News & Events

Latest News & Events

In Brief

New beginnings herald a culture shift at the Bar

Last week, we welcomed 35 Readers to the Victorian Bar’s Readers’ Course. Our education team and the Bar Readers’ Course Committee worked hard to produce a course that is the first in Australia to be delivered entirely online and offered during COVID. We’re particularly pleased to have been able to extend our Course to two Readers who will eventually sign the South Australian Bar Roll.

In Brief

Our role as leaders

There are many examples, too many to list in this message, of members and former members of the Bar stepping up to leadership positions in our community – in the judiciary, in not-for-profit and charitable organisations, in politics, in business, in the media. The Bar is rightfully proud of the contribution that they have made, and are continuing to make, to maintaining the robust institutions that underpin our society and democracy.


In August, we welcomed 35 Readers to the Victorian Bar’s Readers’ Course.

In Brief

Essential work behind the scenes

One point five meters. Lockdowns. Restrictions. Social distancing. Curfews. These five concepts have dominated our lives since March this year, turning our working and private lives upside down. These dramatic changes to our way of life, while uncomfortable, have increased our awareness of the people who have both physically and virtually enabled us to be kept fed and working. I, for one, have even greater respect for teachers and childcare workers, and as I listen to my daughter’s zoom classes, I’m amazed at the incredible skill they employ each day when they teach. We also have a new respect for ‘front line’ workers – the shelf stackers, cleaners, delivery drivers, supermarket workers, hospital workers – and the court personnel and IT advisors who are arranging and helping us access the virtual meetings on which we now depend.


Congratulations to Victorian Bar member Felicity Gerry QC, winner of this year’s Lawyers Weekly Barrister of the Year Award.

In Brief

When the ‘laptop lifestyle’ becomes compulsory

I have found this message one of the hardest to compose in my time as President.  There is little I can say to lessen the impact of the latest blow of Stage 4 restrictions on members of our college.  I have been inundated with messages from members who are struggling with the implications of this latest public health response.


Raise the Age a campaign that supports all State and Territory Governments raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility across Australia. The present minimum age of criminal responsibility in Australia is (generally) 10 years of age by statute. The Victorian Bar has signed up to the Raise the Age campaign and stands with other organisations such as the Law Council of Australia and Victoria Legal Aid in supporting an increase to the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 years to 14 years of age.

In Brief

The new remote reality

We speak a lot about the collegiality of the Victorian Bar – working together, in normal times closely, in chambers means that experiences can be readily shared, knowledge and advice easily sought, and work opportunities actively pursued. The COVID pandemic has put paid to physical collegiality – but most of the networks and programs at the Bar continue to operate. Indeed, since 1 April, VicBar’s education and events team have organised 47 separate CPDs and events, which 3,445 participants have attended. These have included regular substantive law CPDs, together with technology training, online advocacy workshops and our series of webinars where legal leaders join us In Conversation at the VicBar. And there is a lot more happening.  


Bar Roll No: 2309

Victorian Bar member Norman Rosenbaum passed away last Saturday at the age of 62 years.

In Brief

Surviving Stage 3

As we continue to endure months and months of pandemic-related restrictions, we can all be forgiven if our democratic sensibilities are somewhat rattled by the constant directives relating to what we can and cannot do. Do wear a mask, don’t leave home unless absolutely necessary, do stay 1.5 metres apart, don’t touch your face…and on and on it goes. As frustrating, and necessary, as these restrictions are, there is hopefully some light at the end of the tunnel with trials of a COVID-19 vaccine at Oxford University showing some promise. Recent media reports indicate the best-case scenario is that this vaccine is the magic bullet we are waiting for and we could begin an immunisation program in early 2021. The worst case is that a new normal pervades our lives for the foreseeable future as we await another viable vaccine or a slowing spread of COVID-19. Either way, this lockdown definitely cramps our style, crimps our plans and checks our finances.