News & Events

Latest News & Events

In Brief

Family Property List Mediator Referral Scheme protocol

I was delighted this week to sign, on behalf of the Bar, the Victorian Bar/Family Property List Mediator Referral Scheme protocol. This scheme is a cooperative initiative of the Victorian Bar and the County Court of Victoria. The scheme’s main purpose is to enable the Court to refer matters to mediation by barristers who are Nationally Accredited Mediators.

In Brief

Child minding update

As another week in lockdown looms, there is at least a minor improvement in the child-minding situation for single parents. Otherwise, there is not much joy to report in our efforts to provide some relief for members facing the uncomfortable reality of juggling family and professional responsibilities. We will continue to make representations on your behalf.

In Brief

Child minding restrictions

I hardly need to remind members of the unwelcome news last Friday that access to in-home child minding for preschool children was restricted. As I indicated on Monday evening, talks were ongoing in an effort to remove that restriction. On Tuesday, I met with senior representatives of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice and Community Safety via Zoom to further discuss this unannounced and unwarranted alteration to child minding arrangements. DJCS, which assisted in setting up the meeting, understand and support the Bar’s position. Unfortunately, the meeting did not achieve much. We are yet to see the latest restrictions in print, but the Victorian Premier’s update suggests that the effective ban on in-home child minding for school-age children will only be lifted for families where both parents are, or the single parent is, an authorised worker. Clearly, this change (assuming it occurs) will only assist a minority.

In Brief

A paralegal/law student working with one of our members has started an initiative to help raise awareness and money for Afghanistan's humanitarian crisis. Titled "Camp 4 Afghanistan", the idea is to camp out at home and help raise money. Information can be found here. Please consider supporting this worthwhile project.

In Brief

Yesterday saw the commencement of the September 2021 Readers’ Course. Our congratulations to all the new Readers for having the foresight to want to become barristers! Our commiserations go to them for having to start the course online, but as I indicated in my welcome to them, the Bar’s staff has become adept at dealing with the vagaries of lockdowns – the intention is for the course to revert to a face-to-face format as soon as possible.

In Brief

Another lockdown has just been extended for at least another week. If nothing else, it demonstrates how adept the courts have become at dealing with such upheavals when they occur. Cases that can be accommodated are in an unfortunately practised routine. However, there are always cases that cannot proceed and access to justice suffers.

In Brief

On Wednesday evening, the Victorian Bar Inc. held a Special General Meeting in the Neil McPhee room to propose a number of amendments to the Constitution. The first amendment provided that a member who ceases to be an Australian lawyer may be removed from the Victorian Bar Roll, in line with Recommendation 2 of the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants.

In Brief

Last night the Victorian Bar and the Tax Bar Association, in conjunction with the Australian Bar Association, held a CPD webinar on taxation treaties and domestic law. Why am I mentioning a CPD that’s already taken place? The session was chaired by the Right Honourable Lord Hodge of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the Bar’s office facilitated the entire exercise nationally and internationally. It is hoped this will encourage future international sessions of this kind — my congratulations to all involved, but particularly our office, which can claim much of the credit.

In Brief

Members will be disappointed that the latest COVID-19 lockdown has again forced the postponement of several Bar functions. The good news is that we managed in-person welcomes for Their Honours Judge Sharon Burchell and Judge Anna Robertson of the County Court of Victoria between lockdowns.

In Brief

Occasionally, significant milestones in the Bar’s history and individual contributions go unnoticed or unappreciated – I think this is because they don’t involve a high-profile case or barrister. So it was last week that an important personality at the Bar quietly celebrated her 83rd birthday.