News & Events

Latest News & Events

In Brief

The President's/CEO's Message will return on 24 January.  Updated notices on events and opportunities for our members are below.

In Brief

The Bar’s bushfire response

With bushfires again devastating Victoria and other states, it is difficult to celebrate the beginning of 2020 without thinking about the individuals and communities, towns, farms, bushland and wildlife affected by these terrible events.

I am proud of, and humbled by, the Bar’s response through Disaster Legal Help Victoria - our alliance with Victoria Legal Aid, the Federation of Community Legal Centres, the Law Institute of Victoria and Justice Connect - to help with pro bono legal support to those affected. Within the first 24 hours, more than 60 members of the Bar had registered on the Disaster Legal Help site – the vast majority of the first registrants. You can still do so through this link. Victoria Legal Aid is coordinating requests for assistance from the public with practitioners with the appropriate experience who have registered on the site.

In Brief

Cyber security at the Bar

I am happy to report that the new password policy implemented earlier this year has led to a notable improvement to the safety of the VicBar email system.

Like all organisations, the Victorian Bar is at constant risk of cyberattacks and phishing attempts. While it can be irritating to update your password on a regular basis, BCL’s statistics show that the new password policy implemented this year has been highly effective in foiling the hackers.

We all have a part to play in keeping our IT systems safe. Please continue to keep up your guard against suspicious emails, links and attachments. BCL will continue to monitor the dark web and undertake testing to try to ensure the security of the systems used by our members.

In Brief

Reflecting on 2019

2019 has been a year of great achievement at the Bar. We’ve welcomed 125 new colleagues and celebrated the appointment of 19 of our members to the bench. But it’s also been a year of reflection for many of us.

In Brief

What do government solicitors need from barristers?

When schedules get busy, time is precious and budgets are tight, it is important to focus on what matters most to clients. This week, Wendy Harris QC and the Bar hosted more than 30 solicitors from the VGSO at a networking event to help the government solicitors get to know more barristers, and for the Bar to gain a deeper insight into how the VGSO works and what the VGSO and its clients need from those they instruct.

In Brief

Silks bows

Earlier this week, eighteen newly appointed senior counsel for the state of Victoria took their bows in the Supreme Court of Victoria, Federal Court of Australia and Family Court of Australia. These ceremonies are a wonderful rite of passage for new silks, and an opportunity for their family and friends to join in the profession’s acknowledgement of their appointment.

In Brief

Launch of Pro Bono platform

This week the Bar launched our new Pro Bono platform, which can be used by all current practising members to access and manage pro bono requests from the Supreme Court, County Court and Coroner’s Court of Victoria, as well as managing and documenting personal pro bono briefs.

In Brief

Bar Council elections

The Bar Council election results were announced yesterday afternoon.

Bar Council has also appointed its officeholders and honorary secretary. The two Vice Presidents are Simon Marks QC and Sam Hay SC. The Treasurer is Stewart Maiden QC and Assistant Treasurer Gabi Crafti.  The Honorary Secretary is Kat Brazenor. Thank you to everyone who voted in the election.

In Brief

It's been a privilege

After two unforgettable years, my time is up. This is my last In Brief. Next Friday, a new face will adorn this end-of-week institution.

It has been one of the great privileges of my professional life to serve as President of our remarkable Bar. As I step down, with effect from next Thursday, I have a greater appreciation—and love—for this place than when I started. 

In Brief

Finest traditions

I was pleased, but not surprised, to learn this week that at least 11 barristers from our Bar have accepted instructions to act pro bono for the families of the Bourke Street victims at the inquest which is scheduled to commence on 18 November 2019 and expected to run for 8 weeks—one of the biggest inquests in Victorian history. The team comprises Áine Magee QC, Sue McNicol QC, Nick Papas QC, Barbara Myers, Marko Cvjeticanin, Fiona Spencer, Fiona Ryan, Kylie Weston-Scheuber, Liz Ruddle, Maria Pilipasidis and Mathew Kenneally. Much work has already been done on a pro bono basis in responding to various issues and in preparation. Needless to say, this is very much in the finest traditions of the Victorian Bar, providing access to justice for those most in need.