In Brief Issue #930

Dr Matt Collins AM QC

New Protocol to raise concerns about judicial conduct in Commonwealth courts

The Australian Bar Association has entered into a new protocol enabling members of the Bar to raise concerns about judicial conduct in the Federal Court of Australia, the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

Modelled on the protocol that the Victorian Bar agreed with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria in October 2018, and protocols since agreed with the heads of jurisdiction of the County Court of Victoria, the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria and the Children’s Court, the Commonwealth Courts protocol provides a mechanism for barristers to raise with the President of the Australian Bar Association, or alternatively the President of their local Bar, concerns about judicial conduct they have experienced or witnessed in Commonwealth courts, as an alternative to making a formal complaint.

The options available to members of our Bar who have experienced or witnessed inappropriate judicial conduct are outlined in the Bar’s Judicial Conduct Policy. That policy, together with the court protocols and the appointment of two Judicial Conduct Advisers are important parts of our response to the findings in last year’s Wellbeing at the Victorian Bar report.

In their first year of operation, the policy and protocols have proved to be useful mechanisms that enable members to raise grievances and concerns in an informal way, as well as to receive advice and guidance. Court and Bars in other jurisdictions have been watching closely and developing their own policies based on ours—a good example of inter-jurisdictional collaboration.

I am grateful to all who participated for their willingness to engage in an open, frank and constructive dialogue about these difficult issues and especially, in respect of the new protocol, Federal Court Chief Justice Allsop, Family Court Chief Justice Alstergren and ABA President Jennifer Batrouney QC.


Advanced Trial Advocacy – ‘early bird’ ends 30 September

A reminder to members that if you wish to take advantage of the ‘early bird’ registration discount for the Advocacy Training Council’s renowned Advanced Trial Advocacy Intensive in January, please register by 30 September 2019. As I have said before, the Intensive is a world-class advocacy course, that I commend to all members, at whatever level of seniority, as a means of honing skills.

Please see the notice below for registration details.


Her Honour Judge Carlin

Congratulations to Rosemary Carlin, who has been appointed a judge of the County Court, following 12 years of service as a Magistrate and Coroner.

The profession will extend a welcome to Judge Carlin in Court 3-3 of the County Court on Thursday 3 October at 9.15am.


A busy week

On Monday evening I sat, with Justice Wilson of the Family Court, as a judge of the Melbourne Law School witness examination grand final.  The talent on display was terrific to observe.

On Wednesday, Simon Marks QC and I spoke to the Readers’ Course about the issue of oversubscription for the course.  There was interesting feedback, which we will bring to the Bar Council’s meeting next week, before reporting back to members.

Yesterday, the Bar’s CEO and Executive tried out the new menu at the Essoign Club, whose kitchen is now in the capable hands of Guillaume Montes, who comes to the Club from a distinguished career that has included service in Michelin Star restaurants and members’ clubs. I’ll have more to say about Guillaume and the Essoign soon, but for now, I can report that lunch was delicious.

I am very much looking forward to attending the Victorian Bar Foundation Prize Ceremony tonight.  If last year’s inaugural event was any indication, the winners will be exactly the sort of students who should be considering a career at the Bar, but who may not realise that our doors are open to all on merit. More on that event next week.


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

Vicbar Life
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.

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).

The Essoign Club Welcomes Guillaume Montes

Guillaume is a classically trained Chef, with a wealth of experience within high profile kitchens, focused on quality product, effective kitchen management and development of brigades and Chefs.  Most recently Guillaume was promoted within the group to Executive Chef of Gazi Restaurant having worked there previously as the Head Chef. 

Within Guillaume’s recently role, he oversaw the kitchen operation with a brigade of twenty, including Chefs and kitchen support staff, worked with his senior team to create a team culture, develop menu ideas that focused on the seasonal fresh produce whilst maintaining cost. 

Throughout his career Guillaume has developed his style and technique having worked in Michelin star restaurants, four star restaurants and members Clubs.  Whilst classically trained, Guillaume has worked with a variety of cuisine’s including roles in pastry, which is a discipline that he enjoys. 

Guillaume likes working within an environment where he feels supported and in turn he likes to challenge his team, working with them to develop their culinary techniques, work their section, ensuring ongoing training and building their respect for the product that they are producing. 

As Executive Chef, Guillaume enjoyed a partnership with the General Manager to ensure the effective running of the fast paced operation, which was capable of turning over multiple times during a sitting period.  During peak periods, the kitchen also operated off site, such as during the Australian Open, its success came down to the pre planning, organisation and prep work. 

Boasting eighteen years in high end kitchens, Guillaume’s next culinary challenge offers a balance between the pressures of kitchen operations and life. We look forward to continue challenging Guillaume’s creative approach in producing a high standard of product whilst working with a team the he can develop, within an organisation that supports the delivery of a quality array of cuisine.

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 - Last Week! Big discounts now apply

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.

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

Lyrical Lunchtimes Concert Series

BottledSnail Productions and the Law Library will be holding their next Lyrical Lunchtimes concert on Thursday 19 September at 1.15pm in the Law Library. Featuring a range of performances from members of the legal profession, the concert runs for 45 minutes and is a great opportunity to take a relaxing break during the busy working day. Entry is free and there is no need to book. For further information contact Kylie Weston-Scheuber on

Practice & Profession News
The Building Cases List Practice Note has now been updated

Changes have been made to the operation and management of the Building Cases List in the republished Practice Note (effective 16 September 2019)

The Building Cases List Practice Note has been updated to:

  • introduce His Honour Judge Woodward as Judge-in-Charge of the Building Cases List
  • introduce weekly Directions Hearings for proceedings in the Building Cases List at 9.30am on Fridays
  • set out the process and procedure for special applications, such as applications for security of payment under the Building and Construction (Security of Payment) Act 2002
  • encourage the use of the full range of Appropriate Dispute Resolution options, including the introduction of Early Neutral Evaluation conducted by the Judge-in-Charge
  • include standard orders for: timetable to trial, appropriate dispute resolution, single joint experts, expert conferences, joint reports and concurrent evidence as well as witness statements and outlines
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 of Victoria requests all practitioners who are moving admissions to please enter with their admittees via Lonsdale Street entrance only to ensure their quickest entry.

Profession CPD & Events
International Arbitration Seminar - 17 September

The third International Arbitration Seminar, an initiative of the CIArb Australia and the Federal Court, will be taking place on Tuesday 17th September 2019.

Click here for more information and to register.

Melbourne Catholic Lawyers' Association retreat – “Stepping back from the Business”

The MCLA is hosting a half day retreat on Sunday 6 October with its chaplain Fr Cameron Forbes.

The retreat will take place from 9am to 1.30pm at Corpus Christi College in Carlton.  Morning tea and lunch provided.  Please see for details.

#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.

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
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.

InBrief Submissions - please email to: 
Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 19th September 2019