Issue 78 - April 2017
From the Editor


From the Editor 

Welcome to the April 2017 edition of Hearsay. This edition goes to press following some significant developments relevant to the Bar.


On 30 January 2017, Justice Susan Kiefel AC was sworn in as Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.

Justice Edelman, formerly a Justice of the Federal Court of Australia based in Brisbane, was sworn in as a Justice of the High Court of Australia the same day.

The first sitting of the Court in Brisbane with Chief Justice Kiefel and Justice Edelman sitting was held on 10 March 2017. With Justice Keane, for the first time in its history, the High Court now has three of its Justices resident in Queensland.

Sue Brown QC, recently Vice President of the Bar Association of Queensland, was sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland on Friday 10 February 2017.

Roger Derrington QC was sworn in as a Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, commencing on 29 March 2017.

A Valedictory Ceremony to mark the retirement of the Honourable Justice Margaret McMurdo AC was held on Friday 24 March 2017.

On 3 April 2017, Walter Sofronoff QC was sworn is as President of the Court of Appeal of Queensland replacing Justice McMurdo.

A Valedictory Ceremony to farewell his Honour Judge John Baulch S.C. from the District Court was held on Monday 20 February 2017


Former Distruct Court Judge Maxwell George Morley QC passed away on 27 February 2017 aged 80.

He was called to the Bar in 1963 and appointed Silk in December 1977.

He was appointed to the District Court on 29 February 1988 and retired on 4 October 1998.

The Honourable Martin Patrick Moynihan AO QC passed away on Sunday, 2 April 2017, at the age of 76 years.

In his distinguished career, he served as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland (1984-2007) and as Senior Judge Administrator (1991-2007). He also served as Chairman of the Crime and Misconduct Commission, Queensland, (2010-2011).


In Issue 77, I briefly discussed the decision of the High Court of England and Wales in R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the EU [2016] EWHC 2768 (Admin), in which it ruled that the UK Government could not use the prerogative powers of the Crown to give notice of withdrawal from the European Union consequent upon the so called Brexit referendum.

The decision was appealed to the Supreme Court. In what is believed to be a first, the entire court (Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hughes and Lord Hodge) heard the appeal.

The Supreme Court handed down its Judgment on 24 January 2017. By a majority of 8 to 3 it dismissed the Government’s appeal (Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption and Lord Hodge in the majority with Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath and Lord Hughes dissenting), holding that an Act of Parliament was required to authorise ministers to give Notice of the decision of the UK to withdraw from the European Union.

Copies of each of the parties’ written submissions may be accessed here.


The Annual Conference of the Bar was held on Friday and Saturday 24 and 25 March 2017. Yet again, the conference was a great success, headlined by a captivating opening address by Justice Edelman.

Some of the papers from the conference are published in this edition and we hope to bring some more to you in the next edition.


Once again I wish to extend to members of the Bar, an invitation to submit items for consideration for publication in Hearsay. Hearsay has a proud heritage as the journal of the Queensland Bar. It is one way for members to not only contribute to the advancement and sharing of knowledge, but also to have the opportunity to have appropriate items published to a wide readership. This presents an important opportunity for newer members of the Bar in particular.

Of course, contributions are welcome not only from barristers, but from anyone who would like an article, case note, book review or another item of interest to readers to be considered for publication.


Included in this edition are some excellent papers and book reviews, which I trust readers will find interesting and informative.

Adrian Duffy QC


Adrian Duffy
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