News & Events


22May

Hosted by the Student Engagement Committee and Indigenous Justice Committee of the Victorian Bar, this event gives students the opportunity to have their questions on the path to becoming a barrister and what barristers do answered by a live panel of members of the Victorian Bar.

21May

This panel will reflect on the inaugural diversity internship in 2023, which provided an invaluable opportunity for law students from diverse backgrounds to undertake a paid internship whilst being supervised by members of the Victorian Bar and the Judiciary. Meet our inaugural interns and hear about their experiences along with the judges who hosted them

Latest News & Events

17May
In Brief

Last Friday evening, I had the pleasure of attending the NSW Bar & Bench Dinner. It was a lively event, and the speeches were excellent, especially that of the guest speaker, the Honourable Justice Beech-Jones of the High Court of Australia. For those of you attending the Victorian Bar Dinner tomorrow evening, you are in for a treat. I thank the President of the NSW Bar, Dr Ruth Higgins SC, and the NSW Bar Council for their hospitality.

10May
In Brief

On Wednesday at lunchtime, I attended a ‘town hall’ style meeting conducted by the Strategic Plan Working Group in the Neil McPhee Room. It was interesting to participate in the conversation and hear from members about what the Bar’s focus should be over the next five years. On behalf of the Bar Council, I thank the Strategic Plan Working Group and all members who attended.

3May
In Brief

On Thursday evening, I was honoured to welcome the 47 March 2024 Readers who signed the Bar Roll at a Ceremony held in the Banco Court. On behalf of us all, I congratulated them on their decision to join our Bar and wished them well as they embark upon what I hope will be rewarding careers as independent members of counsel. I also thanked all those who have worked so tirelessly to deliver another successful Readers’ Course: our dedicated Education Team, in particular, Michelle James and Nikki Walker; our Readers’ Course Committee led by Anthony Strahan KC and Ben Ihle KC; and the members of our Bar and the judiciary who so generously give their time to instruct our readers. We are grateful to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for allowing the Bar to use the Banco Court.

26Apr
In Brief

Bar Exam Update

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Nadia Deltondo and Nadia Stojanova as the Bar’s new Chief Examiners. Ms. Deltondo and Ms. Stojanova are both members of our Bar and former members of the Standing Exam Review Panel with considerable experience in teaching and assessment. I am confident that, in consultation with the new Exam Committee, the Chief Examiners will set an Exam in October this year that will fulfill all the recommendations of the 5-Year Panel Review Report. 

19Apr
In Brief

On Monday, Anthony Strahan KC, members of the Bar Office, and I met with the VLSB Commissioner, Fiona McLeay, and VLSB policy manager, Michelle Marfurt, to discuss the changes to the Bar Exam and Readers’ Course. While the Victorian Bar has the necessary delegated power to make the changes, the VLSB+C takes a keen interest in how we exercise that delegation. We discussed the proposal to shorten the Readers’ Course and deliver some of the current course content later during the reading period when readers have commenced practice as barristers. We are very grateful to Ms McLeay and the VLSB for their careful consideration of the changes that we are making. 

12Apr
In Brief

On Monday, I met with Professor Andrew Mowbray, the founder and Executive Director of AustLII, its Managing Director, Associate Professor Philip Chung, and Development Manager, Richard Hunter. AustLII, now almost 30 years old, remains Australia’s largest online free-access resource for Australian legal information, and barristers are, I was told, one of its largest user groups. The purpose of the meeting was to bring the Bar up to date with AustLII’s recent work, the most interesting of which is the creation of a new database to house the complete case files of 37 seminal High Court cases, as selected by the High Court. No doubt, AustLII is also keen to ensure that the Victorian Bar continues to contribute funds to the AustLII Foundation. Since 2021, the Victorian Bar has contributed $10,000 each year.

5Apr
In Brief

I hope members enjoyed a relaxing break over the long weekend. As this has been a short week, so too is In Brief.

28Mar
In Brief

Bar Exam and Readers’ Course

Last week, Bar Council received the Report of the 5-Year Exam Review Panel chaired by the Hon. Peter Riordan KC. The report made 17 recommendations and 4 suggestions for substantial changes to the Bar Exam and the Readers’ Course. The changes are designed to ensure that the Exam does not unnecessarily restrict entry to the Bar and to increase the number of places in the Readers’ Course. Members can read the report (with some redactions to protect confidential information which I am confident are not material to an understanding of the report) here.

22Mar
In Brief

On Tuesday evening, the Hon. John Digby KC, Chairman of BCL and its CEO, Paul Clark, attended the Bar Council meeting to provide their quarterly update, including with respect to how they are managing the increasing number of vacancies and the expected departure of a number of floors later this year. The BCL model, which provides such great flexibility to our members has, on the flip side, some great challenges for those tasked with managing it. To this end, a BCL survey seeking member’s feedback on chambers and technology services has been sent to all members this week. I encourage you all to participate in the survey, which will help inform BCL’s future strategic direction. Click here to complete the survey. The Bar Council remains very focused on the Bar’s accommodation needs, and we are grateful for the assistance of John and Paul and the rest of the BCL board. This year has seen the appointment to the BCL board of Liz Bennett S.C. and Stewart Maiden KC, and I am happy to announce that on Tuesday night, Bar Council also appointed Sam Hay KC to the Board. This morning the Board elected to appoint Sam as its Deputy Chair.

15Mar
In Brief

I hope that members and their families managed to keep cool and enjoyed a restful Labour Day weekend. On Saturday, happily by Zoom, I attended an Australian Bar Association Directors meeting to discuss the ABA’s budget for 2024-25. The ABA is fortunate to have healthy capital reserves which are earning good income.  It was determined that it was undesirable to fund operations, including a number of planned special projects, from capital and the Board accordingly resolved to increase capitation fees by 4%, or about $4.00 per member.