Thankfully, we have emerged from the recent lockdown on schedule and the Courts and Chambers have reopened. Online hearings largely continued uninterrupted.
One of the matters discussed by the Bar Council last night was whether to again postpone the Bar Dinner, currently scheduled for Friday, 21 May 2021. As members will be aware, last year's dinner was postponed from May to October and then again to its current date. Notwithstanding that there are still uncertainties, and after some debate, the majority view was that we should maintain the current date. As this will be the first significant social event for barristers for two years, I would ask that you all put the date in your diary and give your support. The Bar will provide further updates closer to the event.
We have also decided to introduce a dedicated web page for Bar Council Minutes, accessible through the website's members section here. This will be in addition to the link referenced by accessing In Brief. Members should be aware that there is inevitably some delay in this process, as the Minutes first need to be approved and then redacted (for privacy reasons) before they can be posted.
On a personal note, I attended the Memorial Service for the Hon Barry Beach AM QC yesterday afternoon (postponed from Tuesday). There was a large attendance of both past and current members of the Bench and Bar, as was absolutely fitting in the circumstances. It did cause me to reflect, however, that the Bar has lost a number of iconic members in the last 12 months or so, who we have been unable to honour collectively. Of course, that is an unavoidable consequence of current circumstances, but the unfortunate result is that appropriate recognition has not always been forthcoming. It is appropriate that members recognise the service of all those past members and their contributions to our Bar.
Christopher Blanden QC