Issue 15: December 2006
From the President

hppres.jpgAnd so 2006 draws to a close.
Were I to provide for publication my answers to The Prism Quiz (an admittedly unlikely occurrence), the one word I would have to confess to overusing this year is “collegiate”.

I make no apologies for that. As I said at the Exchange of Christmas Greetings on 13 December, despite the growth in our numbers and the shifting of the Association’s role to a regulatory body, we remain an independent body of independent professionals. One of the prime hallmarks of our profession is its intensely collegiate nature. That unity of purpose manifests itself in our common dealings with one another as colleagues in the law, in the common respect we have for the Courts, in our common dedication to serving our clients’ interests according to the highest professional and ethical standards we can achieve, and in our common resolve as an Association to preserve and maintain the administration of justice.

The Fremantle Declaration
The Fremantle Declaration

Our independence means that, when required, we can and should speak as a body collegiate on issues of public importance.

One example of that is the Fremantle Declaration, to which I subscribed with the support of the Bar Council. In another declaration, made in another time in another place, a group of people subscribed to a list of truths which they held “to be self evident”.

One can only wonder why the truths set out in the Fremantle Declaration are not similarly regarded by some as “self-evident”.

You will also have seen the letter I wrote on our behalf to the Fiji Law Society. It seems to me unarguable that we have a collegiate responsibility to support our colleagues in that country, with which we have such close professional connections, as they stand against the incursion against democracy.

Many of us will now enjoy a well-deserved break with our families and friends. Others might only have a few days off before returning to keep our wheels of justice turning.

However you spend your time over the weeks ahead, please accept my sincere best wishes for the Christmas Season and my thanks for your support of the Bar Council this year. I look forward to an active, successful and collegiate 2007 for the Bar Association.

Martin Daubney S.C.
President, Bar Association of Queensland