Review of the Senior Counsel Protocol


The Bar Council is reviewing the Senior Counsel Protocol and the related administrative procedures to see where improvements might be effected. The council is to be informed by a report to be prepared on possible improvements by the Hon R V Gyles AO QC. The Bar Council is keen for Mr Gyles to have as wide an expression of views from the bar as possible.

We are seeking your views in particular, but certainly not to limit the generality of your comments, on the following questions:

1.� should the method of appointment of senior counsel be generally maintained in its present form; 2.� if so, what modifications do you suggest to improve the present system’s transparency and efficiency; 3.� if you believe an alternative system would be preferable, please outline that system and why you believe it would be preferable; 4.� are there any other concerns you have with the current protocol, such as the criterion to be taken into account by any selection committee ?

Would you please forward any response to the executive director by the first week of February 2010 so that the Bar Council is able to implement any changes to the present protocol before the 2011 senior counsel selection round.

The Bar Council has also written to the bars of England and Wales, New Zealand and all Australian states and territories seeking their views on their own system for appointing senior counsel.

The current Senior Counsel Protocol is posted on the Bar Association’s web site at

**Tom Bathurst QC President

9 December 2009**

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