From the President
It is timely to record that the collegiate spirit of the Bar is alive and well. It is evident in the enthusiastic attendance of so many at our recent CPDs, at our functions in the Common Room, at the Bar and Bench Golf Day and elsewhere, in the Courts’ end of year functions, and also in our day to day professional dealings with each other.
I also take this opportunity of thanking those who have recently answered the call to serve the profession by standing for election to Council. My sincere thanks are due to all who did so, regardless of the result.
Congratulations are due also to all of those who were elected. Perhaps some would say that commiserations are more appropriate, given the voluntary workload this involves, but in truth it is an honour to be elected to the Council of an Association with such a significant history, such high ideals and such a real commitment to the profession and the community. That so many were willing to volunteer to shoulder the heavy burden of the Association’s work is very pleasing.
Ian Perkins —affectionately known as “Perko” – was tragically killed in a traffic accident on Wednesday 14 November this year. On 22 November 2007, a very large number of our members joined Ian’s family and numerous other mourners at his funeral. Our hearts go out to Ian’s family and his friends. Dan O’Connor’s moving obituary is published in this edition.
I strongly urge all members to consider attending our annual conference on 15 to 17 February 2008 at the Sheraton Mirage on the Gold Coast. It is not just that you can earn all necessary CPD points by doing so: the conference brochure (published in Hearsay) demonstrates that it promises to be a valuable and very enjoyable event.
As members are aware, it is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who decides whether any senior counsel are to be appointed in Queensland, and, if so, who. Those decisions are made by the Chief Justice only after a very extensive, and intensive, consultation process. Full details of this process are set out in the Appointment and Consultation Protocol and the Criteria for Appointment of Senior Counsel, both of which documents are published on the Association website at http://www.qldbar.asn.au/. They are also summarised in previous editions.
Whether or not any changes to that process should be made is, of course, also a matter for the Chief Justice, and the Council is in the process of considering whether it should suggest any such changes.
In the November edition of Hearsay, I published the Council’s provisional draft amended Criteria and Protocol documents and I summarised the reasons why the Council did not support any attempt to re-introduce the “two counsel rule” abolished by a special general meeting of members some 16 years ago.
One of those reasons concerns the practical necessity for an amendment of the Barristers Rule 2007 for any such change, which was confirmed in a joint opinion obtained by the Council. I have since been authorised by the Council to publish that opinion. It is reproduced in this edition.
Submissions about the draft amended criteria and protocol for silk
The purpose of publishing those documents in the November edition of Hearsay was to focus discussion upon the merits and drafting of particular amendments.
The Council has decided to extend the time for submissions about these documents. Those who wish to comment are asked to make a submission to the office of the Association by no later than 31 January 2008.
Hugh Fraser QC