In Brief Issue #875


In Brief Holiday Edition 

A fortnight ago, I updated members on the Bar Council’s review of our pro bono duty barrister schemes with Victoria’s courts and tribunals. Last week, I updated members on work being done by the Bar Council to drive an increase in the volume of direct briefing work available to members.

Constitutional Reform

This week, I want to update members on the status of the Bar Council’s governance review and to foreshadow the imminent release of a discussion paper and survey to canvas the opinions of members in relation to the election of the Bar Council and the tenure of Bar Councillors.

Governance Review

In 2016, a working group of the Bar Council, chaired by Wendy Harris QC, conducted a comprehensive review of governance at the Victorian Bar, culminating in a long list of recommendations and action items. Since then, successive Bar Councils have implemented those recommendations, resulting in dramatic improvements in the quality of the information provided to Bar Council, the operations of Bar Council itself, and the interaction between the Bar Council and the Bar Office.  Among other things, the improvements have included the adoption of a new strategic plan and Bar Council Charter, KPIs for Bar Office staff, an induction program for Bar Councillors, a complete review of all Vic Bar policies and committees, the introduction of Committee Charters, and better resourcing in the Bar Office for policy development and requests for policy input by government and other organisations.

Elections and tenure of Bar Councillors

One of the issues identified in the governance review concerned the fact that, under clause 42 of the Victorian Bar’s Constitution, members of the Bar Council have one-year terms.  The review identified that one-year terms give rise to a number of challenges for good governance of the Bar, including the potential for the pursuit of ad hoc or piecemeal agenda from one year to the next; a focus on ‘bite-sized’ projects which can be achieved in the short term; the agenda of the Bar Council being heavily influenced by the personal agenda of the sitting President; and the potential for loss of corporate memory, re-invention of the wheel and inconsistency in decision-making.  In addition to those matters, for more junior members coming on to Bar Council, a one-year term can be limiting: new members may be just finding their feet when the annual election cycle comes around, with no assurance that they will be re-elected.  The governance review recommended, among other matters, that consideration be given to amending the Constitution to provide for two-year terms for Bar Council members.

There are countervailing arguments to be weighed against the advantages of longer terms for Bar Councillors.  Longer terms would reduce the opportunity for members to stand for election and to serve on the governing body of the Bar.  They would increase the term served by the President and likely, therefore, increase the time that other Bar Council members would need to serve as ordinary members before securing an opportunity to serve on the Executive and then, increase the time they would need to serve on the Executive before they could realistically expect to be elected as President.  Longer terms could, for that reason, affect the preparedness of some barristers who would make outstanding leaders of the Bar to put themselves forward because of the commitment involved and the impact upon their practices.

A special meeting of the Bar Council was convened in May to discuss whether possible constitutional reform to increase the terms of Bar Councillors ought be pursued. Broadly, six possible models were canvassed:

  • the status quo: annual elections, all Bar Councillors serve a one-year term;
  • the ‘half-Senate’ model: annual elections, two year terms, with half of the Bar Council up for election each year;
  • the ‘two year’ model: an election every second year, with two year terms;
  • the ‘18 month’ model: an election every 18 months, with 18 month terms;
  • the ‘minimalist’ model: annual elections, with the President able to stand for re-election for a second term;
  • the ‘NSW model’: annual elections, but with the President by convention serving an 18 month term with a change of presidency every 18 months.

All other Australian Bars currently have annual elections.  Most follow the ‘minimalist’ model.  The minimalist model was also largely the convention at the Victorian Bar prior to 2000 and there would be no constitutional impediment to it being reintroduced.

Discussion Paper, survey and call for submissions

Although a range of different views were expressed at the May Bar Council meeting, after a constructive debate considering the pros and cons of each of the above models, a strong majority emerged in favour the ‘two year’ model.  The Bar Council resolved, as a result, to prepare a discussion paper with a view to canvassing the views of members of the Bar.  As part of that discussion process, an optional survey of members of the Bar will be conducted in relation to the models set out above.  More detail will be included in the discussion paper.

The discussion paper and survey will be available shortly.

I know that some members may see this as a second order issue. Having served on Bar Council for almost four years, including as President for the past six months or so, I do not see it that way.  We have been very well served over many years by outstanding leaders and Bar Councils that have managed the affairs of the Bar wisely and overwhelmingly by consensus.  Nonetheless, the Victorian Bar faces significant challenges in an environment of increasing competition for legal services and constant disruption.  To meet those challenges, and achieve our purpose of ensuring that the Victorian Bar and its members thrive and continue to do so, demands that we consider whether there are better ways in which we can do things.

I urge members to get involved, once the discussion paper is released and the survey goes live, to enable your voice to be heard in relation to the governance of your Bar.

Vicbar News & Events
Young CommBar Speaking Competition - Congratulations to Daniel Kinsey

The Victorian Bar together with its Commercial Bar Association (CommBar) is delighted to announce that Daniel Kinsey has won the Young CommBar Speaking Competition, winning return airfares and registration to attend the 2018 International Commercial Law Conference in Hong Kong to be held on 21 and 22 September.

The judging panel – Her Honour Judge Samantha Marks, His Honour Judge Joshua Wilson, and David Gilbertson QC noted that the future of the Bar was in very safe hands with all contestants demonstrating the exceptional depth of talent within the junior ranks of the Victorian Bar. 

The competition was open to all Victorian barristers under five years at the Bar. Entrants were asked to prepare written submissions on the topics ‘Is Privacy Dead? Use and Misuse of Sensitive Data’ or ‘Words Without Borders: Defamation and the Internet’ and then present to the panel of judges at the Competition final last night.

With the theme of ‘Wise Counsel: Litigation & Arbitration in the Asia-Pacific Region’, the International Commercial Law Conference in Hong Kong will be opened by Australian Consul-General to Hong Kong and Macau; Michaela Browning.

From left to right: Julie Zhou, Paul Reynolds, Amy Hando, Her Honour Judge Marks, Paul Hayes QC, Daniel Kinsey, Kieran Hickie, Georgia Berlic, Evelyn Tadros

The line-up of eminent Australian and international speakers includes The Hon Justice Middleton of the Federal Court of Australia, The Hon Teresa Cheng GBS SC JP Secretary for Justice of Hong Kong, Sir Rupert Jackson PC, The Hon Mr Justice Geoffrey Poon of the Court of Appeal of the High Court of Hong Kong, The Hon Justice William Alstergren, Chief Judge, Federal Circuit Court of Australia, Deputy Chief Justice, Family Court of Australia and The Hon Justice Riordan, Principal Judge of the Commercial Court of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

The program will cover a wide range of commercial litigation and arbitration topics including ‘The Rise of the International Commercial Court’ and ‘After the Apocalypse: Re-regulation of the Banking and Financial Services Industries’. 

“Melbourne is a centre of international excellence in the field of commercial dispute resolution and international arbitration. In a rapidly changing and globalised legal services market, the Victorian Bar recognises the importance of engagement internationally, particularly with the Asia Pacific region.” said Wendy Harris QC, Acting President of the Victorian Bar and CommBar President.  

Paul Hayes QC, Chair of the Conference Organising Committee, who hosted the event said, "The evening was an unqualified success showcasing the fabulous depth of junior talent we have at the Commercial Bar to the solicitors and colleagues from the Bar in attendance. Congratulations to the winner, Daniel Kinsey and also to all finalists; runner-up Paul Reynolds and competitors Amy Hando, Evelyn Tadros and Julie Zhou. Everyone who spoke, without exception, brightly shone, entertained, informed and impressed”.

More details of the conference are available at



Register now - HK 2018 ICLC - The Hon Teresa Cheng GBS SC JP, Secretary for Justice, Hong Kong announced as keynote speaker

Register for the Hong Kong 2018 International Commercial Law Conference – see our website to register and for details on the program, accommodation and flights. 

We are delighted to announce the keynote speakers will be:

  • The Honourable Teresa Cheng GBS SC JP, Secretary for Justice, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
  • The Hon Justice John Middleton of the Federal Court of Australia
  • The Hon Justice Jeremy Poon of the Court of Appeal of the High Court of Hong Kong
  • The Hon Justice William Alstergren, Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia.
  • The Honourable Justice Riordan, Principal Judge, Supreme Court of Victoria

The Gala Dinner will be held at the exclusive, members-only China Club: opened by the late entrepreneur, Sir David Tang, the opulent club is located at the top of the Old Bank of China building and is home to a unique collection of contemporary Chinese art, incredible Cantonese food, and unparalleled views of Hong Kong.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to receive conference updates. 


Victorian Bar Membership Subscriptions 2018-2019

The 2018-2019 Victorian Bar subscription invoice is now available here via the orange “Online Bar Subscriptions” button (you need login to the Bar website to access this page).   

Your Guide to Membership Subscriptions is available on the Bar Subscriptions page of the website.

The Guide to membership subscriptions includes information as to how to pay your bar subscription online and also includes donation forms for members who would like to support:

This year Bar subscription materials were distributed electronically. If you would like a hard copy sent to you or require any further assistance please email or contact Daphne Ioannidis on (03) 9225 7111.

If you experience any difficulties accessing the Victorian Bar website or the online payment system please contact Trevor Robinson on (03) 9225 8314.

Call for Expressions of Interest – Victorian Legal Admissions Committee

The Victorian Bar has been invited to nominate two representatives to the Victorian Legal Admissions Committee.  The Committee's role is to consider suitability matters and determine whether applicants are fit and proper to be admitted for admission to the Supreme Court. 

The Bar is calling for Expressions of Interest from members who may wish to participate as our representative on the Committee. The Bar’s protocol for nomination and appointment of Vic Bar members to external bodies can be viewed here. The Expression of Interest should identify any relevant areas of experience or expertise.  

The appointments are for a term of 3 years from July 2018 (although the term for these two nominees would not commence until late August 2018).

Please direct any enquiries or Expressions of Interest to Liz Ingham at the Victorian Bar office:, ph 9225 6947. 

The closing date for Expressions of Interest is Thursday 9 August 2018.

Victorian Bar Open Day 2018

Date & Time: Friday 17 August 2018, 10am – 1pm     
Venue: Level 1, Owen Dixon Chambers East, 205 William St Melbourne

Are you considering a career as a barrister?

Come along to the Victorian Bar’s Inaugural Open Day – a free event for tertiary students.

Find out how you can apply to pursue this challenging and rewarding legal career. 

Hear from the barristers about their experiences including high profile cases. 

Enjoy a networking morning tea where you can speak to barristers one on one.

Register now at:

Vicbar Life
Timor-Leste Study Tour with Peter McMullin SC

About the Tour Leader

Peter McMullin SC is a prominent Melbourne lawyer who first visited Timor-Leste in May 2002 for the country’s independence celebrations. He has remained actively involved in Timorese affairs ever since. He has travelled to the country over thirty times and ran the 2014 AIIA Study Tour. Peter mentored the establishment of Timor-Leste’s first Chamber of Commerce and was Senior International Business Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jose Luis Guterres. He is also involved with Timor-Leste focused NGO’s such as the East Timor Hearts Fund, which is dedicated to providing life-saving heart surgery in Australia for young people from Timor-Leste.

About the tour

The tour has been designed to engage participants in a comprehensive programme of activities ensuring first hand, in depth insights into Timor-Leste's political history, culture and economy.  Briefings will include meetings with the nation's political leaders and representatives of many not-for-profit organisations that have contributed to the nation's development. The preliminary cost will be around $5500 per person. Please note also that each participant must be an Australian Institute of International Affairs member (of any branch). Victorian membership applications can be completed online here.

Securing Your Place

To secure a place, we require that those who are interested fill in and return the attached booking form to and pay a $500 deposit by July 31st. Tour numbers are restricted to 15, so we recommend registering early to secure a spot – places will be secured on a first-come-first-serve basis (a waiting list will be established in the event that numbers exceed 15).

If you have any queries about the tour, please direct them to our Study Tour Intern (Tom) at

Click here to download the tour flyer.  

Click here to download the tour payment form. 

Melbourne Art Fair - Southbank Arts Precinct

In Chambers with the MLO

"In Chambers" with the Melbourne Lawyers' Orchestra is back for the 5th year running! Join us for an intimate evening of chamber music at the beautiful Melbourne Recital Centre, featuring music by Debussy, Poulenc, Tchaikovsky, Australian composer Matthew Hindson and more - this event is always a highlight of the MLO's calendar! Friday 10 August, 7pm at the Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre.

Tickets available now at

The Essoign - A Night at the Opera

Opera comes to the Essoign on Friday 17 August.

The Melba Opera Trust’s latest production takes you on a recital journey of evincing beauty and passion from all corners of the globe.

The sublime loveliness of Mozart, the volatile love of Carmen and the elegance of the French opera Hamlet and a swirl through the romance of Broadway with Bolcom.

This will be an evening to delight, captivate and enthralling in equal measure. Featuring some of Australia’s finest young operatic voices, this is an event not to be missed.  

Book now at

Click here to download the event flyer.

Lyrical Lunchtimes

Date & Time: Thursday 16 August, 1.15pm-2.15pm

The Law Library of Victoria and BottledSnail Productions present a series of lunchtimes concerts designed to provide an opportunity to relax and reflect in the beautiful surrounds of the Supreme Court Library. All are welcome, entry is free, no need to register. Take a seat or simply wander the beautiful Library surrounds and enjoy the music.

BottledSnail Productions is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to give Melbourne lawyers a creative outlet. Cast, crew and committee members are almost exclusively drawn from Melbourne’s legal profession.

Art Exhibition - "Women at Work"

Studio 11, as it is now known,  located on level 11 of Owen Dixon Chambers East, is hosting its current Art Exhibition “Women at Work” by seven local artists comprising a body of 82 works. Come meet the artists at opening drinks on Thursday 16 August 2018 from 4.30pm – 6.30pm. RSVP to or or

Friends, family, instructors and colleagues are most welcome to view the exhibition which runs from 16 July 2018 – 21 September 2018.

Studio 11 has hosted art exhibitions from 2015 in order to allow barristers and friends to access and enjoy art. The exhibitions change on a quarterly basis and feature works be established or emerging artists. Works are for sale, directly via the artist. The program is run on a voluntary basis. Catalogue sheets are available on level 11. You are encouraged to come along, visit the space and simply enjoy the works at your leisure.

RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Documentary

Join the Jewish Professional Women's Network for an Exclusive Screening of  "RBG. Hero. Icon. Dissenter." A revelatory documentary that explores American Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's exceptional life, career, and commitment to creating a more equitable society for all.

Click here for more information and to register. 


Member Benefits Australia - July exclusive member offers

Don't miss these July exclusive member deals from Audi, Volvo, David Jones and more!

Practice & Profession News
Urgent: Request for legal volunteers for Fitzroy Legal Service

Fitzroy Legal Service is one of Australia’s oldest community legal centres and relies on the volunteer assistance of numerous lawyers and law students to run its free legal advice night service.

The Fitzroy Legal Service Night Service provides advice to clients from mainly disadvantaged and marginalised backgrounds from all over Melbourne from Monday to Friday.

We are the only community legal centre that assists clients five nights per week.

One of the greatest challenges for our service is obtaining enough lawyers to assist on a weekly or fortnightly basis at the night service. 

Contact Julie Fletcher for more information:
Phone: (03) 9411 1304

Profession CPD & Events
La Trobe Law School Seminar - Australian Superannuation: What went wrong?

Date: 11am to 12 noon on Wednesday 1 August 2018
Venue: La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus, Social Sciences Building, Level 2, room SS 232 (Moot Court)
Speaker: Dr Nicholas Morris

Further details and registration:

2018 Sir Anthony Mason Memorial Lecture: The Collision of History & Text: The story of dual Citizens and s44(i) of the Constitution - Solicitor-General Dr Steven Donoghue QC

Date: Wednesday August 1, 2018, 6:30-7: 30pm 
Venue: David P Derham Lecture Theatre, Melbourne Law School
Refreshments: Post lecture refreshments will be served until 8:30pm.

The students at Melbourne University Law School Students Society MULSS would cordially like to invite you their annual Sir Anthony Mason Memorial Lecture. Solicitor-General Dr Steven Donoghue QC will discuss the parliamentarians who formed the “Citizenship Seven” and how late changes in the final Constitutional Convention, which the Convention was assured did not alter the meaning of the provision radically expanded the disqualification of dual citizens. He argues that the gap between what the Constitution actually says, and its intended operation and meaning, was ultimately too great to be bridged by judicial interpretation.

Interested parties can register here. Please see the flyer attached.


e-Trials: A New Shift In Personal Injury Litigation

Date: Thursday 2 August 2018, 5:30-7:00pm  
Citadines on Bourke Melbourne, 131-135 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000

It is clear that e-trials are a matter of ‘when’, rather than ‘if’, for personal injury practitioners. It is important that we prepare ourselves for the change and this event is the perfect opportunity to learn more about e-trials and demystify the process.

Our panel features Her Honour Judge Tsalamandris of the County Court, who presided over the County Court’s first personal injury e-trial. Formerly a solicitor, Judge Tsalamandris brings a wealth of practical experience to the bench and is uniquely positioned to critique the use of e-trials for personal injury matters.

The Victorian Solicitor for Public Prosecutions, John Cain, will also be on the panel. The Office of Public Prosecutions has been running e-trials, and John has first-hand experience of the benefits, challenges and opportunities that they present. Like personal injury matters, criminal proceedings are heard by juries and involve complex evidentiary issues, so John’s experience is directly relevant to personal injury practitioners.

Our final panellist, Daniel Nguyen, a Lennon’s List barrister and member of the Victorian Bar Council, worked on the 2009 Black Saturday bushfire e-trials proceedings. He also wrote an article published in the ALA Precedent Journal, March/April 2017 Edition, 'The Advent of E-Litigation: The Paperless Trial'.

It is rare that we have such qualified and experienced panellists, making this is an event not to be missed.

Click here for more information and to register. 

NPLA/AILA seminar: Safety Defects, Burn Injuries and Product Recall Conundrums

Date: Tuesday 7 August 2018, 5:15 - 6:30pm

  • Safety Defects, Burn Injuries and Product Recall Conundrums for Suppliers of Consumer Products
  • Effective Legal and Insurance Risk Management
  • Who Pays When Things Go Wrong and Why

The expert panel will be chaired by Alexis Taylor, Lawyer of Lander & Rogers, and feature:

  • Frances Williams, Partner of Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Brisbane
  • Michael Thompson QC of The Victorian Bar
  • Daniel Tribuzio, Placement Services Director of Willis Towers Watson

What you will learn

  • Practical tips for manufacturers/suppliers to limit their exposure, including compliance with Industry Codes of Practice and applicable standards
  • Legal risk management to minimise liability exposure to products having a safety defect
  • Underwriting and claims management initiatives to better protect an insured’s coverage against defective products which cause personal injury, loss and damage
  • ‘Best practice’ adopted by insurance risk managers to reduce the potential liability risks for manufacturers/suppliers arising from defective products

Download the event flyer for more information and to register. 

La Trobe Law School / International Legal Studies Research Group Seminar - Righting Inequality?: Human Right Responses to Economic Inequality in the United Nations

Date: 12 noon to 1 pm on Wednesday 8 August 2018
Venue: La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus, Social Sciences Building, Level 2, room SS 232 (Moot Court)
Speaker: Dr Julia Dehm

Further details and registration:

The Hague Convention: A game changer for resolving international disputes or just a complement to the New York Convention?

Date & Time: Wednesday, 8 August, 5:30 pm -7:30 pm
Venue: Herbert Smith Freehills, Melbourne, Level 42, 101 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Cost: $35 Members, $45 Guests, $10 for RI student members 

In light of the 2005 Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements and the recent progress on a new draft Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, and a certain backlash against arbitration in some countries, this session will address the possible resurgence of international litigation and the potential impact on international commercial arbitration.

Professor Richard Garnett, who has participated in the Hague negotiations since 2004 as expert adviser to the Australian Government will speak to the benefits of the 2005 and draft Conventions. Chad Catterwell, an international arbitration practitioner in Australasia will present the virtues and success of the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and international arbitration.

The question remains: will arbitration continue as the choice means of resolving disputes amongst international parties or will there be a renaissance of international litigation?

Click here for more information and to register. 

Fighting the Death Penalty: Making a difference in the long term

Date: Thursday 9 August, 5.30pm for 6 pm – 7 pm (followed by refreshments)
Venue: Monash Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

A conversation between Julian McMahon SC and Richard Bourke, Director, Louisiana Capital Assistance Centre

Join us for a rare chance to see one of America’s leading experts being put on the stand to discuss his challenging work. Having worked at LCAC since 2002, Richard Bourke has been on the front line of anti-death penalty case work in the southern states of the USA. Richard will be asked to shed light on the key difficulties his clients face, and on differences between death penalty cases in the USA and Asia. He will reflect on the strategies and debates being played out in his work and nationally, to bring about abolition.

Click here to download the event flyer for more information and to register. 

CIArb Australia Business Lunch - RACV Club

Date: Friday, 10 August 2018, 12 pm - 2 pm
Venue: Pavilion Room RACV City Club, Level 2, 501 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Cost: $70 for members and non-members
RSVP: By no later than Friday, 3 August 2018

You are invited to attend the 2018 CIArb Australia Business Lunch featuring Guest Speaker, Alan Oxley. Proudly sponsored by Vic Bar, CommBar and the Asian Australian Lawyers Association, the lunch will be at the RACV Club, Melbourne, and will be attended by distinguished guests including The Hon Martin Pakula, Attorney General of Victoria, members of the judiciary, institutes  and commercial enterprises.

About Alan Oxley

Alan Oxley was a career diplomat with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with postings at the United Nations in New York and Geneva. He served as Australia’s Ambassador to the GATT and Chairman of the GATT Contracting Parties, the predecessor to the World Trade Organization. One of the world’s leading experts on globalisation and international trade, Ambassador Oxley is Managing Director of ITS Global. He will speak on Opportunities for International Arbitration in the Asia Pacific.

Click here for more information and to register. 

Speeding Towards Dystopia: Social Policy in the United States and Australia - Professor Philip Alston

Date: Tuesday August 14, 2018, 6:00-7:00pm,
Venue: G08 Theatre, Ground Floor, Melbourne Law School

In this lecture, Alston reflects on what he sees as the increasingly dramatic parallels between the US and Australia with the threat posed by developments in policies deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment, growing inequality and the endangerment of democracy.

Interested parties can register here. Please see the flyer attached.


Inner Melbourne Community Legal (formerly North Melbourne Legal Service) is turning 40!

The International Law Association Biennial Conference Sydney

The International Law Association conference is a major international legal event.  This year it is to be held in Sydney from August 19 to August 24, 2018. 

The current conference schedule and registration links are at

With over 200 speakers and numerous panel sessions on topics of private and public international law, maritime law, and international trade law, this is an event not to be missed. Confirmed speakers include the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia and Lord Mance JSC of the United Kingdom Supreme Court. 

2018 International Criminal Law Congress

The International Criminal Law Congress is being held in the beautiful Byron Bay between 3 and 7 October 2018.  The conference is well regarded as a premier criminal law conference, boasting some very impressive speakers.  It is a fantastic opportunity to meet other criminal law solicitors and barristers from all over Australia and discuss current issues in criminal law.

Early bird tickets are now available by clicking here.

Social highlights include the welcome drinks at Elements on Byron, the Lawyers Long Lunch on Friday and Congress Dinner on Saturday not to be missed for their networking and conviviality. 

rise2018 - 2018 ABA & NSWBA National Conference

Date: 15-17 November 2018
Venue: ICC Sydney, 14 Darling Drive, Sydney NSW 2000

The preeminent legal conference of 2018 – rise2018 relevant/resilient/respected is a prestigious two-day conference to be held at the International Convention Centre Sydney. The conference boasts an impressive speaker line-up that will highlight and profile the excellence of the Australian legal profession with a focus on national and international legal issues.

rise2018 relevant/resilient/respected, three concepts chosen as key to the legal profession dealing with disruption and change within contemporary society.

RELEVANT – the role of the profession in a changing legal, political, social environment and its commitment to law reform and professionalism.
RESILIENT – the ability of the profession to adapt to change and disruption.
RESPECTED – to maintain relevance and foster resilience while ensuring the continued respect for the profession and the judiciary that is essential for the rule of law, which maintains a tolerant, cohesive and inclusive society.

Click here for more information and to register.

Click here to download the conference program. 

Upcoming Family Law conferences

Havana Cuba

There will be a family law conference held in Havana Cuba from 7 to 12 April 2019. The conference will take place at the Grand Hotel Kempinski, it will include  papers from various barristers, solicitors and others who deal with family law. There will be time to see the city and partake in cultural activities”

Click here to download the conference flyer.  

Arctic Conference

 Following on from our successful conference in Antarctica in January 2017 there will be a further family Law conference in the Arctic in July 2020. There will be time on board the new ship, the Greg Mortimer, to hold a conference and also partake in the activities on and off the ship.”

Click here to download the conference flyer.  

Bali Conference

The 9th annual Family Law conference in Bali is to be held from 8th to 11th  June at the Oberoi Hotel. This conference will include a session on negotiation which may be of interest to those who do not practice in family law, and attendees at this conference will be from the Northern Territory, New South Wales and Victoria.

Click here to download the conference flyer.  

Jam Boutique Conferences: Family Law Conference - 9 -12 June 2019

Join us in sunny Malta for a 3 day conference – registration fee includes:

  • Registration and Welcome evening
  • 3 night’s accommodation at the Palace Hotel, Sliema Malta (5 star)
  • Daily breakfast, morning tea & lunch
  • 8 professional development sessions
  • Australian and Maltese presenters

Flights not included (but lots of early bird specials about for 2019)

Registration fee

$2,000 conference attendee

$350 non-attendee (sharing room with attendee)


Email one of us and we will issue you with tax invoice $500 (per conference attendee) non-refundable deposit is payable with your book and the final payment due 1 April 2019.   

Marlene Ebejer: 0411 772 064

John Spender: 0409 147 646

Angela de Mel: 0411 611 171               

Careers & Opportunities
Appointments to the Planning and Environment List of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

Expressions of Interest

Non-sessional and sessional Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) members are appointed for a period of seven years by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Attorney-General.

The Attorney-General, the Hon Martin Pakula MP, seeks expressions of interest from suitably qualified planning lawyers and planning experts for appointment as ordinary members and senior members of the Planning and Environment List of VCAT. It is anticipated that sessional and non-sessional appointments to the List will be required within the next 12 months.

Applicants with significant expertise in planning, and in planning and environment law, are encouraged to apply.

Applicants eligible to apply for appointment as a senior member must have been admitted to legal practice in Victoria for not less than five years, or must have extensive knowledge or experience in planning. Persons who have been admitted to legal practice in Victoria, or who have special knowledge or experience in planning, are eligible to apply for appointment as an ordinary member.

Applicants should demonstrate a high level of integrity, sound judgment, interpersonal skills, the ability to conduct hearings, and a capacity to make fair decisions quickly. Applicants must also be aware of, and sensitive to, the diversity of backgrounds and life experiences of VCAT users, and the need to communicate effectively and courteously with all users. A commitment to the use of technology and participation in ongoing professional education will be viewed favourably. Excellent communication skills are essential, and skills in mediation are also valuable.

All expressions of interest are treated confidentially and may be drawn upon on an ongoing basis as vacancies arise.

How to apply

Expressions of interest should be submitted via the Get on Board website ( – click on ‘vacancies’), and should include a resume and a completed ‘VCAT Expression of Interest’ form.

Previous applicants who have already lodged an expression of interest via the Get on Board website will be considered, but should feel free to submit a new expression of interest if desired.

All expressions of interest must be received no later than midnight on Sunday 29 July 2018.

Legal & Policy Officer, Common Law Division Supreme Court of Victoria
  • Melbourne CBD
  • Full time, Ongoing

An opportunity exists for an experienced lawyer to provide significant legal, policy and administrative support to the Common Law Division of the Supreme Court of Victoria. 

The Legal & Policy Officer works closely with the Principal Judge, Judicial Registrar and Deputy Registrars of the Division to undertake and coordinate research, policy advice and reports on areas of priority to the Court to ensure its smooth running and to identify and address emerging issues and trends in litigation. Further information concerning the role can be found in the accompanying Position Description or by contacting Kate Clark, Deputy Registrar - Common Law Division.

Applications should include a covering letter, detailed CV and a copy of the applicant's academic transcript.

For further information on this position and to submit your application, please visit by 6 August 2018


Call for submissions - ILA Reporter

The ILA Reporter (  is the official blog of the International Law Association (Australian Branch). The ILA was founded in Brussels in 1873 and has consultative status with a number of the United Nations' specialised agencies. The ILA Reporter publishes analysis, commentary and discussion on issues in public and private international law which have bearing on Australia and the wider region.

The ILA Reporter is currently seeking submissions, on a rolling basis, from legal practitioners, academics and students. This is an excellent opportunity to be published by a well-respected non-government organisation with a wide readership.

The ILA Reporter accepts short articles, book reviews, case analysis, and recounts of recent events in the field of international law. Submissions should be between 400 and 2000 words and must have a connection with Australia.  A style guide for submissions is available here:

Please contact Esther Pearson or Evan Ritli at with any queries, proposals or completed submissions.

Funding grants for women’s leadership development

Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across Australia’s legal sector.

The initiative is providing women working in the sector with grants to enable participation in a range of leadership development programs.

The leadership development programs are part-time and delivered nationally via WLA’s blended learning model. Scholarship funding is strictly limited and will be awarded based on a set of selection criteria being met.

Expressions of Interest
Find out more and register your interest by completing the Expression of Interest form here prior to September 7, 2018:

The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Competence Course

The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS) in conjunction with Centre for Cultural Competence Australia have developed a cultural competency course titled “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Competence Course”. The course is mapped to three units of core competency and on completion participants will receive a Certificate of Completion from the Centre for Cultural Competence Australia. Participants will also receive a resource pack for their ongoing learning and reference, this will include course notes made during the course, personalised action plan, together with a number of fact sheets and additional resources.

This course has been developed for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and for people living and working anywhere within Australia. Whether you are delivering services specifically to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, or someone working with the general public or you just want to know more about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people you live with, this course is for you.

It has been developed as a first step in a training pathway and as a pre-cursor to face-to-face, local and role specific cultural training. The course is designed to develop capabilities and build cultural competence whatever your level of knowledge in Aboriginal cultural education.

The cost is $192.50 per person.

We would encourage you to consider undertaking the course in order to develop your ability to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in and out of the justice system, for further details please access

CIArb Asia Pacific Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration

Date: 28 July - 5 August 2018

Following the success in Singapore in 2016 and Hong Kong in 2017 this pre-eminent tertiary course offers a prestigious globally recognised qualification and is aimed at meeting the  increasing demands for

accredited arbitrators and arbitration practitioners to resolve cross border disputes in the Asia Pacific and beyond.

The course fee includes entry to not only the course but high-end networking/social events including the course dinner which will have The Hon Christian Porter, Attorney General of Australia as the guest speaker.

To register and gain further information, you can visit  but the following snapshot may assist. 

Entry Requirements are as follows:

  • Practising lawyers and other professionals who are familiar with legal reasoning and concepts and are involved in arbitration (domestic or international) and who wish to increase their knowledge and understanding of international commercial arbitration.
  • Associates or Members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators who have experience of domestic arbitration practice and wish to extend their knowledge to include international arbitration procedures.
  • 3 August 2018: Course  Dinner
     The Western Australia Club
    Level 11/12 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000
    Guest Speaker:  The Hon Christian Porter, Attorney General of Australia
  • Official Accommodation Provider

Intercontinental City Centre Perth

CIArb Introduction to International Arbitration

Date: 18 August 2018
Venue: Law Society House, 179 Ann Street, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Due to the success in Brisbane 2015Perth 2016, and Melbourne 2017, registrations are now open  for  the 2018 Introduction to International Arbitration.   In addition to sessions being conducted by prominent arbitration experts and practitioners, the event will be addressed by The Hon Justice Andrew Greenwood, Federal Court of Australia. The day-long offers a pathway to Associate member status of CIArb. CIArb accreditation carries a global qualification in the growing practice of international arbitration.  For further details and how to register, please click here

Seeking barristers to inspire students at careers fair

Monash University will be holding its Beyond Commercial Careers Fair at its Clayton Campus at 6.30pm on 28 August 2018. One of the aims of the fair is to encourage students to consider career options beyond that of a commercial solicitor at a large firm. Many students are interested in pursuing a career at the Victorian Bar and would greatly appreciate the opportunity to chat with practising barristers. If you are available to assist, please contact Amanda Burnnard ( or Shaun Ginsbourg (

LCA Business Law Section - Scholarships

Baxt Prize

The Baxt Prize honours the contribution of Professor Robert (‘Bob’) Baxt AO to business law in Australia. The 2018 Baxt Prize will be awarded for a research paper of outstanding quality dealing with any aspect of penalties in corporate and commercial regulation. The value of the Baxt Prize is $7500.00.

Click here to view the prize flyer.

Click here to download the application form. 

Scholarship entries close at 5pm, 30 August 2018 AEST.

Forsyth Pose Scholarship

The Forsyth/Pose Scholarship is offered by the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia (BLS) for papers on a topic in the field of taxation law. It was offered for the first time in 2013 to commemorate leading taxation law practitioners Neil Forsyth QC and Kevin Pose. Both were long-standing members of the BLS specialist Taxation Committee.

Click here to view the scholarship flyer.

Click here to download the application form. 

Scholarship entries close at 5pm, 30 August 2018 AEST.

Gaire Blunt Scholarship

The Gaire Blunt Scholarship is offered by the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia (BLS) for papers on a topic in the field of competition law. First awarded in 2008, it commemorates Gaire Blunt, a leading competition law practitioner and a partner at Allen Allen & Hemsley (now Allens) from 1970 to 2005.

Click here to view the scholarship flyer.

Click here to download the application form. 

Scholarship entries close at 5pm, 30 August 2018 AEST.

Santow Scholarship

The Santow Scholarship is offered by the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia (BLS) for papers on a topic in the field of corporations law. Offered for the first time in 2014, it commemorates the Hon Kim Santow AO, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and prior to that a leading corporations law practitioner at Freehills.

Click here to view the scholarship flyer.

Click here to download the application form. 

Scholarship entries close at 5pm, 30 August 2018 AEST.

Australian Academy of Law - Notice of Annual Essay Prize 2018

The Australian Academy of Law is pleased to announce the offering of its Annual Essay Prize for 2018.

The Prize is open to anyone, wherever resident, who is studying or has studied legal subjects at a tertiary level, or who is working or has worked in a law based occupation. There is no limit by reference to the age or seniority or experience of, or position held by, a person who may submit an entry. Accordingly, judicial officers, legal practitioners, legal academics and law students are all eligible to submit an essay.

The amount of the Prize is $10,000.

The essay topic for the Prize in 2018 is as follows:

“Rights and freedoms under the Australian Constitution: what are they and do they meet the needs of contemporary Australian society?”

The deadline for the submission of an essay is 31 August 2018 and persons intending to submit an essay must notify the Academy of that intention in writing via the Academy’s website to be received by 30 June 2018. Both of these time limits are strictly observed, as the Rules Governing the Annual Essay Prize make clear.

Those Rules can be accessed on the Academy’s website:

Refer to the Academy’s website also for further information about notification of intention to enter and about the actual submission of an entry.

LCIL - A five-day, high-level introduction to international investment law and arbitration

Date: Monday 17 - Friday 21 September 2018
Fees: £4,500, £3,500 (for registrations by 15 June 2018) 

Investment arbitration raises challenges distinct from those raised in other forms international dispute settlement, including complex questions of how to value assets and how to develop and position an arbitration practice in a highly competitive arbitration market. At the end of the five days, participants will be equipped with a unique background in the substantive, procedural and strategic aspects of bringing or defending an investment arbitration.

This five-day programme provides a high-level introduction to international investment law in the context of public international law and practice focusing on recent developments. It offers the opportunity to learn from Cambridge law and business school academics, as well as leading practitioners drawn from major law firms and barristers’ chambers. It is designed both for junior practitioners who are developing a practice in international investment law and for more senior lawyers who wish to re-orient themselves to investment arbitration. Participants will receive a certificate of participation on successful completion of the course.

Click here to download the course flyer. 

Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 2nd August 2018