In Brief Issue #932

Dr Matt Collins AM QC

Bar Council elections are just around the corner

Next week, all members who are eligible to vote will receive formal notice of the Bar Council elections for 2019–20. The timetable this year is as follows:

Opening of nomination period                       9 am, Monday 14 October 2019

Close of nomination period                             5 pm, Monday 28 October 2019

Voting opens                                                     9 am, Wednesday 30 October 2019                                         

Close of Voting                                                  5 pm, Wednesday 13 November 2019

Declaration of the Poll                                      4:45 pm, Thursday 14 November 2019

As I prepare to walk out the door, I’d like to hold it open for others to enter. If you have ever thought about nominating for Bar Council, but have a burning question, you know how to find me, or any of my Bar Council colleagues.

The good governance and future of our remarkable Bar are dependent upon there being a steady flow of members prepared to commit their time, energy, ideas and enthusiasm to Associations, Committees, working groups, external bodies and, of course, the Bar Council itself. In coming weeks, I’ll be profiling the work done by the other members of the Executive over the course of the past year in the hope of inspiring the next generation of leaders to put their hands up for possible election.


Law Council Equitable Briefing reports due this Monday 30 September

I remind members who have adopted the Law Council of Australia’s Equitable Briefing Policy to submit your annual report via the LCA’s online portal by Monday 30 September.

I’ve just submitted mine. It took all of about ten minutes. The Bar has produced a guide and a worksheet to help with the task.

If you haven’t yet adopted the policy, I urge you to do so.  It’s a simple, practical measure towards driving cultural change, supporting the progression and retention of women barristers, closing the pay gap and addressing under-representation of women in the superior courts. There is more information and answers to frequently asked questions on the Bar’s website.


Short week

I could pretend to be interested in Saturday’s game, but I know better than to think that I would get away with it with anyone who has ever met me. I hope all members take the opportunity to catch up with friends and family on this important cultural holiday.

Vicbar News & Events
2019 Annual General Meetings of the Victorian Bar Inc. and the Barristers' Benevolent Association of Victoria
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

Penang 2020 ICLC Expressions of Interest

Following on from CommBar’s very successful International Commercial Law Conferences (London 2016 & Hong Kong 2018), CommBar and the Victorian Bar will be holding the 2020 International Commercial Law Conference (‘ICLC’) at the Eastern and Oriental Hotel in Penang, Malaysia on Friday the 18th and Saturday the 19th of September 2020. As was the case with the Hong Kong 2018 ICLC, the timing of the Penang 2020 ICLC coincides with the first weekend of the September school holidays and is an event not to be missed!

The conference will feature speakers from the Victorian, English, Hong Kong, Malaysian and Singapore bars and judiciary and will address a range of current commercial litigation and arbitration topics. Solicitors and Corporate Counsel from the region are also expected to attend and, as ever, the conference will feature an exciting and memorable social program.

Penang is easily accessible via Kuala Lumpur or Singapore on Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Emirates, Silk Air, Air Asia or Scoot in addition to direct flights to Penang from Melbourne, twice weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays) on Jetstar. In addition to the conference hotel (The Eastern and Oriental Hotel), Penang offers a broad range of accommodation suitable to all budgets. Also, the conference registration fee will be competitively priced as it has been with previous CommBar ICLCs.

For now, we are seeking expressions of interest in the Penang 2020 ICLC from CommBar members. If you are interested in attending and consider it likely you will attend the Penang 2020 ICLC, please register your interest by emailing and we shall keep you informed of future developments.

In the meantime, should you have any queries, please feel free to contact Paul Hayes QC at

The Victorian Bar Choir: Join us in Term 4

Join fellow barristers and members of the VicBar community for an hour of relaxation and fun. Experience and obvious talent not required. All welcome.

Click here to view the flyer

Click here for the registration form

Federal Court expressions of interest for native title external mediator list

The Federal Court is calling for expressions of interest from suitably qualified mediators to assist the Court in the management of its native title work.

The court maintains and periodically reviews a list of suitably qualified mediators for occasions when the court, which manages of aspects of native title proceedings, determines to refer a matter to mediation before a person or body other than the National Native Title Tribunal or a Registrar of the Court. 

For further information and an expression of interest form, click here.

Seminar on Singapore Mediation Convention

In conjunction with the Resolution Institute and VADR, we are very pleased to invite you to a CPD session on the Singapore Mediation Convention to be followed by drinks at the offices of Pitcher Partners at 5:30 pm on 31 October 2019.

In December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, now known as the Singapore Mediation Convention.

On 7 August 2019, in Singapore, 46 countries, including the USA, China, Singapore, India, Malaysia, the Philippines & South Korea – but not Australia; signed the Convention.

The Convention will facilitate the enforcement of mediated settlement agreements in cross-border disputes in much the same way as the New York Convention does for arbitral awards. It is intended that the Convention will promote the use of mediation and remove the need to involve courts or arbitral tribunals to achieve enforceable dispute resolution in disputes arising from cross-border transactions. This provides greater certainty to the parties, particularly where the terms of settlement contemplate future performance and enforcement remains an ongoing concern.

Australia’s failure to sign the Convention is disappointing given the extensive amount of international trade in which the country’s corporations engage.  It is hoped that this failure will be addressed by the Federal Government in the near future.

The speakers at this event have and will provide a unique insight into the Convention and its intended operation.  Professor Khory McCormick was the Australian Government Rapporteur at the UNCITRAL Working Group which drafted and settled the Convention.  Professor Rajesh Sharma was present at the signing of the Convention in Singapore.

If you want to learn more, find out what is really happening, make your own contribution, and perhaps hear from an international speaker on this very current topic, then this is a session not to be missed.

Singapore Mediation Convention CPD seminar

Date:            Thursday 31 October 2019
Time:            5:30pm - 7:30pm
Location:      Pitcher Partners 
                     Level 13/664 Collins St
                     Docklands VIC 3008

CPD points: 1.5 hour of CPD under NMAS and Resolution Institute accreditation schemes

Entry is free for Victorian Bar members - click here to register

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: Be sure to check out our new Breakfast Menu, Café Lunch Menu and Bar Snack Menu

Breakfast Menu - Served From 7.00am – 11.30am

Café Lunch Menu - Served From 12.00pm – 3.00pm

Bar Snack Menu – Served From 3.00pm

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.

Practice & Profession News
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.

Independent National Security Legislation Monitor – latest report

The latest report of the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Dr James Renwick CSC SC, concerning the operation, effectiveness and implications of the terrorism-related citizenship loss provisions in the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 has now been tabled in Parliament.  He concluded that certain ‘operation of law’ provisions in the Act do not pass muster under the INSLM Act and should, with some urgency, be repealed with retrospective effect, but be simultaneously replaced by a Ministerial decision-making model (and thus with constitutionally entrenched judicial review), coupled with merits review as to the conduct (s 33AA), fighting or service (s 35) by the Security Appeals Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and using the special advocate model which now exists for control orders. 

Court of Appeal changes coming soon

On 30 September 2019, the civil appeal period will increase to 42 days for most appeals, and electronic filing through RedCrest will be introduced. Updated Court rules, Court of Appeal Practice Notes and Registrar’s Notes will also commence. Practitioners are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the following prior to 30 September 2019:

For more information please refer to the Court’s website.

Profession CPD & Events
La Trobe Law School Seminar - Law and the Dead: An Institutional History of the Coroner’s Office

La Trobe Law School Seminar

Topic: Law and the Dead: An Institutional History of the Coroner’s Office

Presenter: Dr Marc Trabsky

Time/Venue: 11am-12 noon on Wednesday 2 October 2019 in  Room SS-232, Level 2, Social Sciences Building, Bundoora campus, La Trobe University

Click here for registration and further details.

Switch On in the Law Library… Sentencing Advisory Council demonstrates SACStat

Thursday 3 October, 1.15pm-2.00pm

What sentences are Victorian courts imposing on people found guilty of littering? Or common assault? What is the age and gender profile of those sentenced for manslaughter? Is anyone in Victoria ever fined for blackmail? This workshop, held in the Supreme Court Library, will introduce you to SACStat, a powerful online, interactive database of sentencing statistics that can answer these and other questions. The scope of the available data will be shown, and tips demonstrated for its navigation and use. To get the most out of this workshop, please bring your favourite internet enabled device - smart phone, tablet or laptop.

Bookings through Eventbrite


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.

Child Rights: Camps, Cages, Walls and Wire

Wednesday 16 October 2019

5.30pm – 7.30pm

Deakin Downtown, Tower 2, Level 12, 727 Collins Street, Melbourne


30 years after the launching of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children are being held in appalling conditions in military detention in Palestine, behind wire in Mexico, on Manus and Nauru as part of Australia’s offshore processing policy and in a prison condemned for adult occupation in the NT of Australia. Children with mental disabilities suffer doubly in custody and in institutional care. 

This panel session by the International Commission of Jurists Victoria in conjunction with Deakin Law School brings together global experts in person, online and by video to highlight the growing concern that the rights of children have been lost in the miasma of political rhetoric. Our panel will answer questions on their experience of the practical and legal issues in their roles attempting to find dignity and respect for children subjected to the harshest of treatment.

Panellists will be:

Professor Felicity Gerry QC

Dr Paul McDonough

Gerard Horton

Matthew Albert

John Lawrence QC

Dr Oliver Lewis

Julie Gilbert Rosicky

Cassandra Seery

Nicki Lee

See the Deakin Law School newsroom for further information and registration details.

UN Day Lecture 2019 - 25 Years of Cross Border Insolvency Law Reform 1994-2019

Since 1994, UNCITRAL has been developing model laws on Cross Border Insolvency (CBI), which have been adopted in Australia and most leading economies. These laws support globalisation of world trade by providing for cooperation in international insolvencies, through a process of mutual recognition by courts of foreign insolvency regimes and representatives. This year’s UN Day Lecture series will outline how the CBI framework operates, and examine the contribution made by Australian courts and practitioners to many of the developments in this field over the past quarter-century.

The UN Day Lecture series is an annual initiative of the UNCITRAL National Coordination Committee for Australia (UNCCA) to highlight the work of UNCITRAL for practitioners and students. A Lecture will be held in each Australian capital city, with a local speaking panel. Light refreshments will be available afterwards, sponsored by the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA). Your city’s details are set out below.

Registration is required, with a fee for non-members of $25 and students of $5. There is no charge for members of UNCCA, ARITA, the Judiciary, court staff or the APS. Application will be made, where required, for CPD accreditation.

Wednesday 23rd October 2019: 5.00pm – 6.15 pm

Venue: Federal Court of Australia, Court 1
Chair: Justice David O’Callaghan
Speaker: Stewart Maiden QC, Victorian Bar
Commentator: Dr Neil Hannan, Thomson Geer

Click here for more information and to register.

Careers & Opportunities
InBrief Submissions - please email to: 
Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 3rd October 2019