of these were previously only held in print. These are available 24/7 to you. Contact the Law Library on 8600 2009 or with any queries about access or resources.

Profession CPD & Events
Technology Assisted Review: The Leading Edge of Law with Craig Macaulay

Wednesday, 26 June 2024 | 1:00pm to 2:00pm AEST | Online

Join us for an event that delves into Technology Assisted Review (TAR), the cutting-edge intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and the legal profession. This event will introduce and explore TAR, emphasising its growing importance and transformative potential in legal practice. Our objective is to educate and inform legal professionals and students about TAR, highlighting its significance as a vital tool in modern legal practice and bridging the knowledge gap, particularly for the upcoming generation poised to drive future advancements and adoption of TAR.

The ‘ Victorian Supreme Court: Guidelines for the use of AI in Litigation’ will be particularly addressed.  The Court(s) are emphasising that practitioners must educate themselves and understand these technologies.

This event is an essential opportunity for both current legal professionals and students to gain valuable insights into Technology Assisted Review. By engaging with TAR now, participants will be better prepared to leverage this technology in their future careers, ensuring they remain at the cutting edge of the legal profession.

Registration for this event is free for students. To register, please contact us at Resolution Institute.

Human Rights Law Trans-Tasman Conference

There is now fully detailed brochure available for each session of the Human Rights Law Trans-Tasman Conference to be held in Queenstown, NZ on 12-13 August 2024.

Register before 30 June for a discount!

Click here for more information and to register.

37th LAWASIA Conference 2024 - Information for members - Register Now at Early Bird Rate

LAWASIA and The Malaysian Bar are delighted to announce that Early Bird registrations are open for the 37th LAWASIA Conference, which will take place in the vibrant and culturally rich city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 13 to 15 October 2024. This year's theme is "Navigating the Legal Landscape in the Digital Age”, and we can't wait to explore these cutting-edge topics with you.  

The 37th LAWASIA Conference promises to be an unforgettable event, bringing together bar leaders, jurists, professional organisations, and individual lawyers from across the Asia Pacific. The three days will include an array of high-profile international speakers exploring a diverse range of political, social, cultural, and economic contexts across the Asia Pacific. Attendees will benefit from insightful presentations by the region's leading legal experts, along with numerous opportunities to network during various social events. 

Click here for more information and to register.

Careers & Opportunities
High Court Judgment Columnist

The Law Institute Journal, published by the Law Institute of Victoria, has an opening for a High Court Judgment Columnist. The pro bono role involves compiling 2-3 key judgment summaries (about 1500 words in total) on a monthly basis. Expressions of interest and inquiries are invited to

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 June 2024