Bar Council business for January 2010

17/02/2010

Matters reported elsewhere in In Brief are omitted from this summary of Bar Council business. Bar Council regularly considers requests by the attorney general, the courts and other agencies for advice on proposed legislation. Because that advice is sought on a confidential basis, it is not noted in this summary. Any member interested in a particular matter should contact the executive director for further information.

McAlary QC

The president advised of the death on 17 January 2010 of Frank McAlary QC. �

The Bar Council endorsed the Executive’s proposal that the Bar Association and Eleventh Wentworth jointly host a memorial function in the Common Room for McAlary QC.

Silk selection process

The president advised that the Hon R Gyles had agreed to review the silk protocol and selection process. To date there had been a limited response to the request of the bar for submissions. Accordingly Gyles QC had agreed to the consultation period being extended for a further two weeks. �

World Bar Conference 2010

The Bar Council noted that the fifth World Bar Conference is to be held in Sydney on 1-5 April 2010.

The Bar Council agreed that CPD points accrued in the period 1-5 April 2010 inclusive can be counted either in the current CPD year (2009/10) or in the 2010/2011 CPD year.

Priorities for Bar Council in 2010

The Bar Council discussed various issues that had been suggested by bar councillors that might be ‘priorities’ for 2010. The council agreed that:

  • issues concerning the silk selection process raised by bar councillors be referred to the Hon R Gyles QC;

  • the director of professional conduct prepare for the council’s next meeting a short report on ways in which the procedures followed in the handling of complaints might be simplified; and

  • a list of current delegations by the Bar Council be prepared for the current Bar Council’s consideration.

The president advised that the Hon Justice Kevin Lindgren had agreed to review the Bar Association’s legal education program following his retirement from the Federal Court later this year.

The president noted that he had asked the director of professional development for a paper on the ‘pros and cons’ of persons other than barristers attending the bars’ CPD seminars on a ‘user pay basis’.

The president advised that the director of professional development was arranging for an advocacy training sessions for senior juniors. He would be asked to also arrange a series of seminars on the origins, nature of and benefits (and disadvantages) of an independent bar.

The president emphasised the importance of the proposed Practice Development Committee. He intended to refer to that committee issues such as the suggested charitable arm that might be established by the Bar Association; how working conditions and practice opportunities might be improved for those who wish to adopt flexible working practices; and the cost and length of trials.

The Bar Council asked that the Common Law Committee prepare a note on what might be done to effect the reversal or amelioration of personal injury legislative provisions in the context of the upcoming 2011 New South Wales election. �

The Bar Council noted that a major priority for the year was the continuing erosion of the availably of legal aid.

The council noted that Gormly SC and the executive director would be considering how the Bar Association might be able to assist further those practising outside chambers. Gormly SC and the executive director would also be discussing the possibility of the association establishing additional premises outside the current premises.

**National Legal Profession Reform Project **

The executive director spoke to his memorandum on the National Legal Profession Project. He emphasised the need for the bars to have agreed and publish the proposed Australian Bar Association National Conduct Rules for barristers so that they might be available at the same time as the proposed national model legislation. �

**Draft ABA Model Rules 2010 **

The president spoke to the proposed Australian Bar Association National Conduct Rules for Barristers. The president advised that the ABA Council would on the following Monday be giving further consideration to the proposed rules. It was the ABA Council’s wish to publish those rules immediately after that meeting and provide them to the Commonwealth and state attorneys general and to the National Legal Profession Taskforce. The ABA Council would consider possible amendments to those draft rules in light of submissions received from the bars and the public more generally in response to the publication of the draft rules. �

**17 February 2010 � **


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