I hope that as many members as possible are managing to get some time off during the courts’ winter recess over the next couple of weeks. For those who are taking a break, I wish you all a restful time with friends and family. By the time you read this, I will have commenced a few weeks’ leave, to be interrupted by the ABA Conference in Singapore the week after next. For those of you who are not taking a break, you have my sympathy and respect, please hold the fort.
Cliff Pannam QC retires
On behalf of the Bar, I wish Cliff Pannam QC a long and happy retirement, following 52 years of practice at the Victorian Bar. Cliff is renowned for, among other matters, being fair and generous, with a dedication to camaraderie at the Bar. In the 2014 Summer edition of Bar News, the Hon Julie Dodds-Streeton referred to him as an outstanding advocate, with ‘superb intellectual qualities and unequalled legal scholarship, who had the intellectual self-confidence to abandon his lesser points’. George Golvan AM QC described him in the same article as ‘an outstanding barrister who has enriched the law with his brilliant advocacy’, sentiments widely shared at the Bar. Happy retirement, Cliff.
Supreme Court corridor closure
As of Monday 8 July, the corridor between the Supreme Court’s William Street entrance through to the rotunda near the Banco courtroom, will be closed permanently. The space will be restricted to members of the Supreme Court. The Banco courtroom, and courtrooms 2 to 7, will continue to be accessible from the William Street entrance, by walking straight past the information desk and through the doors toward the Law Library, turning left before the library and continuing on towards the courtrooms under the veranda. Access via the Lonsdale Street entrance remains unchanged. The Court will have signs directing people along the new route.
“Trans-Tasman Perspectives” Conference
The Australian Bar Association and the New Zealand Bar Association will co-host the “Trans-Tasman Perspectives” conference in Queenstown, New Zealand, on 23 and 24 August 2019.
The program features the Rt Hon Chief Justice Dame Helen Winkelmann as the keynote speaker on the rule of law. The conference organisers have announced a new session on The Reasoned Negotiation of Risk: Balancing National Security and Civil Liberties in Western Democracies, to be presented by Dr Anne Aly MP, who is the founder of People Against Violent Extremism and a professor at Curtin University and Edith Cowan University. More details including registration, accommodation and travel options in the notice below.
A busy week
I sprinted to the finish line before starting leave on Wednesday. The Preliminary Evaluation Committee met twice to finalise our recommendations to the Chief Justice for silk applications in 2019. The Bar’s CEO and I met with the Legal Services Commissioner and staff to discuss our delegated functions, and I chaired meetings of the media law section of CommBar and the Bar Council’s diversity & inclusion working group. Results of the entrance exam for the Bar readers’ course were also finalised.