President's Message


Welcome to the new law term, in this bicentennial year.

On Monday, I attended the Red Mass and Anglican Law Term Church Service on behalf of the Bar. Each service voiced a hope that all members of the legal profession would act with integrity, competence, and compassion throughout the year ahead. I will be attending the Jewish Community Law Service next Wednesday and members of Bar Council and the Executive will be attending the Islamic, Pan Orthodox, Coptic Divine Liturgy, and regional services over the coming weeks. A list of all opening of law term religious services is available here.

The opening of term has also been marked by a series of superb judicial appointments. On Tuesday, the profession packed the Banco Court for the swearing in of the Honourable Justice Ian Pike. In the coming days, ceremonies will be held for the appointments of:

  • James Hmelnitsky SC to the Supreme Court of New South Wales, on Thursday, 1 February 2024, at 9.15am in the Banco Court
  • Grant Brady SC to the District Court of New South Wales, on Friday, 9 February 2024, at 9.00am in John Maddison Tower on Level 21
  • David Barrow SC to the District Court of New South Wales, on Monday, 12 February 2024, at 9.00am in John Maddison Tower on Level 21

I encourage all barristers to attend these events. Each ceremony is an opportunity for a distinguished lawyer to be celebrated by the profession they are leaving and received by the institution they are joining, while they are entrusted with the solemn privilege and responsibility of doing justice according to law.

The Association’s activities commence with the Bar Exams on 7 and 8 February. They continue with the 2024 Regional Conference Series and the CPD intensive period, which concludes on 31 March 2024, by which date we must all have obtained the required level of points in all four streams.

The Association will have an increased focus on the mental health and wellbeing of its members this year. As I announced in December, we will be introducing a Mental Health First Aid Course to all chambers in New South Wales. Further details about this will be provided at my first Heads of Chambers meeting in February.

Finally, yesterday the Attorney-General of New South Wales announced the retirement, on 26 April 2024, of the Honourable Justice Derek Price AO as the Chief Judge of the District Court of New South Wales and President of the Dust Diseases Tribunal. The Association thanks the Chief Judge for making an outstanding contribution to the administration of justice for some 35 years and for serving as head of three jurisdictions with great distinction.

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