The National Brief #10

September 2022

President's Message

Portrait of ABA President Dr Matt Collins AM QCYour national representative body has been very active over the past quarter.

On 1 September, the ABA’s new national Find-A-Barrister database went live. This has been a longstanding project of the ABA and I was very pleased to see it launched after such a long gestation. More than 1,500 barristers have already opted in to the service which we expect will, over time, become the go-to resource for solicitors and clients seeking barristers who have, or aspire to have, national practices. It will reduce the frustration inherent in having to go to different State or Territory based databases, or clerk or list level websites, in order to identify the best available barristers in different practice areas. I encourage anyone who has not already done so to create a profile on the site, and to have a ‘play’ with the database to see just how flexible and user friendly it is. More information appears below.

Since the last edition of The National Brief, we have also launched another ABA first—a national CPD program of streamed seminars, drawing upon the expertise of the ABA’s Committees. The first two seminars were very well attended, and addressed respectively appellate practice and procedure in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, and practice development for the junior Bar post-covid. The seminars are available to be streamed online by following the above links. Many more seminars are planned for the weeks and months ahead. For more information, see here.

It has been very enjoyable over the last couple of months to be able to move more freely around the country and to see so many barristers right around Australia getting back to what we do best, in-person advocacy. It has also been a pleasure to see the collegiality of the State and Territory Bars on display at Bench and Bar dinners in NSW, Queensland and the ACT, as well as conferences, seminars and other events.

It has been disturbing over the past couple of months to watch the deteriorating situation in Kiribati, where the government has ‘suspended’ the appointments of senior judges including the Chief Justice, three members of the Court of Appeal and Australian citizen Justice David Lambourne. Judicial officers must have security of tenure, and independence enabling them to determine disputes according to law without fear of recriminations and attacks on their integrity. On this, the profession speaks with one voice. The ABA was pleased to collaborate with the Law Council of Australia in expressing our deep concern on behalf of all Australian practitioners.

Finally, it has been a sombre week following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. The ABA’s statement of condolences and tribute can be found here.

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The ABA’s National Find-A-Barrister Database is now live

More than 1,500 barristers from around Australia have already created profiles on the ABA’s new national Find-A-Barrister database. If you are not among them, can you afford not to join them? It is not to late to create a profile if you have not done so already, and you can amend and update your profile at any time.

Why should I register?

The national Find-A-Barrister database is a one-stop shop enabling clients and solicitors to select Australian barristers for briefing opportunities around the country. To register, just click this link.

How long does it take?

Registering from start to finish should take no longer than 10 minutes. Simply fill in the criteria, upload a photo if you wish, and submit your profile.

What information is required?

The national Find-A-Barrister database is an opt-in service that enables you to record your qualifications, dates of admission and call, date of taking silk (where applicable), previous occupations and specialised practice areas, and to upload a photo.

You can also link up to a maximum of three external sites on your profile, such as the website of your home Bar, your clerk, or a personal website. The service also provides users with simple and advanced search options and the ability to print user-friendly profiles of barristers and lists of search results.

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Delays in delivery of reserved judgments — change to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia’s complaints policy and procedure

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia has reviewed its complaints policy in relation to the delay in delivery of reserved judgments, and established a protocol relating to the delivery of reserved judgments.

The protocol is designed to ensure that decisions are handed down, and reasons are given, as expeditiously as possible. While the benchmark for delivery of reserved judgments remains three months, the Court’s complaints policy and procedure have been changed to include that a complaint may only be referred to the Court by the President of the Bar Association or the Law Society after a period of six months from the date of the hearing or receipt of written submissions has elapsed.

Complaints policy | Judicial complaints procedure

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ABA CPDs on Demand

The ABA’s new CPD program is now underway, running webinars presented by our committees at least once a month.

6 October 2022: Presented by the Taxation Committee — What Tribunal Members Want

The Australian Bar Association Taxation Committee invites you to hear what Members of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) want from representatives in tax cases.

Join Deputy President McCabe and Deputy President O’Loughlin of the AAT together with senior and junior tax counsel for a discussion of what to do (and not to do) when preparing and appearing in tax cases.

CHAIR: Kristen Deards SC (Banco Chambers and Chair of the Australian Bar Association Taxation Committee)

SPEAKERS: Deputy President McCabe (AAT), Deputy President O’Loughlin (AAT), Rashelle Seiden SC (Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers), Ermelinda Kovacs (Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers), Alissa Crittenden (List A Barristers)

CPD POINT: This seminar may be eligible for 1 CPD point under State CPD programs. It is the responsibility of the individual member to determine whether CPD points can be earned for an attendance of an event hosted by the ABA, as the mandatory continuing professional development requirements vary between each state and territory. Please refer to your relevant state or territory law society in advance of the event for further information.

Click here to register

This and all other ABA CPDs will be available on demand after the event. Already available:

Presented by the Family Law Committee — Appellate Practice and Procedure in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

A seminar presented by his Honour Justice Austin, Judge Manager of the Appellate Division of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, on appellate practice and procedure, with Michael Kearney SC as chair.

Streaming here

Presented by the Practice Development Committee — Practice Development For the Junior Bar Post-Covid

What's changed? What's working? How to develop a resilient practice in the new normal.

Presented by Dominique Hogan-Doran SC, Chair, ABA Practice Development Committee; Holly Veale, of the South Australian Bar; and Emma Hoolahan of the NSW Barristers' Clerks Association.

Streaming here

Work is underway to create a dedicated website for all of our on-demand content, from CPDs to podcasts.

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ABA Podcast: Oral Advocacy for Junior Counsel

Rachel Doyle SC of the Victorian Bar is joined by Kate Burke (VIC), Andris Gauja (NSW), Jim Hartley (VIC) and Anne Sibree (SA) to discuss oral advocacy for junior barristers, particularly in light of the Notice to the Profession issued by the Supreme Court of Victoria in late 2021.

Streaming here

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Seminar: Commercial Arbitration and the Victorian Courts

Hosted by the Monash Law Faculty Commercial Disputes Group, this seminar (available both in-person and online) focuses on the recent work of Victorian Courts with respect to commercial arbitration. This includes developments in court practice, as well as topical issues that have arisen over the last few years in commercial arbitration law and procedure. This will be of interest for anyone interested in commercial arbitration in Australia, including academics, solicitors, counsel and judges.

Among the speakers are Professor the Honourable Clyde Croft (chair); Dr Drossos Stamboulakis of Monash University (co-chair and facilitator); the Honourable Justice Delany, Acting Principal Judge of the Commercial Court, Supreme Court of Victoria; the Honourable Justice Lyons, Judge in Charge of the Arbitration List, Commercial Court, Supreme Court of Victoria; Her Honour Judge Brimer, Judge in Charge of the Arbitration List, County Court of Victoria; and Her Honour Judge Burchell of the County  Court of Victoria.

Monday 17 October, 5 – 7pm — register here

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Australian Arbitration Week

The Australian Bar Association is proud to support Australian Arbitration Week, taking place in Melbourne from 7 to 11 November. The keynote will be presented by the Hon. Chief Justice Susan Kiefel AC. AAW will include seminars, lectures, workshops and panels, led by a range of experts in the field.

For more information and the calendar of events, go to the AAW website.

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The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference

Are you planning to attend COP27 in November? The United Kingdom’s Environmental Law Association (UKELA) is working with the International Bar Association and the Law Society of England and Wales to create an international network of law societies and bar associations to coordinate work looking at the implications of climate change on legal practice.

The network aims to share approaches on providing climate change pledges and guidance for lawyers; share best practices, policy positions and practices developed by bars themselves; and collaborate to approach COP27 together for the greatest impact in addressing the climate crisis, safeguarding the rule of law, access to justice and protection of human rights in that context.

Many international legal associations will be participating at COP27.

If any ABA members are attending COP27 and are interested in representing the ABA at the conference, please get in touch at

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Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity CPD: Working with Interpreters for Legal Practitioners

The Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity is offering an eLearning course to assist practitioners to develop their skills when using interpreters in courts and tribunals.

What you will learn

  • the importance of interpreters and the Recommended National Standards for Working with Interpreters in Courts and Tribunals
  • best practice standards for interpretation in courts and tribunals
  • the Rules and responsibilities of interpreters working in courts and tribunals
  • the Model Rules that guide courts, tribunals, legal practitioners and judicial officers in engaging and working with interpreters and translators
  • best practice guidelines for legal practitioners when working with interpreters

Duration 2 hours

Access via MyAusLearning

For more information, go to or email

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AIJA Indigenous Justice Conference

The Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration (AIJA), in collaboration with the Law Society of New South Wales, is proud to present the 2022 AIJA Indigenous Youth Justice Conference in a hybrid format to be hosted in Sydney and online from Saturday 29 to Sunday 30 October 2022.

The conference will examine many of the thorny, complex issues associated with Indigenous youth justice and promote meaningful discussion about ways to improve the situation. Delegates will be guided by the conference’s expert presenters, including elders, community leaders, medical specialists and academics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of the judiciary and legal profession.

For more information, including registration and programming, click here.

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High Court (2023 Sittings) Rules 2022

The Justice of the High Court of Australia have made a Rule of Court appointing the High Court sittings for 2023.  The Rule of Court is available here.

The Rule of Court appoints the Full Court sittings to be held in Canberra throughout the year and the days on which special leave applications will be heard.  Where required, and if practicable, sittings of the Court will continue to be held in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart and Perth.  Additional sittings may also be held on other days as required, for example in matters requiring expedition.  These sittings will be appointed by the Chief Justice pursuant to Rule 6.04.2 of the High Court Rules 2004.

Additionally, phone numbers for the following registries have been updated:

  • Canberra (02) 6270 6857
  • Melbourne (02) 6270 6800
  • Sydney (02) 6270 6380

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Resolution Instititue International Conference

Australasia's largest dispute resolution organisation, Resolution Institute, is holding its 2022 international conference, Green Shoots: Emerging Trends In Dispute Resolution

As the world emerges from a tumultuous period brought on by a global pandemic, dispute resolution processes have remained an integral component of building and maintaining healthy and equitable outcomes for all communities. The projected economic outlook in global and local economies, foreshadows the green shoots of recovery are emerging and will transform to vibrant growth across a wide range of sectors.

Supported by global institutes, government, industry associations, and sponsors, this one day premier conference supported by a series of speciality masterclasses will bring together practitioners, key influencers and stakeholders from business, government, judiciary, commercial and academia, addressing developments and opportunities across a wide range of sectors.

For more information, go to

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High Court of Australia - Material Filed for Full Court Hearings

The Justices of the High Court have considered a review of the material filed by the parties in a number of cases heard by the Full Court in 2021 and 2022.

The Justices are concerned by the amount of material included in the parties’ Books of Further Material and the (often voluminous) Joint Books of Authorities which is not referred to in the hearing.  The Justices have also noted that in a number of cases supplementary material is filed in the lead up to or during the course of the hearing.  The late filing of material causes particular difficulties for members of the Court relying on the electronic version of material and for hearings conducted remotely.

The provisions in the High Court Rules 2004 and Practice Direction No 1 of 2019 relating to the material to be filed in advance of a full court hearing are designed to ensure that all necessary material is provided to the Court in a suitable form and in a timely manner.

Counsel are reminded of the need for proper oversight of the settling of the contents of the Books of Further Materials and the Joint Books of Authorities to ensure that only necessary material, to which reference will be made during the course of oral argument, is reproduced.  Counsel should also ensure that the need to file supplementary books of material and authorities in the lead up to or during the hearing is avoided.

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In Other News

Statement on the Use of Postnominals

Upon the passing of Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen's Counsel (QCs) automatically become King's Counsel (KCs).

Passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Australian Bar Association (ABA), on behalf of Australia’s more than 6,000 barristers, offers heartfelt condolences to the family of Queen Elizabeth II upon the passing of Her Majesty.

Australian Legal Profession Deeply Concerned about Attacks on Judicial Independence in Kiribati

The Law Council of Australia and the Australian Bar Association express deep concern about recent events in Kiribati.

Australian Bar Association launches national Find-A-Barrister service

The Australian Bar Association (ABA) is set to launch an Australian first national Find-A-Barrister service on Thursday, 1 September 2022.

Australian Bar Association Welcomes Western Australia to the National Legal Profession

Western Australia today joins the uniform regulatory scheme for Australian legal practitioners, the third State to do so since the scheme came into operation in New South Wales and Victoria in 2015.

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Around the country



Róisín Annesley QC, President of the Victorian Bar, met with the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, on 23 August 2022 to update the Governor on the work of the Bar. Image courtesy @VicGovernor



NSW Bar’s annual Spring Dinner was held on Friday 2 September 2022. The Honourable Andrew Bell, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW, was the guest of honour. Image courtesy of the NSW Bar.

The Bar Association of Queensland held its Bar Dinner on Friday 9 September, and the ACT Bar's Bench and Bar Dinner took place on Friday 16 September. The Honourable Justice Thawley of the Federal Court of Australia was the guest speaker, with Mr Brodie Buckland of  Blackburn Chambers as Mr Junior.

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Dates for the diary

October 6 - 7

Resolution Institute International Conference 2022

17 October 2022

Seminar: Commercial Arbitration in Victoria

29 - 30 October 2022

2022 AIJA Indigenous Youth Justice Conference

7- 11 November 2022

Australian Arbitration Week

18 November 2022

WA Bar Dinner

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