In Brief Issue #918

Dr Matt Collins AM QC

Junior Bar Conference 2019

A full-day program for the Junior Bar Conference is underway in the Neil McPhee room today, with some excellent presentations canvassing advocacy fundamentals as well as important wellbeing sessions. A focus of the conference is how barristers can incorporate health and wellbeing into their lives by learning about resilience. There are also sessions on superannuation, technology and practice management.

For the first session of the day, I joined Victorian Legal Services Board CEO and Commissioner Fiona McLeay to reflect on the future of the profession. Among other matters, we discussed the work of the LSB+C in relation to wellbeing and sexual harassment in the profession.

About 100 barristers under 10 years’ call are attending the conference.

Special thanks to our primary sponsor LegalSuper for making the conference possible, and to sponsor Samsonite—two lucky attendees will win a $1,200 two-piece travel set and a check-in sized suitcase.


An honour or three

On Tuesday, I joined a small gathering of former Chairmen and Presidents of the Bar, colleagues and friends to celebrate the recognition of the Bar’s former Chairman Michael Shand AM QC and President Jim Peters AM QC, who with me were made members in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2019. It was also great to share the evening with Michael’s wife Claire Miller, Jim’s wife Sally Ninham and my partner Leonard Vary.

Bar Senior-Vice President Wendy Harris QC delivered, as always, a stylish toast.

Picture: Michael Shand AM QC, Jim Peters AM QC and Dr Matt Collins AM QC


New book about Australia’s most renowned jurist

Federation Press has announced the publication next month of a new book, ‘Sir Owen Dixon’s Legacy’, by John Eldridge and Timothy Pilkington.

Sir Owen signed the Victorian Bar Roll in 1910 and was appointed silk in 1922. He was Chairman of the Victorian Bar from 1927 until he was appointed to the High Court at the age of 42 in 1929.

The new book aims to contribute to the understanding of Sir Owen’s unrivalled body of jurisprudence. More information about the new book is available here.


Building and Construction Practitioners – call for EoIs

EoIs are sought from members interested in assisting the County Court of Victoria in forming a Building Cases List Users’ Group.

His Honour Judge Woodward, who has been appointed Chair of the list, has requested that the Bar nominate up to four barristers with experience in building and construction disputes (including in the County Court) to represent the Bar at an initial meeting.

Please forward your expression of interest to Denise Bennett at The closing date for EoIs is Thursday 27 June 2019 at 5pm.


A busy week

Behind the scenes this week, I attended meetings of the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery Board and the interim Board of the Law Library of Victoria, and chaired meetings of the Bar Council and the Bar Council Executive.

I also met with Pitcher Partners to discuss the Law Library of Victoria and the Indigenous Justice Committee to review an exciting expansion of its internship program. I attended all three meetings of the Preliminary Evaluation Committee (PEC) to review applications for silk.

Vicbar News & Events
Bar subscriptions and Bar charities

Members should have received their annual Bar Subscription packs a few weeks ago. Subscription fees are due by 1 July 2019. Each pack includes letters respectfully asking for end-of-financial year donations to the three crucial Bar charities that rely on your generosity in order to perform their important work.

Victorian Bar Foundation – letter and donation form

Barristers’ Benevolent Foundation – letter and donation form

The Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery – letter and donation form

Rental increases

Chamber & Car Park Rental Increase – Effective 1 July 2019

The Board of Barristers' Chambers Limited has decided to increase chamber and car park rents by 3.75% from 1 July 2019.

Rents are reviewed annually after considering the costs of continuing to provide services across all our buildings and the need to fund our current and future projects.

Ninian Stephen Chambers Rental Increase – Effective 1 May 2019

Rent for Ninian Stephen Chambers will increase by 4.25% from 1 May 2019, reflecting the annual rental increase from the building’s owner under the lease.
The increase for May and June will be reflected in your June invoice.

BCL’s purpose is to provide cost-effective accommodation and technology services to the Bar. Throughout FY19 we have significantly reduced our costs,  improved our responsiveness and increased the reliability of our technology services. There is still a significant amount of work to be completed, including developing a longer term property strategy to cater for the future needs of the Bar and ensure its continued financial strength.

Please contact BCL CEO Paul Clark on 9225 7962 or if you require any additional information.

John Karkar QC
Barristers’ Chambers Limited

Federal Court User Groups EOIs - CLOSES 5PM TODAY

The Federal Court of Australia wishes to engage with the legal profession on an ongoing and structured basis by establishing User Groups for the Commercial & Corporations National Practice Areas (NPAs), in order to discuss significant developments in the law as well as practice issues which may arise in respect of the Court’s practice and procedure at a state and national level.

The Court proposes to commence with a:

  • general user group for the Commercial and Corporations NPA;
  • a user group for insolvency (bankruptcy and corporate insolvency); and
  • a Victorian state user group.

The user groups will be convened by the National Coordinating Judges for the relevant NPAs.

The Hon Justice Middleton has written to request the Bar nominate 20 practitioners for those committees. Justice Middleton’s letter contains further information.

The Bar’s protocol for nomination and appointment of members to external bodies can be found here. Your Expression of Interest should include a copy of your CV and identify any relevant areas of experience or expertise. 

Please forward your expression of interest to Denise Bennett at The closing date for EoIs is Friday 21 June 2019 at 5pm.

Victorian Bar Member CPD Events

Upcoming CPD events:

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

Vicbar Life
RACV Club special offer for VicBar members – Introductory offer ends 30 June

Claim your RACV Club benefits today

The Victorian Bar has secured RACV Club benefits for its members in Melbourne City and Healesville.

A special introductory offer for Vic Bar members wanting to join the RACV Club ends on 30 June, 2019. If you join before 30 June 2019, the RACV will waive its joining fee, so the annual membership fee of $910 will be reduced to $520.  Membership includes exclusive access to the RACV City Club in Melbourne’s CBD, the Healesville Country Club in the Yarra Valley, and over 160 reciprocal clubs globally.

By joining RACV Club, you gain access to a range of social, leisure and business facilities and services. You will receive a 50% discount on accommodation at RACV Resorts, as well as discounted dining and day spa packages through the club rewards program. Members also receive unlimited golf with their stay at the Healesville Country Club, which boasts one of the best golf courses in Australia.

Other exclusive offerings for RACV Club members includes access to the fully equipped business centre and discounted parking rates at the Melbourne CBD venue. An optional subscription to the RACV Club fitness facilities in Bourke Street (valued at $595) is also available to members.

Studio 11 Art Exhibition

Ship of Fools, stoneware, by Alexandra Copeland 36cm x 36cm

Studio 11, located on level 11 Owen Dixon Chambers East, is delighted to share its current exhibition with you, Eclectic Themes, featuring original art work and ceramics by Alexandra Copeland as well as jewellery, by Jenny Brennan. You are welcome to view the exhibition during business hours. As you may know, the Studio 11 initiative started in 2015 and is run on voluntary basis. The idea is to vary and enliven the work space and offer all members of the Victorian Bar community an opportunity to view and enjoy original art in a convenient setting, as part of the everyday. As usual, all works are for sale. There is no commission payable. Work sheets are available on level 11 Owen Dixon Chambers East.  

The Essoign – New Wine Offer

We have an EOFY Wine offer. Please find the attached order form for details on the exquisite boutique wines.

Download order form and email Antonio at

Don’t miss out.

Melbourne Lawyers' Orchestra and Habeas Chorus concert - March of the Women

The Melbourne Lawyers' Orchestra and Habeas Chorus present March of the Women, a concert celebrating diversity through the music of female composers. The concert features works from the 1800's through to the modern era by women of diverse cultural backgrounds. Though this concert, we draw a connection with the ongoing work being done to promote diversity in the legal industry. Saturday 6 July 2019, 7pm, Werner Brodbeck Hall (Scots' Church), 156 Collins St. Tickets available now at

Member Benefits Australia - June exclusive member offers
Practice & Profession News
VLRC- Contempt of Court - Release of Consultation Paper

I am pleased to advise that the Commission's consultation paper on contempt of court was published online yesterday on the Commission's website (link below) together with a summary document.

The closing date for written submissions is 28 June 2019.

For ease of reference, click here for a copy of the consultation paper.

We look forward to discussing the reference further with you at our meeting on 18 July 2019.

Please note that a meeting agenda and papers will be circulated closer to the meeting date.

In the interim, should you have any queries, please do not hesitate in contacting either myself or Anna Beesley, the reference team leader.

Kind regards

Bruce Gardner PSM
Acting Chair

Victorian Law Reform Commission
Executive Assistant:
Tel:  +61 3 8608 7800
Fax: +61 3 8608 7888
Level 3 / 333 Queen St

Annual federal courts and tribunals fee increases from 1 July 2019

The fees payable in the federal courts and tribunals will increase from 1 July 2019 to reflect changes to the consumer price index over the past financial year. This is an automatic increase provided by the relevant fees regulations.

A copy of a notice published in the Government Notices Gazette on 4 June 2019 setting out the new fees payable can be found at:

The action officer for this matter is Jessica Campbell who may be contacted on (02) 6141 3586.

Profession CPD & Events
How will your arbitration agreement be interpreted? The High Court decides - 25 June 2019

The Resolution Institute, in conjunction with King & Wood Mallesons, will be holding a lunchtime seminar on Tuesday 25 June at King & Wood Mallesons’ offices, Level 50 Bourke Place, 600 Bourke Street. Presented by Albert Monichino QC and Monique Carroll, the session will analyse the High Court decision in Rinehart v Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd [2019] HCA 13. The presenters will discuss the implications of this decision for the interpretation of arbitration agreements in Australia and arbitration more broadly. For further information and to register, visit

Accelerated Route Toward Fellowship, 29 – 30 June, Sydney

Registrations are now open for the 2019 CIArb Accelerated Route Towards Fellowship (ARF) course which will be held from 29 – 30 June 2019 in Sydney.

Providing a fast-track route towards Fellowship through the CIArb International  Arbitration Pathway,  the Accelerated Route Towards Fellowship has been designed for busy, legally qualified professionals who have substantial unassessed knowledge and experience of international arbitration. The aim of the program is to assess whether the candidate has the knowledge required to apply the principles and procedure of international arbitration using arbitration legislation based on the UNCITRAL Model Law and Arbitration Rules and is capable of writing an reasoned and enforceable International Arbitration Award. Candidates must evaluate their personal suitability to undertake the program, appreciating that the assessments are intensive and that they will be assessed against standard benchmarks. 

Click here for more information and to register.

Inaugural John Emerson AM Oration delivered by Robert Fitzgerald AM - Legal Practice Section - Law Council of Australia

The Charities and Not for Profits Committee of the Legal Practice Section will host the inaugural John Emerson AM Oration on 7 August 2019.

The oration will be delivered by Robert Fitzgerald AM in relation to ‘Lawyers and their influence under the public spotlight’  - Will  Royal Commissions  and community expectations change legal practice?

You are invited to register by using the this link

For any inquiries please do not hesitate to contact Travis Kotzur.

Cyngler Consulting August Courses

Conflict Management Courses

  • Are you wanting to extend and enlarge your mediation skills?
  • Do you need mediation accreditation or reaccreditation?

We have two exciting opportunities coming up in August, the first is our Mediation Masterclass followed by our 6 day National Mediator Accreditation workshop. Don't forget to grab early bird discount offers!

August 12, 13 and 14
Mediation Master Class - 3 Days

August 19-21 and 26-28
National Mediator Accreditation - 6 Days

Visit our website for more information and more course dates.

Sentencing Theory & Practice Masterclass

Chair of the Victorian and Tasmanian Sentencing Advisory Council

19 & 20 September 9:30am to 5pm

Sir Zelman Cowen Centre
Level 2, 295 Queen Street, Melbourne


Click here to view the flyer for more information

IBA Annual Conference Seoul 2019

The IBA's Annual Conference 2019 is taking place in Seoul, South Korea between the dates of 22-27 September 2019.

More information on the Conference is available on the IBA website and in the live programme.

The AIJA’s conference on Youth Justice, November 8-9, Melbourne

What are the latest and most pressing problems in the highly complex area of youth justice? And how can the various courts and tribunals of Australia’s juvenile justice system work together to provide a more effective and responsive youth justice system for all young people, including Indigenous, African and Pacific Islander youth?

Judicial officers, lawyers, police, medical experts, psychologists and social scientists from around Australia will be convening to discuss these issues at the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration’s conference on youth justice, to be held on November 8-9 at Melbourne’s Rendezvous Hotel.

Join them in panel sessions that will focus on identifying the most urgent issues at hand in youth justice and on finding practical solutions for them. Conference sessions will also cover the complex medical and psychological issues that are relevant in a jurisdiction that, at its best, can help divert the flow of damaged, marginalised and brutalised children away from youth detention and the adult prison system and back into family life.

A must for any professional working in this area, the conference will begin with keynotes  from the NT’s Judge Sue Oliver and them  from  Judge Amanda  Chambers, President of the Children’s  Court  of Victoria, together with Judge Peter Johnstone, President of the Children’s Court of NSW .

Read the program at

And register now at

Careers & Opportunities
Banking and Financial Services Law Association - Annual Scholarship and Research Essay Prize



The Banking and Financial Services Law Association is the leading professional organisation for banking and financial services law in Australia and New Zealand. The BFSLA’s objects include the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge of banking and financial services law and practice in Australia and New Zealand, including by encouraging research.

To that end, each year the BFSLA invites citizens and permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand to submit research essays on important matters in banking and financial services law and/or practice (including insolvency) that are currently topical in Australia or New Zealand, in competition for a prize pool.

The prize pool in 2019 is A$12,000.

Entries must be submitted by 5pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on Friday, 5 July 2019. The winner or winners, if any, will be announced at or around the BFSLA’s annual conference, which this year will be held from Thursday, 29 August 2019 to Saturday, 31 August 2019 at the Sheraton Mirage resort on the Gold Coast.

To be eligible, entries need to display a high degree of legal scholarship and original thinking, and to be of a standard, as regards both content and presentation, that is suitable for publication in a refereed law journal.

For a full list of conditions, more information about the prize and an explanation of how to enter, go to the Association’s website,

If you have any other questions about the prize, please email Julia Clancy at

Australian Academy of Law: Annual Essay Prize 2019

The Australian Academy of Law is pleased to announce the offering of its Annual Essay Prize for 2019.

The Prize is open to anyone, wherever resident, who is studying or has studied legal subjects at a tertiary level, or who is working or has worked in a law based occupation. There is no limit by reference to the age or seniority or experience of, or position held by, a person who may submit an entry. Accordingly, judicial officers, legal practitioners, legal academics and law students are all eligible to submit an essay.

The amount of the Prize is $10,000.

The essay topic for the Prize in 2019 is as follows:

How do private law and public law interact in Australia?  What are, and what should be, the available remedies (public or private or both) where they interact?

The deadline for the submission of an essay is 31 August 2019. This time limit is strictly observed, as the Rules Governing the Annual Essay Prize make clear.

Those Rules can be accessed on the Academy’s website:

Refer to the Academy’s website also for further information about the actual submission of an entry as well as information on previous winners.

Appointments to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

The Attorney-General seeks expressions of interest for appointment as full-time or sessional members of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), for the Planning and Environment, Building and Property, Guardianship, Human Rights, and Review and Regulation Lists.

VCAT members are appointed for a period of seven years by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Attorney-General. Qualifications and conditions of employment are set out in Part 2 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998.

The Victorian Government is committed to ensuring that Victoria’s courts and tribunals reflect the rich diversity of the Victorian community. Applications are welcome from people of all ages, genders and sexual orientations, people with a disability (adjustments to the recruitment process will be provided upon request), Aboriginal Australians and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Appointment is subject to probity checks, including a National Police Check.

To apply, please go to the Victorian Government’s ‘Get on Board’ website. Expressions of interest must be received no later than midnight on 30 June 2019.

Please note: Applicants who submitted an expression of interest in appointment as a VCAT member before 1 January 2019 must resubmit an application if they wish to be considered for appointment.

InBrief Submissions - please email to: 
Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 27th June 2019