In Brief Issue #929

Dr Matt Collins AM QC

Portrait of the Honourable Stephen Charles AO QC

On Monday the Bar hosted an intimate gathering of family and friends in the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery for the unveiling of the portrait of the Honourable Stephen Charles AO QC, by Ralph Heimans AM. It is an extraordinary painting, beautifully capturing the likeness of Stephen. It depicts him standing in the Supreme Court Library, in a reflective but optimistic mood. It is a wonderful addition to the Gallery. It will be permanently hung later in the year.

Stephen’s contribution to the life of our Bar has been remarkable; motivated by a desire to serve, to reform and to improve.

Stephen has held almost every position of significance at the Bar; far too many to mention but, among other things, he served on Bar Council, with only a couple of breaks, almost continuously from 1967 to 1986, as Chairman in the last two of those years, including the Bar’s centenary year, 1984. He served on the Council of the Australian Bar Association for three years, including a year as President. He served six years as a member, and as Chairman, of the Ethics Committee. He was a Director and Vice-Chairman of Barristers’ Chambers Limited. Stephen’s dedication to the Bar has transcended his time in active practice here and has continued in ‘retirement’.

Stephen’s contribution as a judge—he was a foundation member of the Court of Appeal when it was established in 1995—was described by the then Victorian Solicitor-General as “profound”; a career “characterised by excellence, principle and generosity” in which he “made a lasting and noble contribution to the substance and integrity of justice in Victoria and Australia”. On the bench, Stephen had the ability to bring out the best in the advocates who appeared before him.

The portraits in the gallery connect us, the contemporary custodians of the long and proud history of the Bar, with those who came before us.  Through the portraits, including its most recent addition, our most revered members achieve a form of immortality, able to inspire this and all future generations, by showing all those who pass through the gallery the best of who we are and of what we aspire to be.

A copy of my speech at the unveiling can be found here.  Stephen’s recent Tony Fitzgerald lecture on public sector integrity can be read here, with key points reported here.

The Honourable Stephen Charles AO QC and artist Ralph Heimans AM alongside the portrait.


International Commission of Jurists Victoria’s Fellow for 2019

At a breakfast held on Tuesday, 3 September, we welcomed Collin Andrew as the Victorian Bar and the International Commission of Jurists Victoria’s Fellow for 2019.

Collin is a very impressive advocate based in Kuala Lumpur where he has his own firm, “Collin’s Law Chambers” (not a bad name, I thought).

Since 2016, Collin has been Chairman of the Malaysia Bar Council Legal Aid Centre.  He has represented the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Malaysia in significant cases concerning refugee children and has acted in cases involving homicide and drug trafficking that attract the death penalty upon conviction.

The fellowship program with the ICJ is a pilot in 2019.  It is designed to enable talented lawyers from the region, like Collin, to travel to Melbourne to participate in key parts of our readers’ course. The fellowship also includes a week shadowing a judge in the Federal Court, in this case Justice Bromberg; a week shadowing a judge in the County Court, in this case Judge Marks; and a week in chambers with a practising barrister, in this case Sarah Porritt.  I congratulate everyone involved in establishing the pilot program. Please make Collin welcome as you see him about the Bar in coming weeks.

Her Honour Judge Samantha Marks, Dr Matthew J Collins AM QC, Collin Andrew, the Honourable Justice Mordy Bromberg, Simon Marks QC and Sarah Porritt


National Press Club address

On Wednesday, I was invited to address the National Press Club of Australia in Canberra (as the support act to Arthur Moses SC, President of the Law Council of Australia) on the topic: “The slippery slope: how eroding freedoms impacts people and the press”. The discussion centred on the incremental erosion of fundamental freedoms in Australian law, drawing on many examples including national security laws and the law of defamation. Our addresses were given added focus by news breaking that the Australian Federal Police were conducting a raid of a Canberra home as we spoke.

Both Arthur and I called for a mature national debate about the introduction of a charter of fundamental rights and freedoms, as a mechanism for balancing human rights and freedoms when they come into conflict, and as a means of compelling Parliament to reflect and account to the Australian people as a matter of course on the impact of the laws it passes on those rights and freedoms.

Arthur Moses SC’s speech can be read here.

My speech can be read here.

The addresses were televised on ABC TV and Sky News and are available for viewing via iView (here).


Hon. Anthony North QC commences as Chairperson of the Victorian Law Reform Commission

Members who were on leave may have missed the announcement that the Honourable Anthony North QC was appointed Chair of the Victorian Law Reform Commission.  Tony commenced his new role this week. 

Tony has replaced Bruce Gardner who was appointed as the Acting Chairperson of the Commission in March 2019 following the death of the Hon Philip Cummins AM.

I congratulate Tony on this important new role, which is central to the development of a fair, just and inclusive legal system.


VLSB+C sexual harassment survey (closing midnight, Monday 9 September)

The Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner are conducting a state-wide survey looking at the prevalence and nature of sexual harassment in Victoria’s legal workplaces.

The survey closes at midnight on Monday 9 September.

Everyone with a current practising certificate has been emailed a unique link to the survey, at the email address provided to VLSB+C during the latest practising certificate renewal period.

I encourage all members to participate in this survey, as it will greatly assist VLSB+C in forming a better understanding of the extent to which sexual harassment is an issue in the profession and the wider legal workforce in Victoria. The survey should take about 10-25 minutes of your time. It is anonymous and confidential.

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please call VLSB+C on 03 9679 8001.  Further information about the survey is available here.


A busy week

Other than the highlights set out above, this week I met with the Ethics Committee, and had dinner with representatives of the Law Council of Australia in Canberra.


Vicbar News & Events
Advanced Trial Advocacy Intensive

Advanced Trial Advocacy Intensive

The Advocacy Training Council will hold its renowned Advanced Trial Advocacy Intensive from Monday 20 January to Friday 24 January 2020 in Melbourne.

The philosophy underlying the intensive is that the skills of a barrister are best learned in an environment that is as close to the real experience as possible. This involves providing realistic briefs in sufficient time for counsel to prepare the matter for hearing, giving them the opportunity to perform in real court settings, then playing back and reviewing the performance. This gives barristers a rare opportunity to experiment with a number of styles of performance to see which is the most effective for that advocate on that occasion, together with individual and small group coaching by senior Australian judges, international and Australian senior practitioners and professional performance coaches accredited by the ABA. Click here for more details including the registration form.

The Australian Bar Association sponsors one Indigenous barrister to participate in the intensive. To nominate, send a brief outline of your work history to the Secretariat at before 30 September 2019.

Places are limited, so be sure to secure your spot as soon as possible.

International Mooting Competition - January 2020 in Singapore

The members of Essex Court Chambers and the Singapore Academy of Law are organising the ECC - SAL International Mooting Competition.   Now in its ninth year, this contest is open to young barristers from Australia.  While entrants pit their advocacy skills against each other, this competition also offers a valuable platform to interact and foster working relationships with counterparts from other jurisdictions in the region.

The competition will take place on 4, 6 and 8 January 2020 at the Supreme Court of Singapore. The winning team will be offered an all-expenses paid, 2 week internship at Essex Court Chambers in London—a leading set of barristers’ chambers specialising in commercial and financial litigation, arbitration, public law and public international law. Awards will be given for the best orator and best memorandum submitted in the competition, as well as to the best competing team from outside Singapore.

Two team slots have been reserved for Victorian barristers’ participation. A copy of the publicity flyer is available here.  Members interested in being part of a Victorian Bar team should contact Liz Ingham on

Ethics Committee Bulletin No. 2 of 2018 - Barristers not to undertake solicitor’s work

The Ethics Committee reminds members of Ethics Committee Bulletin 2 of 2018. Click here to download the bulletin

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
Bar contributions sought for Pinnacle Foundation scholarship to honour the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG

The Pinnacle Foundation awards scholarships for study in Year 12, University and TAFE to marginalised and disadvantaged LGBTIQ+ youth between the ages of 18 and 26.  To date, the Foundation has awarded 209 scholarships to 135 scholars, many of whom study law.  

 To mark the Foundation's ten year anniversary, it is establishing a scholarship to honour its inaugural Patron, long term Human Rights Campaigner, the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG.  The scholarship will be open to law students across the country with the first scholarship awarded in December this year. The scholarships are multi-year, with scholars receiving $7,000 in their first year of study and $5,000 in subsequent years. In addition, each scholar is matched with a mentor of the same field of study and sexual identity. The Foundation is a national, registered charity with DGR status.

Results of a recent study of Foundation alumni showed the following;

  • 9 per cent of scholars said they would not have achieved their academic goals in a timely way without Pinnacle support  
  • 95 per cent of scholars said that the scholarship helped them academically by allowing them to give more time and attention to their studies
  • 93 per cent  said they now feel more valued as a person 
  • 95 per cent said their confidence improved 

Each year, Michael Kirby presents scholars with their certificates commemorating their scholarships. For many years, Michael has been a gay icon, a humanitarian lawyer and a judge who has contributed significantly to transforming the society into which scholars will grow.  

The Foundation is looking to raise sufficient funds for the scholarship to be perpetual. In keeping with Michael's own principles of equality, all donations, regardless of size, will be treated equally i.e. there will be no tiering. 

The Foundation is seeking commitments from barristers, with a minimum contribution to be acknowledged of $500, with payments to be made prior to September 30th. Donations can be made here (please insert in the comment that you are a member of the Victorian Bar, contributing to the Michael Kirby scholarship fund).

Wines from the Barrel

Essoign's “Wines from the Barrel” in the Club have been replenished for those that need a little something for Chambers.

Prices are as marked or make us an offer we cannot refuse...

*Wines available for takeaway purchase only and are prohibited to be consumed inside “The Essoign Club”

Member Benefits Australia - September exclusive member offers
OSTEOPATHY at Absolute – 15% discount for VicBar Members

Do you suffer from headaches, neck & back pain, stress or any other aches and pains? 

Until the end of September 2019 we are offering all VicBar Members a 15% discount on Osteopathy with Ashley Gudgeon. To book your appointment email, phone 03 8547 4830, or pay us a visit at 199 William St.

Studio 11 Art Exhibition - Outside In

Image: Bulloo River
Graeme Myrteza 

Studio 11 Art Exhibition  “Outside - In” now has 25% off all works by artist, Graeme Myrteza and 40% off most items from the Podmarket range for works paid for and collected by 20 September 2019!  That doesn’t happen often. Whether you need art work, sculpture or furniture for your chambers or home, or if you’d simply like to take a break and check out this exhibition, it’s certainly worth a look. Landscape works by Myrteza, various bronze sculptures by McEachern (no discount applies) and designer furniture pieces, by Podmarket  are strong, passionate, detailed, generous pieces. The exhibition ends 20 September. Contact the artists directly for purchases. Price lists and the artists’ biographies are found on Level 11 Owen Dixon Chambers East.

Essendon fans - Join the LawDons

Are you a fan of the Mighty Bombers?

Are you interested in getting together with fellow Bomber lawyers in a fun and relaxed environment?

Then the LawDons is for you!

The LawDons is a supporter group associated with Essendon Football Club.  Our primary aims are:

  • to provide networking experiences with like-minded judicial officers, solicitors, barristers, law enforcement, corporate counsel, academics, law students and others connected with the law;
  • to provide access to the club for LawDons (via “inner sanctum” experiences); and
  • to provide benefits for the club (where possible) for instance establishing a pool of volunteers willing to provide advice and support to board, club, past players, etc.

This year is the 20th anniversary of the formation of the LawDons and we are looking to add to our membership numbers in 2020 with a view to putting together some exciting and fun events next season.

We will be holding some informal drinks in the heart of the legal precinct on an evening in November, so if you are interested in joining the LawDons and also attending that function, please email by no later than 30 September 2019 for further information, or feel free to call any of our Bomber-barristers: Simon Pitt, Jeremy Whelen or Luke Stanistreet.

Go Bombers!

Whatsapp Group – Geelong Barristers

David John O’Brien has started a Whatsapp group for Barristers based in the Geelong Region.

The goal is to share information and be able to assist each other if needed. It is very informal.

Please email David on or text him your details on 0400 577 322 if you would like to be added.

Run in Cambodia to support survivors of human trafficking & slavery! Info Session 13 Sept, 12.30pm, Essoign Club

Imagine the challenge of running 5, 10 or 21 kilometres around one of the world’s most famous and awe-inspiring landmarks… Imagine that your participation could help transform lives by supporting survivors of human trafficking, enslavement and abuse… Imagine no more! It’s not too late to turn this into a reality and do something extraordinary to end the year!

Please join Jo Pride, CEO of Hagar Australia and Marita Ham (Barrister, Hagar Board Member and run participant) on Friday 13 September at 12.30pm, in the Essoign Club for an informal talk about Hagar’s upcoming fundraising event, Run for Freedom. 

Run for Freedom takes place as part of the 2019 Angkor Wat International Half Marathon in Siem Reap, Cambodia on Sunday 8 December. By taking part and seeking sponsorship from friends, family and colleagues, participants raise funds and awareness for Hagar’s life-changing work.  

While in Siem Reap there is also opportunity to learn more about Hagar, meet frontline staff and run alongside survivors who are being supported to rebuild their lives. It is an incredible and rewarding way to explore the city, understand its people and create life-long memories. 

View video here.

For more information visit

Hockey Players Required

Looking for players any age and any ability for the annual Hockey match between VicBar and the Law Institute Victoria.

Venue:  Hawthorn Hockey Centre

Date:     Thursday 17 October 2019

Time:     7.00pm

Please email Trish Elliott with your availability

RACV Club special offer for VicBar members

A special introductory offer for Vic Bar members wanting to join the RACV Club ends on 31 October, 2019.

If you join before 31 October 2019, the RACV Club will waive its joining fee, so the annual membership fee of $910 will be reduced to $520, as well as a discount on the annual membership fee each year.

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 are 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.

Practice & Profession News
Last chance to complete VLSBC sexual harassment survey (closing midnight, Monday 9 September)

As you may be aware, the Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner (VLSBC) is undertaking a state-wide survey looking at the prevalence and nature of sexual harassment in Victoria’s legal workplaces. 

The survey closes at midnight on Monday 9 September.

Everyone with a current practising certificate has been emailed a unique link to the survey, at the email address provided to VLSBC during the latest practising certificate renewal period.

We encourage all barristers to participate in this survey, as it will greatly assist VLSBC in forming an accurate and comprehensive understanding of sexual harassment as an issue in the profession and the wider legal workforce in Victoria.

The survey should take about 10-25 minutes of your time. It is anonymous and confidential

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please call VLSBC on 03 9679 8001.  Further information about the survey is available here.

Call for submissions - Managed Investment Scheme Review of Uniform General Rules

The Legal Services Council has commenced its review of the Managed Investment Scheme Uniform General Rules 91A-91D and is seeking submissions from interested parties until 3 October 2019.

You can find more information here.

Admission ceremonies - enter via Lonsdale St

The Supreme Court requests all practitioners who are moving admissions to please enter with their admittees via Lonsdale Street only to ensure their quickest entry.

Profession CPD & Events
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women

On Wednesday 11 September is the ICJV 2019 Annual Fundraising Dinner - Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

Click here to download the flyer for more information and to register.

#FreeAndEqual2019 Australian Human Rights Commission Conference

Tickets are now available for the ‘Free and Equal: An Australian Conversation on Human Rights’, hosted by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in Sydney on Tuesday 8th October.

The conference is the centrepiece of the AHRC’s Free and Equal project and will feature special guest UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Dr Michelle Bachelet.

According to AHRC President Rosalind Croucher AM, the conference was a once in a decade event.

“We will bring together experts on human rights as well as leaders from industry, government and the community,” Ms Croucher said.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for you to take part in reshaping human rights in Australia, and participate in this conversation, exploring ways to better protect, promote and preserve our rights and freedoms.”

Over 500 participants are expected to attend the #FreeAndEqual2019 conference at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney.

Click here for more information or to register.

13th Sir Zelman Cowen Oration & Dinner - Tuesday 8 October

The AIIAV hosts an annual Oration and Dinner in memory of Sir Zelman Cowen which features an eminent speaker discussing a topic that relates to Australia's role in International Affairs.

This year's orator is the The Hon Margaret Stone AO FAAL, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. The Inspector-General will be speaking to the topic "Ethical Problems in Intelligence Collection".  Please see the attached flyer for further information. Further information can also be accessed on our website here.

Promoting efficiency in the conduct of Arbitrations with the Honourable Peter Vickery QC

Click here for more information


14 November 2019

5:30 PM to 7:00 PM


HFW Australia
Level 39, Bourke Place
600 Bourke Street, 
Melbourne VIC 3000


$25.00 Members
$45.00 Guests
Free for RI student members
Free for Professional Development subscribers

Payment by credit card only


This event will contribute 1 hour of CPD under National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS) and Resolution Institute accreditation schemes.

La Trobe Law School Seminar - Legislating Alternative Dispute Resolution

La Trobe Law School Seminar

Topic: Legislating Alternative Dispute Resolution

Presenter: Dr Lola Akin Ojelabi

Time/Venue: 11am-12 noon on Wednesday 18 September 2019 in Room MAR-241, Level 2, Martin Building, Bundoora campus, La Trobe University

Click here for registration and further details.

Careers & Opportunities
Common Law Trial Listings Coordinator - Supreme Court of Victoria

 The Supreme Court of Victoria seeks a suitably qualified administrator to coordinate the listing and allocation of trials in its Common Law Division and provide divisional management support to the Common Law Judicial Registrar

Operations focus – ongoing full-time – VPS Grade 3 – CBD location

Experience in court administration desirable but not essential.


An opportunity exists in the Supreme Court of Victoria for a suitably qualified person to provide high-level administrative support to the Common Law Judicial Registrar in relation to the listing and allocation of trials and other divisional management duties including case transfers to/from other jurisdictions.

This VPS3 position has an operations focus and is being offered on an ongoing basis.

Experience in court administration is desirable although not essential.

The Supreme Court of Victoria is the highest court in the State and comprises the Court of Appeal and the Trial Division. The Court deals with major criminal and civil matters, plus appeals against decisions of lower courts

As the Common Law Trial Listings Coordinator you will be part of a team of legally and non-legally qualified staff providing case management support to the Common Law Judicial Registrar and other judicial officers of the Common Law Division. You will work closely with the Judicial Registrar’s Associate and may be required to provide in-court support in their absence. You will also work with the deputy registrars of the Division and other registry staff to develop and implement process improvements.

To be successful in this role, you will have excellent communication, computer and time management skills and the ability to work collaboratively with other members of a team to plan and prioritise tasks required for the management of a high volume caseload and be able to contribute to the development, implementation and refinement of best practice and procedure. Good interpersonal skills, an inquiring mind, an eye for detail and a keen interest in the administration of justice will also stand you in good stead to excel in this role.

The Court recognises that its people are integral to its ability to meet and exceed community expectations and to achieve its goal of being an outstanding superior court. We strive to create a high performance workplace characterised by creativity, innovation, flexibility and quality delivery. The Court provides the opportunity to participate in professional growth and development and is an equal opportunity employer that fosters diversity in the workplace.

Applications close 08/09/2019. For more information on this position please click here.

Judicial Registrar Criminal Division - County Court of Victoria

The Chief Judge of the County Court seeks expressions of interest from suitably qualified persons for appointment as a Judicial Registrar of the County Court.

The successful candidate will be assigned to the County Court’s Criminal Division. This Division deals with a broad range of criminal matters under both Victorian and Commonwealth legislation, including serious theft, armed robbery, aggravated burglary, drug trafficking, sexual offences, fraud and dishonesty offences, culpable driving and serious assaults.

The Criminal Division’s workload is made up of a range of hearings including trials, plea hearings, appeals from the Magistrates’ Court and the Children’s Court, and some post-sentence supervision hearings such as contraventions of Community Correction Orders and judicial monitoring.

The Judicial Registrar will play an important role in managing the significant pre-trial work of the Criminal Division, and supervising the work of Criminal Division Lawyers. The Judicial Registrar will also play a key role in shaping the future of the Criminal Division, by assisting with the Court’s program of active case management reform.

Judicial Registrars are assigned duties by the Chief Judge pursuant to the County Court Act 1958. They are appointed by the Governor-in-Council on the recommendation of the Attorney-General. The position is located in Melbourne.

The successful candidate will be legally qualified (admitted for not less than five years) and have extensive experience in the practice of criminal law as well as an in-depth demonstrated understanding of court processes and procedures. They will also possess superior communication skills and an ability to make timely decisions according to law.

Expressions of interest, to be marked ‘Private and Confidential’, should include a resume as well as details of appropriate professional and personal referees, and posted to:

Ms Winnie Wang

Senior Administrator of the Criminal Division

250 William Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

Alternatively, email expressions of interest to

All expressions of interest must be received by no later than close of business on 20 September 2019. Any queries should be directed to Ms Wang on 03 8636 6288.

Expressions of Interest - Appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

The Government is inviting suitably qualified members of the public to submit an expression of interest to be considered for appointment to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). I would be grateful if you could circulate this information to interested persons within your organisation.

Appointments are for one or more of the categories below:

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • Deputy President

Deputy Presidents may exercise a designated leadership role as the head of a division or divisions. Deputy Presidents or Senior Members may also be assigned as a Deputy Division Head. Suitably qualified individuals who are interested in a Division Head or Deputy Division Head role are invited to submit an expression of interest accordingly.

The minimum requirements for appointment to the AAT are outlined in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (AAT Act). The AAT Act provides that a person must:

  • be enrolled as a legal practitioner of the High Court or the Supreme Court of a state or territory for at least five years, or
  • in the opinion of the Governor-General, possess special knowledge or skills relevant to the position.

The AAT is an independent statutory body that reviews a broad range of administrative decisions made by Australian Government ministers, officers, and authorities. More information about the AAT can be found at

Further information about how to submit an expression of interest can be found on the Attorney-General Department’s website at Expressions of interest must be submitted by 8 September 2019

An advertisement has been placed on the APS Employment Gazette at and was also published in national, state and territory newspapers on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 August 2019. 

This expression of interest process will create a register of candidates from which recommendations for appointment may be drawn. The register will be valid for up to 12 months.

Please contact with any questions about the expression of interest process.

InBrief Submissions - please email to: 
Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 12th September 2019