In line with the Victorian Bar Vision, Purpose and Values - the International Advocacy Training Committee offers programs of excellence, leadership and growth throughout the South Pacific Region.
The International Advocacy Training Committee was established to advise and assist with respect to matters related to the provision of advocacy training, and other assistance by the Victorian Bar Inc (VicBar) to members of the legal profession of other countries.
In particular, the role of the Committee includes:
The Victorian Bar assists developing countries of the South Pacific by conducting Advocacy Skills Workshops for lawyers of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, Nauru and Fiji.
Advocacy skills training workshops commenced in 1990 in the South Pacific under the leadership of Robert Kent QC. A seven-day workshop was conducted at the Legal Training Institute (LTI) in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea as part of its year-long pre-admission training course. The Victorian Bar has continued to conduct workshops for the trainees of the LTI each year.
In 1995 the VicBar extended its teaching commitments to include a week-long workshop in Vanuatu, again led by Robert Kent QC who was as the time a Justice of the Supreme Court of Vanuatu.
Since 2002 the VicBar has been requested to conduct advocacy training workshops, advanced appellate workshops, and advanced advocacy skills workshops for lawyers from the Public Solicitors Office, the Office of the DPP, the Attorney-General’s Office and the Department of Justice in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, Nauru and Fiji.
In 2013 a specifically tailored civil litigation program was created through funding provided by the Centre for Asia Pacific Pro Bono (CAPPB). Two separate 2.5 day workshops were created for 34 lawyers (19 attended the intermediate level program and 15 attended a more advanced in-depth program).
As with all the workshops conducted in South Pacific countries, the senior members of the Victorian Bar who give of their time and expertise, is meritorious. Their commitment to the independence and professional standard of the legal professions in developing countries is recognised with gratitude, by the respective Judiciaries and trainees.
The Bar Readers’ Course is conducted twice yearly commencing in March and September. The Bar Council has resolved to include places for two overseas readers’ in the September course each year. It is intended that priority be given to practicing advocates who are likely to make a significant contribution to their home jurisdiction.
Information on the selection criteria for allocation of places in the readers’ course is available below.
Applications for the 2019 September readers’ course must be made on the application form and all documentation must be received by close of business 1 March 2019.
A new program for the women students of the Legal Training Institute (LTI) was conducted in 2015 by the Victorian Bar in partnership with the LTI and with the support of the Papua New Guinea - Australia Law and Justice Partnership (PALJP). The program, entitled, Empowering Women in the Law in PNG, was rolled out across the weekend of 11-12 July 2015. The program was developed with a focus on building confidence in and empowering women entering the PNG legal profession.
Trainees were offered mentoring on an on-going basis by members of the Victorian Bar following the empowerment program. Mentoring and empowerment programs have continued annually for trainees since the inaugural program.
In 2017, for the first time, the Victorian Bar team also offered a mentoring program for men. The men’s program was conceived in response to feedback from male students at the LTI in 2016. The men’s program, and in particular the mentoring component of the men’s program for 2017 was supported and funded by JSS4D.
The mentoring programs promote candor and open discussion, especially among women participants who can easily feel intimidated by male counterparts.
Reports from recent training programs are linked below.