Reflecting on 2019
2019 has been a year of great achievement at the Bar. We’ve welcomed 125 new colleagues and celebrated the appointment of 19 of our members to the bench. But it’s also been a year of reflection for many of us.
The conduct of a former barrister is being examined in the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants and is playing out in the media.
Our members are all bound by a strict code of ethics under which their paramount obligation is to the administration of justice. The Royal Commission will, I hope, help to ensure that the public has confidence in the integrity of the state’s barristers.
The Bar can stand proud in the knowledge that barristers take their professional obligations seriously and all are subject to a robust and rigorous regulatory framework.
Our commitment to the highest standards plays out every day, from our extraordinary record of pro bono work to our members’ authoritative voices in commissions of inquiry and the courts, and on law reform and anti-corruption measures. I’d personally like to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of our members to their profession and to the administration of justice in our community.
As you reflect back on the year that was, I also hope that you recall the collegiate traditions of the Bar, and take extra care to look out for each other – through your friendships, our formal and informal mentoring programs, and the Bar’s open-door tradition. Please also take a moment to review the range of services, policies and activities available to support our members’ health and wellbeing.
Enjoy your summer break
This is my final message in In Brief before I take my summer break. You will hear from our CEO, Katherine Lorenz, next Friday. I wish everyone a refreshing break, with plenty of sunshine (or snow if that’s your preference!), friends and family, and a good book to read.
Develop your unique advocacy style
There are two final places available in the civil stream of the forthcoming Advanced Trial Advocacy Intensive on 20-24 January in Melbourne. The intensive is an opportunity for experienced advocates to try new advocacy techniques in a realistic court setting, to refine their personal style and expertise. There will be individual coaching from senior members of the legal profession as well as professional voice, movement and impact coaches. If you missed out, you should make a note to attend next year.