In Brief Issue #892


Bar rejects “judging the judges” proposal

The Victorian Bar acted to defend the judicial officers of the State this week when the opposition announced a policy that, if implemented, would lead to the publication of statistics about the average sentence delivered per judicial officer for different offences, the number of sitting days per judicial officer, the delay per judgment per judicial officer, and other statistics supposedly aimed at measuring productivity and adherence to community standards in relation to sentencing.

The policy was not rejected outright by the State government.

The Bar’s media release rejecting the policy as ‘simplistic and apt to mislead’ led to media interviews on or in, among others, ABC TV news, the ABC Radio ‘PM’ program, The Age, Lawyers Weekly and Australasian Lawyer.

In the media release and interviews, I made the obvious points that justice can only truly be evaluated qualitatively, not quantitatively; that as every case is unique, it is meaningless to compare sentences without regard to the circumstances of the offence and the offender; and that productivity cannot be measured without having regard to matters such as, among others, the length of the trial, the number of parties and witnesses, the number of documents tendered, and the nature of the issues.

The Bar will always speak out, where it can, in defence of the independence of the judiciary and the maintenance of judicial discretion, and against unjust criticisms of the State’s hardworking judges and magistrates.


Last chance to express interest in Vic Bar Committees or Assistant Hon Sec to Bar Council

Expressions of Interest close on Monday for those who wish to:

  • remain on, or become a member of, one or more of the Bar Council’s standing Committees in 2019 (closes 5pm); and/or
  • be considered for the role of Assistant Honorary Secretary to Bar Council (closes 4pm).

These are great opportunities to contribute to the life of the Victorian Bar. More information and links in the notices below.


Protocol with the County Court concerning judicial conduct

The Chief Judge of the County Court, Peter Kidd, has developed, with input from the Bar, a protocol to enable members of the Bar to raise concerns about judicial conduct in the County Court with the Chief Judge, via the President. The protocol commits to writing a long-standing informal arrangement between the Chief Judge and the Victorian Bar. Its terms are very similar to those in the protocol developed by Chief Justice Ferguson in relation to judicial conduct in the Supreme Court.

I thank Chief Judge Kidd and the judges of the County Court for their constructive engagement with the Victorian Bar in relation to this important issue, and encourage all members to consult the protocol.


Jennifer Batrouney QC elected President of the ABA

My congratulations, on behalf of the whole Bar, to Jennifer Batrouney QC, who has been elected President of the Australian Bar Association for the 2018-19 year. Jennifer is no stranger to leadership roles in the legal profession. Among many other accomplishments, she is the immediate past President of the Victorian Bar, and a former President of the Tax Bar Association and of Australian Women Lawyers. 


Michelle Sharpe named Barrister of the Year in 2018 Women in Law Awards

My congratulations also to Michelle Sharpe who won "Barrister of the Year" at the Women in Law Awards held last night. The event celebrated the women who have challenged, influenced or enhanced the practise of law in Australia. Read more about the evening here


Written Advocacy workshop with Professor James Raymond

Professor James Raymond is one of the world’s best known exponents of the arts of written advocacy and judgment writing. Thanks to the Hon Peter Heerey AM QC, Professor Raymond will be in Melbourne to deliver a unique one day program on written advocacy skills to members of the Bar on 27 February 2019. The program will be interactive and of significant practical utility to barristers of all levels.  Further details are available in the Upcoming CPD section of the website (you must be logged in).

Numbers are limited. I urge members to register their interest for this rare opportunity.


ABA Asylum Seeker and Refugee Policy

The Australian Bar Association has adopted a policy in relation to Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers and refugees. The policy contains eight principles for the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, including:

  • upholding the rule of law;
  • complying with Australia’s obligations under international law; and
  • ensuring that asylum seekers and refugees have access to publicly funded legal representation and interpreting services; and a procedurally fair, independent and consistent process for the consideration of their claims to protection.

A similar policy has been adopted by the Law Council of Australia.

The Victorian Bar is an active constituent member of both the ABA and the LCA, which are the peak national representative bodies for, respectively, the independent referrals Bars of Australia and the legal profession.


A busy weekend

I spent Friday and Saturday at the ABA / NSW Bar national conference in Sydney. The conference was a great success with a very impressive program. Highlights for me included addresses by Commonwealth Attorney-General Christian Porter (who spoke about national security laws and family law reform) and Chief Justice Allsop (who spoke about the future of the independent bar), a Q&A hosted by Tony Jones (with panellists including Philip Ruddock, Professor George Williams and David Marr), and the now infamous gala dinner at which Malcolm Turnbull was the guest of honour while a journalist from Fairfax was eavesdropping on his remarks.

Behind the scenes I had the opportunity to speak with, among many others, Christian Porter, Mark Dreyfus, Malcolm Turnbull, Bathurst CJ, Allsop CJ and all of the presidents of the other independent bars of Australia and New Zealand. 

My congratulations go to the hard-working organisers of this conference from both the ABA and the NSW Bar, including (among many others) ABA CEO Cindy Penrose and NSW Bar CEO Greg Tolhurst.

On Sunday, Vicbar CEO Katherine Lorenz and I represented our Bar at the ABA AGM and Bar Council meeting.


Welcome for Magistrate Kilias

Vice-President Simon Marks QC represented the Bar at the ceremonial welcome to Magistrate Costas Kilias on 14 November.  My apologies for not posting Simon’s speech last week: it is available here

Vicbar News & Events
Call for Expressions of Interest for Victorian Bar Committees – open until 5pm Mon 26 November

Expressions of interest are sought from members of the Bar who wish to remain on, or become a member of, one or more of the Bar’s Committees in 2019.

Committees are appointed by Bar Council once a year.

Committees are standing committees of the Bar Council, responsible for reporting to Bar Council on the work falling within their remit. The scope, composition and responsibility of Committees is set out in their respective Charters, as are the roles, expectations and terms of Committee members. Charters are available on the Bar's Website. 

The valuable work done by the Bar’s Committees is made possible through the willingness of our members to ‘give back’ by contributing their time and skill to a Committee that best matches their interest and expertise.  There is more information in the Notices section below.

All expressions of interest will be reviewed by the Executive of the Bar Council, with assistance from staff in the Bar Office. Existing chairs of Committees will also be consulted. A recommendation as to the composition of Committees for 2019 will be made to Bar Council before the end of the year.

The Bar Council is committed to ensuring that all members of the Bar have a fair opportunity to participate in the important work of the Bar, including by regular refreshment of the composition of committees, consistent with their Charters. Whether you wish to continue service on a Committee, or have thought in the past that you have something to contribute, but have either not applied or been disappointed, please submit your expression of interest prior to the deadline of 5pm, Monday 26 November 2018.

Please note that Members who have already submitted their Expressions of Interest for Committees in 2019 do not need to re-apply.

Call for Expressions of Interest for the position of Assistant Honorary Secretary to Bar Council

Congratulations go to last year’s Honorary Secretary, Nicole Papaleo, who was elected to Bar Council in category C. Her vacancy has been filled by the appointment by Bar Council of last year’s Assistant Honorary Secretary, Andrew Bell, leaving a vacancy in the role of Assistant Honorary Secretary.

The roles of the Honorary and Assistant Honorary Secretaries are vital to the smooth functioning of the Victorian Bar. They attend Bar Council meetings and have responsibility for membership matters, including addressing and making recommendations to Bar Council in relation to readers, new members, transferring members and disclosure matters. They also assist the Counsel Committee in relation to disclosures and investigations, and are a frequent port of call on my part in relation to matters arising under the Bar’s Constitution, rules and policies.

Expressions of interest are sought from members for the role of Assistant Honorary Secretary. Please email with your expression of interest by 26 November at 4pm.

Call for Nominations for the Victorian Bar Pro Bono Awards – open until 14 December 2018

The Victorian Bar is calling on the profession and organisations who have worked with barristers who have offered their services for free for a good cause to nominate them for the 2018 Victorian Bar Pro Bono Awards.

Please take the time to nominate a colleague whose Pro Bono contribution has been outstanding. There are four awards presented to barristers of differing years’ call and two open awards—the Public Interest Award and the Victorian Bar Pro Bono Trophy.  Details of the different award categories are available on the nomination form located on the Victorian Bar website

To nominate for the awards, click here

The nomination period is open until 14 December 2018.

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

Student Engagement Committee - Seeking support for VicBar SEC student shadowing program 3-7 Dec 18


Following successful VicBar Student Open Day held earlier this year the numbers of students requesting shadowing/work experience opportunities with barristers continues to grow.

Anecdotal feedback indicates that some barristers who would otherwise be happy to support us are hesitant to take students due to (1) the vagaries of practice at the Bar, and (2) concerns about their obligations under formal secondary school work experience arrangements.

Details of the program

In response the SEC has developed a pilot program during 3-7 Dec 18 that:

  1. is seeking barristers willing to take a secondary or tertiary student for a few days between 4-7 Dec (each student would spend one day with each barrister so the student would experience a variety of practice areas).
  2. has a dedicated SEC coordinator who will manage student/barrister allocations and, more importantly, step in if anyone’s matters fall through and they don’t have anything to keep their student occupied.
  3. commences on Monday 3 Dec with a central presentation by the SEC on life at the Bar, professional courtesies that need to be observed by students when working with Barristers, and an orientation to the legal precinct and Courts. Individual shadowing will occur Tues-Fri.

Can anyone interested please email with the information below:

Main area of practice / anticipated work in the week 3-7 Dec (if known)

  1. Any day that they cannot take a student (noting Monday is an orientation day run by the SEC)
  2. Any preference for a secondary or tertiary student (some work types may not be suitable for under 18s) - I am also conscious that WBA members may like to particularly support female students.

Please note: it doesn’t matter if the likely work is chambers-based. We are looking to showcase all aspects of barrister work not just court appearances. At this stage we have about 25 students so we are looking for about 30-40 barristers to share the load, so everyone takes a student for approximately 2 days in the week.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Gerard.

Family Law Social Drinks - All Welcome

Family Law Drinks - Friday 23 November

5:00pm onwards

Mr Mason
Shop 10/530 Collins Street
(enter via Little Collins Street)

Click here to view flyer

CPD Workshop: Written Advocacy for Barristers

The Victorian Bar CPD Committee

The Victorian Bar CPD Committee is offering a unique opportunity for barristers to participate in a 1 day program dedicated to written advocacy skills. The program has been specially developed with internationally recognised expert, Professor James Raymond, who has taught and written extensively on the subject. A focus of the program is on how to write effectively and persuasively for courts. The program will be interactive, and participants are encouraged to submit samples of their work in advance, for review and discussion on the day. This opportunity is open to all barristers, but only limited places are available. 

SPEAKER:  Professor James C. Raymond, Ph.D

27 February 2019, 8.30am - 5.00pm
Level 1, Owen Dixon Chambers East


$380.00 (Payable by 3 December 2018)

Click here to register

Vicbar Life
Formed on the Plains - Studio 11 Art Exhibition

Image: Fires in the Sky by Harley Manifold - Oil on Canvas 2018, 86 x 122 cm


Date: 8 October - 21 December 

The exhibition comprises a series of works by local artists, Dridan, McEachern and Manifold including sculpture. 

It’s a must see exhibition, particularly if you are someone connected to the Victorian plains, someone who enjoys art or someone who is just curious to see and experience a wonderful exhibition. Stay as long as you like. 

As always, the work is for sale, commission free, direct from the artists. Catalogue sheets and biographies are located on level 11 ODC East. The initiative is run on a voluntary basis. 

Click here to download the exhibition flyer. 




The Essoign Members Christmas Wine and Beverage Offer

The Essoign Members Christmas wine and beverage offer is available for a limited time only.

These prices will not be repeated.

Download order form or email

Cheers from the Essoign team.

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. 

Member Benefits Australia - November exclusive member offers

Don't miss out on these exclusive member deals for November with some great offers for the holiday season.

In-Chambers Ergonomic Assessment Offer

Occupational therapist/ergonomist Elenor Eshel is offering VicBar members special rates for the following services:

- Basic Individual Assessments
- Comprehensive Individual Assessments 
- Group Traning & Presentations
- Customised Programs 

Click here to read more or contact / 0412 225 895


Walking Together - Remember William Cooper

Why We Are Walking? Remembering William Cooper - Recommitting To His Legacy!

December 6 2018 - 6:30pm Opening Ceremony & Remembrance Walk

As members of the Victorian Jewish community, we walk today together with our friends and allies in remembrance and appreciation of William Cooper and to reciprocate the march that he led on the German Consulate in Melbourne on the 6th December 1938.

While world leadership watched in silent disbelief to the events of Kristallnacht, Uncle William Cooper, the Secretary of the Australian Aborigines’ League and an elder of the Yorta Yorta, led the only known private protest against the Nazi regime.

At a time when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people were themselves denied citizenship and other basic human rights, and where they were frequently subjected to appalling physical, social and economic hardships, he chose to stand for our people and our future.

Today, exactly 80 years later, we seek to honour William Cooper’s memory by making a similar stand on behalf of his people and their future. 

We do this by calling on our elected leaders to work together to ensure that our nation's First People receive recognition in the Constitution and a lasting voice in our national Parliament.

VGLS Report & Upcoming Events

On Monday, 12 November 2018, 27 members of the Victorian Golfing Lawyers Society competed in a 4BBB Stableford teams competition at Yarra Yarra Golf Club. It was a sunny and warm afternoon with a light breeze. The course was in magnificent condition. There was a countback for the winning pair, with Peter Mackey and Peter Cahill, solicitors, beating out Julian McDonald and Ashley Brygel, solicitors. Both of those pairs had 42 points. There were several pairs close behind on 41 and 40 points. The men’s longest drive was, amazingly, a tie, between Julian McDonald and Stephen Gregory, whilst Cathy Fitzgibbon took the honours for the women. John Taylor won the nearest the pin.


The next events on the golf calendar are a twilight 9 holes and BBQ at Royal Melbourne on 22 January 2019, and on the first Tuesday after Easter (23 April 2019) the annual Bar and Bench versus Solicitors competition will be held on the stunning and challenging new North course of Peninsula Kingswood Country Golf Club. An interstate trip to Adelaide to play the SA lawyers is in the pipeline for Autumn. Anyone interested in joining is invited to contact Caroline Paterson, Hon Secretary, - or Norman O’Bryan AM SC, President on

Practice & Profession News
Supreme Court of Victoria: eFiling in the Criminal Division

The Supreme Court of Victoria is taking the next step on its path towards a digital future. Following the successful transition to electronic filing for all matters in the Commercial Court, Common Law Division and Costs Court in July 2018, eFiling will be introduced to the Criminal Division on 29 January 2019. For more information please refer to the Court’s website.

Report released on offender-paid compensation in Victoria

The Sentencing Advisory Council has released a report examining whether restitution and compensation orders should become sentencing orders, and other ways to improve offender-paid compensation in Victoria

The report follows a request for advice from the Attorney-General, arising from a recommendation of the Victorian Law Reform Commission.

After identifying insurmountable problems, including serious risks to equality before the law, the Council recommends that restitution and compensation orders should remain orders made in addition to an offender’s sentence, and does not recommend that they become sentencing orders.

The Council has instead recommended a strengthened ‘hybrid’ model for victims’ compensation that incorporates elements of both criminal and civil law.

The Council also recommends a range of reforms to improve the system for victims’ financial reparation, including:
• improving the consistency and timeliness of information provided to victims on their compensation options
• measures to ensure consistent use of powers to restrain offenders’ assets, so that the assets can be used to pay restitution or compensation
• waiving fees (where possible) to assist victims of crime to enforce their orders independently
• consideration of state enforcement of orders for restitution and compensation through civil mechanisms
• consideration of the establishment of a specialist legal service for victims of crime.

Restitution and Compensation Orders: Report is available from the following link:

Victorian Law Foundation: 2018/2019 General Grants Announced

Victoria Law Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of this year's General Grants. The successful projects clearly help people identify and address their legal problems and aim to improve Victorians access to justice.

It was very difficult to choose from a raft of outstanding applications and we appreciate the effort in all of them.

Congratulations to the successful applicants! We wish them well in the delivery of their programs and look forward to hearing about the results.

Women's infringements and fines clinic

The Law and Advocacy Centre for Women – to run a clinic to help women navigate the requirements to have fines waived on grounds of special circumstances and family violence.

International student legal information project – Phase 2

Building on an existing project providing legal information to international students, Inner Melbourne Community Legal will produce a range of new resources to add to their suite.

Spotting civil legal issues: deadly videos and handbook

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service will produce a series of videos and a handbook to help Aboriginal people identify common civil legal issues, with information on how to contact the legal service for advice.

Building health justice for young people in the Central Highlands

Youthlaw is funded to extend their program which supports community workers in health services to better identify legal issues and refer young people to appropriate legal help.

Family Violence Project – Migrant and Refugee Communities

Refugee Legal will improve access to migration advice and legal assistance for women on visas experiencing family violence. Activities including the development of videos and community legal education aim to increase community awareness and referrals to the legal service.


Our grants are changing in 2019/20

A new structure for our grants program will be introduced in 2019/20 reflecting our focus on civil law and research. More information will be communicated soon.

Please contact Melanie Rygl, Grants Manager on (03) 9604 8100 or email if you have any questions.

Judicial College - Criminal Charge Book Updates

Jury directions for some cases involving negligently causing serious injury, juror behaviour, and witness support dogs feature in the Judicial College’s new updates to its Criminal Charge Book.

County Court User Survey – Monday 26 November

On Monday 26 November 2018, the County Court will once again conduct a court user survey.

Every person who enters the County Court in Melbourne on Monday 26 November 2018 (other than staff and people in custody) will be given an opportunity to provide feedback on their experience at the Court via a short survey.

Participation is encouraged from anyone from the Victorian Bar who will be present at the Court on November 26th. It is understood not everyone will have time to participate, but the Court would be grateful to those who can take a few moments to assist the Court to better understand the experience of being a court user.

Profession CPD & Events
La Trobe Law School/International Legal Studies Research Group Seminar

Topic: Deportation of Rohingya People & the International Criminal Court's Jurisdiction over Myanmar
Presenter: Professor Ridwanul Hoque
Date/Time: Monday 26 November 2018, 1-2pm
Venue: La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus, Social Sciences Building, Level 2, Room SS232 (Moot Court)

Registration and further information:

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.  

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               

MLS Events - Upcoming Conferences

International Legal Ethics Conference 2018

Legal Ethics in the Asian Century

Date: 6 – 8 December 2018
Venue: Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham St, Carlton

The eighth biennial ILEC takes place at a fascinating time in the evolution of legal ethics, as the disruptive innovation of legal services creates ongoing challenges and perhaps opportunities for ethics and professional regulation, both locally and trans-nationally. The continuing growth of Asia’s influence as an economic force, which has instigated the discourse of the ‘Asian Century’, arguably signals profound cultural, economic and legal transformations globally, and adds a further and so far under-developed, dimension to debates regarding the future(s) of legal ethics.



Global Legal Skills Conference

Date: 10 - 12 December 2018
Venue: Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham St, Carlton

The 2018 Global Legal Skills Conference (GLS-13) will provide an opportunity to share the best practices of international legal skills education.

Your experience will allow you to learn and share cutting-edge information on global legal education and to meet experts and new friends expected from Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Qatar, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries.

This event is co-hosted by Melbourne Law School, and the John Marshall Law School, Chicago (Illinois, USA)



2019 National Wellness for Law forum

Making Wellness Core Business

Presented by Melbourne Law School and Faculty of Law, Monash University

Date: 14 – 15 February 2019
Venue: Day 1 - Melbourne Law School, Day 2 - Faculty of Law, Monash University, Monash University Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

The Wellness for Law Forum 2019 is being jointly hosted by Melbourne Law School and Monash University, Faculty of Law. This is the ninth annual gathering of the national Wellness Network for Law and its supporters, from academia and the profession. The Forums provide the opportunity for scholarship and good practice to be shared in a collegiate and supportive environment. Click here to view flyer.


Australian Disputes Centre - Summer Mediation Training

Join the Australian Disputes Centre’s Mediation Training in January. Delivered by Australia’s leading mediation training faculty, ADC’s program has over 3 decades successfully helped lawyers integrate mediation into their professional work. For current mediators, ADC’s program includes two professional development days.

Starting on 22 Jan 2019

Mediation Training – 5 days

Refresher Training – 1 day, choose between 29 or 30 Nov 2019

Accreditation Day – 31 Jan 2019


Judges: Angry? Biased? Burned out?

The National Judicial College of Australia and the Australian National University will present their annual conference on 2nd & 3rd March, 2019 at the Australian National University campus in Canberra.

This conference brings together members of the Judiciary, academics, policy makers and experts in fields such as psychology to consider current issues and challenges in the Australian justice system. The program will examine the experience of emotion and bias in the court room, including the way in which judges engage emotionally with their work; the impact that this can have and what measures may be taken to alleviate these impacts.

Click here for more information and to register.

Legal Laneway Breakfast 2019 - Early bird registration now open

Wednesday 6 February 2019
8:00 am – 9:00 am 

Victoria Law Foundation's 16th Annual Legal Laneway Breakfast brings together Victoria's diverse legal sector to celebrate the start of the legal year.

It's your chance to rub shoulders with some of Victoria's most important legal minds, network with colleagues from across the legal sector and soak up the atmosphere in Melbourne's iconic Hardware Lane.

In addition to hearing from our distinguished guests you can

  • Enjoy delicious breakfast bites sourced from local cafes and restaurants
  • Catch up with colleagues from across the sector
  • Take part in the raffle to win some great prizes
  • Donate art supplies to a worthy program
  • Buy a coffee from one of the local cafes
  • Enjoy soulful music provided by Shane de Krester
Tour of the Supreme Court Library

Tuesday 27 November, 1:15pm-2:15pm

Take a tour and get to know the history, architecture and collection of the Supreme Court Library. This 60 minute tour is recommended for the legal profession, exploring all four levels of the Library and showcasing the range of current and historical resources that are available in the collection. Due to the instructional nature of the tour (identifying resources and explaining how and when to use them), participants are eligible to claim CPD points on completion of the tour.

All are welcome and entry is free. To register for this tour please email

LAWASIA Employment Law Forum 2019

DATE:  25 – 26 January, Denarau, Fiji

VENUE:  Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa


THEME: ‘Balancing Employment Law Rights & Obligations’



This 1 ½ day LAWASIA Employment Law Forum will offer a topical, practical and intensive program, providing lawyers in the region, particularly in Fiji and the South Pacific, a unique opportunity to expand their knowledge of employment law.

The forum will examine a range of topical national and cross-border issues of relevance to legal practitioners now and into the future. A line-up of speakers from the host jurisdiction of Fiji and the Asia Pacific will share information and expertise on subjects including:

  • Migrant labour issues: the rights of migrant workers and the obligations of employers;
  • Model clauses for employment agreements: exploring uniformity of employment terms in national and transnational employment
  • Employment law Implications of mergers and acquisitions;
  • Disciplinary investigations: the need to be both effective and fair;
  • Social media, privacy and employment: balancing rights where business information is involved.

Please visit the forum website to register and for more information on travel, accommodation and the full program.

AALA & Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Court Advocacy Series: Written Advocacy With The Hon. Tony Pagone QC

You are invited to the first instalment of Victorian AALA and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers’ court advocacy series. This event will feature The Hon. Tony Pagone QC sharing his knowledge on written advocacy. The Hon. Tony Pagone QC has written and presented on Written Advocacy and is a leader in the field. He was previously a Federal Court Judge and prior to that, he was Judge-in-charge of the Commercial Court at the Supreme Court. He was recently elected the President of the International Association of Judges. Come and learn from an eminent jurist who has practised in tax, commercial, administrative, constitutional, public and human rights law during his career at the Bar.

Wednesday 28 November 5.15pm
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Level 21 Boardrooms, 380 La Trobe Street Melbourne

For AALA members & Maurice Blackburn guests only.

RSVP to Jana Kolesidis


Careers & Opportunities
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.

External Junior Counsel Panel 2018 - 2020

The CDPP invites junior counsel to apply to be appointed to the External Junior Counsel Panel for up to two years: 2018-2020.

The application process is an opportunity for new counsel to join an existing four year Panel that was established in 2016 and will be in place until 2020.

The Panel approach allows the CDPP to boost the number of junior counsel briefed, improve gender equity in our briefing practices and create a quick and easy application process for counsel seeking to be briefed. Further, by having a Panel which is reviewed every four years, the CDPP can ensure that the advocates it briefs have up-to-date and relevant experience to undertake prosecution work for the CDPP.

Please find attached factsheet here.

Applications will open on 12 November 2018 and close on 9 December 2018, and must be submitted via our website—

Counsel currently on the Panel need not apply, however they may take this opportunity to update their details and work experience via our website —

For further information, please email

InBrief Submissions - please email to: 
Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 22nd November 2018