In Brief Issue #940

Katherine Lorenz

Launch of Pro Bono platform

This week the Bar launched our new Pro Bono platform, which can be used by all current practising members to access and manage pro bono requests from the Supreme Court, County Court and Coroner’s Court of Victoria, as well as managing and documenting personal pro bono briefs.

The platform is easy to use and will enable you to share documents and notes with colleagues working on the same pro bono cases, and to log your hours.

The platform is currently undergoing the final stages of testing. Further details will be communicated with you in the near future once the platform is live.

Victorian Attorney-General Jill Hennessy MP speaking at the launch of our Pro Bono platform


Call for Expressions of Interest for Membership of Bar Committees 2020

A reminder that expressions of interest for membership of bar committees closes at 5 pm, MONDAY 25 November 2019, please see notice section below for further details.


Need CPD points?

As you know, the Victorian Bar offers a wide range of CPD seminars exclusive to members of the Bar.

I draw your attention to seminars in the coming week, including ‘Nothing to Write Home About: Australia the Defamation Capital of the World’ – a debate between senior members of the Victorian Bar on the topic of Australian defamation law. 

Another seminar, ‘Practical Issues with commercial damages and account of profits’ will examine issues commonly arising in commercial matters when seeking to quantify damages or an account of profits.  The session will look at the appropriate measure of damages, date for assessing loss, dealing with subsequent gains/losses and failures to mitigate, and the treatment of taxation, interest and overheads/fixed costs.

Attendance for these CPD seminars are free for all Victorian Bar members and each bears one CPD point.

Details can be accessed through the Events Calendar and for members through the Upcoming CPD section of the website.


Upcoming events

The upcoming ‘Should we, even if we can?’ CPD on Thursday 28 November will be the final Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) & VicBar co-hosted event in 2019. These CPD sessions have been hugely successful for the Bar.  These sessions provide a great opportunity for members to build relationships with corporate counsel, share knowledge and build capability.

This session ‘Should we even if we can? Ethical corporate decision making in a post-Hayne world’ is not to be missed. Chaired by our President, Wendy Harris QC, the panel will comprise Catherine Walter AM & Carolyn McSweeney, both of whom have extensive experience in organisations subject to regulatory scrutiny, such as commissions of inquiry, alongside barrister Kat Brazenor. Together, they will examine the role of organisational culture in corporate decision making.

This is your last opportunity for the year to take advantage of our relationship with the ACC right here at the Bar.  We know that corporate counsel are just as keen as you are build relationships and spending a few hours on a Thursday evening is a very effective way to do that.

Click here to register, or email


Judicial welcomes

On Tuesday this week the profession welcomed his Honour Judge Doyle to the County Court of Victoria. Jennifer Clark’s speech on behalf of the Bar can be read here.

On Wednesday the profession welcomed her Honour Chief Magistrate Hannan to the Magistrates Court of Victoria. Wendy Harris QC’s speech on behalf of the Bar can be read here.


End of Year drinks

VicBar’s annual End of Year drinks will be held this year on Friday 6 December. We look forward to seeing you there.

If you have any ideas, questions or concerns about membership matters, please send them to me at

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  
Reminder - 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.

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.

Victorian Bar End of Year Drinks – Friday 6 December

The Victorian Bar Council is delighted to invite members of the Bar and Bench to the Victorian Bar End of Year Drinks on Friday 6 December in the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery from 5pm.


Vicbar Life
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)

Studio 11 - Oliver Ashworth-Martin and Robert Rae Exhibition

STUDIO 11, always worth a look, is currently exhibiting Contemporary Botanicals by Oliver Ashworth-Martin (19 works including bronze sculpture) and Drawn Things by Robert Rae (29 works – pigment pen on cotton paper). You are welcome to visit to check out the exhibition at your leisure to have a break and enjoy the works. As usual, there are red dots next to pieces which have sold, with all proceeds going directly to the artists. There are still beautifully executed works available for purchase, in case you’re on the lookout for something original and special to mark an important occasion, for yourself or for a significant other. The exhibition finishes 13 December 2019.

6th edition of Brooking on Building Contracts - by Dr Damien Cremean, Michael Whitten QC and Michael Sharkey

The 6th edition of Brooking on Building Contracts was formally launched on 13 Nov by his Honour Justice Riordan of the Supreme Court at a meeting of the MTECC group.

The book is published by LexisNexis and is the work of three barristers of the Victorian Bar: Dr Damien Cremean, Michael Whitten QC and Michael Sharkey. Michael Whitten QC is now Lord Chief Justice of Tonga.

The book takes its name from the Hon Mr Robert Brooking QC who wrote the 1st edition and was a learned Justice of the Victorian Supreme Court for many years. A 2nd edition was done by Mr David Bennett QC also of the Victorian Bar.

Saints in Law Function

St Kilda supporters are invited to drinks, canapes and the opportunity to hear about the season ahead, on Tuesday 10 December 2019. Brett Ratten, Matt Finnis, Simon Lethlean, Brad Hill, and Paddy Ryder will also be there for a chat, as well as to discuss the Club’s new Indigenous Program.

Click here to view the flyer.

The Essoign members Christmas party

The Essoign committee and management are delighted to invite all Essoign Members to The Essoign's Christmas Party Drinks and Canapes.

Wednesday the 11th December from 5.00pm at the Club.

See flyer attached.

Practice & Profession News
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 Report Asks, Can an Offender’s Deportation Affect Sentencing?

19 November 2019

The Council has today released a report reviewing how Victorian courts take deportation into account in sentencing.

In 2014, the federal government amended the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) so that anyone sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment or more must have their visa cancelled. As a result, the number of visas across Australia that are cancelled each year under these ‘character test’ provisions has increased from about 100 to 1,000.

Australian courts are increasingly grappling with whether an offender’s future deportation should affect the sentence imposed, and if so, to what extent.

The report finds that, in Victoria, an offender’s potential deportation could be taken into account in sentencing in four ways:

  1. it could be considered an extra-curial form of punishment
  2. the prospect of deportation may cause anxiety, making the offender’s time in prison more burdensome
  3. it may result in reduced prospects of parole eligibility (though legislation in Victoria prohibits sentencing courts from taking this into account)
  4. the reduced prospects of parole eligibility may cause anxiety, making the offender’s time in prison more burdensome.

The report also identifies three key issues that may benefit from further judicial guidance:

  1. the test that sentencing courts should apply in determining the likelihood of an offender’s deportation if the sentence will trigger mandatory visa cancellation
  2. the steps in the visa review process that can permissibly constitute ‘fresh evidence’ on which to base a sentence appeal
  3. whether an offender’s anxiety about reduced prospects of parole is a permissible consideration.

The full report, Deportation and Sentencing: An Emerging Area of Jurisprudence, is available from our website.

Judicial College launches new website

The Judicial College of Victoria’s new website is now live.

The site has been developed to make it easier to users to access College publications and resources, which have been categorised by area of law to assist and speed up user searches.

If you encounter issues, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the contact us tab at the top of the page.

Check out the new site.

Profession CPD & Events
James Merralls Fellowship in Law lecture – Monday 2 December 2019

Melbourne Law School and the Victorian Bar are delighted to present Professor Arun Thiruvengadam as the recipient of the James Merralls Fellowship in Law for 2019.  The 2019 lecture will focus on constitutional law in India.  On January 26, 2020, the Constitution of India will complete 70 years of existence.  This lecture focuses on one critical institution that it created: the Supreme Court of India, which sits atop the unitary judiciary that was conceived to be the guardian of the text of the Constitution and its ‘Fundamental Liberties’ chapter in particular.


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

Regional Arbitral Institutes Forum (RAIF) Conference 2019

The Regional Arbitral Institutes Forum (RAIF) Conference 2019 will be held at The Rizqun International Hotel, Brunei Darussalam on 6 December 2019.

Click here for the AABD-RAIF Conference program and registration.

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
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.

InBrief Submissions - please email to: 
Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 28th November 2019