In Brief Issue #896

The Victorian Bar

Season's Greetings

The Victorian Bar wishes all members a safe, happy and relaxing festive season.

Victorian Bar office closure dates

The Victorian Bar office closure will be between close of business on Friday 21 December and 9am Monday 7 January.

For any urgent enquiries during this period, please email

Vicbar News & Events
Victorian Bar Member CPD Events

Upcoming CPD events:

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

Notification of draft third Professional Standards Scheme of the Victorian Bar

The Victorian Bar is proud of its long association with the Professional Standards Councils. The Bar’s current Professional Standards Scheme, which was approved by the Councils in 2014, will expire on 30 June 2019.

Earlier this year, the Victorian Bar applied to the Councils for approval of a third Scheme. If approved, the third Scheme will operate from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2024.  

The Bar’s past and current Professional Standards Schemes have protected consumers, by demanding high levels of professional standards by members of counsel. Continuing to operate under a third Scheme will bind the Victorian Bar to continuing to monitor, enforce and improve professional standards, including by continuous improvement of our risk management strategies and initiatives, thereby protecting consumers of the legal services offered by counsel by strengthening and expanding professionalism throughout the Victorian Bar.

I am pleased to advise members that the Councils have approved the third draft Victorian Bar Professional Standards Scheme for public notification. It will be published on the website of the Professional Standards Councils together with an accompanying public consultation document. The notification will also be published in The Australian on 14 DecemberThe third draft scheme and public consultation document can be viewed on our Professional Standards Scheme page or via the links below:

Public Consultation Document

Third Draft Scheme (1 July 2019 to 30 June 2024)

Members and the public are directed to forward any comments or submissions regarding the third draft Scheme to the Chief Executive Officer, Professional Standards Councils, by 11 January 2019.  The Professional Standards Councils are located at Level 2, St James Centre, 111 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000. The email address is and the telephone numbers are 1300 555 772 / (02) 8315 0800. The Professional Standards Councils have advised that comments and submissions received will be public, unless confidentiality is specifically requested.

I commend the third draft Scheme to members. Participation in the Professional Standards Scheme provides an assurance to our clients that the Victorian Bar and participating members are committed to the highest standards in the provision of competent and ethical services. 

Dr Matt Collins QC
President, Victorian Bar

Owen Dixon Chambers East entrance revitalisation

We are delighted to announce a new entrance experience is coming in the new year to Owen Dixon Chambers East – the original home of the bar.

Led by Peter Jopling AM QC, Chair of the Art & Collections Committee, in collaboration with Barristers’ Chambers Limited and Carr Design, the concept is complete with the revitalisation of a welcoming entrance and extension of the Art Gallery in one of our busiest and historical chambers.

After an extensive program of research, design, care and consideration the design has been complete with works commencing in the middle of January, 2019 and will include:-

  • Extension of the gallery and available hanging area with the removal of the central control room,
  • Relocation and a new modern design meeting and concierge area,
  • Modern way finding and signage,
  • A memorial wall to honour members that have served for our country.

A memorable unveiling is planned and we look forward to sharing more in further communications from BCL and the Victorian Bar, and included in, In Brief.  A visual concept board will be set up in the foyer in December.

The program of work will take approximately 6-8 weeks to complete from 14 January, 2019.  BCL will communicate directly with all tenants with regards to any planned disruptions (if any) during this time.

Peter Jopling AM QC & Barristers’ Chamber Limited

Opening of the Legal Year 2019

Monday 14 January 2019 in Geelong

Ecumenical Service and Ceremonial Sitting of the Supreme Court
Christ Church Anglican Church, 57 McKillop Street (corner Moorabool and McKillop Streets), Geelong at 8:30 am – procession assembles at 8:25 am; followed by the ceremonial sitting of the Supreme Court in the Law Courts at Geelong at 10 am; then morning tea at the Law Courts at the 10:30 am. Click here to view the flyer

Judges and Counsel robe (without wigs) and medals are worn.


Tuesday 29 January 2019 in Melbourne

Ecumenical Service
The Scots’ Church, corner Russell and Collins Streets, Melbourne, at 9 am – procession assembles at 8:45 am; followed by morning tea.                                      

Click here to RSVP by 21 January 2019

Judges and Counsel robe (without wigs) and medals are worn.

Red Mass
St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral at 9 am – procession assembles 8:45 am; followed by morning tea with Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Peter Elliott in the Cathedral Presbytery. Click here to view the flyer

RSVP 15 January 2019 to Lisa Edwards or 9602 5440

Judges and Counsel robe and medals are worn.

Eastern Orthodox Service
St Eustathios Greek Orthodox Church at 9 am – procession assembles 8:45 am; followed by morning tea with Their Graces Bishop Ezekiel and Bishop Iakovos. Click here to view the flyer

Judges and Counsel robe (without wigs) and medals are worn.

Synagogue Service
The East Melbourne Synagogue (The East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation), 488 Albert Street, East Melbourne at 9 am – no procession; followed by morning tea.

Judges and Counsel robe (without wigs) and medals are worn.

International Commission of Jurists Community Opening
Waldron Hall, County Court of Victoria at 9 am.

RSVP 21 January 2019 to Campbell Thomson

Robes are not worn.

Wednesday 6 February 2019 in Melbourne

Victoria Law Foundation Legal Laneway Breakfast
Corner Hardware Lane and Little Bourke St at 8 am.

RSVP 23 January 2019 (bookings essential)

Ethics Committee Bulletin No. 3 of 2018

Following a number of recent enquiries, the Ethics Committee reminds members of Rule 46 of the Uniform Conduct Rules, which provides:

“A barrister may not make a payment or gift to any person by reason of or in connection with the introduction of professional work by that person to the barrister.”

The rule is not limited to future work nor to a particular brief.

Gifts or payments made to solicitors or others who have introduced work to a barrister contravene the rule if they are given by reason of or in connection with the introduction of professional work.

It is the view of the Committee, that gifts or payments may be contrasted with, for example, a cup of coffee purchased for instructors or clients as a courtesy, or a lunch at the end of a trial to thank instructors for their work or to celebrate a victory, or gifts for friends unconnected with the provision of work to the barrister.

The Committee has no power to grant dispensations in relation to the operation of the Rule.

Counsel should bear the rule in mind when determining whether and in what circumstances they may in the future make gifts to instructors and others who provide or refer work to them.

If Counsel wish to seek clarification in relation to the operation of the rule to their individual circumstances they can contact the Committee at

Dated: 14 December 2018
R N Annesley QC
Chair Ethics Committee

BCL Annual Report 2018

Please find attached Barristers’ Chambers Limited’s Annual Report including the Chairman’s Report for financial year ending 2018.

To view, click here.

Vicbar Life
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 will re-open on Monday 21st January 2019.


myki Commuter Club Pricing 2019

The myki Commuter Club has updated its pricing for 2019. If you are looking to renew your myki please find the renewal form here.

If you would like to sign up find the details and registration form here.

The Law Library of Victoria Christmas and New Year closing

The Supreme Court Library will close at 5pm on Friday 21 December and will reopen on Wednesday 2 January at 9am. 

The Library will not be open on Monday 24 December.

There will be reduced opening hours during January; the Supreme Court Library will be open from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, 2 January - 25 January 2019. 

You can still access our catalogue, view latest judgments, legislation and more through the website.

Practice & Profession News
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.

Federal Circuit Court Practice Direction No 1 of 2019 – Judicial mediations in family law matters

The Chief Judge has approved a new national Practice Direction (copy attached) which applies to family law proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court.

This Practice Direction commences 1 January 2019.

The Practice Direction will be available on the Federal Circuit Court’s website:

Profession CPD & Events
MLS Events - Upcoming Conferences

International Legal Ethics Conference 2018

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
InBrief Submissions - please email to: 
Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 24th January 2019