In Brief Issue #885


Nominations for Bar Council election open today

I encourage all eligible members to consider standing for election to Bar Council. Speaking from personal experience, it is a great privilege to serve on the governing body of the Victorian Bar. There are 21 positions: 11 in category A (silks and other barristers of 15 years or more call), 6 in category C (6–10 years call) and 4 in category C (up to 6 years call).

Nominations open today and close at 5pm sharp on Monday 15 October. For more information about nominating, eligibility, voting and the conduct of the election, see the notice below. Voting will open at 9am on 29 October and close at 5pm on 14 November, with the results being available shortly after the close of voting.

rise2018—register now for the ABA National Conference

This year’s Australian Bar Association National Conference will be held at the International Convention Centre in Sydney from 15–17 November. The theme is “Relevant / Resilient / Respected”. The organisers have put together a dynamic program featuring the Chief Justices of the High Court, the NSW Supreme Court and the Federal Court, the Commonwealth and NSW Attorneys-General, and an almost countless number of members of the judiciary, the bar, the academy and beyond. There will be keynote addresses by Professor Hilary Charlesworth AM, our own Allan Myers AC QC and the Hon Robert French AC. Among many other highlights include sessions on class actions, the role of advocacy in modern commercial litigation, “a day in the life of an Attorney-General”, abolishing double jeopardy, national security, running appeals in the 21st century and business and human rights. I will be reprising my impersonation of Geoffrey Robertson QC with a hypothetical at the end of the first day, the third I have done for the ABA, while the real Tony Jones will wrap up the second day with a Q & A.

The conference will be an opportunity to reflect with our colleagues from the other independent Bars around Australia upon the ongoing relevance of our vocation in an increasingly complicated and disrupted legal services market. It really is not to be missed. Register here.

WBA—Celebrating 25 years

The Women Barristers Association is celebrating its 25th anniversary next Tuesday, 9 October from 6–8pm at the Juliet Wine Bar. Guests will hear stories from Justice Pamela Tate and Judge Rachelle Lewitan, together with live entertainment from Raleigh Williams and Lisa Crawley.

When the WBA was established in 1993, the Bar had only just elected its first woman Chairman [sic], Susan Crennan QC (now retired High Court Justice; AC QC). No women had yet been appointed to the Supreme Court. Women represented just over 12% of practising members. Only three women were silks. Fast forward to 2018, and more than 40% of barristers under 15 years’ call are women. A majority of members of Bar Council are women. More Victorian barristers have adopted the Law Council of Australia’s gender equitable briefing policy than in the rest of the nation’s bars combined. Real strides have been made towards achieving gender equality on the bench. Real strides have been made towards achieving gender equality and the 25th anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate that progress.

RSVPs are essential, to

Bar Council news

Last week I included a short profile of Senior Vice-President Wendy Harris QC’s many contributions to the Bar Council and the Bar more generally. This week, I turn my attention to Vice-President Simon Marks QC—another extraordinary contributor to the life of the Victorian Bar.

Simon was elected to Bar Council in November 2016. He is currently a Vice-President of the Bar, which entails many time-consuming responsibilities as a member of the Executive. In addition to those roles, Simon leads the Bar Council’s Constitutional Reform working group which has, among other things, driven the debate we have had in recent months about whether to extend the tenure of Bar Councillors and move to a biennial election model. Simon is also the Chair of the Readers’ Course Committee and a member of the Education and Professional Development Executive. The former, in particular, is a huge role, with governance responsibility for the two exams we hold each year and our two annual readers’ courses, which are held full-time over 9 weeks’ each, involving about 45 readers and 140 trainers per intake. Simon also sits on the Counsel Committee and the Indictable Crime Certificate Committee.

LGBTI online support resource launch

This week, around 150 members of the legal profession gathered in the Neil McPhee room to celebrate the increasing diversity and inclusiveness of the legal profession and launch the Bar’s LGBTI Working Group’s online support resource, which has been designed to assist lawyers in tackling discrimination that may be faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex persons in the workplace.

The resource provides all members of the profession with practical examples, information and strategies to support their practices and colleagues. There are examples of comments and behaviours, excuses we make, and options for dealing with everyday discrimination if you witness or experience it.

I commend the working group on its work. This is part of the Victorian Bar’s commitment to ensuring that the Bar is a centre of legal excellence where the best and brightest are welcome and can thrive, whatever their background or circumstances.

A busy week

Behind the scenes this week I met with the State Attorney-General the Hon Martin Pakula MP and the Shadow Attorney-General John Pesutto MP. We discussed a range of issues, including the forthcoming release of the results of our recent health and wellbeing survey—I’ll have more to say about that next week.

This evening I fly to Adelaide (dropping in from outer space, the air is clear, there’s better beer, etc) to attend the SA Bar Association’s annual dinner and show the Victorian Bar’s support for a companion independent Bar.

Appointments and Welcomes

The Victorian Bar this week welcomed the Commonwealth Attorney General’s announcement of the appointment of the Honourable Justice William Alstergren as the new Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia and the appointment of Justice Robert McClelland as Deputy Chief Justice.

We also acknowledged the long and distinguished service of the retiring Chief Justice John Pascoe AC CVO. The Profession will extend a Farewell this coming Monday 8 October 2018 at 4.30pm.

Congratulations to Michael Wheelahan QC, who has been appointed a Judge of the Federal Court, effective 3 October 2018. The Profession will extend a welcome on Friday 26 October at 9.30am.

Congratulations also to Simon McGregor on his appointment as a Coroner, effective from 8 October for a term of 5 years.

The Profession will extend a welcome to their Honours Magistrates Jade Bott and Michelle Mykytowycz on Tuesday 16 October 2018 at 9.15am. Their Honours were sworn-in privately by Chief Justice Ferguson on Monday 20 August 2018, following their appointments on 14 August 2018.

Vicbar News & Events
Ballarat & District Law Association Event

Date: Thursday, 18 October 2018, 6.00pm – 9.00pm
Venue: The Pub With Two Names, 331 Mair Street, Ballarat Central 3350

Ballarat & District Law Association and the Victorian Bar warmly invite their members to attend an informal networking evening at the recently refurbished “The Pub With Two Names”.

Please join us in Ballarat in order to build an even stronger relationship between the Ballarat profession and the Bar.

Thursday, 11 October 2018 via

The Bar will provide coach transport to and from the event, leaving 205 William Street at approximately 4.30pm. Please email to register your interest in travelling on the coach.

Notice of Annual General Meetings of the Victorian Bar Inc & Barristers Benevolent Association of Victoria

The 2018 Annual General Meetings of the Victorian Bar Inc and the Barristers’ Benevolent Association of Victoria will be held on Monday 22 October 2018 at 4:30 pm in the Bar Council Chambers, Level 1, Owen Dixon Chambers East.

AGM notices and associated materials have been circulated to members via email.


Obituary & Service - His Honour Judge Kevin Patrick O’Connor AM


It is with deep regret that the Bar Council informs members of the death last Sunday 30 September 2018 of His Honour Judge Kevin Patrick O’Connor AM – an Acting Judge of the District Court of New South Wales and a Deputy President of the New South Wales Civil & Administrative Tribunal (“NCAT”). Kevin was 72 years of age (born 20 June 1946).

Kevin’s Requiem Mass is at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church, Waverley, 45A Victoria Street, Waverley NSW on Thursday 11 October 2018 at 10.30 am.

Click here to view the full obituary notice.  

Click here to view the Bar's Tribute Notice from The Age.


Call for Expressions of Interest - Nomination for appointment to the Law Library of Victoria and Supreme Court Library Committees

The Victorian Bar has been invited to nominate two local legal practitioners for appointment to the Law Library of Victoria and Supreme Court Library Committees. In accordance with the Supreme Court Library Rules, these appointees must be confirmed by the Council of Judges in December each year.

Interested members should submit their expression of interest, together with a copy of their CV and details of any relevant experience or expertise.

The Bar’s protocol for nomination and appointment of Vic Bar members to external bodies can be viewed here.

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

The closing date for Expressions of Interest is Thursday, 11 October 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.

Cultural & Linguistic Diversity Working Group

The Cultural & Linguistic Working Group is working to inform members of the Bar about the breadth of diversity at the Bar.  To do that the group is calling for members to contribute short vignettes which capture their experience as a member of the Bar from a culturally and linguistically diverse background.  The Working Group wishes to hear how members have felt challenged or excluded by reason of their background so that we can all begin to contemplate what it means to belong to the Bar.  Others may also wish to contribute stories that highlight their acceptance or appreciation of their background at the Bar.

Set out below is a suggested format for submissions of your vignette:



How it made me feel:  

You can forward your story, anonymously if you wish to

Ethics Committee Bulletin No. 2 of 2018 - Barristers Not to Undertake Solicitor’s Work

Click here to download Ethics Committee Bulletin No. 2 of 2018.

Vicbar Life
Samsonite - 40% off

Samsonite are offering VicBar members 40% off site-wide. The discount is available for redemption from the 21st of September 2018 – 21st October 2018 inclusive. Simply register an account on Samsonite (any email address) and enter the code VICBAR40 at checkout to redeem.

Click here to download the promo flyer.  

Irvine Wines - 15% off

Irvine Wines are offering VicBar members 15% off site-wide. Visit and enter the code vicbarhk at checkout to redeem.

Click here to download the promo flyer. 

Flight - Sponsored by the Barristers Consortium

Date: Friday 5 - Sunday 21 October

Two orphaned brothers embark on a desperate road trip across Europe in search of a place to call home. With their tiny inheritance stitched into their clothes, they brave hazardous sea crossings and bustling train stations, the menace of strangers and the constant threat of violence, in a heart-wrenching story of terror, hope and survival.

Vox Motus' adaptation of Caroline Brother's novel Hinterland is a theatrical realisation unlike any you've witnessed: take a seat in a private booth as your window opens to reveal the tiny figures who will enact this tale. This is your gateway into a diorama that unfolds as a sequence of exquisitely fashioned frames passing by, detailing this continent-crossing journey in crystalline detail.

Like a graphic novel in three dimensions or live theatre snap-frozen into discrete moments, Flight is both a gripping tale of little boys lost and an astonishing feat of artistic imagination.

By turns unsettling and uplifting, its miniature storytelling is a distillation of the largest and most urgent of contemporary stories facing us today.

Click here to buy tickets and for more information.   

Reprieve Australia - National Screening of GUILTY

Date: Wednesday 10 October 2018

The final 72-hours in the life of Myuran Sukumaran, the Bali-9 convicted criminal who became an accomplished artist on death row under the tutorship of artist Ben Quilty. Clinical preparations for capital punishment contrast with Myuran’s indomitable spirit as he creates some of his most powerful artworks before his execution by an Indonesian firing squad on Nusakambangan Island, 29 April 2015.

Click here to book tickets. 

Click here to download the event flyer. 

The Essoign Members October wine offer

The Essoign Members October wine offer. 

Don’t miss out on these exquisite boutique wines on offer now!

These prices will not be repeated.

Download order form or email 

Cheers from the Essoign team.

The Essoign - Cedar Fox Gin talk & tasting

Date:  Thursday 11 October from 5:00pm


KordaMentha Expert Evidence: Recent Cases Edition 2

KordaMentha Forensic have continued the format established in the first edition of Expert Evidence, reviewing over 2,500 recent cases from Australian courts to identify judgments relating to the principles of expert evidence and emerging trends in this area of the law.

Expert Evidence: Recent Cases Edition 2 summarises over 200 judgments relating to expert evidence and presents 40 case reviews discussing the facts, issues and potential relevance to this area of law and practice.

Register to receive the Expert Evidence: Recent Cases Edition 2 eBook which will be released in October 2018.

Artists for Kids’ Culture 25th Year Annual Charity Art Auction

Date: Thursday 25 October, 7.00pm - 11.00pm
Venue: The Park, 36 Lakeside Drive, Albert Park 
Tickets: $65.00  ~ drinks, canapes and entertainment 

On Thursday 25th October 2018, 60 works donated by prominent Australian artists will go under the hammer. 

Artists include Lewis Miller, Jenny Watson, Lisa Roet, Reko Rennie, David Bromley, Andrew Taylor, Roger Kemp, Sally Smart, Adam Cullen, Hoda Afshar, Mark Schaller and, of course founder, David Larwill. 

Funds raised give children experiencing hardship a chance to participate in cultural, artistic, musical, sporting and educational activities that would not otherwise be available to them. Each year the foundation has been able to grant over $100,000 from proceeds from the auction.  

This is a unique opportunity to acquire a piece of art from a leading Australian artist and make a valuable difference to a child's life. 

VIP TICKETS: $185  Also includes an AKC gift bag with hand selected luxury items, allocated table seating and table service.

To view artworks, purchase tickets please see the website: 

Enquiries: Shivani Pillai, Committee Member, AKC (Barrister Foley's List 0411446500 

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:

Dinner with the Dissidents - by John Tesarsch

It is 1970, and the Kremlin is struggling to quell dissent. Though censored at home, Alexander Solzhenitsyn is lauded in the West for exposing the underbelly of communism. Now the Nobel laureate is rumoured to be writing his most devastating work yet.

The KGB turns to Leonid Krasnov, an aspiring young writer. It promises to make him Moscow’s next literary star if he can infiltrate Solzhenitsyn’s inner circle and uncover what the great author is hiding. At first Leonid complies, but when he falls in love with Klara, a dissident musician, his allegiances waver. By then he is enmeshed in a plot that is more sinister than he could ever have imagined.

Click here for more details about the book and the author. 

Practice & Profession News
Changes to Supreme Court civil court fees

New regulations covering most civil court fees in the Supreme Court of Victoria will commence on 30 September 2018. To help Court users better understand the new fee structures and changes, the Supreme Court has put together a FAQ document. For more information, refer to the Supreme Court’s website.

Victoria Law Foundation Latest News

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

Profession CPD & Events
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: 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:

Mental Health Courts: What can we learn from the US experience?

Date: Thursday 11 October 2018
Venue: Monash University Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Seminar Room 6
RSVP: Monday 8 October

Magistrate Felicity Zempilas from Western Australia’s mental health court, the START Court, will speak about the findings from her recent Churchill Fellowship which saw her travel to the United States and Canada in June and July 2018. She reflects on latest practice and policy developments in the United States mental health courts that will be relevant to those working in mental health courts and other problem-oriented courts, and those interested in therapeutic jurisprudence and responses to offenders with mental illness.

Click here to download the event flyer. 

Melbourne Law School Events: Judges in Conversation - Being a Judge

Date: Thursday 11 October 2018, 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Venue: Courtroom 8A, Federal Court of Australia, 305 William St, Melbourne

In this Judges in Conversation event, Justice Sue Kenny (Federal Court of Australia) will lead a discussion with Justice Dennis Davis (High Court of South Africa) and Ms Anna Dziedzic (Melbourne Law School) on 'Being a Judge'. Focusing on contemporary features of being a judge across a range of contexts, the conversation will address the role of the judge as case manager (the 'case manager judge'), the phenomenon of the 'time poor judge', and whether being a judge is a skill set that can be transferred across contexts (the 'transferable judge').

Interested parties can register here


La Trobe Law School Seminar - #MeToo and the Appointment of Judges

Date: Friday 12 October 2018, 12 noon - 1 pm
Venue: La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus, Social Sciences Building, Level 2, room SS232 (Moot Court)
Speaker: Penelope Andrews

Registration and futher details:

The Role of Law in International Arbitration

Date: Monday, 15 October 2018, 5.15 pm – 6.15 pm (with networking drinks until 7.15pm)
Venue: Allens, Level 37, 101 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
RSVP: By no later than Monday, 11 October 2018
Guest Speaker: The Hon Chief Justice James Allsop AO, Federal Court of Australia

Maintaining our leadership as a contributor to global arbitration scholarship, we are pleased to host the inaugural CIArb Australia Lecture. To be held in Melbourne on 15 October, the lecture will launch Australian Arbitration Week.  Our guest speaker is the Hon Chief Justice James Allsop AO, Federal Court of Australia, who will speak on The Role of Law in International Arbitration.  Proudly sponsored by global law firm, Allens, the lecture will be followed by a Q & A session with drinks and canapés to be served at the conclusion of proceedings. Although the event is free of charge, registration is essential.

To register, please click here

6th International Arbitration Conference

Date: 17 October 2018 
Sofitel on Collins, Melbourne Australia 

Co-presented by the  Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration  and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Australia) the 6th Annual International Arbitration Conference: The Business of International Commercial Arbitration  is the pre-eminent event of the 2018 Australia Arbitration Week, which is being held for the first time in Melbourne. With the support of local and international arbitral bodies and firms, the conference features distinguished speakers from across Australia and around the world who will be discussing the emerging trends and hot topics in international commercial arbitration. The conference will be opened by Dr Michael Pryles AO PBM, who will deliver the keynote address: Australia’s Place In International Arbitration.

CIArb Australia Annual Dinner – 17 October 2018, No35 Restaurant, Sofitel on Collins, Melbourne Australia

Following the day’s proceedings, will be the CIArb Australia Annual Dinner, featuring guest speaker, Allan Myers AC QC, Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, leading international arbitrator and prominent businessman. Master of Ceremonies for the evening’s proceedings will be  Patrick Durkin, Melbourne Bureau Chief, Australian Financial Review. 

For further details about the program and how to register, please click here  

2018 CIArb Australia Annual Dinner

Date: Wednesday, 17 October 2018
Venue: Atrium Bar & No35, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, 25 Collins Street, Melbourne, 3000

The CIArb Australia Board and Management invite you to attend the 2018 CIArb Australia Dinner featuring guest speaker, Allan Myers AC QC. To be held at No35, the dinner will be attended by distinguished guests including members of the judiciary, business, government, media and global leaders of international dispute resolution. Located within Sofitel Melbourne On Collins, No35 is an elegant dining destination designed with contemporary artworks and breathtaking views of Melbourne. The three-course dinner will commence with Pre-Dinner Drinks from 7 pm - 7.30 pm at the Atrium Bar and will conclude at 11 pm.

Click here for further details and to register. 

La Trobe Law School Seminar - The use or misuse of criminal profiling evidence in criminal trials

Date: Wednesday, 17 October 2018 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Venue: La Trobe University (Social Sciences Building room 232 - Moot Court), Plenty Road, Bundoora, VIC 3086
Speaker: Pascale Chifflet

Registration and further details:

ArbitralWomen Breakfast

Date: 18 October 2018, 7:30 am - 10:00 am

Venue: Corrs Chambers, Westgarth Level 25, 567 Collins Street, Melbourne

Commerciality in International Arbitration

Please join us for a practical discussion on Commerciality in International Arbitration where our esteemed panel members will provide their insights from the perspectives of an arbitration practitioner, a third party funder and an expert.

Click here for more information and registration

Seventh Annual Australian Academy of Law Patron’s Address

Date: Thursday 18 October 2018, 5pm
Venue: Court One, Federal Court of Australia Level 8, Commonwealth Law Courts, 305 William Street Melbourne

The Patron’s Address will be delivered by The Rt. Honourable Dame Sian Elias, GNZM, Chief Justice of New Zealand.  The address will review directions for the future in what may be seen as a period of transitional justice. 

The address will be held at Court One, Federal Court of Australia, Level 8, Commonwealth Law Courts, 305 William Street Melbourne.

Please register for this event by Monday 15 October by visiting -

Click here to download the event flyer. 

60th Anniversary of the New York Convention 1958 - 2018

Date: Wednesday, 24 October 2018, 5:00pm - 6:15pm
Venue: Federal Court of Australia, 305 William Street, Melbourne, 3000 

International commercial arbitration is founded upon one of UNCITRAL’s most successful conventions, the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. Three-quarters of all nations, including Australia, have signed on to the New York Convention over its 60 year history. The Convention allows arbitration to cut through the problem of resolving international disputes by allowing parties to choose a neutral tribunal to determine their disputes, and permits lawyers to appear in these arbitrations wherever they are held without needing special practicing rights.

The UN Day Lecture is an annual initiative of the UNCITRAL National Coordination Committee for Australia (UNCCA) to introduce and recognise the work of UNCITRAL. This year, the Lecture will be held around Australia in all capital cities to commemorate this important Convention. Admission is free, but registration is required.

Click here for more information and to register. 

Gender on the Agenda In Conversation with Dr Anne Summers AO & Emma Alberici Presentation of the Inaugural VWL Pay Equity Award

Date: Thursday, 25 October 2018, 12:30 - 2:30 pm
Venue: Myer Mural Hall, Bourke St Mall
Tickets: Member (ticket only): $99, Non-member (ticket only): $119, Member (ticket and copy of ‘Unfettere and Alive’): $125, Non-member (ticket and copy of ‘Unfettered and Alive’): $145

Join VWL for two-course lunch and an in-depth discussion focused on the persistent gender pay gap in professional services hosted by Dr Anne Summers AO and Emma Alberici. At the conclusion of the event, VWL will present results from the Gender on the Agenda: Survey of the Victorian Legal Profession and the recipient of the inaugural Pay Equity Award will be announced. Guests will have the opportunity to purchase Dr Summers’ recently released memoir Unfettered and Alive and receive 35% of the RRP.

Click here For further information and registration details

Melbourne Law School Events: 2018 Rare Books Lecture - Vulnerable Law Sources, and How to Take Care of Them

Date: Thursday 25 October 2018,6:30pm – 7:30pm
Venue: Theatre G08, Ground Floor, Melbourne Law School

The description of legal books as ‘rare’ invokes a sense of romance: the preservation of fragments of previous centuries, in specialist archives and libraries, awaiting discovery by the assiduous scholar. Ann’s work concerns telling Australian law stories of the past 60 years, and her archival adventures have been far less romantic, but raise urgent problems. In a time of open access the notes, books, documents, records, court files, and transcripts created closest to our own time should exist in robust proliferation, and enable myriad stories to be told about developments in our law and public life. The reality is that they might be better described as precarious, or vulnerable. Many are of uncertain status or dispersed location; others have already been sentenced.

In her talk Ann will reflect on two recent projects, ‘Lives Lived with Law’ and the ‘Court as Archive’, as both anchor around how Australian public institutions might understand their custodial responsibilities for contemporary law sources. In doing so, she will also contemplate her own scholarly obligations when conducting such research, and why it is she cares about these rich and irreplaceable materials, and the diverse Australian stories of living with law that they tell.

Interested parties can register here


Annual Australasian Jury Research Conference

Date: Friday 2 November 2018

Registrations for the Australasian Jury Research and Practice Conference on Friday 2 November 2018 are now open.

To purchase your ticket to attend the conference, please follow this link here

To view the speakers and program for the conference, click here.

La Trobe Law School Seminar - From Dole Bludger to Mutual Obligation: Activation with an Antipodean Accent

Date: Wednesday 14 November 2018, 12noon-1pm
Venue: La Trobe University, Bundoora campus, Social Sciences Building, Level 2, room SS232 (Moot Court)
Speaker: Anthony O'Donnell

Registration and further details: 

rise2018 - 2018 ABA & NSWBA National Conference

The Australian Bar Association and the NSW Bar Association are looking forward to co-hosting the 2018 National Conference on 15 - 17 November in Sydney. 

The preeminent legal conference of 2018 – rise2018 relevant/resilient/respected is a prestigious two-day conference that boasts an impressive speaker line-up which will highlight and profile the excellence of the Australian legal profession.

For all the details and to register please visit

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
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.

6 Day November Course – Last Chance to Become a Nationally Accredited Mediator in 2018

Registrations are now open for our November 6 day National Mediator Accreditation program scheduled in Melbourne. The program gives participants the opportunity to learn Conflict Transformation skills and receive their mediator training assessment as required by the National Mediator Accreditation System and upon successful assessment apply to become a Nationally Accredited Mediator.

Click on the below link for more information and to register.

National Mediator Accreditation Course
November 19, 20, 21 & 26, 27, 28

Visit our website for more information or join our mailing list to keep informed on courses that are coming up.

2019 John Koowarta Reconciliation Law Scholarship

The Koowarta Scholarship was established in 1994, with the aim of promoting the study and practice of the law by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and, commemorates John Koowarta as a member of the Winychanam community and a traditional owner of the Archer River region on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. John Koowarta is widely regarded as being at the forefront of Aboriginal land rights in Australia during the late 1970s and early 1980s. He is today revered as one of the most important figures in the progression of Native Title rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Koowarta Scholarship is available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled in an Australian tertiary institution undertaking an approved course of study provided that may lead to admission as a legal practitioner in any Australian jurisdiction.

Click here to apply and view the Eligibility Criteria. 

Closing date for applications is 30 November 2018.

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, 11th October 2018