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In Brief - News and Current Affairs Print E-mail


News, views, Practice Directions, events, forthcoming national and international conferences, CPD seminars and more ...

A Review of Jury Selection: Call for Submissions

The Queensland Law Reform Commission is reviewing the selection of jurors under the Jury Act 1995.  The Commission has released a Discussion Paper, which examines the law in relation to the selection, participation, qualification and excusal of jurors.
The Discussion Paper is available on the Commission’s website at http://www.qlrc.qld.gov.au/wpapers/WP69.pdf.  It is also available free of charge from the Commission by phoning (07) 3247 4544 or emailing the Commission at qlrcjuries@justice.qld.gov.au.

The closing date for submissions is 30 September 2010.

Return to work assist
Amendments to the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the Act) regarding a worker's obligation to mitigate their loss came into effect from 1 July 2010.
Section 267 of the Act has been amended to provide that a worker must satisfactorily participate in any return to work program or suitable duties arranged by Q-COMP.
Return to work assist is a free Q-COMP initiative aimed at helping injured workers whose compensation claims are nearing completion, or are completed, and who don't have a job to return to.
Requests for a copy of a Return to work assist file should be made as follows:

  • S572 of the Act – a worker (or their solicitor) can apply for a copy of their Return to work assist file by sending a written request to Q-COMP. Written requests from a worker's solicitor should be accompanied by a signed authority from the worker.
  • S573(3A) of the Act – Q-COMP may, if asked by an insurer, disclose to the insurer any information it has that is relevant to a claim against the insurer. Requests should be made in writing and should include the claim number.

Requests for information from a Return to work assist file should be sent to legalservices@qcomp.com.au
Practice Direction No.1 of 2010

Chief Federal Magistrate John Pascoe AO CVO issued Practice Direction No. 1 of 2010 on 9 August. The practice direction relates to the robing of counsel in the Court. Both the practice direction and information on robing and court etiquette are available at the Federal Magistrates Court's website - http://www.fmc.gov.au/services/html/court_etiquette.html

The following robing requirements for counsel apply in all jurisdictions from 6 September 2010:

  • Barristers will robe in final hearings for all judgments, trials and contested hearings in which oral evidence is to be adduced. Barristers will robe wherever the Court is sitting (including all circuit locations).
  • Barristers should not robe in duty matters or for interim or interlocutory applications (unless such applications form part of a trial or a contested hearing in which oral evidence is to be adduced).
  • Barristers will robe for ceremonial sittings.
  • Wigs, full-bottomed or otherwise, are not worn on any occasion.

World Day Against the Death Penalty - 10 October 2010

ALHR President, Stepehn Keim SC, urges action for World Day Against the Death Penalty as David Marr prepares to speak in Brisbane.

“At a time when the death penalty hangs over Australians, I urge Australians to do what they can to mark World Day Against the Death Penalty on 10 October, this year” President of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (“ALHR”), Stephen Keim, said today.

“ALHR will be hosting a sold out dinner at the Rydge’s South Bank Hotel on Friday, 8 October in Brisbane with Aussies Against Capital Punishment (AACP) as our way of marking the World Day. The holding of the dinner has gone a long way to raise awareness of the need to express opposition against the death penalty with other groups around the world. I hope lots of individuals and community groups will hold their own events. AACP is providing materials to assist a number of Queensland parishes mark the World Day in their Sunday liturgies.”

Mr. Keim said that Mr. Marr, who is an accomplished journalist, speaker and author, is likely to provide excellent insights and to inspire listeners to continue the fight against capital punishment in all countries where it continues to be used. Mr. Keim said: “Although no Australian jurisdiction retains the death penalty, there is a potential for it to impact Australians. Members of the so-called Bali Nine, including Brisbane’s Scott Rush, are on currently on death row in Indonesia. The ongoing hearing of Scott’s appeal has brought the trauma of death row to us all again.”

“We have been most gratified by the support we have received for the dinner”, said Mr. Keim. “Cameron Dick, the Attorney-General, will attend and speak on behalf of the State Government. Politicians from all major political parties will be in attendance including Queensland Senators, Barnaby Joyce, Claire Moore and Senator-Elect Larissa Waters. The local judiciary and legal profession have given great support as have people from all walks of life. We are stretching the boundaries of the room to squeeze late takers in”.

Four Australians have been executed since 1986: Van Nguyen (Singapore, 2 December 2005); Michael McAuliffe (Malaysia, 19 June 1993); Kevin Barlow (Malaysia, 7 July 1986) and Brian Chambers (Malaysia, 7 July 1986).

Mr. Keim said that international legal developments were continuing to move against capital punishment. “The recent decision of the Court of Appeal in Kenya that mandatory capital punishment was unconstitutional as constituting inhuman punishment is a further step in this long process. Individuals and groups in Australia can add momentum to these developments by marking World Day Against the Death Penalty in an active and visible way”, he said.

tcb_current_legal_seminar.jpgTC Beirne School of Law - Current Legal Issues Seminar 2010

Current Legal Issues is a series of seminars which commenced last year. The series seeks to bring together leading scholars, practitioners and members of the Judiciary in Queensland and from abroad, with a view to:

• providing a forum for the critical analysis and discussion of current legal issues;
• bringing to bear upon those issues the different perspectives offered by leading members of the Academy, profession and Judiciary;
• forging stronger links between academic and practising lawyers in Queensland.

Each seminar will comprise a chair, speaker, and commentator. The chair will introduce the speaker and commentator. A paper will then be presented by a leading practising or academic lawyer, and will be subject to a brief, expert commentary.  Subsequent debate and contributions from the floor will be facilitated by the chair. Seminar papers will be available in advance at www.law.uq.edu.au/current-legal-issues-series, a website hosted by the University of Queensland.

14 October 2010: "Sentencing in the context of a sentencing advisory council"

Speaker: Professor Arie Freiburg AM, Monash University

Commentator: The Hon. Chief Justice Paul de Jersey AC, Chief Justice of Queensland

Chair: Mr Anthony Moynihan S.C., Director of Public Prosecutions, Queensland

12_Int_Crim_Law.jpg12th International Criminal Law Congress - 20 to 24 October 2010

The 12th International Criminal Law Congress program will explore contemporary issues of international and national criminal justice.

The program will include such diverse topics as identity fraud and crime associated with the Internet, recent developments in the science of the mind and its impact on criminal responsibility; developments in the International Criminal Court, international developments in therapeutic justice; decriminalisation of Portugal's drug laws and the effect on crime rates, the use of language in modern penal statutes to mislead, legal discourse and the criminal law and indigenous issues focusing on the Palm Island and Arukun cases. There will be an important session on public confidence and sentencing which will explore the results of a significant longitudinal research program exploring this issue, and a paper on the Gangland Trials in Victoria presented by Justice Betty King. A large number of prominent commentators from Australia, New Zealand and other countries have agreed to participate. Dr Joao Goulao OF of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drugs Addiction will present a paper on his country's experience in the wake of the decriminalisation on most drug use in 2001. The Chief Justice of Queensland, the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC will present the keynote speech at the conference. A number of other prominent Judges will be involved as speakers and commentators.
There will be a very interesting social program including the Congress dinner at the Sheraton Noosa and the traditional long lunch to be held at Ricky’s on the river at Noosa Heads.
In keeping with previous conferences there is certain to be controversy and also fun with the traditional social functions being maintained. The conference should be of interest to not only Judges and Magistrates and practising lawyers, defence and prosecution, but also to teachers, researchers and students of law. As well as the venue, rooms will be booked in more modestly priced accommodation within walking distance of the venue.

Please visit the Congress website (www.crimlaw2010.com) for further information and to register for the Congress.

Federal_Court_logo.jpgAdmiralty and Maritime Law Seminar - 9 November 2010

The Federal Court of Australia's Admiralty and Maritime Law Seminar will be held via videolink on 9 November 2010. The seminar will be chaired by the Honourable Justice D M Ryan and the Honourable Justice S D Rares. The topics of this year's seminar are 'Is it time to consider reform of the Admiralty Act 1988?', to be presented by Alexander Street SC and Edward Cox, and 'Demystifying the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 in Admiralty Law' the presenters of which are Gregory Nell SC, Andrew Boxall, Frazer Hunt and Dr James O'Donovan.

For more information please contact Tony Tesoriero on (02) 9230 8250 or Rainer Gilich on (08) 9268 7122 or email nswevents@fedcourt.gov.au

qls-logo-sml.jpgCall for presenters - the 2011 Queensland Law Society professional development calendar

The Queensland Law Society's professional development team, in collaboration with the Law Society's Sections and Committees, are now planning a range of conferences, seminars and interactive workshops for 2011, including our flagship program for March, the 49th Annual Symposium.

Expressions of interest are sought to present on substantive topics (across a range of practice areas and levels of experience) and additionally, the suite of core subjects for solicitors, including practical legal ethics,  professional skills and practice management/business skills.

To express your interest in presenting, please email a current CV, a 100-word description of your nominated topic, plus preferred presentation format to the Manager of Professional Development, Holly Bretherton, (h.bretherton@qls.com.au), or alternatively, give Holly a call to discuss on (07) 3842 5905.


The Australian Bar Association Conference - Berlin - 3 to 6 July 2011

Expressions of interest are now being taken for the Australia Bar Association Conference to be held in Berlin between 3 July and 6 July 2011.

The Conference will commence in Berlin on the evening of Sunday, 3 July 2011 and conclude with a Gala Dinner on Wednesday, 6 July 2011. The Business sessions will be held at the Adlon Hotel.

The names of those interested will be placed on a Priority List to receive a registration brochure prior to any general mailout. Please send your full contact details to Dan O'Connor at the email address below or by facsimile.

Questions about registration?

Contact Dan O'Connor, ABA Conference Secretariat, Tel: (07) 3238 5100, Fax: (07) 3236 1180, Email mail@austbar.asn.au

Questions about travel?

Contact Ruth Carlton, World Travel Professionals, Tel: (07) 3220 2008, Fax: (07) 3220 2288, Email ruth.carlton@worldtravel.com.au

 5th ABA Residential Advanced Trial Advocacy Course - 17 to 21 January 2011

Registration for the fifth ABA Residential Advanced Trial Advocacy Course to be held in Melbourne from 17 to 21 January 2011 is now open. Places in the course are limited to people with seniority of at least two years at the private Bar. The coaching faculty will comprise top senior Australian and international barristers, judges and performance coaches.

The course provides an opportunity for members to develop their advocacy skills by preparing a case and experimenting with a number of styles of performance to see which is the most effective for that advocate on that occasion.

For more information please contact Chris D'Aeth, ph. (02) 9229 1712 or email cdaeth@nswbar.asn.au.


17th Commonwealth Law Conference, Hyderabad, India - 5-9 February 2011

The 17th Commonwealth Law Conference 'Emerging Economies & the Rule of Law - Opportunities and Challenges' will take place at Hyderabad, India, from 5 to 9 February 2011.

The Commonwealth Law Conference (CLC) is a prestigious event that brings together legal practitioners from all over the Commonwealth to debate current issues affecting practice and the profession, exchange views and experiences with colleagues and get up to date with the latest commercial products and services.

Programme streams will focus on:
    •    Human Rights & The Rule of Law
    •    Corporate & Commercial Law
    •    Legal & Judicial Profession
    •    Contemporary Legal Topics

For more information, visit www.commonwealthlaw2011.org

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