News & Events


Latest News & Events

24Jun
In Brief

On behalf of members, I extend my congratulations and best wishes to the Hon. Justice Karin Emerton on her appointment as President of the Court of Appeal, effective as of 16 July 2022.  Justice Emerton has been a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria since 2009, initially in the trial division and since 2018 in the appellate division.

17Jun
In Brief

Last night I chaired the Special General Meeting of the Bar.  The only item of business was the proposed amendment to the Bar’s Constitution to ensure certain numbers of silks and non-silks in Category A.  The SGM was well attended, and 382 members had submitted proxies. Darryl Burnett proposed the motion and spoke in favour of it. No one spoke against the resolution.  In order to pass the resolution, a vote of 75% of those who voted (whether in person or by proxy) was required.  286 members voted in favour of the resolution; 120 members voted against the resolution.  The percentage for the motion was 70.44% of members who voted.  Accordingly, the resolution was not carried, and there will be no amendment to the Bar’s Constitution.

10Jun
In Brief

This week, the President of the Victorian Bar, Róisín Annesley QC, tested positive for Covid and accordingly is isolating.  As a result, this week, we have a Vice President’s message.  I look forward to Róisín’s return to her full Presidential duties.

3Jun
In Brief

Last Friday, more than 520 members attended the 2022 Bar Dinner at the Plaza Ballroom.  The night was a wonderful celebration of the achievements of so many members, with particular focus on those members who have been in continuous practice at the Bar for 45 years.  I wish to thank Jaclyn Symes MP, Attorney-General for the State of Victoria and the Honourable Justice William Alstergren, Chief Justice of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, for their respective addresses, which were both entertaining and thoughtful.  I also wish to thank the Bar office for their hard work in making the night a great success. Photos of the evening can be viewed here.

27May
In Brief

A Special General Meeting of the Victorian Bar will be held at 5:00pm on Thursday, 16 June 2022. The purpose of the meeting is to vote to approve an amendment to the Bar’s Constitution. The amendment aims to ensure greater representation on Bar Council of members who are not less than 15 years call but are not Senior Counsel. Further information is available in the notice below.

20May
In Brief

Applications for appointment as Senior Counsel in 2022 will close today, Friday, 20 May 2022, at 5:00pm.

The Bar has been a hive of activity this week, and it is pleasing to see the return of many in-person events.

13May
In Brief

Last Friday, I met with Malcolm Harding SC, Chair of the Industrial Bar Association, to discuss the lack of in-person hearings being listed in that jurisdiction in Victoria.  A number of barristers have separately raised with me that there appears to be some reluctance to return to in-person hearings in the Federal jurisdictions more generally and/ or inconsistent practices in relation to in-person hearings. The Bar Council continues to advocate with the heads of jurisdiction for consistency in the return to in-person hearings as the default position for all trials and appeals and, more generally, for a return to in-person hearings.

6May
In Brief

On Saturday the ABA’s National Conference concluded. The conference was a great success and I again extend my congratulations to all involved.  I was particularly struck by the following remarks of the Hon. Justice Stephen Gageler in his keynote address to the conference:

29Apr
In Brief

The Hon Chris Maxwell AC, President of the Victorian Court of Appeal, has announced that he will retire from the Court on Friday, 15 July 2022.  President Maxwell has served the Court with distinction for 17 years since his appointment in 2005 and on behalf of the Bar I extend best wishes to him for the future. Details of any farewell ceremony will be published when known.

22Apr
In Brief

This week, the Victorian Government announced the downgrading of some Covid restrictions, including removing masks in all retail and hospitality venues, to come into effect tonight. The orders are yet to be published. It is not clear what, if any, restrictions will be removed in relation to courts. The current court protocols remain in place until further notice.