Appellate Advocacy Workshop

Next Course: TBA

Appellate Advocacy Workshop

Location: Brisbane

Dates: TBA

The ABA Appellate Advocacy Workshop is a non-residential two-day workshop that develops your skills as an experienced appellate advocate. The Workshop focuses on the skills required to seek leave to appeal, engage effectively with the bench, and craft comprehensive yet concise written submissions. The Workshop starts by exploring the essence of appellate advocacy, followed by a detailed examination of each of the elements involved in an appeal. 

The Workshop will be conducted in alternative years and dependant on demand.

There are only 24 positions available. Seniority of at least 8 years at the private Bar is a pre-requisite.

The skills of a barrister are best learnt in an environment that is as close to the real experience as possible. This workshop involves a realistic brief, detailed preparation including written submissions and performances in real court settings before judges, including appellate and senior judges from various jurisdictions. The Workshop will promote excellence in appellate advocacy through the development of relevant skills.

Groups are small and the coach-to-participant ratio is high. Performances are recorded in court before appellate court judges who will provide personal feedback on the performance. Barristers will then be reviewed separately by senior members of the Australian Bar.

The Workshop is highly demanding. It requires preparation of written submissions for both the leave and the final appeal (one of each). There are three performances (two leave and a full appeal). The full appeal is before multiple person Courts of experienced appellate judges and senior advocates. 

The brief

You will be briefed on an application for leave to appeal from the judgment of a single judge and the final appeal. The brief is based on a real legal dispute that has previously been litigated.

Pre-course preparation

Written submissions and a List of Authorities are to be submitted prior to the commencement of the Workshop.  It is recommended that at least four full days are set aside for preparation.  Less experienced appellate advocates may find it worthwhile to allow more time.


To be advised

Cost (TBC)

The cost of the workshop covers:

  • Electronic copies of all materials and readings.
  • Venue and equipment (a tablet to record performances must be provided by the participant).
  • Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea on Friday and Saturday.
  • Dinner on Saturday.

All travel costs, including flights and accommodation, and any working materials (stationary, texts, legislation, authorities) are additional and must be organised by barristers individually.

Sorry, registrations are not yet open

Contact name: Legal Education Team, Bar Association of Queensland

Contact email:

Contact telephone: +61 7 3238 5100

Withdrawal and Cancellation Policy

No withdrawals or transfers in registration will be accepted within 6 weeks of the course start date. All withdrawals before this date will incur a $150 administration fee and all transfers are to be notified in writing and are the responsibility of the registered barrister.

In the event that the course is not fully subscribed, the ABA reserves the right to cancel the course. In this event, all registration fees will be refunded.

Please Note

If sponsored, the ABA may provide contact details (email usually, but also may include barristers address) as well as the barrister’s name to the sponsor for marketing purposes.

Photography may be taken during the course. The photographs will be used for promotional purposes or on the ABA website. If any barrister wishes not to be photographed, they should advise the ATC at the time of application for the course.

Some testimonial comments from previous courses

That was one of the best exercises (preparing both sides of the leave application) I have done as an advocate. 

Helpful constructive feedback that could be put into practice. 

Rhys O'Brien '22

You think you look at both sides but to prepare both sides is another. 

I have concrete ideas and goals about how to prepare and present an appeal now. 

Michal Horvath '22

Being made aware by a judge immediately after making oral submissions of things that are done well and things that require improvement is invaluable. 

Philip O'Higgins '22

The coaches and judges were very balanced in their feedback and observations.

I commend the quality and standing of the judges and coaches that were brought together for the course. I am indebted to those people for the time and expertise that they gave to make the weekend the success that it was.

I thought there was a real focus on the substance of your advocacy rather than the form.

The quality of the coaches and bench participants was beyond expectation or comparison. Their level of engagement outside of the formal elements of the course was tremendous and so beneficial to me as a participant. Overall I would have to say that it was an incredibly beneficial experience for me. I endorse the approach and the execution.


I can honestly say that I found the Appellate Advocacy Course of huge assistance to me in my practice of advocacy. I have already put to good use many of the lessons that I learned in the two and a half very intense days of the course.

I have also reflected on the comments made to me by the judges before whom I had the privilege of appearing, and the very constructive, encouraging and challenging advice of the coaches.

I am very grateful to the ABA for the opportunity to brush up on my advocacy skills, especially as it took place in such a supportive and encouraging environment.

I have promised myself that from now on I will attend a course of this nature every few years. It is easy to fall into bad habits and so rare to receive honest and expert feedback. It is an essential part of professional practice.


I think that an appreciation by Barristers that the Judges (and Acting Judges) on the Course will not be hostile or unreasonably critical - but rather providing genuine feedback and constructive criticism is an important and valuable distinction between learning on the job / by experience and learning through the Course.

The Course actually provides a relatively safe and truly valuable learning opportunity - its value being directly related to the effort the participant puts into his or her preparation and actual performance - given that it is coaching or feedback on a performance skill.

The coaching (to improve skills for the future) from the silks or experienced advocacy specialists - who can also provide feedback on the performance reinforces the value of the Course. My experience was that, both formally as part of the Course and even informally in casual discussions, the Judges and Course presenters / providers were genuinely willing to give help and be forthcoming in their comments.

I genuinely commend … the dedication of time and hard work to improve the quality of advocacy services of Barristers in Australia.

I would readily recommend the Course to any Barrister wanting to improve his or her advocacy skills.


I learnt a number of very practical matters about oral and written submissions, engaging with the court and what appellate judges (most likely) want to hear.

I thought that the ‘social’ side was very enjoyable – not only the dinner (great venue and quality) but also meeting the Judges and other colleagues.


The combination of general insights and tips from judges and leading silks, together with personalised constructive critique of individual performances, created an extremely valuable advocacy experience.