In Brief Issue #972

Katherine Lorenz

Remaining strong in “Iso 2.0”

While we may all be back in our homes under renewed restrictions, there is still a lot going on at the Bar. The last few months feel a bit like a long hike: we travel over hills and valleys, potholes and plateaus – we push on, helping each other to reach a destination where we can finally celebrate, quite literally, together. But we shouldn’t forget, as we travel on our COVID journey, that we are passing some key points of interest featuring members of VicBar.

A chronicle of the Bar’s journey through COVID is the theme of the 2020 Winter edition of Victorian Bar News. “A Legal Life in Lockdown” includes some intimate portraits of members’ new home / work environments, shots of online advocacy in the age of coronavirus, as well as regular contributions about the law, VicBar events and the activities of members.  Thank you to the incredibly talented and hardworking editorial team for compiling this compelling, historic edition, which is available to read here. Hard copies are being distributed by members’ clerks.

I’d like to acknowledge the work of the clerks and their staff, who have continued to provide important services to members during this trying time. Despite the many changes and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, the clerks have been responsive, helpful and steadfast in supporting members and assisting the Bar. I’m sure members will join me in thanking them – particularly those individuals who have continued deliver mail and services from within chambers.

Our journey continues… six members of the Victorian Bar have been named as finalists in the 2020 Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards. I’d like to congratulate Felicity Gerry QC, Darren Mort, Sharon Kermath, Terence Guthridge and Gareth Redenbach who are finalists for this year’s Barrister of the Year Award. Congratulations also to Nicole Mollard, who, in addition to being a member of the Bar also lectures at Monash University, and is a finalist for Academic of the Year. The ceremony will be held as a live online broadcast on Friday 7 August at 7:00pm. You can register for the event here.

Adapting to an online environment, so that we can continue to serve our clients and the community, has been a challenge for all of us. The unprecedented increase in online meetings, hearings, events (and award ceremonies!) has compelled all of us to adapt rapidly to virtual settings. I know that this causes many members anxiety, particularly when this involves virtual court appearances. I am pleased to announce that the Victorian Bar is collaborating with the National Institute of Dramatic Art to bring you bespoke training, especially designed for members of the Bar, offering practical tools and techniques from qualified NIDA tutors to help you present professionally and engage with your audience through your webcam. This isn’t a typical foray into one-size-fits-all tips ‘n tricks; rather, this is a unique opportunity to receive guidance from accomplished screen performers on how barristers can be persuasive, confident and compelling in virtual hearings and meetings. Places are limited and members of the Bar only can register for the webinar here.

For members who have adopted the Law Council of Australia’s Equitable Briefing Policy, the LCA has asked for annual reports for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 to be submitted by 30 September online here. Victorian barristers account for the majority of practising counsel Australia-wide to have adopted the policy. Data from the annual reports will be extremely valuable in understanding the progress that has been made, how much further work remains to be done and the causes of continuing inequality. Members can adopt the policy by completing the form available on the Law Council of Australia’s website here. The policy, which has been endorsed by the Bar, aims to achieve a nationally consistent approach towards bringing about cultural and attitudinal change within the legal profession with respect to gender briefing practices.

As we navigate stage three restrictions again and prepare for more uncertainty, it is important we abide by the Victorian Government’s rules around the measures we should take for the sake of our health and safety. For guidance on what you should and should not do, please visit the DHHS website here. The key messages are to remain 1.5 metres away from people who are not normally part of your household (where practicable), eliminate unnecessary travel outside your local area, wash your hands frequently and only leave home for one of four reasons – shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, study and work. Although face masks are not compulsory, the government has requested we wear a cloth or surgical mask when in public and it is difficult to keep a 1.5m distance from others. Now is not the time to look for loopholes – the government is urging all of us to cooperate with the restrictions and use common sense when doing so. Please remember to go to the health & wellbeing page on the VicBar website, which has support and resources for surviving “Iso 2.0”, together with links to access financial support from the Bar, BCL and the government schemes.

Vicbar News & Events
Winter 2020 edition of Victorian Bar News out now

The Winter 2020 edition of Victorian Bar News is out now.

Victorian Bar News is our official twice-yearly magazine, bringing you the latest news, editorials and industry articles. The magazine also covers legal personalities, social events, courtroom humour, sporting and travel.

Court Security Clearing Protocols – Please take your VicBar ID card or (if you don’t have one) a printed copy of your ID letter

Security Entrance Requirements

Court Security Officers (CSO) have been directed of the following condition with respect to exemptions for legal practitioners from security entrance requirements:

  • Legal practitioners will be asked to display their identification card or letter to the CSO at the entry to security screening point of court venues.
  • CSOs must not touch the identification cards or letters. 
  • The identification must be displayed in such a way that the CSO can be satisfied that the identity of the legal practitioner displaying the identification is the same as the identification card.
  • In the event that the legal practitioner is unable to produce an identification card, a hard copy identification letter including a photo of the person will be accepted.
  • The CSO may ask the legal practitioner for additional identification (that includes a name and photograph) so the CSO can be satisfied that the identity of the legal practitioner displaying the identification card or identification letter is the same as the identification card or ID Letter (face to ID check).

For any queries relating to ID cards, such as obtaining a new card or collecting an existing card if you do not have a clerk, please contact

Webinar: Trauma-informed legal practice and litigation

On Tuesday 28 July 2020, 5:00-6:00pm, the Equality and Diversity Committee will present Trauma-informed legal practice and litigation.  

A trauma-informed legal practice aims to reduce trauma and recognise the role trauma plays in the lawyer-client relationship. Integrating trauma-informed practices provides lawyers with the opportunity to increase connections to their clients and improve advocacy. The Panel will discuss the concept of trauma-informed practice and provide practical tips on how to integrate trauma-informed practice into litigation.

The flyer for the webinar is available to read here.

Click here to register for this webinar.

Victorian Bar Member CPD Events

The following are highlights of upcoming CPD events for Victorian Bar members. You must be a member of the Victorian Bar and logged into the VicBar website to view these events.

  • Webcam Advocacy and Communication in the Covid era is on Monday 20 July 2020, 5-6:00pm and will help you improve your presentation when appearing virtually in court hearings and at conferences: by tailoring your advocacy and communication techniques to the medium, and making the best use of technology so as to prevent it from being a distraction. Click here to register for this webinar.
  • Overview of AFCA and its Role in the Post-Royal Commission World is on Tuesday 21 July 2020, 4:30-5:30pm and will provide an overview of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority’s first 18 months of operations, since its establishment in November 2018 as a ‘one-stop shop’ to deal with financial services complaints. Click here to register for this webinar.
  • Peeling back the layers of injustice and discrimination in the midst of a triple pandemic is on Thursday 23 July 2020, 5-6:00pm and will be a discussion of the Black Lives Matter movement, whether there should be a Disadvantage People Matter movement, and the need for legal action. Click here to register for this webinar.
  • The Victorian Bar: Find greater certainty and comfort in online advocacy on Monday 27 July 2020, 1:00-2:30pm is a webinar by the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) designed especially for members of the Victorian Bar. This webinar offers practical tools and techniques to enable you to better engage with your audience. Deepen your awareness of what is possible and strengthen your connection with others when advocating online. NIDA Corporate tutors can help you to achieve the full potential of your onscreen presence. Click here to register.
  • Not Just Public Law: Pro Bono Opportunities for Commercial Law Barristers is on Tuesday 28 July 2020, 1:00-2:00pm and will discuss the practicalities of accepting pro bono briefs in various areas of commercial law, including through the newly established Victorian Bar Pro Bono Platform. Find out more about this webinar in the flyer here. Click here to register.
  • Case Preparation Seminaron Wednesday 5 August 2020, presented by Professor the Hon. George Hampel AM QC, will explore fundamental techniques which will ensure your preparation is efficient, effective and complete, both as to the facts and the law. Click here to register for this webinar.

For more upcoming CPD events, please visit our listings here.

COVID-19 Resources Weekly Update

We understand that members are worried about the risks of COVID-19. Please see the new section on our member website designed to answer some questions you may have, point you to government information websites, and let you know what VicBar and BCL are doing to assist members.

Below is a summary of relevant updates and resources that were made available to you during the past week:

  • We would like to reiterate government advice that if you can work from home, you must work from home. With current technology and internet capabilities, most, if not all, meetings and court appearances involving litigants, solicitors and counsel can now be conducted from home. Therefore, we ask that you come into chambers only if absolutely necessary, and, in the event that it is essential to have an in-person meeting with clients, witnesses, solicitors or others, you abide by the recommendation that you should wear a face mask such as a cloth mask or surgical mask if it is difficult to keep 1.5 metres apart from others. If you are coming to chambers because you have IT difficulties, please contact your home internet provider or BCL service desk on 9225 8888 or via email.
  • If you have any cold or flu symptoms, you must get tested, follow health department guidelines and email VicBar to let us know. We will then alert BCL and take precautionary action, which includes informing those on your floor and undertaking a deep clean if you test positive. Once you know the results, please email VicBar to advise us of the test results, whether positive or not. VicBar has contact tracing protocols in place. This means you will be alerted if there is a chance that you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive whilst in chambers.
  • On Friday 10 July 2020, the Federal Court of Australia issued Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Update 26. The Honourable Chief Justice James Allsop reiterated that in-person hearings in Melbourne have been suspended. His Honour added that hearings in other registries will not be permitted to allow litigants, witnesses or legal representatives from Victoria to appear in-person. The update is available to read here.
  • On Wednesday 15 July 2020, the Supreme Court of Victoria issued a new safety measure for Victoria’s court and tribunal buildings. Anyone in Victoria’s court or tribunal buildings will be expected to wear a face mask when moving around court buildings. The announcement is here. Further information on how to wear a face mask properly can be found on the DHHS website here.


Medical Panels Update – 17 July 2020

Associate Professor Peter Gibbons, Convenor of Medical Panels, advised on Friday 17 July 2020 that Medical Panels are continuing to undertake face-to-face hearings at La Trobe Street and where appropriate, hearings via video-conference. At all times, Medical Panels is committed to minimising community transmission through use of appropriate environmental safeguards and PPE in accordance with DHHS guidelines and will continue to operate in this manner unless circumstances change.

VicBar Social Groups

Sally Flynn QC, Chair of the Health & Wellbeing Committee, has had many encouraging responses about floors and practice groups that have organised get-togethers over Zoom and in private Facebook groups, as part of the initiative to remain socially connected and check on the emotional well-being of our colleagues when we are not working from chambers. 

The Committee is seeking expressions of interest from barristers interested in setting up a WhatsApp group to connect those barristers who are carers. The group is for barristers who care for elderly or disabled parents or relatives and will allow members to offer each other support by sharing information or resources for various issues, including finding alternative living arrangements or home assistance. Please contact Sally Flynn by email if you’re interested.

Other groups you may wish to join:

We want to make sure no barrister is left behind, so please contact Sally at to let her know what your group is doing, or if you need a hand starting a new group or finding one to join.

BCL Property & Technology Services: COVID-19 restrictions updated services

To ensure the safety and security of all chambers during this challenging time, BCL Property and Technology Services will update their service delivery as of Friday 17 April 2020 until further notice. For information about this update, please see here or contact the BCL Service Desk on 9225 8888.

Vicbar Life
The Essoign Club

The Essoign Club is open daily from 7:00am for takeaway and delivery only while COVID-19 restrictions are in place.

Lunch can be Pre Ordered for Delivery or Pick-Up

Lunch delivery and pick-up available daily. The minimum order for delivery is only $10. Order via email to

In addition we have coffee, juices, soft drinks, beer or wine.

The Essoign would like to thank you for your ongoing support during this time and look forward to having you all back in the club to continue sharing stories, laughs and giving support to all fellow members.

Please continue to support the Club by renewing your Essoign Club Membership.

Email if you have any questions or special requests.

Member Benefits Australia - July exclusive member offers

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

Choir - Term 3 commenced 15 July 2020

Term 3 choir commenced Wednesday 15 July 2020 for ten weeks. More details about the choir zoom meetings may be found here. Please complete this payment form to enrol.

Practice & Profession News
County Court surveys about your experience using Zoom for hearings

Over the last several months the Commercial Division of the County Court has heard a significant number of matters by Zoom. The County Court is now seeking feedback from court users to better understand their experience of using Zoom when appearing in County Court matters. In order to get this feedback from the court users, the Division has developed surveys for court users to complete after appearing by Zoom.

There are four surveys, one for each type of hearing:

  • The summonses and directions hearings on Zoom survey is here
  • The pre-trial directions hearings on Zoom survey is here  
  • The commercial division trials on Zoom survey is here
  • The judicial resolution conferences on Zoom survey is here
Digital Bar Library

The Law Library of Victoria improves access to justice by providing legal information to all eligible Victorian legal practitioners online. Barristers also have access to a range of legal resources on their own computers and devices, via the Digital Bar Library on the Law Library website. You must be a registered user to access this page which provides:

  • Guides to improve your research skills (finding information, using research tools and on specific topics)
  • Subscriber-only publications and databases, and
  • Current and authorised Victorian legislation sets used in Victorian jurisdictions.

All Barristers are eligible to register for access. If you have not already registered, the Library will be in touch with you shortly by email.

The Law Library of Victoria Bulletin is produced fortnightly and summarises the latest legislation and cases for the Victorian jurisdiction, as well as High Court of Australia cases. The bulletin also includes the latest new books added to the Library collection and a selected index of articles from journals received in the Library. To subscribe visit here.

If you are on twitter, follow the library on @lawlibraryvic to be alerted to recent decisions of the Court of Appeal.

Profession CPD & Events
Cyngler Consulting

We at Cyngler Consulting hope that you and your families have been able to stay healthy in these very difficult times.

Some of you, your family or friends may not only be restricted to home for work and social distancing reasons but may also have a much reduced workload.

This can create a challenge as to how best to utilise your time and manage your budget.

In recognition of these challenges we have commenced online learning platforms in National Mediator Accreditation courses, Mediation Masterclasses and tailored programs for groups and individuals wanting to enhance skills in mediation, conflict management and listening.

All programs until the COVID-19 crisis is resolved will be at 40% off our scheduled rates.

If it’s been some time since your last training consider joining one of our programs to refresh and enhance your skills and capacity.

If you are working for an organisation or government, talk to us about a tailored program we can develop to support you and your team.

Please click here for details of our 6 day National Mediator Accreditation course scheduled in late July / early August which will be conducted as online learning.

Send us an email on or give Jim a call on 0412 108 390 to discuss your training needs.

International Bar Association free webinar series

As part of the International Bar Association’s continuing outreach to the global legal community, over the last few months the IBA has facilitated over 50 webinars, covering multiple practice areas and highly topical content.

The International Bar Association invites you to attend its series of forthcoming on-demand free webinars.  

The webinar series is designed to provide updates on international developments in a range of practice areas such as tax, energy and anti-trusts from leading global practitioners. There is also a stream of webinars from the IBA Law Firm Management Committee that has been extremely popular with leading law firms and consultants, helping firms navigate the issues facing them in the current COVID-19 crisis.

More information on this series of webinars is available on the IBA website here.

Second Annual Wellbeing for Lawyers Conference on 25 June 2020 – Recording available

The programme for the Second Annual Wellbeing for Lawyers Conference held on 25 June 2020 is available here.

The recording of the conference is available to view on YouTube here.

Monash University free webinars on ASIC v SEC and oversight of COVID-19 measures

Please see below for upcoming webinars from Monash University.

Monash University free webinar: Legislation, Governance and Accountability under COVID-19

The stay-at-home, no-work and other measures were introduced under COVID-19 through statutory directives that (in most jurisdictions) did not require public, certified human rights clearance.  Changes to the operation of judicial systems were introduced by legislation that (in Victoria, the ACT and Queensland) did require that clearance, but did the legislation go too far?  This session examines the adequacy of our systems for democratic oversight of the COVID-19 measures and how they might be reformed.

You can register to attend this here.


Monash University free webinar: The Role & Effectiveness of ASIC v the SEC

This Zoom session hosted by the Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies on Monday 31 August 2010, 4:30 – 5:45pm will compare ASIC with the world’s biggest capital market regulator, the SEC. Does ASIC Stack up? 

By comparing ASIC with the world’s biggest capital market regulator, the SEC, this session analyses the viability of further reform of ASIC, and argues that ASIC is woefully under-resourced to engage in increased enforcement action.

You can register to attend this webinar here.

Resolution Institute webinar

On Thursday 23 July 2020, 12-1:00 PM (AEST) Albert Monichino QC will present Arbitration of Shareholder and Trust Disputes. Shareholder oppression disputes are notoriously protracted and acrimonious. This webinar explores how private arbitration offers a viable and desirable alternative to traditional court proceedings for the resolution of such disputes.  You can register for this webinar here.

Deakin Law School Webinar – Corporations and Stakeholders: Codetermination and Employee Democracy post COVID

Deakin Law School invites you to a webinar on, “The best interests of the corporation and the best interests of stakeholders: Are we entering a new era of Codetermination and Employee Democracy after the COVID-19 crisis?”

The Hayne Commission (2019) revealed some shocking abuses and misconduct in the banking and financial services sector in Australia. Internationally there are some serious doubts whether the “shareholder primacy” model of our corporate law model is sustainable. Since 2019, there has been a significant international movement away from shareholder primacy as a corporate law and governance model. In this webinar, Professor Jean du Plessis will discuss the following issues and proposals for law reform in Australia.

Date: Monday 27 July 2020

Time: 5:15pm – 6:45pm (AEST)

Where: Via Zoom

Chair: Dr Ben Saunders, Deakin Law School

Speaker: Professor Jean du Plessis, Professor (Corporate Law), Deakin Law School


  • Professor Mervyn King SC, Chair of the previous South African King Corporate governance Committee and Chair of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC).
  • Professor Charlotte Villiers, Professor of Company Law, University of Bristol Law School.
  • Associate Professor Umakanth Varottil, School of Law, National University of Singapore (NUS).

Registration is essential via Eventbrite.

ALRC Future of Law Reform Webinar Series

In 2019, the Australian Law Reform Commission undertook research and broad public consultation to address the future of law reform.

Join expert panels including judges, legal scholars and industry leaders in a series of online conversations to unpack some of the key areas identified by the ALRC, including defamation, automated decision making, legal structures for social enterprises and press freedom. The Future of Law Reform: A Suggested Program of Work 2020-25 report is available here.

These interactive webinars present an opportunity to elicit new perspectives and ideas, enabling individuals with diverse views to contribute to potential law reform. You can view the leaflet here.

You can register to attend these webinars here.

Upcoming webinars:

  • The Future of Law Reform: Defamation on Monday 27 July 2020, 1:00-2:00pm. Join an expert panel comprising thought leaders on defamation law addressing questions such as: Should defamation law reform be a priority? What are the particular problems that any future defamation law reform inquiry should seek to solve? What benefits might be expected from reform of defamation law? Register here.
  • Automated Decision Making and Administrative Law on Monday 10 August 2020, 1:00-2:00pm. Join an expert panel comprising thought leaders on automated decision making and administrative law addressing questions such as: Should administrative law reform be a priority in light of increasing automation in decision making by government agencies? What are the particular problems that any future law reform inquiry should seek to solve? What benefits might be expected from reform? Register here.
  • Legal Structure for Social Enterprises on Monday 17 August 2020, 1:00-2:00pm. Social enterprises are businesses that seek to make a profit while also pursuing social and/or environmental goals. Join an expert panel comprising thought leaders on social enterprise addressing questions such as: Should an inquiry into legal structures for social enterprises be a priority? What are the particular problems that any future law reform inquiry should seek to solve? What benefits might be expected from any future reform? Register here.
  • Press Freedom on Monday 24 August 2020, 1:00-2:30pm. Join an expert panel comprising thought leaders on press freedom and national security addressing questions such as: Should an inquiry into press freedom be a priority? What are the particular problems that any future law reform inquiry should seek to solve? What benefits might be expected from any future reform? Register here.
Careers & Opportunities
Job Vacancy: Legal and Policy Officer - Supreme Court of Victoria
  • Victoria’s highest court is seeking an experienced lawyer to provide legal and policy support to judicial officers of the Common Law Division. 
  • Legal research & policy focus - fixed term to 11 June 2021 – VPS Grade 4 – CBD location.
  • Legal qualification required.
  • Location: Melbourne CBD.

An opportunity exists for an experienced lawyer to provide significant legal, policy and administrative support to the Common Law Division of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

The Legal & Policy Officer works closely with the Principal Judge, Judicial Registrar and Deputy Registrars of the Division to undertake and coordinate research, policy advice and reports on areas of priority to the Court to ensure its smooth running and to identify and address emerging issues and trends in litigation.

For further information on this position and to submit your application, please visit by Monday 20 July 2020.

BFSLA 2020 Research Essay Competition

Entries for the Banking & Financial Services Law Association’s 2020 Research Essay prize are now open.

The BFSLA is the leading professional organisation for banking and financial services law in Australia and New Zealand. The BFSLA’s objectives include the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge of banking and financial services law and practice in Australia and New Zealand, including by encouraging research.

To that end, each year the BFSLA invites citizens and permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand to submit research essays on important matters in banking and financial services law and/or practice (including insolvency) that are currently topical in Australia or New Zealand, in competition for a prize pool. This year’s prize pool is $5,000.

Entries must be submitted by 5:00pm (AEST) on Friday, 31 July 2020. The winner or winners, if any, will be announced by publication on the Association’s website on Friday, 4 September 2020.

More information about the competition is available here, and terms and conditions are available here.

The Australian Academy of Law Annual Essay Prize

The Australian Academy of Law is pleased to announce its Annual Essay Prize for 2020The essay topic for the Prize is “The impact of a new and widespread contagious disease on pre-existing contractual obligations.” Note that previous ‘new’ outbreaks of infectious diseases may be taken into account. The Prize amount is $10,000 and the submission deadline is strictly 31 August 2020.  Rules for eligibility and submission can be found here.

Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 23rd July 2020