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


The five-day workshop was delivered remotely for the first time to 82 graduate lawyers in PNG

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.

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.

This year’s workshop included intensive lectures, moots and feedback sessions and was held at the Legal Training Institute (LTI) of Papua New Guinea, between 19 and 23 October and by webinar from Melbourne. Eighty-two graduate lawyers from PNG, Bougainville and the Solomon Islands attended the workshop as part of their compulsory practical legal training before being admitted as lawyers.

The opening of the workshop by the Chief Justice of Papua New Guinea, the Honourable Sir Gibbs Salika, was attended by members of the local legal profession, including the Solicitor-General of PNG.

Kristobella Haro, pictured above, won the inaugural Ruby-Anne Laufa Best Female Advocate Award, presented at the conclusion of the training by Maurice Laufa. The Award was named in honour of his daughter, the late Ruby-Anne Laufa, who had participated in the 2015 workshop.

Ruby-Anne died tragically in 2017, the victim of domestic violence. Many of the teaching team from the Victorian Bar had taught and knew Ruby-Anne well. Prior to her passing, Ruby-Anne was earmarked for an outstanding career in the legal profession – a former Miss South Pacific PNG, she was a budding lawyer, leader, entrepreneur and passionate advocate for victims of gender-based violence.

President of the Victorian Bar, Wendy Harris QC, said “We are delighted to work with the LTI on delivering training to the next generation of lawyers in PNG, and I thank the barristers involved, and the leadership of Philip Corbett QC in facilitating, the training. It’s an important part of the Victorian Bar’s work in facilitating access to justice by ensuring that those providing legal representation have the best training and mentoring to develop their legal skills. I congratulate all of the participants in the training, and in particular Kristobella Haro on her achievement in winning the Ruby-Anne Laufa Best Female Advocate Award. The Award is a reminder of the need for strong legal representation for those in the community who are vulnerable to domestic violence and other forms of injustice.”

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.

Chair of the Victorian Bar’s International Advocacy Training Committee, Philip Corbett QC, said “I am proud to be part of strong cohort of Bar members and judiciary who lent their time and considerable expertise to teaching their craft to the next generation of lawyers. I’d like to thank the Acting Director of the Legal Training Institute, Ms Angelyn Paranda, and her team for their hard work in developing an outstanding course and ensuring the workshop was delivered remotely. The assistance provided by Bar’s education team is also appreciated.”

Financial assistance was also provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Justice Services and Stability for Development Program, and technology and support were provided by the Supreme and National Courts of Papua New Guinea and the University of Papua New Guinea.

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