Hearsay ... the Journal of the Bar Association of Queensland
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Issue 18: June 2007
From the President Print E-mail

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Legal Profession Act 2007

The Legal Profession Act 2007 was passed during State Parliament’s May sitting.  As anticipated, the Act conforms to the National Model Law concerning regulation of the legal profession by including specific provisions relating to costs disclosure and client agreements.

Members are urged to acquaint themselves with this important legislation.  The Association will be assisting by the provision of CPD events and the publication shortly of draft disclosure statements and costs agreements.

Women at the Bar

Since my last report to you on this topic, the Equal Opportunities Sub-Committee, particularly via Rebecca Treston, has been investigating the services offered by other Bar Associations which may be of particular relevance to female barristers, with a view to adapting and adopting relevant programs for our Bar. The Bar Council received a comprehensive report from Rebecca Treston, and has adopted all of the recommendations made, namely:

  • To formulate a policy for waiver of PC fees in circumstances of parental leave and other appropriate personal circumstances
  • To ask the CPD convenors to implement a program with some timing flexibility (i.e. not all CPD events to be held after 5 pm)
  • To promote a register of barristers who wish to sublet or share their chambers  (NB  This would not be limited to those with family responsibilities, but could extend to, eg, those with academic commitments, semi-retired members, regional members, etc)
  • To investigate the feasibility of establishing an in-home childcare scheme similar to that offered under the banner of the NSW Bar.

Any member wishing to notify their interest in being included in the Subletting / Chamber Sharing Register should contact the Chief Executive of the Association.

And, in any event, I would again urge any member who has a particular issue to raise or matter they wish to discuss either to contact me directly or speak with one of the EOC members, particularly Jean Dalton SC, Dan O’Gorman SC or Rebecca Treston.

scales-of-justiceReview of the Protocol for the Appointment of Senior Counsel

Members will recall that the Bar Council, at its February meeting, established a Sub-Committee to undertake a review of the Protocol for the Appointment of Senior Counsel.  The Sub-Committee was originally asked to report in time for Council’s April meeting, but sought a short extension to finalize its report.  Not surprisingly, that request was granted.

On 11 May, the Sub-Committee’s Report was received.  On 15 May, a paper entitled  “Minority Report” was received from one of the Sub-Committee members, Mark Plunkett.  A copy of both reports is reproduced in full in this edition of Hearsay - see Review of the Protocol for the Appointment of Senior Counsel.

Both of these reports were considered at length at the Council’s meeting on 21 May.  The Council will be undertaking the enquiries recommended in the Sub-Committee’s Report concerning the “two-counsel rule”, particularly through the Australian Bar Association in the first instance.  Depending on the outcome of those enquiries, I expect that Council will formulate a re-drafted Protocol for consideration by all relevant stakeholders.

Council was, however, most concerned by the comments made in the “Minority Report” under the heading “A Rush Job”.  I have since been assured by all members of the Sub-Committee other than the author of the Minority Report that they do not share the views he expresses under that heading, and that none of them had any difficulties with the (extended) timeframe in which the Sub-Committee was asked to report.

In the meantime, as required by the current Protocol, the Bar Council at its May meeting appointed the Senior Counsel Consultation Group for 2007 – Hugh Fraser QC and me (both ex officio), Robert Mulholland QC, Peter Ambrose SC, and Jean Dalton SC.

glassesAnnual Bar Dinner – 20 June 2007

You will by now have received your invitation to attend the 2007 Bar Dinner, which is being held on 20 June at the Brisbane Club.

The Toast to the Judiciary will be proposed by David F. Jackson AM, QC.  The Hon Justice Moynihan AO will speak in response.

At the risk of understatement, it promises to be a great evening.

As numbers are strictly limited, members are urged to book early to avoid disappointment.  Table bookings for chamber groups are particularly encouraged.

Martin Daubney SC
President

 


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