In Brief Issue #953

Katherine Lorenz

Back to the Bar initiative

Today the Bar commenced a new initiative aimed at helping members to rebuild their practices when they return after a period of leave, especially from parental or carers’ leave.

You may have seen a new notice in the lifts and on our website, headed ‘Back to the Bar’, welcoming a member back to work.  

As you know, barristers are often asked to recommend a colleague, so the idea is to let members know that a returning colleague may be available for work. This could be helpful in those first few months after a period of absence.

While the initiative is aimed at members returning from parental or carer’s leave, it is suitable for all members.

We have asked the clerks to assist, but any member is welcome to let us know that they are returning after an extended absence.


Covid-19 and the forthcoming winter flu season

All currently practising members have received an email from me today outlining some sensible measures the Bar and BCL are taking to prevent the spread of Covid-19 (the new coronavirus disease), and technology support BCL may be able to provide to help you avoid disruption, should you wish to work from home.

If you have any queries about the new sanitation facilities or appropriate technology for your practice, contact BCL on 9225 8888. 


New assistance available for members with disability

The Victorian Bar is committed to ensuring all members have the support they need to work and engage in Bar activities throughout their careers. To this end, the Bar has commenced a new policy in which I will assist members with disability to navigate the available services.

This includes:

  • Pursuing enquiries about chambers-related issues, like accessibility, office equipment, desks, chairs, IT or BCL support;
  • Ensuring Bar services are inclusive, such as CPD or other Bar events and functions;
  • Referrals to other barristers with lived experience of disability to provide support or guidance; and
  • Addressing any issues associated with access, facilities or appearances in court.

Please contact me by email or telephone me via our reception (9225 7111) if you need help or support in any of these areas.

There is more information, including links to court and tribunal policies, on our website.


Welcomes and appointments

This week, the Governor in Council appointed four new Magistrates, including three from our Bar. Details of appointments and all forthcoming welcome ceremonies are set out in the notices below.

On Thursday morning our members were in the unfortunate situation of having to choose between attending the welcome for Her Honour Judge Dalziel or His Honour Magistrate Michael Richards.  But you can read the delightful speeches on behalf of the Bar by Simon Moglia for Judge Dalziel and Trevor Monti QC for Magistrate Richards.

Vicbar News & Events
Appointments - Four new Magistrates

Magistrates’ Court of Victoria

The Governor in Council has appointed three members of our Bar as Magistrates.

Her Honour Magistrate Victoria Campbell
His Honour Magistrate Andrew Halse
Her Honour Magistrate Helen Murphy

The Governor in Council has also appointed:

Her Honour Magistrate Amina Bhai

Details of the welcome ceremonies will be advised when they become known.

Forthcoming welcomes - Magistrates' Court of Victoria

Magistrates’ Court of Victoria

The profession will extend a welcome for:

Her Honour Magistrate Elizabeth Langdon and

Her Honour Magistrate Kristen Rose

on Thursday 19 March 2020 at 9 am.

Details of the welcome ceremonies for Their Honours Bhai, Campbell, Halse and Murphy will be advised when they become known.

All welcome ceremonies are in Court 1 of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.

Nominations for Law Council Advisory Committee: Futures Committee

The Bar Council is calling for expressions of interest for the position of a Victorian Bar nominee to the Law Council of Australia Futures Committee. The committee has been established to advise the Law Council on key issues and policy responses to the challenges and opportunities presented by social, technological and regulatory changes, that impact on the Australian legal profession of the future and future consumers of legal services.

The proposed Terms of Reference for the new Futures Committee is at Attachment A.

The Committee will meet as required to perform its functions. The Committee will normally meet via teleconference but may hold face-to-face meetings when appropriate.

It is proposed that the first meeting will take place in approximately late May 2020.

The Bar’s protocol for nomination and appointment of members to external bodies can be found here. Your Expression of Interest should include a copy of your CV and identify any relevant areas of experience or expertise. 

Please forward your expression of interest to Denise Bennett at The Closing date for EOIs is Friday 13 March 2020 at 5pm.

Criminal Bar CPD Conference

The inaugural Criminal Bar Association CPD conference will be held in Lorne on 20-22 March 2020. Sessions will cover The Eastman Trial, Prasad & the Close of the Crown case, Miscarriages of justice, Challenges to forensic science, Ethics in criminal practice, Mental health and sentencing, Standard sentencing and vicarious trauma in practice. Further details and Registration available here.

Victorian Bar Member CPD Events

Upcoming CPD events:

You must be a member of the Victorian Bar and logged into the VicBar website to view the following events.

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 March 2020.

If you join before 31 March 2020, 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.

Member Benefits Australia - March exclusive member offers

Don't miss out on these exclusive member deals for March with some great offers and gift ideas.

Essoign Trivia Night

The Essoign’s next Trivia Night at the Club is on Tuesday the 17th of March.

Register your team in the Club or at

See attached flyer for details.

Steve Myall Award Inaugural Dinner

Steve Myall 17/6/58- 14/3/18

Steve Myall was a well loved and well respected serving Magistrate at the time of his unfortunate death on 14 March 2018.

Both during his time on the bench and his many years as a legal practitioner, he was passionate advocate for social justice.

His contribution to the judiciary, the legal profession and the community was as extensive as it was outstanding.


The Victorian Magistrates Association and the Law Institute of Victoria have determined to recognise Steve’s work on prison and sentence reform issues with an award bearing his name.

The inaugural award will be celebrated with a dinner and award presentation.


Steve Myall Award Inaugural Dinner            

Date                    Wednesday 15th April 2020 6pm

Location             RACV City Club 501 Bourke St Melbourne

MC                        Paul Grant

Guest Speaker  The Hon Michael Kirby AO CMG

Click here to register.


The award is a monetary amount awarded annually to a person who, has by their efforts, have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to social justice issues in particular, prison and sentence reform being an issue very close to Steve’s heart.

The purpose of the award  to recognise, reward and thereby encourage the work and achievements of the recipient and others and inspire them to continue this important work

Criteria for selection

Demonstrated outstanding commitment to and an advocate for the aims of the award

Award Administration

The award will be administered by the LIV and a committee comprising a nominee from the LIV Criminal Law Section and the VMA

The principal purpose of the committee is to call for nominations and to review and select the winner.

Contributions: Initial Contributions have already been pledged from the VMA and the Australian Association of Magistrates.

Contributions/donations to the award fund can be made via the LIV

Name: Wellbeing And The Law Foundation

BSB: 033002

Account No: 737269

Description Steve Myall Award

Batten Disease Support and Research Association Fundraiser

Many of you will have heard of how Ant Strahan and his wife Kate Beattie (both of our Bar) left Melbourne for Rome in 2016 seeking treatment for their then-3-year-old son, Tom, who had been diagnosed with late infantile Batten disease (CLN2). Batten disease is a serious neurological disorder, and at the time there was no treatment available in Australia.  Their efforts were successful. Tom improved dramatically and they were ultimately able to arrange for Tom’s treatment back in Australia.  On their return Kate became the honorary President of the Batten Disease Support and Research Association (BDSRA).  Under Kate’s stewardship, the BDSRA played an important role in a campaign to make Tom’s treatment generally available, and today all Australian children newly diagnosed with CLN2 Batten disease receive world-leading, highly effective treatment at home.

You can read more about the Strahan family’s story and the improved treatment of Batten disease in Australia here:

The BDSRA is on a fundraising drive. Please consider buying a raffle ticket to support children with Batten disease, and the important work of the BDSRA here:

Alternatively you can make a donation here:

Calling all Francophones

Plans are underway to start a VicBar French Conversation Club. Members will gather at a central location to practise their French over some Brie and Beaujolais. If you are interested, please email Hadi Mazloum by clicking here.

Australian War Crimes Trials Breakfast Seminar - 25 March

At 8am on Wednesday 25 March, come to the Essoign Club for a breakfast seminar on Australian War Crimes Trials Post World War 2 with guest Speaker Adam Wakeling.

Tickets: $10 at the door. RSVP to

Click here to view the flyer for more information.

Practice & Profession News
Second edition of the Federal Sentencing Guide now available on the CDPP website

The CDPP is pleased to announce the release of the 2nd Edition of the Federal Sentencing Guide, which is now available on the CDPP website.

The 2nd Edition contains updates to most chapters and some completely new sections. The revisions were prepared by counsel Desmond Lane, with assistance from counsel Michael Wilson, both from the Victorian Bar.

A list of what is new is contained within the new edition of the Guide.

It is anticipated that a further, shorter update will follow in the coming months.

This new edition of the Guide is intended as a comprehensive resource not only for CDPP lawyers, but for all legal practitioners, judicial officers, and others who deal with the sentencing of Federal offenders.

Notice of termination of Mr Alan Splatt as Manager of Alexander Whitehouse & Co

In regards to the Victorian Legal Services Board’s (‘Board’) appointment of Mr Alan Splatt as Manager of Alexander Whitehouse & Co (‘Law Practice’), pursuant to section 334 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (Victoria).

Please accept this letter as notice that Mr Splatt’s appointment as Manager of the Law Practice terminated on 2 March 2020, because the term of the appointment came to an end and the Law Practice has been wound up.

If you wish to discuss this matter further with the Board, please contact Chantelle Toussaint on 03 9679 8165 or at

Profession CPD & Events
Modernisation of Resolution Institute Arbitration Rules: What you need to know?

The session will be presented by Toby Shnookal QC, arbitrator and a director of Resolution Institute and a key participant in the drafting of the new Rules. Toby will explain how the rules were developed, how they operate both contractually and within the domestic and international arbitration Acts. He will take you through some of the major changes and advantages of using the new rules.

The Resolution Institute Arbitration Rules are the successors to the IAMA Arbitration Rules and are the most widely used arbitration rules in Australia. For contracts entered on or after 1 January 2020 the new Rules apply where the parties agree to submit a dispute to arbitration in accordance with Resolution Institute Arbitration Rules or any of the previous IAMA Arbitration Rules.

The Resolution Institute Arbitration Rules 2020 mark a significant modernisation of the Rules they replace while still being modelled on the UNCITRAL Rules. The Resolution Institute Arbitration Rules 2020 work without amendment whether the arbitrator has been agreed or is appointed by a nominating body, and they work in both domestic and international arbitrations. They provide new streamline processes for agreeing the arbitrator, his or her fees and all aspects of arbitration procedure including commencement, consolidation or expansion of the arbitration, recoverable legal fees and so on.

This session will be beneficial for solicitors drafting clauses, litigating barristers, and parties especially in construction.

Event details

Date and time

Monday 16 March 2020


Baker McKenzie
Level 19
181 William Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000

Members: AU$25
Non-members: AU$45
Free for Resolution Institute student members
Free for Professional Development subscribers
Payment by credit card only

This event will contribute 1 hour of CPD under National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS) and Resolution Institute accreditation schemes.

Click here for more information and to register

Cyngler Consulting - National Mediator Accreditation Course

Would you like to become a Nationally Accredited Mediator? Our Melbourne March National Mediator Accreditation Course is just around the corner.

When: Monday to Wednesday.
March 16,17,18 and 23,24,25.
Cost:  $3950

Here is what past students have said about the course.

If you have been thinking about gaining your National Mediation Accreditation but are unsure if this training is suitable for you, please visit Cyngler Consulting for more information. This training will also benefit those who have been previously accredited and wish to refresh their skills and for anyone dealing with conflict.

La Trobe Law School seminar - Lessons of Regional Emissions Trading Pilots for the Chinese National ETS

Presenter: Dr Steve Geroe

Time/Date: 11am-12noon on Wednesday 25 March 2020

Venue: Room SS232 (Moot Court), Level 2, Social Sciences Building, Bundoora Campus, La Trobe University

Click here for registration and further details.

4th IATC Conference - POSTPONED

The International Advocacy Training Council has informed the Bar that, with some reluctance, due to public health considerations, they have decided to postpone the IATC Conference by a year.

At this stage, IATC is planning to hold the conference on  29 and 30 March 2021, which is the weekend before Easter and immediately after the HK Sevens Tournament in 2021.  IATC will confirm the dates in due course.

IATC has conveyed its apologies for the short notice and any inconvenience that may have been caused. 

Careers & Opportunities
Casual Employment Opportunity – Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria - Casual Conciliator Panel Recruitment

DBDRV is currently expanding its casual conciliator panel.  If you are a nationally accredited mediator and are interested in learning more about this opportunity please follow this link.

Applications close on 16 March, 2020.

Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 12th March 2020