In Brief Issue #987

Wendy Harris QC

The Future

I have been thinking a lot about the future of the Bar recently. About how the decisions we make now will affect the practices of barristers who have not long embarked on their professional journey, and those yet to come. Well before the events of this year, the practice of the barrister and the market in which we operate had been changing. The State of the Bar survey confirmed what we already sensed and observed. It felt like we were approaching a set of crossroads. Seemingly, COVID has accelerated our arrival at that junction.

Last Sunday, more than 230 aspirant barristers sat the Bar Entrance Exam – a record number. This year, having completed two courses conducted mainly online, 80 Readers joined our Bar. I signed the Roll more than 23 years ago in May 1997. The practice of the law and the role of the barrister were very different then. What kind of institution will barristers of my generation leave for those who will be in practice 5, 10, 23 years from now? Will it be an institution which has a secure place in the legal market; where several thousand advocates can flourish; where barristers are equipped to serve the needs of their clients and the courts, and compete with those who would take our place? A college that has retained and nurtured the rites and traditions which are foundational to our identity while at the same time evolving and improving where we can, individually and collectively?

I hope so.

As most reading this will be aware, I have renominated for Bar Council and I will, if elected, again put myself forward for the role of President. I have long thought that, from a governance perspective, a one-year term for the President’s role is too short. I confess, though, that my pen hovered over the nomination form for a long time. This has been a much more challenging year than I could ever have imagined. But, then I started thinking about the future of the Bar again and signed the form.

Those thoughts have been shaped in large measure by the opportunity I have had over the past few years to interact with the junior Bar. That opportunity has presented itself in numerous ways – through formal and informal mentoring, through leading juniors in a team of counsel, through speaking to participants in the Readers’ Course and, significantly, through Bar Council. I used to think that our governing body was too big, but I have come to the view that its size is justified principally because of the value that comes from the contribution of the six members of category B (members 6-15 years’ call) and the four members of category C (members under 6 years’ call). Of course, the experience and wisdom of the more senior members of the Council is invaluable, and I have come to know and respect many silks whose practices would otherwise never intersect with mine. But the beauty of Bar Council’s structure is that it gives more junior members of the Bar a real voice, and it is a voice that is really worth listening to. And I have admired the way they have participated in the decision-making of Bar Council, particularly over the past eight or nine months when many, many difficult decisions had to be made.

Some of those decisions were unpopular with some people. Very often, they involved decisions about how to prudently manage the financial resources of the Bar – members’ funds – in a way which ensures our ongoing financial viability. In those decisions, we had the benefit and the burden of the ‘big picture’ – the broader context in which our decisions would take effect. We also had to balance in our consideration the strategic imperative of the longer-term survival and strength of our Bar.

One of the difficult decisions we had to make was asking the Law Council of Australia to waive our capitation fees of approximately $127K for 2020-2021, as the Australian Bar Association had done. Put simply, having discounted or waived subscriptions for more than half our practising members, we were not in a position to pay the capitation fees without jeopardising our future financial viability and creating a significant problem for future Bar Councils, which will be faced with a potentially steep decline in subscription revenue as a result of the effect of COVID on our members’ practices this year. Notwithstanding the special – indeed, unique – impact of the COVID crisis on the Victorian Bar, the Directors of the Law Council declined our request for a waiver. Our decision not to pay the capitation fees was no reflection at all on the value of the work of the Law Council; we recognise the importance of that work and the substantial contribution that many of our members make to it. The participation of VicBar members in the work of the Law Council through its sections, which they pay for through section fees, is independent of the participation of the Bar in the governing body via payment of capitation fees, so members of the Bar will still have the opportunity to contribute to the Law Council’s work this financial year through section membership.

Thankfully, the announcements this week to bring us out of lockdown, and the very welcome news that jury trials will recommence in the middle of November, provide us with some confidence in the immediate future. Before too long, we hope that Readers who have, this year, been denied that all-important time in Chambers with their mentors will have that opportunity. We hope that members of the junior Criminal Bar – especially those who have missed out this year on that crucial cut-your-teeth trial work – will soon be busy again and taking the benefit of the backlog in the courts. We hope that members will be able to soon enjoy the in-person company of their fellow barristers which this year has shown to be so critical to the strength of our college.

But as we get back to a version of the way things were, let’s keep thinking about how the way things will – and should – be in the future.

Vicbar News & Events
Judicial Appointments – High Court of Australia

We were delighted this week to receive news of the appointment of the Hon. Justice Simon Steward and the Hon. Justice Jacqueline Gleeson, both serving Federal Court judges, to the High Court of Australia.

The appointment of Justice Steward was especially significant for our members.  His Honour is a former practising member of the Victorian Bar, having signed the roll in 1999, following a successful career at Mallesons Stephen Jacques, now King & Wood Mallesons. His Honour read with Peter Cawthorn QC and took silk in 2009, after only 10 years of practice as a barrister.  He was a preeminent tax specialist, appearing in many significant cases in the High Court and elsewhere before his appointment to the Federal Court of Australia in 2018.  As an advocate, his Honour combined a natural flair with a much-admired intellectual rigour, a mastery of the law and an ever-courteous mien.  These were qualities which fitted Justice Steward exceptionally for judicial office, as his service on the Federal Court of Australia has amply demonstrated.  His Honour is an outstanding jurist, and there is little doubt that he will serve the High Court of Australia with distinction, as members of our Bar have done on many occasions in the past, and continue to do.

The Victorian Bar is especially proud of Justice Steward’s appointment to our apex court.  We extend our warmest congratulations and best wishes to him in his new role.

The Victorian Bar media release about the appointments is here.

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

Reminder: Voting for the 2020–2021 Bar Council elections

Voting for the Bar Council elections takes place through a secure online portal.

Instructions on how to vote are here.

Voting closes at 5:00pm, Wednesday 11 November 2020.

Appointment – Judicial Registrar Adrian Muller

County Court of Victoria

Victorian Bar member Adrian Muller has been appointed as a Judicial Registrar to the Commercial Division of the County Court.

Judicial Registrar Muller’s appointment commenced on 14 October 2020.

Commercial Bar Association of Victoria - Notice of Annual General Meeting

Notice is hereby given that the annual general meeting of the Commercial Bar Association of Victoria (CommBar) will be held via Zoom on Thursday, 26 November 2020 at 4:30 pm.

Ordinary Business:

  1. To confirm the minutes of the annual general meeting of CommBar held on 19 November 2020, which can be found here.
  2. To receive from the Executive reports regarding the activities and transactions of CommBar during the financial year ended 30 June 2020.
  3. To elect officers of CommBar and the ordinary members of the Executive. Nominations for these positions are hereby called for.
  4. To receive and consider a report of the Treasurer on the financial position of CommBar.


Election to the Executive is for a period of two years. This year, the terms of the following members of the Executive are expiring:

  1. Stewart Maiden QC, Vice President (Convenor)
  2. Sam Rosewarne, Treasurer
  3. Oren Bigos QC, Member

Each of these members of the Executive is free to nominate for a further term should they choose to do so.

The following members of the Executive were elected, and in the case of Raini Zambelli, appointed to fill a casual vacancy last year and so they have another year before their terms expire:

  1. Claire Harris QC, President
  2. Paul Hayes QC, Senior Vice President
  3. Hamish Redd, Member
  4. Kieran Hickie, Member
  5. Georgia Berlic, Member
  6. Jesse Rudd, Member
  7. Raini Zambelli, Member

Nominations for election must be in writing, signed by two members and accompanied by the consent of the candidate. Nominations must be delivered to Stewart Maiden QC (Junior Vice-President/Convener) via email not less than 7 days before 26 November 2020, being 19 November 2020. Please find nomination form here. If an election is required, it will be an electronic ballot without proxies. A list of candidates and ballot papers will be distributed to members if required after the date for nomination has closed. Only financial members will be eligible to vote.

Meeting details

If you wish to attend the meeting please contact the assistant honorary secretary Veronica Holt via email and the Zoom meeting details will be sent to you prior to the meeting.

The Victorian Bar teaching team facilitates the 20th Civil and Criminal Advocacy Workshop in Papua New Guinea

For more than 30 years, members of the Victorian Bar and judiciary have assisted the Papua New Guinea legal profession by providing advocacy training to lawyers in PNG. This year, the five-day workshop was delivered remotely for the first time to 82 graduate lawyers in PNG.

The advocacy workshop is a compulsory part of admission to practice in PNG, and provides an important opportunity for the Australian and PNG lawyers to share knowledge and experience, and strengthen ties between the profession in both countries.

The 21 members of the Victorian Bar and judiciary facilitating the workshop were led by Philip Corbett QC, Chair of the Victorian Bar International Advocacy Training Committee, and included His Honour Justice Wilson of the Family Court of Australia, His Honour Judge Christopher O’Neill of the County Court of Victoria, Remy van de Wiel QC, Sally Flynn QC, Benjamin Lindner, Stephen Russell, Ian Percy, Maya Rozner, Bradley Newton, Trevor Wallwork, Anna Robertson, Paul Kounnas, Peter O’Farrell, Aggy Kapitaniak, Diana Price, Nicholas Goodenough, Clare Cunliffe, Daniel Nguyen and Julie Buxton.

More information about the workshop can be found on the VicBar media release here.

Justice Connect commences trial of the Victorian Bar’s Pro Bono Platform

From 19 October, Justice Connect commenced using Victorian Bar’s Pro Bono Platform to refer pro bono work on a trial basis. Jobs posted on the Platform can be accepted by barristers via the Platform.

Justice Connect will still use its usual referral method in administering the Victorian Bar’s Pro Bono Scheme. Therefore, team members from Justice Connect may also contact barristers via email and phone when referring other pro bono work during the trial period.

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.

Bar News: Call for contributions from the editors

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to report that our Summer Issue of Victorian Bar News (Issue 168) is ‘in train’.  Through all the challenges of  2020, the Bar News Committee thanks our numerous contributors for continuing to share news, views and photos about life at the Bar and in lockdown. A big thanks also to Bar Council and the Bar Office for supporting our desire to bring a hard copy publication to you.

We are now calling for contributions for our December issue. This is your magazine.  Please let us know what you are thinking, feeling and doing right now. Whether you give us two sentences or a magnum opus, either is fine. 

In the last six months we have been working from home. This is an important chance to share with each other what we have been doing professionally and personally. Bar News serves as a record of our lives during a remarkable time.

We would love your photos. If your photography skills do not rival Slim Aarons, please do not be concerned.

Here is a list of topics designed to assist inspiration:

  • (Virtual) court room bloopers /  Unwelcome Zoom exhibitionist horror stories;
  • How have you survived Stage 4 lockdown (including the school holidays…)?
  • What changes have worked this year and are worth retaining, and what should we let go?
  • Is Bar collegiality under stress from social isolation?
  • Can we create a court room presence, virtually and, if so, how?
  • Is virtual communication more intimate or alienating?
  • Is the forensic disadvantage between in person and virtual appearances maintainable anymore?
  • Could juries work from home if judges can?

Please keep your stories and photos flowing. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Our content deadline is 6 November 2020. Please submit to:

You are also most welcome to contact us directly.

Best wishes,

Natalie Hickey, Justin Wheelahan and Annette Charak

The Editors

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.

  • Ethics: Some issues revisited is on Thursday 5 November, 5–6:00pm. The session will cover the High Court decision of Bell Lawyers v Pentelow (2019) 372 ALR 555 and Rules 101 and 105. There will also be an opportunity to raise any general ethical issues faced by counsel in day-to-day practice. Click here to register.
  • Cross-Examination and Re-Examination on Prior Statements is on Monday 9 November, 4–5:00pm. This seminar will consider the applicable law of evidence and provide some practical guidance on improving your skills in this fundamental area. Click here to register.

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 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.

Easing of restrictions from 11:59pm Tuesday 27 October 2020

From 11:59pm Tuesday 27 October, members are able to access Chambers to participate in remote hearings, permits are no longer required, and court and tribunal matters may proceed onsite as determined by the relevant Head of Jurisdiction. Confirmation about the easing of restrictions is published in the Industry Restriction Level (IRL) document for Professional services (Legal – additional requirements) on the third page here. The IRL for the Public administration (courts, tribunals and justice) is here. The government has confirmed, and has published on the DHHS website here, that from 11:59pm Tuesday 27 October, we are in the Third Step (Restricted) on the Roadmap to Reopening (the yellow column in the IRL).

Members who need to come into Chambers should view the BCL website here for the steps that BCL is taking, and what members need to do, to be COVID-Safe in Chambers.

Metro-regional permit for barristers travelling to Chambers from regional Victoria

Barristers who live in regional Victoria and wish to travel to Chambers need a metro-regional permit. This replaces the permitted worker permit. The details are here.

Magistrates’ Court of Victoria

On Monday 26 October, the Court issued an updated version of Practice Direction 9 – Diversion on the Papers, which relates to diversion hearings on the papers in the Court during COVID-19. The updated Practice Direction is available on the Court’s website here. Also, the Chief Magistrate has extended the Modified Access and Procedure Order (MAP) until Sunday 25 April 2021 pursuant to section 33D of the Open Courts Act 2013 (Vic). A copy of the MAP is available on the Court’s website here.

Electronic document lodgement is coming soon to the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria and the Children’s Court of Victoria

Electronic document lodgement, known as eDocs, is being implemented at both Courts across Victoria from November through to January 2021. This is a preliminary first step being introduced as part of a broader new case management system that will be rolled out over the next few years. eDocs includes all jurisdictions across MCV and ChCV, excluding Child Protection. As well as responding to COVID-19 challenges impacting court operations, the eDocs Portal facilitates more timely and efficient interactions with the two courts by enabling legal practitioners and other external users to:

  • Submit and manage case documents electronically
  • View, track and download documents when needed
  • Receive email notifications and updates when documents have been progressed, and
  • Lodge payments and process refunds online (where relevant).

eDocs has a staged roll out process. Most forms you use to interact with the courts are included in the first release of eDocs. There are a small number of forms that are not included in the initial eDocs release, and may be included in future releases. 

As part of the eDocs Portal enrolment process, Court Services Victoria is creating eDocs Portal user accounts for all external parties to get you up and running in the new system.

Court Services Victoria will be in touch next week to obtain information to create your user account(s), on your behalf.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, view the Frequently Asked Questions here.

Previous email updates

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

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
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.

Victorian Lawyers Admission 2020 - A Virtual Celebration!

The Amicus Curiae project is delighted to convene a panel of brilliant legal professionals to celebrate the admission of Victorian lawyers in 2020.

An online celebration is planned for Friday 20 November at 1–2:00pm to recognise this momentous milestone!

Meet the illustrious panel consisting of:

  • Julian Burnside AO QC - Julian is a decorated Commercial Barrister and Human Rights and Public Law advocate, with a particular focus on the treatment of Asylum Seekers. He is also a published author and a strong supporter of the Arts.
  • William Lye OAM QC - William is the first Malaysian born and one of a handful of barristers of Chinese descent to be made silk in Australia. He is a Commercial Barrister, Mediator, Educator and champion of cultural diversity in the law.
  • Anna Brown OAM - Anna is a pioneer of LGBTIQ+ rights and is the CEO of Equality Australia. She played a critical role in the campaign for marriage equality co-chairing the Equality Campaign and running the challenge to the postal plebiscite in the High Court.
  • Jill Prior - Jill is the Principal Legal Officer of the Law and Advocacy Centre for Women, providing legal services for at-risk women in Victoria. Jill has a long career in community law serving those most vulnerable in society.

Former Justice of the High Court of Australia and human rights advocate, The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, will also be giving a special message.

Join the online celebration which is open to all in the legal profession, including students, friends and family of those who have been or are to be admitted in 2020 'on the papers'.

Please note: Closer to the date, all registered attendees will be sent a Microsoft Teams link to tune in to the live event.

Click here to register.

The Essoign Club – Open for business

Dear Essoign Club Members,

We are open and here to welcome you back for:

  • Breakfast – from 7:00am, and
  • Lunch – from 12:00pm.

The Bar is open till late.

Come in and enjoy a coffee, a wine or something higher up the bar shelf. Grab a snack to takeaway or dine in for some breakfast or lunch, while the team prepare to get the club back into full swing!

Stay tuned for our daily café menu and dine-in menu.

We are aiming to have our extensive menus available as soon as possible. 

In the meantime, thank you for all your ongoing support for the club during this tough period. 

The Essoign Club Team

Member Benefits Australia - October exclusive member offers

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

Practice & Profession News
Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner - $1m in funding announced to improve Victorians’ access to legal services

On 22 October, the Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner announced the seven successful recipients of its 2020 grants program.

The funding is for projects that help ordinary and vulnerable Victorians access simple and affordable legal support services.

More information about the grants and a video that introduces the recipients and the work they do to improve access to justice is available here.

Digital Bar Library – Resources and events


The Digital Bar Library provides access here to certain licensed resources, structured for ease of access.

In addition to that collection, publishers have made many titles available gratis during COVID restrictions. These are available here.

If you would like help accessing the content you need, or have a research query that you’d like assistance with, please fill in a library request form here.

The Library has launched its 2020-25 Strategic Plan. Please read about its truly digital library service here.



The Library has a number of events coming up. You are welcome to register for any of the following sessions:

  • Switch On... LIV Ethics Information Hub is on Thursday 5 November, 1:15–1:45pm. The LIV Ethics Committee Rulings and Guidelines are a valuable resource for the legal profession. This session, presented by Donna Cooper, Head of Ethics, Wellbeing and Practitioner Support and Carly Erwin, Ethics Paralegal of the Law Institute of Victoria will provide an overview and introduction to the Law Institute of Victoria Ethics Information Hub, Ethics Guidelines and Rulings. Register here.
  • Switch On… Personal Injuries is on Thursday 19 November, 1:15–1:45pm. Register here.
  • Home-brewed Shakespeare – an end of year celebration in collaboration with Bottled Snail is on Monday 23 November, 5–6:00pm. Register here.
Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee – Professional Indemnity Insurance and new website

Professional indemnity insurance

The Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee (LPLC) is collecting gross fee income information from barristers as part of their preparatory work for insurance renewals in 2021/22. All barristers will have a received an email from LPLC ( asking them to go to LPLC’s insurance portal insurance at and enter their gross fee income for the year ended 30 June 2020 as well as an estimate of gross fee income for the 2020/21 year.

A gross fee income declaration for the last completed financial year is usually collected by LPLC upon insurance renewals, but the information is being collected earlier this year to ensure LPLC is able to give full consideration to the impact of COVID-19 on member incomes before it sets premium rates.

Members are asked to assist LPLC by completing the requested information promptly.

New website

The LPLC is proud to announce that its new website was launched on Tuesday 20 October.

You can view the new website here:

Notice of Termination – Manager appointed to Samantha Ward Pty (In Liquidation)

On 18 July 2019, the Victorian Bar was notified that Mr Paul McCarthy had been appointed by the Victorian Legal Services Board as the Manager of Samantha Ward Pty.

Please be advised that the appointment of Mr McCarthy as Manager terminated on 15 October 2020.

If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Reshma Pickering on 03 9679 8048 or email

New team to lead Legal Services Council

A new team of high-profile lawyers, including the current head of the NSW Law Reform Commission, has been chosen to lead the body that regulates lawyers in both NSW and Victoria.

On 27 October, NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman and Victorian Attorney-General Jill Hennessy welcomed the new appointees to the Legal Services Council, including new Chairperson Alan Cameron AO.

More information about the team’s appointees is available here.

Sentencing Advisory Council - New Sentencing Statistics for Over 200 Higher Courts Offences

The Sentencing Advisory Council has just released updated higher courts sentencing statistics on SACStat, the Council’s online statistical database here.

Counting rules – The new data includes the more than 200 higher courts offences for which at least 10 charges were sentenced in Victoria’s County and Supreme Courts over the five years to 30 June 2019.

New offences – Offences included in SACStat for the first time include:

  • knowingly possess child abuse material
  • home invasion
  • aggravated carjacking, and
  • accessory to murder.

Magistrates’ Court – SACStat also presents sentencing data for approximately 500 offences sentenced in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria over the three years to 30 June 2019.

Guides to use:

  • Ready reference – Designed to be printed, the two-page SACStat User Guide includes an at-a-glance summary of the counting rules. The guide is available here.
  • Comprehensive guides – detailed resources on using, interpreting, and referring to SACStat are available from the SACStat home page as: How to Use SACStat, Technical Notes and Glossary.

Online training – A new Introduction to Sentencing Statistics workshop is almost ready for delivery online via Zoom. Free, public sessions will be scheduled no later than early 2021. Free sessions for your organisation can also be arranged by negotiation for later in 2020 or early in 2021. This activities-based session will:

  • improve participants’ ability to find and interpret the Victorian sentencing statistics on our website
  • demonstrate the interactivity and data tools available, and
  • showcase the range of available data, including but not limited to SACStat.
Sentencing Advisory Council – New report on sentencing outcomes for image-based sexual abuse offences in Victoria

On 27 October, the Sentencing Advisory Council released a report on sentencing outcomes for image-based sexual abuse offences in Victoria in the four years to 30 June 2019.

Key findings included:

  • 54% of cases involving an image-based abuse offence were related to family violence, especially in cases involving actual and threatened distribution of intimate images (offences that came into effect in 2014)
  • the number of sentenced cases involving an image-based abuse offence increased from 25 in 2014–15 to 91 in 2018–19, and
  • the most common sentencing outcomes for image-based abuse offences were community correction orders (27%), imprisonment (22%) and fines (19%).

Based on the Council's findings and consultations, the report raises three main policy concerns that may warrant further exploration:

  • that sentences for these offences are low compared to the available maximum penalties and the severe harm that can be associated with serious instances of image-based abuse, especially in the context of coercive control
  • that Victoria's image-based abuse offences are summary offences, unlike most jurisdictions, which limits police search powers, and
  • that most image-based abuse is not reported to police, suggesting a need for greater community awareness of these offences.

The factsheet, report and launch video are all available on the Council's website here.

Profession CPD & Events
Cyngler Consulting
  • Do you ever find yourself in difficult conversations? Come and join one our programs.
  • Do you need mediation accreditation or reaccreditation? Enrol in our next course.
  • Are you wanting to extend and enlarge your mediation skills? Come and take one of our Mediation Masterclasses.
  • Do you need training or support in conflict management, decision making or listening skills? Get in touch with us.

National Mediator Accreditation

9–11 and 16–18 November 2020

Mediation Masterclass

23, 24 and 25 November 2020

Online Skills Training

October to November 2020

Visit our website for more information and to register.

Monash University webinar: Model Defamation Provision Amendments 2020

The webinar, on Wednesday 11 November at 5:15pm, will examine the Model Defamation Provision Amendments 2020 that have been approved by the Council of Attorneys-General and are expected to be enacted by each of the States and Territories in the coming months.

Speakers are:

  • The Hon Justice Michael Wheelahan, Judge, Federal Court of Australia
  • Georgina Schoff QC, Barrister, Victorian Bar
  • Justin Quill, Partner, Thomson Geer
  • Nicholas Pullen, Partner, HWL Ebsworth

Click here to register.

DCA Research Launch Event - Gari Yala: Speak the Truth

‘Indigenous employment’ is a growing, vital discipline within the employment and diversity, inclusion, and human resources landscapes but there are two glaring omissions – there is a notable lack of research that asks Indigenous people what they want and need from workplaces in order to flourish, and what is available has been primarily informed by non-Indigenous voices. To address this gap, DCA and the UTS Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research created the Gari Yala project, which means ‘speak the truth’ in Wiradjuri language, to gain an understanding of the diversity of Indigenous workers’ experiences firsthand. On Tuesday 17 November at 2:00–3:30pm, the findings of this project will be released and followed by a panel discussion.

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
Judicial College of Victoria – Manager, Legal Research and Information Services

The Judicial College of Victoria (JCV) is seeking a Manager, Legal Research and Information Services, to contribute to and develop the JCV’s highly regarded legal publications for the judiciary. The successful applicant will also be involved in establishing a proposed curated digital platform to showcase academic writing for the assistance of judges and practitioners. More information about the position and application process 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.

Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 5th November 2020