From the Editor
Welcome to the 86th Edition of Hearsay.
It is probably far from an understatement to observe that the World has literally changed since the last addition of Hearsay came out in March 2020. While that edition was going to print, a tiny insurgent was making its way around the World (from some source, not yet definitively identified) to spark the Covid Crisis. Within the space of just a few weeks we all become accustomed to concepts like social distancing, daily infection reports, daily death reports, working remotely, lockdowns, zoom meetings, second waves and singing Happy Birthday while we wash our hands. Tragically, in addition to impacts on our social and economic interaction, Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the health of many, both here and around the Globe. Sadly, there is no real prospect of effective and permanent relief from the Covid Crisis anytime soon.
Covid-19 has had a dramatic impact upon the practice of Barristers in Queensland. While some have been able to continue litigation under the stringencies of Covid Plans, others (particularly those practicing criminal law) have suffered real disruptions to their practices. The Courts have all worked hard, with the co-operation of solicitors and barristers, to try to continue to make their services available to practitioners and the public, as far as possible.
The Covid Crisis has also affected the usual professional and social events of the Calendar Year. While the Inaugural Bench and Bar Cricket Match snuck in just before the Corona Virus arrived (see the report in this Edition), the 13th Tri-State Football Tournament and Sports Law Conference was, unfortunately, cancelled. I am sure that we are all pleased to see that the 74th Bar Practice Course, postponed from March 2020, has just been completed, with the usual high standard of teaching and practical experience.
The book reviewers have been busy, providing reviews on legal texts and other general books, whose topics range from gun control laws to the relationship between the City of Brisbane and the river that bears its name. Articles range from an examination of the Singapore Mediation Agreement signed late last year to a discussion of causation in negligence. Sports lovers may be interested in the article about a disciplinary proceeding in Queensland Cricket in March 2019 that raises questions about the extent to which tactics during a match can breach the laws of the game. This Edition also includes an article reflecting on the lengthy legal career of former Chief Judge Kerry O’Brien, who retired as Chief Judge and Judge of the District Court in August 2020. There is also an article noting the long and distinguished career at the Bar of our own John Griffin QC.
It is hoped that readers will enjoy this Edition of Hearsay. My thanks to the Editorial Committee, particularly David Purcell (for his work as sub-editor on this Edition), contributors, and the staff of the Bar Association, particularly Tarnia Simpson, for helping to bring this Edition together.