In Brief Issue #881


Changing Face of the Bar

Yesterday, renowned photographer Bill Henson opened the "Changing Face of the Bar" exhibition in the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery on the ground floor of Owen Dixon Chambers.  (Bill Henson’s own extraordinary photographic portrait of Kenneth Hayne AC QC is ordinarily on permanent display in the Gallery.)

Earlier this year, 700 of our current practising members were photographed by Garth Oriander wearing everything from surf life-saving gear and sporting lycra to formal robes, to celebrate the face of the Victorian Bar in 2018.  In the exhibition, the modern photos are juxtaposed with historic caricatures and photographs of (mostly) solemn-faced, formally attired white men from the 1930s and 1980s.

It is not every day that more than 700 barristers agree to do something together. This exhibition is a graphic testament to our collegiality, diversity and humanity, uniting our most senior and revered members, Chairmen and Presidents past and present, and our newest advocates.

The exhibition will run until 7 December. 

Could I single out for special thanks Peter Jopling AM QC and Stephen Jurica of the Art & Collections Committee and Amanda Utt, the Bar’s General Manager, Corporate Services, for their work in putting together this remarkable exhibition—the first "pop-up" in the history of the Peter O'Callaghan QC Gallery. 

My speech from last night's opening can be read here

Kat Brazenor is Australia’s Barrister of the Year

Congratulations to Katherine Brazenor, who was awarded "Barrister of the Year" at the Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards in Sydney last week.  The award recognises "outstanding performance by an individual practising at the bar" and is open to all barristers, including silks, who practised within Australia during FY17–18. As well as being a fine advocate (whom I have had the pleasure of leading), Kat has made a substantial contribution to the community of the Bar, including as Chair of the Student Engagement Committee, and on the Bar Council working group that conducted a root-and-branch governance review of the operations of the Victorian Bar.

Monash Law School "M-CLAN" Launch

On Tuesday evening, I was one of the keynote speakers at the launch of the Monash Cultural & Lingual Appreciation Network (M-CLAN) mentoring program. The network was inspired, in part, by our State of the Bar report earlier this year which highlighted, among other matters, the changing demography of the Victorian Bar.

The M-CLAN program, which matches mentees of diverse backgrounds with mentors who are practising barristers and solicitors, is run by a student group of Monash Law Ambassadors. In its first year, the network will match 60 mentors with 60 students ranging from their first to their final years. 

Profile of William Ah Ket

In my speech at the launch of M-CLAN, I spoke of the first Victorian barrister of Asian descent, William Ah Ket, who signed the Bar roll in 1904, 19 years before the first woman signed the Bar roll, Joan Rosanove in 1923. William was a talented advocate who, among other matters, appeared in cases challenging the White Australia policy.

Coincidentally, ABC Radio National last week profiled William on The History Listen. The profile is fascinating, and available as a podcast, which I commend to members.

A busy week

Other events for me this week included being the junior (and generally quiet) judge on a Full Court with the Hon Professor George Hampel AM QC and Judge Marks of the County Court at the grand final of the Melbourne Law School witness examination contest, and hosting a silks and juniors lunch. 

Behind the scenes we continued interviews for the CEO position and I met with the Bar Council Executive, the LGBTI Working Group, the new Chair of the Criminal Law Bar Association, Daniel Gurvich QC, and the CEO of BCL, Paul Clark, to discuss current issues.

Welcomes and Farewells

This morning the profession extended a farewell to Justice North at a ceremonial sitting of the Full Court of the Federal Court.  At Justice North’s request, I introduced Herman Borenstein QC and Anthony Neal QC to speak on behalf of the Bar. 

The profession also welcomed His Honour Judge Sexton as a Judge of the County Court this morning. As, infuriatingly, my attempts to be in two places at one time failed, I am grateful to Vice-President Simon Marks QC for speaking on behalf of the Bar.


Vicbar News & Events

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

Keynote speakers

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

Click here to view the full list of conference speakers. 

Conference Program

This year's ICLC conference program includes the following sessions:

21 September, 2018
Session 1:  The Rise of the International Commercial Court
Session 2:  After the Apocalypse: Re-regulation of the Banking and Financial Services Industries
Session 3:  Arbitration on the One Belt, One Road: Enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in China
Session 4:  International Arbitration in a Tri-Polar World
22, September, 2018
Breakfast:  The Big Bite: A Tech-Breakfast
Session 5:  Words Without Borders: Defamation and the Internet
Session 6:  Modern Case-Management of Commercial Disputes
Session 7:  Is Privacy Dead? Use and Misuse of Sensitive Data
Session 8:  The Bottom Line: The Value to Clients and Tribunals of the Independent Bar

Click here to view the full conference program and details.

Gala Dinner

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.

HK2018 ICLC Sponsors


Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Bronze Sponsor


Call for Expressions of Interest - Appointment of Special Counsel under the Terrorism (Community Protection) Act

The Terrorism (Community Protection) Act has recently been amended to create a new scheme for the use and protection of criminal intelligence in applications under that Act. As part of the new scheme the Supreme Court is empowered to appoint a special counsel to represent the interests of the respondent in a hearing involving protected intelligence.

The Victorian Bar has been invited to identify counsel, preferably with current security clearance, who may be suitable candidates for the panel. The current understanding is that Negative Vetting 2 will be required. If there are suitable counsel who do not currently have security clearance, security clearance can be organised.

While it is expected that they will be called on only rarely, a panel of counsel (three people) is being established.

Counsel will need to have expertise with the Terrorism Act in order to fulfil the role.

The panel will be maintained by the Criminal Law Governance & Resources team in DJR. It is not proposed that counsel will be paid any retainer, as these matters will rarely arise. It will operate on a fee for service model.

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 the relevant criteria, any areas of experience or expertise. 

Please direct any enquiries or Expressions of Interest to Denise Bennett at

The closing date for Expressions of Interest is Thursday 27 September 2018.

Victorian Bar News – call for contributions

Victorian Bar News is a twice yearly magazine published by the Victorian Bar for its members. The Editors of Bar News are now calling for contributions for the December Issue. We are happy to receive draft content in written form, but general expressions of interest are also welcome.

Topics of particular interest include:

  • Who we are -  if you have climbed Everest (or a much smaller mountain), make great wine, cook good food, play a little known sport, have an obscure interest or hobby, are a polymath who has changed careers, or you are a Renaissance man or woman, we want to hear from you.
  • Market disruption - The Bar is not immune from market forces. Stories about what is causing change within our practices, positive and negative, are important to us.
  • Barristers who blog - If you blog for personal or professional reasons, let us know who you are, and the name of your blog or website.

Now is also the time to become involved in Bar News for members with a background in editing, journalism, photography, illustration and/or a passion for story-telling. 

In the meantime, please contact the Editors, Natalie Hickey, Justin Wheelahan and Annette Charak at or via their personal contact details.

Victorian Bar Member CPD Events

Upcoming CPD events:

You must be a member of the Victorian Bar and logged into the VicBar website to view the following events. 

Vicbar Life
Sports Law Conference & Annual Football Challenge - TOMORROW

Date: Saturday 8 September 2018, Melbourne

Our annual Sports Law Conference & Tri-State soccer tournament between the Victorian, New South Wales and Queensland Bars will be held in Melbourne this year. The games will be played at Fawkner Park this year. Open the link below for more details of the event.

New and past participants are encouraged to attend and new players particularly would be welcomed. CPD Points, Trophies and medals on offer.

Contact Anthony Klotz e: t:9225 8633

PDF icon Sports Law Conference & Annual Football Challenge.pdf

Hockey Players Required - VicBar vs LIV

Date: Thursday 1 November 2018, 7.00pm
Venue: Hawthorn Hockey Centre

Looking for players of any age and ability for the annual Hockey match between VicBar and Law Institute Victoria.

Please email Trish with your availability:

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. 

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.

The Essoign Coffee Card

Thomson Reuters - 15% discount on all local Thomson Reuters books

As a member of the Victorian Bar, save up to 15% on our extensive range of book and eBook titles. 

Visit using the promo code VICBAR to take advantage of this exclusive offer. 

Did you know? Thomson Reuters is the sole publisher of the Commonwealth Law Reports and the Federal Court Reports, and has the largest collection of authorised State Reports. Plus, find out more about the Victorian Bar Online Legal Research Package and the five key benefits it will bring to your practise.

Member Benefits Australia - September exclusive member offers

Don't miss out on these exclusive member deals for September from Land Rover, Lexus, Sennheiser and more!

Practice & Profession News
Victoria Law Foundation latest news

The latest news from the Victoria Law Foundation can be read here

Big enhancements to family law eFiling coming soon

Parties wishing to initiate a Family Law proceeding or file supporting documents on an existing file in the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia will soon be able to do so through an improved Family Law Electronic Filing system.

Click here to view the article. 

Survey: Bullying and Harassment in the Legal Profession

According to 2017 research by the International Bar Association, Legal Policy & Research Unit (IBA LPRU), one in two female lawyers in commercial practice have been bullied in connection with their employment. Almost one in three have been sexually harassed, while a similar percentage of their male counterparts have been bullied in the workplace. These findings, drawn from a survey of 6,000 lawyers globally, coincide with growing global awareness about the prevalence of misconduct at work. In the legal, media, entertainment and political sectors, to name just a few, the past 12 months have seen a steady flow of high-profile allegations of bullying and harassment. While such conduct is never acceptable in the workplace, it is particularly repugnant in an industry – such as the legal profession – based on integrity and high ethical standards.

Following on from the LPRU’s Women in Commercial Legal Practice Report, which outlined these and other challenges facing female lawyers, the LPRU has committed to undertaking a new survey focused on the nature and prevalence of bullying and harassment in the global legal profession. The purpose of this research is to provide an empirical basis for developing informed recommendations and effectively engaging with firms and practitioners. The survey is now live – please complete it and distribute it widely through your networks. More data means a more complete picture of bullying and harassment in the legal profession, which in turn means better analysis and greater prospects of achieving change.

Please complete the survey:

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
The Resolution Institute - A tale of two 'seats' - Astro v Lippo

Date: 11 September 2018
Venue: La Trobe University City Campus, Level 20, 360 Collins Street

The Resolution Institute, in conjunction with Latrobe University, will be holding a seminar on Tuesday 11 September at the La Trobe University City Campus, Level 20, 360 Collins Street. Presented by Albert Monichino Q.C., the session will analyse the long-running saga in respect of a failed joint venture between a Malaysian media group (Astro) and an Indonesian conglomerate ( Lippo). He will distil the lessons to be learned from the Singapore and Hong Kong case law, culminating in Astro Nusantara International BV v. PT Ayunda PrimaMitra [2018] HKCFA 12. Dr Ozlem Susler will provide special comments.

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

Deakin Law School & the Australian & New Zealand Society of Criminology: Bail Reform in Victoria – Managing Risk

Date: Thursday, 13 September 2018, 5.30pm – 7.30pm
Venue: Supreme Court of Victoria, Banco Court, 210 William Street
Guest speaker: The Honourable Justice Paul Coghlan

The Victorian Government commissioned Justice Paul Coghlan QC to advise how Victoria’s bail system should be reformed to best manage risk and to maximise community safety.

After reviewing relevant legislation and case law, meeting with key participants in the criminal justice system and receiving public submissions, Justice Coghlan delivered two reports that collectively contained 37 recommendations for reform.

In this lecture Justice Coghlan will outline the background to these reforms and describe the recommendations contained in his two Bail Review and Advices to the Victorian Government. He will also summarise the key changes that have been made to the Bail Act 1977, discuss the implications of these changes, both in theory and practice, and conclude by considering the impact of the reforms in the first few months of their operation.

This is a free public event, however, registration is essential. Register here.

Melbourne Law School Events - Public Lecture: Judicial Advice to Trustees – Its Origins, Purposes and Nature

Date: Friday 14 September 2018
Venue: Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street, Carlton

Melbourne Law School is delighted to invite you to the 2018 Harold Ford Memorial Lecture, ‘Judicial Advice to Trustees – Its Origins, Purposes and Nature’ presented by The Honourable Chief Justice Susan Kiefel AC, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia. 

Please see the attached flyer for more information. The lecture will take place at Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street, Carlton.

If you would like to attend this free public event, please register here. If you would like to be notified of any future events, please subscribe to our newsletter here.  

La Trobe Law School Seminar: Australian Superannuation: Fixing the Problems

Date & Time: Tuesday 18 September 2018, 12.30 pm-1.50 pm ​​
Venue: La Trobe University, City Campus, 360 Collins Street, Level 2, room 2.11 (Teaching room 2).
Speakers: Professor Nicholas Morris and Jack Hammond QC

Registration and further details:

La Trobe Law School Seminar - Venezuelan Supreme Court under Maduro’s Rule

Date: Wednesday 19 September 2018, 12noon - 1pm 
Venue: La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus, Social Sciences Building, Level 2, room SS232 (Moot Court)
Presenter: Dr Raul Sanchez Urribarri

Registration and further details:

America should follow Australia’s examples on gun laws: Is this even possible?

Date: Thursday 20 September 2018, 5.45pm arrival, 6pm – 7pm
Venue: RACV Club, 501 Bourke Street, Level 2, Bayside Room 4a & 4b

Following a number of highly publicised mass shootings in the United States in recent years, there has been increased focus by Americans on John Howard’s response to the Port Arthur massacre more than two decades ago. In February 2018, for example, representative Jim Hines, a Democrat from Connecticut said that ‘America should follow Australia’s examples on gun laws.’ The topic of this panel discussion considers the approaches by both countries in respect of gun regulation and the ongoing challenges that each country is faced with in respect of gun regulation. In particular, this panel will focus on what makes Australia and the US distinct both legally and culturally in the context of gun regulation.

Click here for more information and to register. 

The National Indigenous Legal Conference 2018

Date: 25-26 September 2018
Venue: Wesfarmers Lecture Theatre (WFLT) UWA Business School (441) - Ground Floor Room G91.

The School of Indigenous Studies in partnership with UWA Law School, Notre Dame Law School and the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia, brings you the National Indigenous Legal Conference 2018.

 The School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia welcomes Indigenous lawyers, students, academics and teachers to attend and participate at the 13th National Indigenous Legal Conference held at the University of Western Australia on 25 to 26 September 2018.

Speakers include the Honourable Robert French AC, Professor Megan Davis, Professor Irene Watson, Adjunct Professor Dennis Eggington, Mr Jeremiah Riley, Mr David Saylor and the Master of Ceremonies is Mr Ashley Truscott.

The two-day conference - Sovereign Laws, Peoples and Voices - aims to bring a wide range of Indigenous lawyers, students, educators and policy makers from across the nation to discuss Indigenous rights claims of significant national and international prominence.

Click here for more information and to register. 

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. 

La Trobe Law School/Centre for Health Law and Society Seminar: ‘Death trespassed on my body’… and law too? Stillbirth grief, fetal legal personhood and the external and internal borders of bodily autonomy

Date & Time: 10 October 2018, 12.30pm-1.30pm (light lunch available from 12.15pm)
Venue: La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus, Social Science Building, Level 2, room SS232 (Moot Court)
Speaker: Hannah Robert

Registration and further details:

rise2018Companion Special – 50% off

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

The ABA and NSWBA are delighted to release the Companion Special for the rise2018 national conference; a conference by the Bar for all professionals. Join us as we explore issues of public importance, delivered by experts from the across the legal profession, government and industry.

Register yourself and one or more colleagues in the same transaction and receive 50% off your registration fee.

This special offers exceptional value and is available until 31 August - unless sold out prior.

To take advantage of this special, click here.

For details of the outstanding program, stellar line-up of speakers and excellent professional networking and social opportunities, please click here.

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
Judges required for Victoria University moots

Victoria University has asked for the Bar’s assistance in judging their annual Michael Kirby Contract Law Moot. The moot will be held at the VU campus in Queen Street, Melbourne. Expressions of interest should be sent to David Thomson ( no later than 20 September 2018.

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. 

30th International human rights competition for lawyers

The Caen Memorial International human rights competition for lawyers is open to all lawyers registered with a bar, irrespective of their nationality, language or age, who are willing to inform the public of the profession’s commitment to defend the human rights. The competition is only open to the defence of individual cases. Lawyers agree to not compromise or prejudice the defended person. Human rights are binding on all and concern all defendants, whoever they may be, under the fundamental right of defence.

The closing date for submitting pleadings to the Memorial de Caen museum is Friday 9 November 2018.

The final of the competition will be held at the Memorial de Caen on 27 January 2019.

The Justice and Society Symposium

Date: 29 – 30 November
Venue: Cranlana House, Toorak
Cost: $3814 

Is Justice Possible?

Members of the Victorian Bar are warmly invited to attend this exclusive symposium to explore the conceptions of justice underpinning our society.

Open to up to 20 leading minds in the Justice Sector, participants will engage in moderated discussion looking at the pragmatic, aspirational, and actual aims of Justice in the social fabric. The clarification of the role of justice in society helps inform our role as practitioners of the Law – and sharpens our ethical and moral judgement of the decisions we must make in our position each day.

Over the course of the two days, we will discuss questions such as: Do we believe the rule of law to be good because it is just or is it just because we think it is good? To what degree is our understanding of justice determined by the laws under which we live? Are there certain universal requirements that any just law must full? Is it possible to have a just society without a base of guaranteed moral rights? If not, what are those guaranteed moral rights?

Visit or contact us on 03 9827 2660 to find out more.

Australian Bar Association Advanced Trial Advocacy Intensive

Date: 21 - 25 January 2019

Are you 5 years or more at the Bar, looking to refresh or to ‘ramp up’ your advocacy skills? Considering applying for silk? Looking to stimulate your advocacy?

If so, the Advanced Advocacy Course is for you. A 5 day live-in intensive course, where you run a trial, with each aspect of your conduct of the trial being analysed and reviewed. 

Many members of the Bar have had the benefit of the training provided by the Course, sometimes as a precursor to talking silk, or generally to increase their trial skills.  

The instructors comprise highly experienced instructors, including silks, judges and international trainers.

Click here to download the brochure for more details.

Contact Carolyn Sparke QC ( or x 8492) for more information.

Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 13th September 2018