In Brief Issue #939

Wendy Harris QC

Bar Council elections

The Bar Council election results were announced yesterday afternoon.

Bar Council has also appointed its officeholders and honorary secretary. The two Vice Presidents are Simon Marks QC and Sam Hay SC. The Treasurer is Stewart Maiden QC and Assistant Treasurer Gabi Crafti.  The Honorary Secretary is Kat Brazenor. Thank you to everyone who voted in the election.

The Bar Council Committee Expression of Interest process commenced this morning—see the notice below.

I was delighted and honoured to be elected as President of the Victorian Bar by the Bar Council yesterday. It is a privilege to represent this organisation and I am excited by the possibilities, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.  You’ll hear more about the priorities of the Bar Council in the coming weeks.

I look forward to working with the newly appointed Bar Council to take our organisation into the year ahead. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank outgoing Bar Councillors Áine Magee QC, Erin Hill, Nawaar Hassan and Nicole Papaleo, and our outgoing Honorary Secretary Andrew Bell for their significant contribution to the work of the Bar Council over the past year.

Going forward, I will be sharing this weekly message with our stellar CEO, Katherine Lorenz, who will focus particularly on membership matters.  Katherine has just completed her first year at the helm, and has already been responsible for significant governance and operational reforms which have materially improved the functioning of the Bar office and effective service delivery. If you have any ideas or concerns that you would like to discuss, please send them to me at or to Katherine at


Dr Matt Collins AM QC

During his two-year term as President, Dr Matthew Collins AM QC provided exemplary leadership of the Victorian Bar. He achieved a balance between the old and the new—preserving the best of our traditions and values while embarking on a program of modernisation and growth that will help us remain strong and relevant into the future.

Matt’s legacy is marked by numerous achievements—so many that space does not permit me to list them all. However, I would like to mention Matt’s commitment to improving diversity and equality at the Bar, his ambitious review and reform of our governance and constitution, his oversight of a comprehensive review of our pro bono schemes, and his professional and sensitive response to the external scrutiny of our practices around wellbeing and conduct. He is passionate about, and a tireless advocate for, our college.

Matt was a devoted and skilful leader, exhibiting good grace, enthusiasm and a determination to help the Bar achieve its full potential. We were fortunate to have him as our President for two terms.


Jennifer Batrouney QC

Jennifer Batrouney QC will complete her term as President of the Australian Bar Association tomorrow.  Among other things, during her time as ABA President Jennifer led the reform of the ABA’s governance, shepherded them through a new strategic plan, led the organisation of two highly successful conferences in Singapore and Sydney, and launched the new ABA website.  On behalf of the Bar, I thank Jennifer for her two years of service to the ABA, which immediately followed her term as President of the Victorian Bar. Her service to our profession through these roles has been outstanding.


Judicial welcomes and farewells

Yesterday the profession welcomed the Honourable Justice Lisa Nichols to the Supreme Court of Victoria. Dr Matt Collins AM QC’s speech on behalf of the Bar can be read here.

On Tuesday the profession welcomed her Honour Judge Hassan to the County Court of Victoria. Simon Moglia’s speech on behalf of the Bar can be read here.

This morning the profession farewelled his Honour Chief Magistrate Lauritsen. My speech on behalf of the Bar can be read here.


Vicbar News & Events
Results of the Bar Council Election for 2019/2020

At the Declaration of the Poll following the Bar Council election held on 13 November 2019 the following candidates, in order of seniority, were declared elected:-

CATEGORY A: Eleven counsel who are Queen’s Counsel, Senior Counsel, or junior counsel who are of not less than 15 years’ standing –

Mr Paul Holdenson QC
Mr Simon Marks QC
Dr Ian Freckelton QC
Ms Wendy Harris QC
Dr Suzanne (Sue) McNicol QC
Mr Adrian Finanzio SC
Ms Helen Rofe QC
Ms Minal Vohra SC
Mr Stewart Maiden QC
Mr Justin Hannebery QC
Mr Samuel Hay SC

CATEGORY B: Six counsel who are junior counsel who are of not less than 6 years’ standing and of not more than 15 years’ standing –

Ms Elizabeth Ruddle
Ms Meghan (Meg) O'Sullivan
Ms Emily Porter
Ms Gabrielle (Gabi) Crafti
Ms Sarah Keating
Ms Kathleen Foley

CATEGORY C:  Four counsel who are junior counsel who are of less than 6 years’ standing –

Mr Daniel Nguyen
Ms Raini Zambelli
Ms Reegan Grayson Morison
Ms Rabea Khan

At a meeting of the newly-elected Bar Council held on 14 November 2019, the following office-bearers were appointed:

PRESIDENT     Wendy Harris QC  
HONORARY SECRETARY   Katherine Brazenor  
Call for Expressions of Interest for Membership of Bar Committees 2020

Expressions of interest are sought from those members of the Bar who wish to remain on, or become a member of, one or more of the Bar committees. A copy of the role descriptions and responsibilities of each of the committees of the Bar Council is accessed here, selection criteria are here and the online form is here (you need to be logged in to access the link).

It is through the Bar’s committees that a great deal of the work of the Bar as a representative professional institution is done.  The selfless contribution of time and effort given by members to this work is a donation of great value to the Bar and to the wider community.

The Bar Council encourages all who have an interest in serving on any of the committees to complete the online form. All practising counsel are invited to show their interest.  Experience is not a prerequisite to service on a committee.

Each Bar Committee takes seriously its role in advancing the interests of members of the Bar fulfilling the purposes of the committee; those seeking election to a committee should, therefore, not underestimate the workload. Nevertheless, ongoing renewal is important, so Bar Council encourages you to consider nominating. Anyone who is considering nominating and would like to know more about what is involved should speak to the Chair of the committee(s) you are interested in joining. 

In settling the membership of the committees one objective of the Bar Council is to ensure that membership of the Bar committees reflects, as far as possible, the general composition of the Bar. 

Further, the Bar Council is keen to involve new people in the committees.  Barristers who have not previously served on Bar committees are therefore particularly encouraged to express their interest. 

An expression of interest application form will be emailed to all practising members and can also be accessed here.  Please complete the form online. The deadline for receipt of expressions of interest is 5 pm, MONDAY 25 November 2019.  If you do not receive the email containing the link please contact Liz Ingham at

Existing members of committees should note that if you do not complete the online form in time it will be assumed that you no longer wish to continue your membership of any committee.

A ‘hotdesk’ is available in the Bar office for those members without access to the internet.

New ABA new website launched

The ABA has launched its new website -

The new site is attractive and easy to navigate, with information on the advocacy training including the forthcoming Advanced Trial Advocacy Intensive in Melbourne on 20-24 January, the BAQ ABA conference in Brisbane next March, news, speeches, publications, policy and information for the public about barristers. 

Ceremonial Sittings for 2019 Silks

Ceremonial sittings to receive the announcements of the appointment of Senior Counsel for Victoria will be held on:

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Supreme Court of Victoria – 9:15 am

A Full Court of the Supreme Court of Victoria will sit in the Banco Court, 210 William Street, Melbourne at 9:15 am. 

Federal Court of Australia – 10:30 am

A Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia will sit in Court 1, Level 8 of the Owen Dixon Commonwealth Law Courts Building, 305 William Street, Melbourne at 10:30 am.

Family Court of Australia – 10:45 am

A Full Court of the Family Court of Australia will sit in Court 4A, Level 4 of the Owen Dixon Commonwealth Law Courts Building, 305 William Street, Melbourne at 10:45 am.

All counsel who are able to do so are encouraged to attend, robed (without wigs), in honour of the new Silks.

WBA seminar on financial resilience

WBA is pleased to present a small-group lunchtime seminar on financial resilience for barristers.

The seminar will be held at lunchtime (1-2pm) on Friday 22 November in Bar Council Chambers (lunch is provided). The panel features:

Siobhan Blewitt - Stellan Capital
Benjamin Fernandes - Legal Super
Lisa Marshall - Blue Rock

The session will be open to questions but our panellists will cover issues such as:

• the super gap between men and women and how to address it;
• protecting your livelihood through disability and illness insurance and the most cost-effective way to do that;
• financial measures when taking parental or other extended leave;
• ensuring you charge what you should by comparison with competitors;
• making the most of wealth i.e. property, shares, investments.

Places are limited to 25 so please RSVP promptly to secure a spot. RSVP to Sandra Karabidian at Please forward to Sandra any questions that you want the panel to address (questions will be asked anonymously). The session is open to all barristers.

Victorian Bar Member CPD Events
Vicbar Life
3 Day Thomson Reuters Book Sale: Tuesday 19 - Thursday 21 November

Thomson Reuters will be holding their 3 day end of year book sale from Tuesday 19th to Thursday 21st of November in the Owen Dixon Chambers East Foyer (near security).

The book sale will run from 9am – 5pm each day with a wide variety of books available. Barristers will receive a minimum of 20% off all local titles, including new release and pre-orders as well as a large range of clearance titles with up to 60% the RRP. There is also 20% off Sweet and Maxwell (UK) titles.

Click here to view sale book list or visit the website for the full range.

For  more information please contact Travis Mether via email

Member Benefits Australia - November exclusive member offers
Tickets on Sale for BottledSnail Gala Concert

BottledSnail has been bringing creatives in the legal industry together for 6 years, providing outlets to improve our connections and mental health as well as cultivating opportunities for people to rekindle their creative passions.

For BottledSnail to continue to put on quality productions and run the many projects that we do we need your help. All of our productions and projects come at a cost and we want keep our productions accessible to our members both artists and audiences.

The event will be retrospective – with fabulous performances from our Big Band, Orchestra, Choir as well as past musical projects, soloists and dramatists. We are calling on all of our Snail friends – to come along, and bring their friends. It will also be an excellent opportunity to get together with other creatives over a glass of wine and maybe even chat about your next project. There will be drinks and snacks available for purchase on the night.

View the flyer for more information and click here for tickets.

2019 Judges Golf Classic (23 December 2019 at Eastern GC)

I have much pleasure in inviting members of the Victorian Bar to participate in the annual Judges’ Golf Classic which this year will be held at the Eastern Golf Club in the Yarra Valley on Monday, 23 December 2019.  We will be playing the Greg Norman designed South Course (Holes 1-18). There will be a shotgun start at 8:30 am. Before play commences, early risers are welcome to warm up with free range balls on the practice range which is situated on the eastern side of the car park, next to the tennis courts. Complimentary egg & bacon rolls and tea and coffee will be served before play near the main practice putting green which is situated on the western side of the clubhouse. Those staying for lunch are welcome afterwards to play Shark Waters, a challenging 9 hole par three course which girts two of Eastern’s lakes. The total cost this year is $125 (or $75 for those who can’t stay for lunch).

Please RSVP by 22 November 2019 to my Associate, Simon Brown ( For catering purposes, please indicate whether you will be joining us for lunch.

I look forward to seeing you at Eastern GC in the beautiful Yarra Valley.

Justice Christopher Beale

Wigs & Gowns Annual Sailing Day - Thursday 19 December 2019 at the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron (St Kilda)



A cruise in company incorporating the


will be held on the waters of Port Phillip and hosted by the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron St Kilda on

Thursday 19th  December 2019.

Invitations are extended to yachts and craft of all types.

Visitors and non-sailors are welcome.

Located at the southern end of Catani Gardens St Kilda

(Take the 96 or 16 tram from the City to corner Fitzroy Street/Upper) Esplanade.

Refreshments can be purchased at RMYS prior to sailing.

On water activities will be followed by a luncheon and drinks.


11.00      Briefing at Marina Entrance

Go to west end of St Kilda Pier

11.45      Cruise commences

13.30      Luncheon


Please contact: Peter Rattray QC (7240), John Digby (0412 530 701), Julie Davis (0412 322 111), Rob Galbally (0410 637 370) or James Mighell QC (0412 991 619)

Practice & Profession News
The Judicial College of Victoria survey closes today

The Judicial College of Victoria  is currently gathering insights to form a deeper understanding of users’ preferences when accessing College resources, with the aim to improve our services. The College would be grateful if you could spare two minutes of your time to fill out a short survey.

The Judicial College of Victoria has embarked on a project that aims to place our audiences at the heart of everything we do. Its purpose is to ensure we are delivering the best value and service possible to the Victorian judiciary and wider legal community. All answers are confidential and will not be shared outside the College. If you have not already completed the survey, we would therefore appreciate two minutes of your time to fill out this short survey.


ACICA launch Australian Arbitration Survey

ACICA has launched the Australian Arbitration Survey to gather empirical evidence from practitioners as what works in arbitration and what can be improved on. The survey will assist by, contributing to a more meaningful conversation with corporate and government decision makers to drive further investment in the area; informing collective efforts to promote international commercial arbitration in Australia and Australian cities as arbitral venues; providing a baseline against which changes in usage and perceptions in this area can be assessed and enhancing the practice of arbitration in Australia. To take the survey it is necessary to first obtain a respondent number from ACICA. Details can be found here

New Sentencing Statistics Released for the Magistrates’ Court

The Sentencing Advisory Council’s public ‘SACStat’ database of sentencing statistics has been updated with three years of new data for offences sentenced in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.

The new data gives users access to a wealth of information about 500 offences sentenced in Victoria’s busiest court. SACStat provides information on the number of cases and charges sentenced, the types of sentences imposed, sentence lengths, and an age and gender profile of offenders.

SACStat also provides sentencing data for over 200 offences sentenced in the higher courts (County and Supreme Courts) for the five years to 30 June 2018.

New user guide
The Sentencing Advisory Council has published a two-page guide (PDF attached) with handy hints to help users get across SACStat’s counting rules.

More detailed resources can be found on SACStat: About SACStat, How to Use SACStat’ and ‘Technical Notes’.

You can access SACStat from the Sentencing Advisory Council’s website.

Appointment of Manager to Stanton Grant Legal

On 29 October 2019, the Victorian Legal Services Board (‘the Board’) resolved to renew the appointment of Mr Rapke as Manager of the Law Practice, pursuant to section 334 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (‘Uniform Law’). The appointment is for a period of nine months and expires on 29 July 2020, unless the Board determines to extend the appointment or the appointment otherwise ceases in accordance with section 340 of the Uniform Law.

The Board determined to renew the appointment of the Manager for similar reasons to those set out in our previous letter and the Board remains satisfied that there is a need for an independent person to continue to take professional and operational responsibility for the Law Practice.

As discussed in our previous correspondence, members of the Victorian Bar may be impacted by this appointment and Bar members may contact Mr Rapke if they have any concerns about payment of their fees.

If you wish to discuss this matter further with the Board, please contact David J Smith on (03) 9679 8097 or via email at


Profession CPD & Events
Commercial Court CPD Seminar - Privacy Law in an Era of Disruption

With no statutory or common law tort for invasion of privacy in Australia, this session will explore current privacy protections and causes of action in legislation and common law. It will also discuss law reform proposals to improve redress, such as a statutory tort and strengthened protections under existing privacy legislation, as most recently recommended by the ACCC's Digital Platforms Report.  

Date: Wednesday, 20 November 2019
Time: 5.15pm – 6.15pm
Venue: Monday University Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
RSVP: Monday 18 November 2019 (unless booked out prior) - Click here to RSVP

La Trobe Law School Seminar - “Explainable AI” and Reasons for Judicial Decisions

Presenters: Jacquelyn Burkell and Jane Bailey

Date/Time: 2pm-3pm on Wednesday 4 December 2019

Venue: Room MAR241, Level 2, Martin Building, Bundoora Campus, La Trobe University

Click here for registration and further details

The future of freedom of speech and religion

Saturday 7 December 2019

9am – 5pm

Law Institute of Victoria


Israel Folau is one of Australia’s most prominent rugby players, known for sharing provocative content on social media. His sacking by Rugby Australia has been highly controversial, with some suggesting it influenced the outcome of the 2019 federal election.


This Folau affair implicates numerous areas of law and raises fundamental questions for the future of public debate in Australia, and has potentially significant implications for freedom of speech and freedom of religion.


Deakin Law School is hosting a conference to investigate the major aspects of the Folau matter and its implications for Australian law and society.


Join Deakin Law School as we welcome the following leading experts from around Australia:

  • Professor Patrick Parkinson (University of Queensland) – freedom of religion
  • Mark Sneddon (Monash University, Institute for Civil Society) – freedom of religion
  • Dr Harry Hobbs (University of Technology Sydney) – Israel Folau and the Legal Protection of Human Rights in Australia
  • Anja Hilkemeijer (University of Tasmania) – The Flip Side of Folau: The Dismissal of Employees by Religious Organisations for Breaches of Codes of Conduct – A Human Rights Balancing Act
  • Professor Jack Anderson (University of Melbourne) – Folau v Rugby Australia – The Instagram Post That Made it All the Way to the Federal Court 
  • Professor Anthony Forsyth (RMIT University) – employment law
  • Professor Beth Gaze (University of Melbourne) – discrimination law 
  • Professor Paul Redmond (University of Technology Sydney) – Israel Folau and the Idea of Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Dr Patrick Emerton (Monash University) – Israel Folau, Religious Freedom and the Limits of Toleration 
  • Professor Matthew Groves (Deakin Law School) – From Netball to Football – The Principles and Problems of Decision-Making by Sports Tribunals 
  • Dr John McLean (Christ College) – More Than ‘Do Unto Others’: Jesus’ Surprising Relevance to Freedom of Religion
  • Dr Ben Saunders (Deakin Law School) – Free Exercise of Religion and the Constitution: Time for a Rethink?

This conference will make an important contribution to the public debate on religious freedom and the proposed Religious Discrimination legislation, providing a forum to facilitate informed discussion.

Further information and to register see the Deakin Law School newsroom.

HAL International Legal Conference Official Opening at famous Kallithea Springs, Rhodes, Greece

The famous site of Kallithea Springs will be the venue for the Official Opening Ceremony of the HAL International Legal Conference in Rhodes, Greece from 5-10 July 2020

The Springs of Kallithea have been known since antiquity in Ancient Greece for their therapeutic properties.  Since the time of the Dorian Hexepolis 700BC and later during the times of the Knights of Saint John in the 13th and 14th centuries, the Springs have been attracting visitors from the surrounding islands, the Asian Coast, and the Middle East.

The first buildings were constructed in December 1928 by the renowned architect Pietro Lombardi and described as ‘royal’.  It has been reported as one of the best architectural creations of the period.

The Early Bird Discount date is 13 December 2019.  For more information about the Conference, including speakers, see


Careers & Opportunities
Expressions of Interest – Law Institute Journal judgment writers

The Law Institute Journal (LIJ) is seeking a new High Court judgment writer and a new Supreme Court judgment writer.

They are looking for individuals to supply the 2pp High Court column from March 2020 LIJ and the 2pp Supreme Court column from May 2020 LIJ.

It’s a flexible role, but judgment columnists are asked to commit for at least one year.

Any barristers interested in the opportunity please contact Managing Editor Carolyn Ford at who will provide deadline and other details.

EOI - Head Clerk for 12th Floor Wentworth Selborne Chambers in Sydney

12th Floor Wentworth Selborne Chambers in Sydney is seeking expressions of interest for the position of Head Clerk.

One of the leading sets of barristers’ chambers in New South Wales, with over 55 members including 16 Senior Counsel, its barristers practise nationally and internationally in a broad range of areas and jurisdictions.

For further information, see The commencement date for the position would be within the first six months of 2020.

Applicants should have significant clerking experience and should address their applications, setting out relevant experience and suitability for the role, to

The Secretary

12th Floor Wentworth Selborne Chambers

180 Phillip Street

Sydney NSW 2000


Closing date for applications is 22 November 2019.

Judicial College of Victoria – Job Opportunity

The Judicial College of Victoria has a new opportunity for a strategic thinker with an interest in therapeutic justice.

Education Program Manager, Therapeutic Justice, Judicial College of Victoria (VPSG5)

Great opportunity for a strategic thinker with an interest in therapeutic justice to join the Judicial College of Victoria.

  • Lead the development and delivery of innovative and strategic education programs for judicial officers and multi-disciplinary teams in therapeutic justice settings.
  • Grow and develop in a collaborative and supportive environment.
  • Fixed term role until 30 June 2021. Part-time hours considered for the right candidate

Click here for more information and to apply

Applications close: 20/11/2019 (Midnight)

InBrief Submissions - please email to: 
Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 21st November 2019