In Brief Issue #894


Royal Commission into the Management of Informants

On Monday, the Victorian Government announced a Royal Commission into the Management of Informants, after the High Court and the Victorian Court of Appeal lifted certain suppression orders in the matters of AB v CD and EF v CD.

As a result of the lifting of the suppression orders, it has been revealed that, during Melbourne’s gangland wars, a member of the Victorian Bar (EF) became a police informer, while acting as counsel in various criminal proceedings. In its reasons for judgment, the High Court described EF’s breaches of duties to her clients and the court as “fundamental and appalling”, and condemned Victoria for having sanctioned “atrocious breaches of the sworn duty of every police officer to discharge all duties imposed on them faithfully and according to law without favour or affection, malice or ill will.”

The Victorian Bar welcomes the government’s decision to call a Royal Commission. It is important for the maintenance of confidence in the administration of justice that the community understand how EF became a police informer, and how information provided by her was used by Victoria Police.

At the same time, it is also important that the public be reassured that Victoria’s 2,100 practising barristers treat their paramount duty to the administration of justice, and their duties to the courts, their clients and colleagues with the utmost seriousness. EF’s conduct was unprecedented. It does not reflect in any way upon the integrity of Victoria’s barristers generally, who have over the course our 135-year history earned a reputation for upholding the highest ethical standards in furtherance of the administration of justice and the interests of our clients.

I have actively sought to make those points to the public, via the media, in the course of the week, including in an opinion piece in the Herald Sun on Tuesday.

Many members have contacted me and the Bar office about this matter in recent days. I remind members and their families who may be distressed by this week’s events that the Bar funds free, independent, confidential counselling from trained consultants who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Information is available here.

Farewell and thanks to the Law Library Chair: Justice Macaulay

Justice Cameron Macaulay is stepping down after five years as the inaugural Chair of the Law Library of Victoria Committee and six years as Chair of the Supreme Court Library Committee.

On behalf of the Bar, I extend my thanks and gratitude to Macaulay J for his tireless efforts. He has brought to life the vision of a modern, dynamic and relevant library service for all practitioners and judges in Victoria. Earlier this year, the Bar’s Richard Griffith Library became a part of the Law Library of Victoria. That has resulted in a dramatic improvement in the quality of the resources available to all members of the Victorian Bar, including in particular access to the same online services that are available to the judiciary on a 24/7 basis from level 1 of Owen Dixon Chambers East.

The Library’s future is secure with Justice Greg Garde AO RFD taking over as Chair of both committees. Supported by a grant from the Legal Services Board, the Library’s immediate priority is to introduce exclusive content to members via a login section of its website. Watch for news of this development early in the new year.

The Victorian Bar will be represented on the Supreme Court Library Committee and Law Library of Victoria Committee in 2019 by Ian Upjohn CSC QC and Dr Paul Vout. We wish them well in their roles, and look forward to updates from them throughout the year.

A busy week

Behind the scenes this week, I commenced a series of one-on-one meetings with members of Bar Council to discuss the year ahead. I also met with representatives of Victoria Legal Aid. 

Throughout the week, members of the executive and I consulted with committee chairs to discuss the composition of Bar Committees next year.  Members who have expressed interest in Bar Committees will be contacted in the days following next week’s final Bar Council meeting for the year.

The Christmas season is well and truly underway. Last night I attended a Women Barristers’ Association event to celebrate the ‘Leaps and Bounds’ that women are making in the profession.  I have enjoyed a drink or two during the week with some of our new silks and am looking forward to more of the same next week. Tonight, I look forward to relaxing with members at the Vicbar Christmas drinks function in the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery. In a difficult week for all members, these are welcome opportunities to reflect and enjoy each other’s company.


On Wednesday 12 December, the profession will welcome Magistrates Alanna Duffy and Timothy Hoare in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court at 9.15am.

Thank you to Wendy Harris QC for representing the Bar at the welcome for Magistrate Randall Kune yesterday.  Wendy’s speech can be read here

Vicbar News & Events
The Victorian Bar End of Year Christmas Drinks – Friday 7 December

The Victorian Bar Council is delighted to invite members of the Bar and Bench to the Victorian Bar End of Year Christmas Drinks on Friday 7 December 2018 in the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery from 5pm.

Click here to register

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.

CPD Seminar: Jurisdictional Error After SZVFW, TTY167, Hossain and Shrestha

The Victorian Bar and The Australian Association of Constitutional Law (AACL)

In August, the High Court delivered three significant judgments dealing with judicial review.  The judgments concern the relationship between appellate review and legal unreasonableness (Minister v SZVFW; and, in the last week, TTY167) and the extent to which an error must be material in order to be “jurisdictional” (Hossain and Shrestha).  They are likely to have significant implications for Australian public law, both in theory and in practice.

This will also be open to non-Bar members of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law (AACL)

CHAIR:         Kristen Walker QC
SPEAKERS:  Matthew Albert and Christoper Tran, Victorian Bar

12 December 2018, 5.15pm - 6.15pm
Neil McPhee Room, Level 1, Owen Dixon Chambers East

This Seminar is a component of the Victorian Bar CPD Program and will carry 1 CPD point.

Click here to register

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

Victorian Bar Member CPD Events
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 14 December 2018)

Click here to register

Vicbar Life
Peter Kennedy exhibition opens 5pm Friday 7 December at Essoign Club

An exhibition of watercolours by Peter Kennedy will open at 5pm Friday 7 December in the Essoign Club.

Tate Britain recently bought a major work by Kennedy. His art is held in all major public collections in Australia.

These watercolours from the 1990s have not previously been exhibited.

They are variously a requiem for the end of history and landscapes depicting Merimbula and the Glasshouse Mountains.

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. 




Essoign Members Christmas Party - Wednesday 12 December

Wednesday 12th of December from 5.15pm at the Essoign Club.

Join us for drinks and canapes.

Click here to view 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.

La Carta Wines - 20% off


We are a small, independent wine import company that services the restaurant trade in Melbourne. This December La Carta Wine would like to invite the Victorian Bar to indulge in 20% OFF the entire portfolio to celebrate our first year in business and your end to the year. Click here to view December's wine portfolio.

Explore Italy’s unknown Alpine Nebbiolo wines, sip Sicilian white or simply stock the house with fresh and fruity entry-level excellence.

Email your selection and detailed delivery details to

* Maximum of 24 bottles per person, per day and no split cases (case sizes are noted on the portfolio)

* Credit card or bank transfer payment options

Member Benefits Australia - December exclusive member offers

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

The Essoign – Christmas & New Year Closure 2018/2019

The Essoign’s final trading day for 2018 will be Wednesday the 19th of December 2018

Trading as per usual from:

Monday 21st January 2019

LexisNexis® End of Year Book Sale, 2 day event Monday 10 December – Tuesday 11 December

Celebrate the year’s end with barrister-exclusive offers of 20% off savings on a wide variety of books that you know and trust.

Meet LexisNexis Relationship Manager Craig Rodrigues from 9am – 5pm each day in the Peter O'Callaghan QC Gallery, Owen Dixon Chambers to view and order brand new releases and other books at great prices.

Pre-orders are welcome! Visit to download and complete the order form in advance.

Contact Craig Rodrigues for more information:, ph: 0412 122 668.

Practice & Profession News
Judicial College of Victoria - 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.

High Court of Australia sitting times

Having recently trialled an earlier starting time of 10:00am for Full Court sittings the Justices of the High Court have adopted the earlier starting time as a permanent practice.

Other than on the last day of the sitting week, for all Full Court sittings the Court will from 10:00am and will adjourn at 11:15am, reconvening at 11:30am.

For the last sitting day of each week (Friday in week one and Thursday in week two) the sittings will commence at 9:45am, with a break at 11:00am, reconvening at 11:15am.

New Magistrates’ Court of Victoria website

The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria (MCV) new website will go live in December 2018. The website has been redeveloped in response to the Access to Justice Review.

MCV’s website URL is also changing to All current bookmarks and links from will be redirected to the new website.  You are encouraged to update any previous links and bookmarks to specific pages from Thursday morning.

Take a sneak peek at the MCV website before launch by visiting

Information for legal practitioners

  1. Scheduled audio visual link times can be found under the ‘Find a court date’ section. Practitioners must select the scheduled audio visual link case type to find a listing. Test the find a court date section today.
  2. A ‘for lawyers’ section has been created for legal practitioners. Links to EFAS, information about EDI and much more can be found on this page.   
Victorian Legal Services Board Grants Program: 2019 funding round open

The Victorian Legal Services Board has launched its 2019 Grants Program funding round.

The Board’s priority theme for 2019 will be 'Designing Justice Differently: Using Human-Centred Design and Technology'. The theme aims to stimulate new ways of thinking to achieve change in some of the seemingly intractable legal and social problems that face society and the legal sector.

‘Human-centred design’ is a framework that helps develop solutions to problems by approaching them from the point of view of those experiencing the problems. It provides opportunities for service and system reforms that remove the barriers which vulnerable people experience.

The Board is looking to fund human-centred design and/or technological projects that interrupt, streamline or change legal services and the justice system to improve access to justice.

For more information visit the Board's Grants page.

Judicial College of Victoria - 2017 County Court summaries now available

The Judicial College has published County Court sentencing summaries for the year 2017.

They provide a short summary of the offending and offender details, categorised by type of offence and arranged by severity of sentence.

The sentencing summaries are part of the Victorian Sentencing Manual. The manual also includes Victorian Court of Appeal sentencing summaries, which are updated every fortnight.

Explanatory Statement - High Court Amendment (Fees) Rules 2018

These Amendment Rules of Court, signed by the Justices of the High Court of Australia on 3 December 2018, are made by the Justices under the Judiciary Act 1903, the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, the Nauru (High Court Appeals) Act 1976 and the High Court of Australia Act 1979.

Schedule 2 of the High Court Rules 2004 specifies the amount which solicitors, who are entitled to practise in the High Court, may charge and be allowed on taxation of costs by the Taxing Officer of the Court in respect of proceedings in the Court. The amounts in the Schedule were last varied by the High Court Amendment (Fees) Rules 2017 F2017L01459 made on 6 November 2017, and which came into operation on 1 January 2018.

The Joint Costs Advisory Committee (JCAC) was established in 2007 to review annually and recommend variations in the quantum of costs contained in the Rules made by the High Court of Australia, the Federal Court of Australia, the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. It comprises representatives of those courts. In conducting its reviews, the JCAC applies a formula which has regard to movements in wages and salaries and other costs of solicitors’ practices.

In its 2018 annual review, the JCAC wrote to the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, the Law Council of Australia, the National Association of Community Legal Centres and National Legal Aid inviting them and their respective constituent bodies or State and Territory counterparts to make submissions to the review. A notice of the review was also placed on the website of each court. Following its annual review, the JCAC provided a report in September 2018 to the High Court of Australia, the Federal Court of Australia, the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia recommending an increase of 2.1% to the solicitors’ costs provided for in the Rules of each Court. Issues raised in consultations were addressed in the report.

The Court has agreed to the recommendation of the Committee for an increase of 2.1% to the solicitors’ costs as set out in Schedule 2 of the High Court Rules 2004, which is to come into operation on 1 January 2019 and will apply in respect of all work done and services performed by solicitors after 31 December 2018.

Section 9 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 provides that Rules of Court made for the High Court of Australia are not legislative instruments for the purposes of that Act. The Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 does not apply to any such Rules of Court and no statement of compatibility for the purposes of that latter Act is included in the Explanatory Statement.

Profession CPD & Events
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


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.

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
14th Annual Australian College of Strata Lawyers Strata Law Conference

Australian College of Strata Lawyers –

2019 Conference Program and Registration

Gain both valuable information and inspiration through 22 content rich sessions by attending the 2019 Strata Law conference in Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday 27 February – Friday 1 March 2019

Early Bird Registration is on offer.  See attached for program and registration details


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.

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               

SAVE THE DATE: 2020 HAL International Legal Conference, Greece

The Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association (HAL) is delighted to be hosting a second International Legal Conference in Rhodes, Greece from 5-10 July 2020. Please save the date for what promises to be a memorable conference.

Registrations will open in May 2019 for the conference. Further details will be posted on the HAL website in February 2019.

Careers & Opportunities
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, 13th December 2018