Hearsay ... the Journal of the Bar Association of Queensland
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Current affairs, news, Practice Directions, CPD Seminars, conferences and more ...



soundwaves.jpgImportant Notice to Members - Recording of Conversation in Courtrooms

Recent requests by police to be provided with copies of recordings of conversations in courtrooms makes it appropriate to remind you of the need to be careful of what is said in a courtroom.

The digital recording of court proceedings throughout Queensland introduced by State Reporting Bureau (“SRB”) in 2006 operates through cameras and highly sensitive microphones in the courtroom and without the need for SRB personnel to be present.

The equipment is so sensitive that discussions at the Bar table or within the courtroom generally may be captured by the recording equipment even if conducted at low volume or at significant distance from the microphones.

The system does not record only while the proceeding is in progress. The recording continues 24 hours a day with the result that even before and after the hearing and during lunch adjournments conversations (including privileged ones) you have with your instructing solicitor, his or her client or witnesses may be recorded.

I understand that SRB adopt a practice of not transcribing discussion or comment which is clearly not intended to form part of the proceedings. Nevertheless twice recently police have requested copies of recordings made in Court. While I understand that neither was of a conversation involving counsel, they illustrate the need to be very careful of what is said in Court.

Accordingly, please exercise caution in discussing matters within the courtroom.

Michael Stewart S.C.

All politicians are crooks under Queensland law: expert

Dr Mark Lauchs, accountability and corruption expert from the Faculty of Law, QUT has said under the Queensland criminal code, any attempt to influence how a person votes by giving them a benefit was considered bribery and, similarly, if a politician seeks a 'benefit of any kind', such as political support, in return for a favourable decision, then that could also be a bribe. He further stated, "Obviously, we didn't intend the law to be read that way. It needs to be made more specific, but it's very difficult to draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable."

Dr Lauchs will be speaking about bribery and Queensland legislation at the QUT Faculty of Law-hosted Australian Association of Professional and Applied Ethics National Conference which will be held in Brisbane on 10 and 11 June 2008. For more information about the conference, CLICK HERE.

CPD Seminar 17 - End of Financial Year Practice Management Roundup - 10 June 2008

Chris Wyeth, SEnior Financial Consultant at Tynan Mackenzie and David Marks are thte presenters of CPD Seminar 17, End of Financial Year Practice Management Roundup, which will take place at the Bar Common Room, Inns of Court on 10 June 2008. Topics include:

m    Budget implications

m Super update

m End of year planning

m Service trusts

For more information, please contact the Bar Association Office on 3238 5109.

CPD 18 - Adult Guardian Seminar - 11 June 2008

Dianne Pendergast, Adult Guardian for Queensland is the presenter of CPD 18, Adult Guardian Seminar, which will take place at the Bar Common Room, Inns of Court on 11 June 2008. This joint BAQ and QPILCH lunchtime seminar will provide on overview of:

m Guardianship (including capacity)

m Investigations

m Statutory Health Attorney

m Options to self select future decision making

m Law Reform Commission

For more information, please contact the Bar Office on 3238 5109.

Australian Women Lawyers Second National Conference - Creating Justice - 12-14 June 2008

australian_women_lawyers.jpgThe Australian Women Lawyers Second National Conference, Creating Justice, will take place at Melbourne from 12 to 14 June 2008. Topics covered by the keynote speakers include discrimination and human rights, influencing justice and the exercise of judicial discretion, crime and corruption, international commercial arbitration and developments in commercial litigation. Following the apology and  developments in indigenous affairs the conference will also host the Indigenous Forum, Government Intervention in Indigenous Communities and the Apology, where to from here? For more information, CLICK HERE.

family_law_conf.jpgPreparing and Conducting Family Law - Interim Hearings in the Federal Magistrates Court - 3 Part Series - 15 April, 22 May and 14 June 2008

The Queensland Law Society and the Bar Association of Queensland are the presenters of a 3 part series Preparing and Conducting Family Law Interim Hearings in the Federal Magistrates Court. The series will provide practical training for lawyers preparing cases and appearing as advocate within the family law jurisdiction of the Federal Magistrates Court and focus on the essential steps of preparing a case for an interim hearing. For more information, CLICK HERE.

bungy.jpg25th Annual Banking & Financial Services Law & Practice Conference - Queenstown - 25-26 July 2008 

The 25th Annual Banking & Financial Services Law and Practice Conference, The Financial Markets Bungy - Ensuring We Spring Back After Taking the Plunge, will take place at Queenstown on 25 and 26 July 2008. Professor Philip Wood, Visiting Professor in International Financial Law, Oxford University is the speaker at the opening plenary. The Conference has been accredited 1 CPD point per hour of attendance and 3 CPD points per hour of presentation in the non-allocated strand. For more information, contact John Sheahan on (02) 8815 9177 or email john.sheahan@5wentworth.com.au, or to download a conference programme, CLICK HERE.


Australian Lawyers Surfing Association Inc.

2008 Conference - Bali - 20-24 August 2008

The Australian Lawyers Surfing Association Inc. is holding its annual continuing legal education conference at Uluwutu, Bali from 20 to 24 August 2008. An optional three-day pre-conference Master Class will take place from 17 to 20 August 2008 at Nusu Lembongan. Conference papers will cover many areas of legal practice including commercial law, environmental and development law, criminal law and land rights. There will also be sessions dealing with the East Bali Poverty Project and ALSA's continuing role in this environmentally sustainable development project.

Anyone interested in giving a paper should contact Peter Strain of Garfield Barwick Chambers on (02)9223 2032 or email strain@chambers.net.au. For more conference details please call Hayden at Wavechasers on (02)8347 0589 or email asiatravel1@optusnet.com.au


Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association 25th Anniversary Conference - Jamaica - 16-19 October 2008

The 25th Anniversary Conference of the Commonwealth Lawyers' Association will take place at Montego Bay, Jamaica from 16 to 19 October 2008. The Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association (CLA) is an international organisation which exists to promote and maintain the rule of law throughout the Commonwealth by ensuring that an independent and efficient legal profession, with the highest standards of ethics and integrity, serves the people of the Commonwealth. For more information, CLICK HERE.

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