In Brief Issue #982

Katherine Lorenz

The collective noun for barristers?

A committee of barristers? A brace of barristers? A thought of barristers?

These were just some of the answers provided to that curly question at the trivia night the Bar held with the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office this week. With COVID-19 preventing a repeat of last year’s speed networking event, the trivia night proved to be an excellent stand-in. Participants spent most of the hour in small team break-out rooms – so it was a great opportunity for the barristers and government solicitors to get to know each other, with any awkward silences obviated by the need to answer a couple of dozen thorny questions. Thanks to Chris McDermott, Barrister, for his entertaining compering, and James Kioussis and Poorva Sabnis from the VicBar team for compiling the questions, moving participants around the rooms and Zoom driving. Congratulations to team Zoomageddon who won the night.

Trivia nights are becoming a popular way of staying in touch – so if members would like to hold one with a client organisation, law firm, or fellow barristers, contact the VicBar team here. And if you didn’t know, or haven’t googled it already, it’s a boast or wiggery of barristers.

The launch of the Victorian Commercial Arbitration Scheme

I’m delighted to announce that the Victorian Commercial Arbitration Scheme, VCAS, will be formally launched this Wednesday 30 September at 5:00pm by Zoom.

VCAS was the brainchild of Barristers Robert Heath QC, Adam Rollnik and Kieran Hickie, and has been developed to provide a mechanism for speedy and low-cost resolution of disputes by imposing a fixed-time frame and capped arbitrator’s fees.

Professor the Honourable Clyde Croft AM SC, the former Judge in Charge of the Arbitration List in the Commercial Court of the Supreme Court of Victoria, is the Patron of VCAS.

The launch will take the form of a panel discussion with distinguished guests from across the legal profession. Professor the Honourable Clyde Croft AM SC, Her Honour Judge Elizabeth Brimer of the County Court of Victoria, and Professor Bryan Horrigan, Dean of Monash University Law School, will be “In Conversation” with Barrister, Adam Rollnik. There will be an opportunity for the audience to put questions to the panel about arbitration as an option for dispute resolution, how the scheme works, and educational paths to becoming an arbitrator, through Fiona Cameron, Barrister, who will be moderating the questions.

Please register for the launch if you are interested here.

I’m particularly proud to be launching VCAS at this time – it’s a very solution-focused scheme, devised before COVID descended upon us, but providing a pathway to resolving disputes efficiently, remotely and conclusively at a time when court backlogs are increasing. The scheme will be particularly helpful for those with disputes in regional Victoria, particularly with ongoing travel restrictions in place.

It has taken focus and decisiveness to settle the Rules for the Scheme, create a dedicated website, and arrange the launch event, all in the space of a few months. I’d like to acknowledge Barristers Robert Heath QC, Adam Rollnik, Kieran Hickie, Elle Nikou Madalin and Fiona Cameron, and Amanda Utt and Liz Gray from the VicBar team, for their hard work in achieving this.

The VCAS website will be launched on Wednesday, 30 September.

VCAS is the second alternative dispute resolution scheme launched by the Victorian Bar this year – and it’s another demonstration of our innovation and focus on client solutions. The Expedited Mediation Scheme, devised by Barrister Tony Elder and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee in June, similarly offers a fast-track way for courts to refer appropriate matters to the Bar for resolution – in this case through the Bar’s nationally accredited mediators – and clear protocols about how mediations should be run. More information about the Expedited Mediation Scheme is here.

Submissions about the Education Review

Members are reminded that submissions about the Education Review close on Monday 5 October 2020 at 10:00am. See the notice below for more information. 

Vicbar News & Events
Four new Magistrates appointed, including Bar members Her Honour Magistrate Melissa Stead and Alexandra Burt

The Governor in Council has appointed four new magistrates, including two members of the Victorian Bar, Her Honour Magistrate Stead and Alexandra Burt.

The four new Magistrates are:

  • Her Honour Magistrate Melissa Stead
  • His Honour Magistrate Guillaume Bailin
  • Her Honour Magistrate Kimberley Swadesir
  • Alexandra Burt

Alexandra Burt will commence her appointment in March 2021.

Their Honours Magistrates Stead, Bailin and Swadesir commenced on 23 September 2020.

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

His Honour Judge Patrick O'Shannessy – Judicial appointment

Federal Circuit Court of Australia

The Governor-General in Council has appointed His Honour Judge Patrick O’Shannessy as a judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in the Melbourne registry.

His Honour Judge Patrick O’Shannessy was sworn in on Friday, 18 September 2020 at 4.30pm.

A formal welcome will take place when the current Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.

In Conversation about the Victorian Commercial Arbitration Scheme – launch event

VCAS is an initiative of the Victorian Bar, developed to provide a flexible and straightforward mechanism for speedy and low-cost resolution of a wide range of commercial and civil disputes via arbitration. VCAS offers a fixed-time frame for resolving disputes and capped arbitrator’s fees.

You are invited to attend the launch of VCAS on Wednesday 30 September at 5:00 – 6:00pm, as barrister Adam Rollnik is “In Conversation” with Professor the Honourable Clyde Croft AM SC, VCAS’s Patron, Her Honour Judge Elizabeth Brimer, Judge of the County Court of Victoria, and Professor Bryan Horrigan, Dean of Monash Law. This distinguished panel will discuss where arbitration sits within available dispute resolution options, the benefit for clients of a fixed-time, capped-fee scheme, and the opportunities for legal professionals to upskill into the arbitration field.

Q&As will be moderated by Fiona Cameron.

Click here to register.

Webinar – Stamping out Sexual Harassment at the Bar

2020 has been a year of difficult revelations in the legal profession: a survey by the Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner reported that one third of those who responded had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace; the Chief Justice of the High Court stating that an inquiry into allegations of sexual harassment against a former High Court Judge found that six former Court staff members were harassed by him; and the Victorian Attorney-General announced a comprehensive review of the practices and protocols preventing and reporting sexual harassment in the courts and VCAT and across the legal profession.

In this webinar, Jenny Firkin QC, Chair of the Bar’s Equality and Diversity Committee, speaks with Kenneth Hayne AC QC about sexual harassment at the Bar. What are the cultural behaviours that we need to change? What can people who experience sexual harassment do? What should those who witness or hear of it do? And, if it’s not clear to perpetrators that their advances are unwelcome, what alarm bells should trigger them to stop and think.

Click here to register for the event.

Victorian Bar member CPD and events

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

  • Family Law and the ADF is on Wednesday 30 September 2020, 5:15–6:15pm. In this seminar, the speakers will address some of the legal and practical challenges facing litigants and practitioners concerning parenting applications, property settlement proceedings, and intervention orders when one or both of the parties are members of the ADF. Click here to register.
  • Defamation law reform in Australia: what’s coming, and what it means is on Thursday 15 October 2020, 5:00–6.00pm. This webinar explores defamation law reforms and the speakers will address the nature of the forthcoming changes and those still being debated, and their significance to the evolution of defamation law, freedom of expression and the changing media landscape in Australia. Click here to register.

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

Education Review – Seeking members’ feedback

Members are invited to provide input on recommendations made in relation to the Victorian Bar’s Education Review. 

The Education Review examines the full educational offering that the Bar provides to members – from the Bar Readers’ Course, through to Continuing Professional Development and other education services (such as online materials and mentoring). The aim of the review is to ensure that the education the Bar provides is informed by best practice, that it meets current professional educational needs, that it is supported by fit-for-purpose architecture, and that it is appropriately structured and coordinated but flexible enough to be able to adapt to changing conditions in the future.

Members are referred to the communication from the President on Monday 21 September 2020, where they will find:

  • The background to the Education Review
  • The Study Delegation Report
  • The Nous Group Report, and
  • The form to provide your feedback on the Education Review recommendations.

Submissions close Monday 5 October 2020 at 10:00am.

Victorian Bar Entrance Exam

Looking ahead to next year, lawyers thinking about joining the Bar can now register for the Victorian Bar Entrance Exam. The exam is scheduled for Sunday 25 October 2020 from 9:30am. As foreshadowed by the 2019 Exam Review, this exam will be delivered electronically using highly secure software provided by ExamSoft, replacing the handwritten exams of previous years. 

In response to the requirements for social distancing, this exam will also be delivered remotely. Candidates will sit the exam in their own location using their own devices and will be subject to sophisticated remote identification and invigilation technology throughout the exam. Those interested should visit the Victorian Bar Entrance Examination webpage here for more information and to register. Registrations close 5:00pm on 25 September 2020.

Melbourne City Council elections – October 2020

Melbourne City Council elections will be held in October 2020.

Ballot papers will be mailed to voters between Tuesday 6 October and Thursday 8 October 2020.

Although the period for enrolling in the Melbourne City Council elections has closed, you can still check your enrolment and update your details such as your address here, or call the Elections Hotline on 1300 735 427 for other enquiries.

For more information about key election dates, please visit the Victorian Government website here.

COVID-19 Resources Weekly Update

We understand that members are worried about the risks of COVID-19. Please see the new health and wellbeing section in our 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.

Victorian Government Sole Trader Support Fund

The State Government has announced the eligibility criteria for access to the Sole Trader Support Fund. Barristers without employees who participate in the JobKeeper Scheme, with overhead costs directly related to their practice (such as rent), may be eligible to apply for a $3,000 grant, details of which are here. Members can obtain a letter confirming that they have rented chambers for at least six months (an eligibility requirement for the grant) by emailing BCL at

County Court of Victoria

The Court has issued the Emergency Case Management Model Protocol Phase Five and Criminal Division Hearings – WebEx Information Guide (version 2) with a new section on how to change your virtual background. These documents are available on the Court’s website here.

Magistrates’ Court of Victoria

The State of Disaster Declaration – Practice Direction No. 20 of 2020 has been extended to 24 October 2020. The updated Practice Direction is available here.

A Guide to Virtual Hearings – tips for barristers

The Bar’s Innovation and Technology Committee (with special thanks to Juliet Forsyth S.C.) has put together a guide to virtual hearings that barristers may find useful when preparing for, and appearing in, virtual hearings. The guide is available here.

To access each email update relating to COVID-19 that VicBar has sent members, please click here.

New Barristers’ Committee: Work opportunity referral system

In the current circumstances, many of the usual ways in which barristers interact with each other have been greatly restricted or even made impossible.  One of the effects of this is that work opportunities have not been able to flow to new barristers in the same way as previously.  

To that end, the New Barristers’ Committee (NBC) is instituting a system for the advertising of work opportunities by barristers to new barristers.  These advertisements will be placed on the New Barristers’ Slack channel - a virtual bulletin board accessible to new barristers.  The referring barrister will be contacted directly by the new barrister(s) responding to the advertisement.

If you would like to advertise a work opportunity to new barristers, please contact Tim Glass of the NBC at and provide the following information:

  • A summary of the work to be done
  • The area of law the work relates to
  • The expected scope and time requirements of the work to be done
  • The expected fee structure for the work, and
  • Your contact details.  

The NBC will not make any recommendations to the referring barrister as to appropriate counsel for the work opportunity, nor will the NBC make any recommendation to new barristers as to appropriate work opportunities, aside from advertising the work opportunity on the NBC Slack Channel.

LGBTIQ Legal Service – Legal Needs Analysis Report

The LGBTIQ Legal Service is a state wide, free community legal services provided by the St Kilda Legal Service. The LGBTIQ Legal Service has recently released a Report on Legal Needs Analysis: Reflections on legal need and future planning from our two-year pilot program.

The Report notes LGBTIQ people have complex and unique legal needs, which are compounded by barriers to accessing justice to address their legal needs, and that LGBTIQ communities disproportionately experience discrimination, harassment, violence and social exclusion, all of which contributes to risk factors that increase disadvantage, including experiencing mental illness and homelessness.

The Report also found that LGBTIQ communities face barriers to accessing legal services to address legal need, have a deep mistrust of the justice system, lack community specific or appropriate services and key information about available services. The top 10 legal issues dealt with by the LGBTIQ Legal Service since it commenced in 2018 are discrimination, residential tenancy, criminal law, family violence, employment law, consumer law, Centrelink, health complaints, victims of crime and infringements.

The Report recommended that the legal needs of the LGBTIQ communities are best met by a responsive, informed and specialist integrated service that understands how identities and status influence, interact and compound experiences within the legal system. The Report also recommended that an effective legal needs response requires collaboration between legal services, non-legal services, peer led community groups, education and law and policy reform to advance LGBTIQ rights within a fairer system.  

The Report is available on the LGBTIQ website here.

VicBar’s Health & Wellbeing Program – Happy Melon Studios Dynamic Fitness Class

The Victorian Bar has organised fitness classes for members by Happy Melon Studios on Thursday 24 September and Thursday 1 October 2020 at 5–6:00pm.

The class is a fun way to improve strength and cardio fitness. Participants will get a serious full-body workout whilst invigorating the mind. More information about Happy Melon is here.

Click here to register for the classes.

VicBar’s Health & Wellbeing Program – Virtual Mat Moves: Svenson Barristers + Grounded Movement

A 45 minute movement session combining mat Pilates and clinical exercise. An opportunity for the Barristers and friends of Svenson Barristers to break up your work day with movement in the comfort and safety of your own home. Register here. The session is hosted by Charissa Fermelis, Physiotherapist and Pilates Practitioner, and founder/director of Grounded Movement.

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:

Darren Ferrari is organising a Zwift group for members of VicBar. Zwift blends the fun of video games with the intensity of serious training, helping cyclists get faster. Level up in the virtual worlds of Zwift with a group that motivates each other. To join or find out more, contact Darren Ferrari on 0412 124 076 or by email at

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: Updated services and cyber security awareness

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.

Cyber Security Awareness: What you need to do to keep your practice safe 

In these current uncertain times, the increased use of video conferencing, reliance on email, the use of home internet services, SMS’s from our governments, and the sudden shift into paperless practices all make it easier to fall victim to a costly scam.
In recent months we are aware of successful scams within the community, leading to significant financial and operations impact. There are some simple things you can do to help protect your practice:

  • Using BCL corporate-grade technology and network services (Internet & email) provides you with a managed enterprise environment with corporate-grade security platforms and sophisticated network practices.
  • SMS verification for passwords is now available. To enhance the security of barrister passwords, we have introduced SMS verification for password resets. Login to, select the “Profile” tab and click “Edit” to enter your mobile number. All password reset requests will now require this information.
  • Always check the “From” address in emails, particularly those from external parties. A difference in the Senders name compared to the From address is a clear indication of a scam email.
  • Look for suspicious characteristics in an email such as unprofessional emails with typos and spelling mistakes, or requests for ‘click here’, pay now, requests for funds, bank account details or an unnecessary sense of urgency.
  • Always use an up to date and valid anti-virus product and backup your data as outlined in the Victorian Bar Technology Minimum Standards.
  • If you are ever unsure, DO NOT open it and contact the BCL Service Desk.
  • Improve your cyber security awareness by taking a short 5-minute quiz provided by the Australian Government here.
Vicbar Life
Victorian Bar Community Choir Term 4 Dates

Join fellow barristers and members of the Victorian Bar community for an hour of relaxation and fun. Experience and obvious talent not required. All welcome.

Click here to view the flyer and click here for the payment form.

eBrief Ready – Paperless solution for receiving briefs

If you want an easy, secure way to receive and work on your briefs electronically, then you should watch the recent Victorian Bar CPD session co-hosted with Martin Bartfeld QC, explaining the benefits of the eBrief Ready product. You can view this here.

Over 700 members from the Victorian Bar and 3500 solicitors are now using TA Law’s eBrief Ready platform to both receive and work on their briefs. 

Stephen Foley MD of TA Law said that there is no charge for using the platform during these difficult times.The Victorian Bar is also introducing a new member benefit to ensure affordable access for all its members in the future. 

If you would like to know more about eBrief Ready, you can book a consultation with the Managing Director, Stephen Foley here.

The Essoign Club – Closed for Stage 4 Restrictions

Dear Essoign members and patrons,

It is with great regret that due to the impact of Stage 4 Restrictions the Club has temporarily closed its doors. 

Thank you for your continued support during the ever-changing circumstances in 2020. Understandably the current Stage 4 Lockdown has reflected your absence from the Club. We will miss seeing you along with your story sharing, laughs and giving support to all fellow members.

The Essoign will be back once restrictions are lifted and we will keep you informed as we get closer to that date.  

Please stay safe and stay healthy. We look forward to seeing you all again very soon.

As always, thank you.

The Essoign Club

Member Benefits Australia - September exclusive member offers

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

Practice & Profession News
Changes to Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia Rules: Powers delegated to Registrars

The Family Law Amendment (Powers Delegated to Registrars) Rules 2020 and the Federal Circuit Court Amendment (Powers Delegated to Registrars) Rules 2020 have been signed by a majority of judicial officers and were registered on 25 September 2020.

The Rules will commence on Saturday 26 September 2020.

The amendments delegate additional powers to Registrars and Deputy Registrars of the Family Court of Australia (known respectively in practice as ‘Senior Registrars’ and ‘Registrars’) and Registrars of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

The changes include:

  • Registrar delegations: The harmonisation of delegations to family law Registrars across the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court, through the delegation of existing Family Court delegated powers to family law Registrars in the Federal Circuit Court.
  • Senior Registrar delegations: The harmonisation of delegations to family law Senior Registrars across the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court, through the delegation to Federal Circuit Court Registrars those powers held by Senior Registrars of the Family Court, but only to those Federal Circuit Court Registrars who hold the position of a Senior Registrar in the Family Court concurrently.
  • Additional delegated powers: The delegation of certain limited additional powers to Senior Registrars and, where appropriate, Registrars.

The harmonisation of delegations to family law Registrars across the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court will ensure that Senior Registrars and Registrars have a uniform set of delegated powers across both Courts. It will ensure a consistent approach and facilitate highly skilled and experienced Registrars being able to support Judges across both Courts more effectively and efficiently. It is a critical step towards the Courts’ development of unified family law processes.

The Family Law Amendment (Powers Delegated to Registrars) Rules 2020 is available here and an Explanatory Statement is available here. Existing rules with marked changes are available here.

The Federal Circuit Court Amendment (Powers Delegated to Registrars) Rules 2020 is available here and an Explanatory Statement is available here. Existing rules with marked changes are available here.

Attorney-General's Department - consultation on the Personal Property Securities Act

The Private International and Commercial Law Section of the Attorney-General's Department is currently progressing possible reforms to the the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (PPS Act) in response to the 2015 statutory review (the Whittaker Review).

As part of this reform process, the department is seeking to consult on provisions in the PPS Act regarding financial property and intermediated securities.

To assist with the consultation process, the department have developed a discussion paper which is available here.

 The department is seeking submissions regarding any of the following:

  • How financial products are defined in the PPS Act
  • How security interests in financial products should be treated, and
  • How these security interests should be enforced.

This consultation process will inform the Attorney-General’s policy considerations and help ensure the law regarding financial property and intermediated securities is clear and fit for purpose in the PPS Act.

Submissions close on 16 October 2020. Questions and submissions can be directed to this email.

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
Professional Standards Councils Forum – 15 October

The CEO of the Professional Standards Councils, Roxane Marcelle-Shaw, is pleased to invite you to the next Professional Standards Forum. The Forum will be held as an online event on 15 October 2020, on the theme of ‘Putting the Consumer First in Ethics: the role of a consumer ethics framework in delivering consumer-focused professional and occupational services’. 

The Forum will feature a panel of distinguished speakers. They will lead a discussion on the opportunities and challenges in successfully regulating for ethical values, principles and behaviours that are consumer-focused. The panel session will be recorded and presented as a resource on the Councils’ website.

The morning panel session will be followed by a practical workshop facilitated by the Behavioural Insights Team. Participants will learn ways in which behavioural insights can help regulators to drive and measure changes to deliver an effective code of ethics that improves consumer experiences and the trustworthiness of the profession or occupation. 

Further details on the Forum are available on the Councils’ website and flyer

Please complete the registration form via Eventbrite to secure your place here. You will receive a confirmation email with details about joining the Forum on zoom upon confirmation of your registration.  

Resolution Institute webinar: Arbitration and intellectual property – Scope and potential

On Tuesday 13 October 2020 at 12:00–1:15pm, the Resolution Institute will host Arbitration and intellectual property - Scope and potential. The webinar will explore the mechanisms used by online platforms to resolve copyright, trademark and patent disputes and their potential for wider application. The benefits of arbitration in intellectual property disputes will be canvassed by reference to real disputes where performance, infringement, validity and enforcement issues arise. It will cover the mandatory domain name dispute regimes for settlement of domain name disputes and examples thereof.

The speakers are:

  • William E M Lye OAM QC, Barrister at the Victorian Bar
  • Andrew Christie, Chair of Intellectual Property and Director of Studies, Intellectual Property Law – Melbourne Law School, Arbitrator and Mediator, and
  • David Fixler, Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

For more information or to register, please click here or view the flyer here.

Australian Women Lawyers first online conference - 2020 Vision: In Focus

The conference was the biggest ever for the Australian Women Lawyers Ltd, with over 1000 people either registered or on the waiting list, and events held with screenings around the country with additional women lawyers attending.

For those who missed out on attending, video recordings of the sessions are available here.

Australian Arbitration Week Events: 12 – 18 October 2020

ACICA is pleased to present Australian Arbitration Week 2020 (AAW 2020) of the week of 12 October 2020. A full Calendar of Events is now available on the AAW website here, which will be kept updated as new event information is released.

ACICA, together with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Australia (CIArb Australia), will launch AAW2020 with Australia’s premier international arbitration event, the 2020 International Arbitration Conference featuring a line-up of speakers from across Australia and around the world. This year the conference will be offered virtually and is open to registrants around the globe. Program and speaker information is available to view on the website. You can register for the Conference here.

Please take a moment to explore the extensive program drawing together expert practitioners from around the world and dealing with an exciting range of topics including:

  • Advocacy in the Virtual Environment
  • Technology as an Enabler in International Arbitration
  • The Future of Investor-State Dispute Resolution
  • Around the Globe in 60 Minutes : Current Hot Topics in International Arbitration
  • Mega Projects in the New Normal
  • Is Third Party Funding Changing International Arbitration?
  • Enhancing Efficiencies in the Arbitral Process.

Registration, program and speaker details may be found here.

LAWASIA Conference and Annual Council Meeting

LAWASIA 2020 Conference

Join LAWASIA for a series of webinars every Tuesday and Thursday, commencing on 10 September until 8 October 2020 (five consecutive weeks, nine webinars in total).
Instead of the LAWASIA physical Annual Conference, the LAWASIA 2020 Conference Online webinar series will provide an opportunity for our members to enhance their legal knowledge; collaborate and build networks with like-minded lawyers and legal organisations throughout the region; and come together to help LAWASIA fulfil its important mission of promoting the rule of law, access to justice and respect for human rights throughout Asia and the Pacific region.
LAWASIA has developed an excellent program, focusing on a range of legal issues and key areas of law, including sessions focusing on intellectual property, ADR, employment law, anti-trust and competition law, and corporate securities and investment. Panels of experts and eminent speakers from across the region have been recruited and will undoubtedly entertain, educate and enrich all those able to attend.

The LAWASIA 2020 Conference online webinar series will be free of charge. We encourage you to circulate this offering to your friends and colleagues, and we look forward to welcoming you all to the 2020 LAWASIA Conference Online!

For more information about the conference program and how to register, please click here.

Annual Council Meeting

LAWASIA’s Annual Council Meeting 2020 will be held on Tuesday 13 October 2020 at 16:00 – 18:00 (AEST) via Zoom.

All LAWASIA Councillors and representatives from LAWASIA member organisations, are warmly invited to attend the Council meeting. Councillors and/or member organisations are requested to register their attendance at the Council Meeting by completing this online form. The Zoom link for the meeting is available here.

This meeting will mark the accreditation of the 2020-2021 LAWASIA Council. 

Please refer to the LAWASIA Council 2019-2020 here for a list of the 2019/2020 Councillors and Alternate Councillors, as appointed by predominant member organisations; and Presidents of non-predominant LAWASIA member organisations.

Any changes to existing appointments can be made in writing to by Monday 21 October 2020.

If no amendments are received by the LAWASIA Secretariat by the due date, the assumption will be that current details are to remain in situ.

Thanks to all member organisations that have already submitted a completed form B.1 (Councillor Nomination).

The following documents are relevant to the meeting: [link attached PDFs]

LAWASIA would like to draw attendees’ attention to the following items in the draft agenda:

  • Proposed amendments to Article II of the LAWASIA Constitution, and
  • Applications for organisational membership.

A final agenda and a full set of Council papers will be distributed closer to the meeting date.

Diversity Council Australia webinars: Racism and mental health first aid

How organisations can move beyond tokenism to real action on racism

VicBar members are invited to view DCA’s free recording of its webinar How organisations can move beyond tokenism to real action on racism. The webinar addressed the following questions: Why racism continues to be a problem in this country; How and why culturally diverse and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are still excluded at work; How important it is to actively call out racism; What needs to be done to raise Indigenous and other culturally diverse voices, and How well-intentioned people and institutions can move beyond tokenism to becoming a leader on change for the better.

To view this webinar, you’ll need to be a member of Diversity Council Australia. To become a member, please register here and we will forward you the login instructions. You will need to use your VicBar email address. Current members of DCA can register to view the webinar here.

Mental health first aid: What is it and why do we need it, especially now?

VicBar members are invited to attend DCA’s next webinar, which investigates what mental health first aid is and how intervening and providing initial support for staff experiencing difficulties is critical, both for the individuals themselves and for the wider organisation. Insights will include:

  • How to identify the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and how workplaces can best respond and provide support
  • How to respond in the event of a crisis, such as when someone is suicidal
  • How to build capability and confidence in providing mental health first aid
  • When to refer an incident to a mental health professional
  • The role of workplace flexibility and reasonable adjustments in responding, and
  • What can be done to encourage a mentally healthy workplace, including tackling stigma.

To view this webinar, you’ll need to be a member of Diversity Council Australia. To become a member, please register here and we will forward you the login instructions. You will need to use your VicBar email address. Current members of DCA can learn more about this webinar and register here.

Careers & Opportunities
Vacancy: Supreme Court Judge (Kingdom of Tonga) – Criminal law

The Kingdom of Tonga is accepting applications for appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court.

The term of the appointment is for four years, commencing 1 December 2020.

The principal practice area will be criminal law, and extensive experience is required in that area.

Applications close 16 October 2020 at noon.

More information and how to apply is available here.

ILF International Fellows Program – Call for remote fellows

The International Legal Foundation (ILF) is seeking lawyers with extensive criminal defence experience and legal aid institutional know-how to join its Natalie Rea International Fellows program and provide training and capacity building to local lawyers and legal aid providers in developing and transitional legal systems through day-to-day, case-by-case mentoring.

Juvenile justice experts are particularly needed to support the development of specialised units to provide quality representation to children in conflict with the law. 

We currently have fellow positions available with our teams in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Palestine (West Bank) and Tunisia. Fellows are normally embedded within ILF’s local offices, but due to the unfolding global health emergency, fellows will work remotely for the foreseeable future. An in-country fellow role may be possible, as the situation develops and if circumstances allow.

How to apply or for more information

More information is available in this flyer.

If interested or for more information, please contact ILF at Applicants should send a thoughtful cover letter and resume. Qualified candidates will be contacted for interview.

Australian Bar Review seeking scholarly submissions

The Australian Bar Review is a highly regarded law journal produced by the Australian Bar Association and facilitates scholarly discussion of current issues in legal doctrine and procedure throughout Australia. Papers dealing with a national perspective of a topic are preferred, but papers of particular interest to a state or territory are not excluded from consideration. If a paper focuses on the legislation of one jurisdiction it should also include, in the text or a footnote, references to interstate equivalents. Professor the Hon. Clyde Croft AM SC is seeking submissions from members of the Victorian Bar. Senior, mid-tier and junior members are all welcome to contribute – the editorial staff are keen to foster the next generation of leaders of the Bar, as well as to acknowledge the expertise of the senior generation. 

For submission guidelines and to submit an article, please visit the website here. More information is also available in the Note to Contributors here. If you have any queries about submissions, you may contact Professor Croft via email.

‘Legal Latte’ connects law students and legal professionals

A new Monash University Law school initiative, Legal Latte, is a networking program that facilitates an initial contact between students and legal professionals so that they may arrange a casual meeting for a coffee and chat. The only commitment required is a casual catch up over coffee. Participants are encouraged to exchange details if they wish to remain in contact, but this is not necessary.

Members can learn more about the program and register here.

Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 1st October 2020