In Brief Issue #924

Dr Matt Collins AM QC

World premiere – Anthem

At this year’s Melbourne International Arts Festival in October, the Barristers Consortium – a group of members of the Victorian Bar who believe that the arts can transform public discourse and society – will be proud to present the world premiere of Anthem, a new theatrical work billed as “a funny and ferocious portrait of a country unable to reconcile its past, uncertain of its future and political vision”. 

Anthem weaves together four stories by four writers – Andrew Bovell, Patricia Cornelius, Melissa Reeves and Christos Tsiolkas, reunited with composer Irine Vela, who worked together on the landmark Who’s Afraid of the Working Class? in 1998, 21 years ago. 

The work is all but certain to enter the canon of great Australian plays, and would not have been possible without the generous support of members of our Bar.

The play runs from Tuesday 1 October to Sunday 6 October, with a post-show Q&A on Friday 4 October. Tickets will sell fast, and this is not to be missed. Information and tickets are available on the Festival website here.


PNG and Solomon Islands training

Another good news story. Thank you to the International Advocacy Training Committee and both the PNG Teaching and Solomon Islands Teaching Teams, led by Guy Gilbert SC and Trevor Wallwork, and assisted by Julie Buxton, for voluntarily taking time out from their busy practices to continue the Bar’s long tradition of partnering with our Pacific Rim neighbours for advocacy training. Their work is valuable and, as you can see, very much appreciated. This year marks the 19th consecutive PNG advocacy course!  I understand that two students from Papua New Guinea will be participating in our next Readers’ Course, so I look forward to welcoming them to the Victorian Bar in a month or so.


Essoign Survey

In June we invited members to complete a survey about the operations and services of the Essoign Club to help ensure that the Club is meeting the needs of its members. The survey was conducted with the assistance of Adept Research and was completed by 417 barristers, of whom 312 were Essoign Club members and 105 were non-members. The high participation rate shows that members are passionate about their Club.

The survey results have been shared with the Essoign Club Committee and Bar Council.  They indicate both strengths and weaknesses and, most importantly, areas in which changes can be made to make the Club more attractive to all members of the Victorian Bar. Both the Bar Council and the Essoign Club Committee are committed to the Club’s ongoing success, and I look forward to reporting on the implementation of changes arising out of the survey findings in the weeks and months ahead.


Reporting Update on the Law Council’s Equitable Briefing Policy

For members who have adopted the Law Council of Australia’s Equitable Briefing Policy, I remind you to submit your annual report for the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 to the Law Council of Australia. Reports are due by 30 September. Victorian barristers account for 61.4% of all practising counsel Australia-wide to have adopted the policy – a tangible sign of our members’ commitment to equality of opportunity at the Bar. Data from adoptees of the policy is extremely valuable in understanding the progress that has been made, how much further work remains to be done, and the causes of continuing inequality based on gender.

I urge all members, of all levels of seniority, who are yet to adopt the policy to do so now. The policy, which has been endorsed by the Bar Council, aims to achieve a nationally consistent approach towards bringing about cultural and attitudinal change within the legal profession with respect to gender briefing practices. The policy is available for adoption by individual barristers by completing the form available on the Law Council of Australia’s website. Once the policy has been adopted, the Bar has developed a simple worksheet to facilitate the collection and reporting of data required by the policy.


John Emerson Oration – Wed 7 August

A reminder that the Law Council of Australia’s Not for Profit Legal Practice and Charities Committee is hosting the inaugural John Emerson AM Oration, which will be given by Robert Fitzgerald AM and chaired by Jennifer Batrouney QC on the subject “Will Royal Commissions and community expectations change legal practice?”, next Wednesday 7 August, 5-6pm in Court 1 of the Federal Court.  More details in the notice below. 


Jesting Pilate And Other Papers and Addresses by The Rt Hon Sir Owen Dixon

While I was away over the winter break, I was sorry to miss the launch of the third edition of Jesting Pilate And Other Papers and Addresses by The Rt Hon Sir Owen Dixon.  Edited by the Hon Susan Crennan AC QC and Professor The Hon William Gummow AC, this new and expanded edition includes fresh material and context, as well as papers by the editors, in this seminal work concerning one of Australia’s greatest ever jurists and member and former Chairman of our Bar.  Click here for more information and to read the foreword by the Hon Susan Kiefel AC, Chief Justice of Australia.



Congratulations to Michael Whitten QC, who has been appointed Lord Chief Justice of the Kingdom of Tonga, commencing 2 September, and to the Honourable Anthony North QC who will be the new Chair of the Victorian Law Reform Commission


Vicbar News & Events
Call for comment on proposed amendment to the CPD rules

Members are invited to comment on a proposed amendment to the CPD rules. 

On 4 June this year the ABA wrote to the Legal Services Commissioner to seek an amendment to the CPD rules.

The ABA has received from the LSC a copy of a draft rule produced by the NSW Parliamentary Counsel.

The next step is to engage in public consultation in relation to the draft rule. To this end, the Executive Director of the NSW Bar Association has written to each of the Victorian, NSW and Western Australian Bars pursuant to section 427(5)(b) of the Uniform Law to invite submissions about the draft amendment. Click here for the draft rule.

The draft Rule, if made, will amend the CPD Rules by:

  • Inserting a new rule 6A for the purpose of making it easier for barristers to know what types of activities they can perform in order for such activities to constitute a ‘CPD activity’ (i.e. attending a seminar; preparation or editing of an article published in a legal publication; or membership of a committee or working group of a professional association provided that the barrister regularly attends its meetings);
  • Deleting current rule 6(c) and inserting a new rule 6(c) that clarifies that a CPD activity must be relevant to a “barrister’s professional development needs in relation to the barrister’s practice of the law”. This is different from the existing rule, which requires that a CPD activity be relevant to a barrister’s “immediate or long term” needs in relation to their professional development as a barrister and their practice of law; and
  • Simplifying the definition of ‘CPD activity’.

Please send any comments on the draft rule to by Friday 16 August 2019 

Victorian Bar CPD: Us Too? Bullying and Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession – How are the Bars Responding?

The Victorian Bar's Equality and Diversity Committee together with the International Bar Association are pleased to invite you to a CPD seminar on "Us Too? Bullying and Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession – How are the Bars Responding?"

In May, the International Bar Association published a landmark report which highlighted the alarming prevalence of bullying and sexual harassment in the legal profession. The report found that these forms of misconduct are particularly rife at the Bar. This CPD session will discuss the research and outline what steps the Bars have taken and will take to ensure the Bar is a positive, inclusive and harassment-free workplace.

Jenny Firkin QC, Chair, Equality & Diversity Committee

Jennifer Batrouney QC, President, Australian Bar Association

Fiona McLeod SC, Co-Chair, IBA Diversity and Inclusion Council

Kieran Pender, Senior Legal Advisor, International Bar Association

Wednesday 14 August 2019

5.15pm - 6.15pm

Followed by drinks in the Library


Expressions of Interest for Equality and Diversity Committee Working Groups

The Equality and Diversity Committee has a role in facilitating actions and programs to promote, educate and support members of the Victorian Bar. The Committee has formed a number of working groups focussing on specific diversity issues affecting members of the Victorian Bar and the legal profession generally.

The Committee is now forming a discrete working group to address gender issues, and calling for further members to join its Disability and Access Working Group and its Race, Ethnicity & Cultural Diversity Working Group.

If you are interested in joining any of these Working Groups, please contact by phone or email:

Gender Equality Working Group

Disability and Access Working Group

Race, Ethnicity & Cultural Diversity Working Group

Bullying and Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession Seminar

The International Bar Association, together with MinterEllison, the Law Council of Australia, the Law Institute of Victoria and the Victorian Bar will host a panel event to discuss findings from the IBA’s report Us Too? Bullying and Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession. The landmark report analyses data collected from the largest-ever global survey on the prevalence, nature and impact of bullying and sexual harassment in the legal profession. The report also provides 10 recommendations to aid the profession's efforts to achieve meaningful change. This event is free and open to the public – IBA membership is not required – but registration is essential.

13 August 2019

7.30am – 9.30am

Breakfast from 7.30am for an 8am start, with remarks concluding at 9.15am


Rialto Towers
525 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000


Vicbar Life
Opera comes to you at the Essoign on Wednesday the 28th of August

Join some of Australia’s finest young operatic artists from Melba Opera Trust as they beckon you into the world of passion, drama and exquisite singing that is opera.

With much loved favourites from The Magic Flute, Rusalka, The Tales of Hoffmann and The Barber of Seville, as well as great characters from Shakespearean operas like Romeo and Juliet and Falstaff, you will experience the full gamut of emotion and beauty that the human voice can convey. You also will enjoy the lusciousness of French mélodie alongside the good-natured romance of Italian popular song. Truly a night to savour.

Book now at

See the event flyer attached for details.

Member Benefits Australia - August special new members offer

Special new members offer! Members can now access an exclusive 10% off products and gift cards at Harris Scarfe, Original Mattress Factory, Plush and Snooze.

Studio 11 Art Exhibition - Outside In

Image - Graeme Myrteza, ‘Standing Tall’ oil on canvas, 1400 x 1000

Studio 11 Art Exhibition - Outside In - Features the works, disciplines and passions of  three studios comprising Australian landscape paintings by Graeme Myrteza, sculpture by Lucy McEachern and Furniture/Products by PodMarket.  You are welcome to stay warm and visit the exhibition, featuring some 50 works, which have come from the studio to you.

You may wish to actually meet the artists on Thursday 8 August from 4.30-6.30pm at Level 11 ODCE. RSVP to by 6/8/19. Numbers are limited. The exhibition runs from 15 July to 20 September 2019. All works are for sale, directly from the artists, with no commission payable. Work sheets, including biographies and prices are located on level 11 East.

Lyrical Lunchtimes in the Law Library - Thu 29 August, 1.15pm

The Law Library of Victoria presents a series of lunchtime classical concerts designed to provide an opportunity to relax and reflect in the beautiful surrounds of the Supreme Court Library. August’s concert features a performance by the Victorian Bar Community Choir

All are welcome, entry is free, no need to register. Invite your friends and colleagues. Take a seat or simply wander the beautiful Library surrounds to enjoy this music.

For more information please email

Founded in Spring 2013, the Victorian Bar Community Choir is an initiative of the Victorian Bar Association's Health and Wellbeing Committee. 

Personal Injury Social Drinks

Come to the Essoign from 5pm on Thursday 12 September for the Personal Injury Social Drinks, supporting Spinal Cord Injuries Australia.

Complimentary canapes included with a gold coin donation on arrival. All are welcome.

Practice & Profession News
Appointment of joint Manager to Dunstan & Raftis Pty Ltd

We refer to the letter dated 1 July 2019, advising that the Victorian Legal Services Board (‘the Board’) had appointed Ms Penelope Pengilley as Manager of the incorporated legal practice Dunstan & Raftis Pty Ltd (‘the Law Practice’).

Due to the volume and complexity of tasks required to be undertaken to effect the winding up of the Law Practice, on 25 July 2019 the Board resolved to appoint Mr Matthew Critchley as the second Manager of the Law Practice. The Managers are jointly and severally appointed.

Mr Critchley’s appointment will expire at the same time as Ms Pengilley’s appointment, namely on 30 December 2019, unless the Board determines to extend the appointment or the appointment otherwise ceases in accordance with section 340 of the Uniform Law.

If any Bar members have any outstanding issues in relation to the Law Practice they may contact Ms Pengilley on 0414 827 646 or or Mr Critchley on 9672 3258 or

If you wish to discuss this matter further, please contact Chantalle Toussaint on 03 9679 8165 or via email on

Notice to Profession use of Junior Counsel

The Federal Court of Australia encourages the active participation of junior counsel in cases where two counsel are briefed for a party.

The Court recognises that junior counsel will often have made a substantial contribution to the preparation of the case, and will best develop as advocates by being given, when it is considered appropriate, opportunities to take witnesses or to present argument.

Whilst it is always a matter for senior counsel, he or she should feel no inhibition from the Court in dividing the work of the case (first instance or appeal) between himself or herself and junior counsel, when it is thought appropriate to do so.

Subpoenas for production of documents in the My Health record system

In light of a number of subpoenas which have recently been issued to the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency), the Agency has contacted the Bar requesting we draw to our members’ attention the provisions of section 69 of the My Health Records Act 2012 (Cth) and the limited circumstances in which the Agency can be required to disclose health information included in a healthcare recipient’s My Health Record to a court or tribunal or coroner. 

The Agency’s letter can be read here.

Profession CPD & Events
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.

La Trobe Law School seminar - The Conduct of Empire

The Conduct of Empire: Shipping, Policing and the Transformation of Criminal Procedure

Presenter: Tom Andrews

Time/Venue: 11 am-12 noon on Wednesday 7 August in SS232 (Moot Court), Level 2 Social Sciences Building, Level 2, Bundoora Campus, La Trobe University

Click here for registration and further details.

Frankenstein’s Monster: Australian defamation laws and how to fix them

Australia's defamation laws are a monstrous mess. At this event, leading defamation lawyer, Dr Matt Collins AM QC, will explain the problems and prescribe some thought-provoking solutions.

Defamation laws are supposed to balance two fundamental rights when they come into conflict: the right to reputation, and the right to freedom of expression.

In this seminar, defamation silk Dr Matt Collins AM QC will argue that Australia’s defamation laws have come to resemble Frankenstein’s monster, and are failing both plaintiffs and publishers. He will explain why, for plaintiffs whose reputations have been ruined, our laws are incapable of providing effective remedies, while for publishers, our laws too often stymie serious investigative journalism exposing malfeasance in the public interest.

Drawing on his experience on both sides of the Bar table, and examples from cases including Rebel Wilson’s battle against Bauer Media and Geoffrey Rush’s case against the Daily Telegraph, Dr Collins will explain the problems as he sees them, and prescribe some thought-provoking solutions.

Includes light refreshments and an opportunity to network with students and legal practitioners.

When: Tuesday 20 August, 2019

Where: Deakin Downtown,
727 Collins Street
Tower 2 Level 12
Melbourne, VIC 3008

Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm

Cost: This is a free event

Click here to register

Contact Details


Business and Law Events


ABA/NZBA Joint Conference | Queenstown | 23-24 August 2019

Antipodean Advocacy: Trans-Tasman Perspectives

As you will be aware the conference ‘Antipodean Advocacy: Trans-Tasman Perspectives’ will explore the nuances between the two jurisdictions and discuss various areas where we can learn from each other.  Join the ABA and your trans-Tasman colleagues for this exciting 1.5 day conference.


The Reasoned Negotiation of Risk: Balancing National Security and Civil Liberties in Western Democracies

The ABA and NZBA are delighted to confirm that Dr Anne Aly MP, Federal Member for Cowan, will present one of the conference's keynotes.  Founder of People Against Violent Extremism, a Professor at Curtin University and Edith Cowan University, Dr Aly has written on terrorist recruitment and counter-messaging. With the increasing global concern of terrorism in modern society, this keynote will explore the role and challenges of the law and law makers in tackling terrorism in present day.

Dr Anne Aly MP, Member for Cowan

Dr Aly is the Labor Federal Member for Cowan elected in 2016.

Anne’s background is as a Professor, Academic and Practitioner in the fields of counter terrorism and counter radicalisation. She has published over 100 articles and texts on terrorism and related issues and is the author and editor of five books. Prior to becoming an academic she worked in government policy.

Anne is the founder of Australia’s first non-government organisation to combat violent extremism. People against Violent Extremism (PaVE) is a not for profit organisation that developed a social media campaign against violent extremism and delivered a series of hackathons to harness young people’s skills and talents to address issues in their communities.

Anne’s contributions to national and international security have been recognised internationally. In 2015 she was the only Australian civil society representative to be invited to speak at President Obama’s White House Summit on CVE. Later that year, she was again the only Australian representative to participate in the Club de Madrid +10 policy dialogues. Anne has also been an expert adviser to the United Nations Security Council and has participated in experts’ meetings.

In 2011, Anne was inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame. In 2014, she was named one of Australia’s 100 most Influential Women by Westpac/Fin Review. In 2016 she was awarded the Instyle Woman of Style award in the category of Community and Charity. Also in 2016 Anne was nominated for the Australian of the Year and received the prestigious Australian Security Medal.

Anne lives in her electorate in the northern suburbs with her husband David. She has two adult sons.

Register today to attend Dr Aly's keynote: "The Reasoned Negotiation of Risk: Balancing National Security and Civil Liberties in Western Democracies"

Looking for a luxury escape?  Stay at the Hotel St Moritz and be treated to wrap around views from Lake Wakatipu to The Remarkables mountain range.  Simply select St Moritz as your accommodation option during registration.

For more information on the conference, activities and social events, visit

We look forward to welcoming you


Camilla Gray

ABA Event Manager

T: 02 9229 1720

M: 0411 323 873

Australian Academy of Law: Annual 2019 Seminar

The Australian Academy of Law event  - 'Democracy, Human Rights and the Judiciary: the common law and the wider world' will be held on Wednesday, 4 September in Court One at the Federal Court, Melbourne.

Sir Nicholas Blake will be the guest speaker and the event will be chaired by Chief Justice Allsop.

Click here for further details including registration information.

2019 Rare Book Lecture

“Writing About Enlightenment And Criminal Justice - The Macquarie Story As a History Tale For Today”

Presented by Dr Austin Lovegrove, Honorary Principal Fellow, Melbourne Law School

Date: Thursday 12 September 2019
Time: 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Venue: Theatre 102, Level One, Melbourne Law School

Presented by Dr Austin Lovegrove, Honorary Principal Fellow at Melbourne Law School, this lecture describes one attempt to inform the public and engage them in debate about an enlightened approach to the punishment of criminal offenders.

The heroes of this story are the Scots Lachlan Macquarie – Governor of New South Wales between 1810 and 1821 – and his wife Elizabeth Macquarie, who together attempted to introduce an enlightened approach to the treatment of convicts. For them, convicts were men and women of inherent worth, for whom reform not punishment should be the principal consideration in their treatment. The aim of this treatment should be their full restoration to society, including leadership.

Austin’s new book is titled ''Images of an Australian Enlightenment: The Story of Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie's Treatment of the Convicts as History Tale for Today” and will be published late September.   

Interested parties can register here

Please see attached flyer.

REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN for HAL International Conference - Rhodes, Greece – 5-10 July 2020

HAL is hosting its second International Legal Conference on “Themes in Democracy – Liberty, Justice and Human Rights”.  HAL is privileged to have the Hon Justice Stephen Gageler AC as the keynote speaker.  In addition, HAL is also honoured to have all eight HAL Chapter Patrons as speakers, as well as confirmed overseas speakers, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Lord Ken Macdonald QC and the Hon Justice Kevin Zervos.

Registrations are now open and those wishing to attend are encouraged to register early to avoid missing out as the number of places available is limited. A number of optional tours, which are different to the 2018 Conference tours, are included in the registration fee, and have been organised for delegates and accompanying persons.

Further details are available at

Careers & Opportunities
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.

Calls for the Italian Lawyers Essay Competition 2019

A $1,500 prize is up for grabs in an essay competition being run by the Australian Italian Lawyers Association (AILA).

Entries are invited from students studying a Bachelor, Juris Doctor or Masters level law degree at the date the entry is submitted.

The judging criteria will focus on originality, quality of the analysis, quality and depth of research, as well as quality of structure and writing.

The essay prize will be presented to the winner at the at the AILA Annual Dinner in October 2019. The essay will also be published on AILA’s website.


When refusing Lawyer X’s s special leave application to prevent disclosure of her identity, the High Court of Australia stated:
“[Lawyer X's] actions in purporting to act as counsel for the Convicted Persons while covertly informing against them were fundamental and appalling breaches of [Lawyer X's] obligations as counsel to her clients and of [her] duties to the court”.

  1. Discuss how the criminal justice system is undermined when a lawyer acts as a police informant whilst simultaneously representing those whom they inform  against.
  2. Which obligations as counsel and duties to the court are breached by such conduct?

The word limit is 2,500 words (excluding footnotes).
All entries should be typed in a Word document clearly identifying the author’s name, contact details and university. Referencing should follow the 4th edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation. A bibliography is not required.
The closing date for entries is 5pm on Friday, 30 August 2019
Each entry should be sent by email to Joseph Carbone, AILA Secretary at
Anonymised versions of the essays will be blind marked by a panel of three judges.

InBrief Submissions - please email to: 
Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 8th August 2019