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NSW Government Bulletin

30 September 2020

#Government

Published by:

Rebecca Weakley, Clare Giugni

NSW Government Bulletin

Gender equality at the Bar: Latest report on equitable briefing

Earlier this month, the Law Council of Australia released its latest annual report on its Equitable Briefing Policy here. The Policy is designed to promote the advancement of women within the legal profession by encouraging all solicitors and entities to consciously increase the number of female barristers they brief. The Bar continues to be a particularly male-dominated sector of the Australian legal profession, with male barristers over the age of 60 outnumbering female barristers of all ages in NSW.

The Law Council of Australia’s Equitable Briefing Policy promotes an interim target for female barristers to receive at least 30 per cent of all briefs and at least 30 per cent of the value of all brief fees by 2020. Encouragingly, the latest annual report indicates that women received 27 per cent of all briefs during the 2018-19 reporting period and projects that the 2020 target will be surpassed within the 2019-20 reporting period.

Less encouragingly, the report indicates that female barristers continue to receive a disproportionately lower share in the value of all brief fees. Despite receiving 27 per cent of all briefs in 2018-19, female barristers received only 20 per cent of all fees, indicating that male barristers receive 2.7 times the number of briefs than women but are paid four times as much.

Nevertheless, progress continues to be made under the Equitable Briefing Policy, which has been adopted by 443 entities since 2016.

The NSW Government’s own Equitable Briefing Policy is modelled on the Law Council’s Equitable Briefing Policy and applies to all NSW Government sector agencies, which must make reasonable efforts to brief women senior and junior barristers, with aspirational targets (20 per cent senior and 30 per cent junior) for the percentage of briefs issued and percentage of fees paid within each rank.

The last reported data in NSW is from the 2018/2019 year, with statistics from the NSW Government Equitable Briefing Report 2018-2019 Financial Year indicating that NSW government agencies are exceeding the aspirational targets in the Equitable Briefing Policy. In the 2018/2019 financial year, 33 per cent of NSW government agency Senior Counsel briefs were to female Senior Counsel, and 32 per cent of the junior counsel briefs were to female junior counsel. Over the financial year, female junior counsel accounted for 30 per cent of the junior counsel fees, with female Senior Counsel accounting for 37 per cent of the Senior Counsel fees. Female barrister briefs made up 32 per cent of the total briefings, while only holding 23 per cent representation at the Bar. Data for the most recent reporting period is expected soon.

Authors: Christine Jones, Rebecca Weakley & Clare Giugni

In the media

NSW Parliament passes reform boosting protection for counsellors and support for victims
Counsellors as well as friends or family of adults who disclose sexual and domestic violence will no longer face prosecution for respecting a victim’s wishes on whether to report the crime, thanks to an amendment passed by NSW Parliament (25 September 2020).  More...

Australians want more control over privacy, survey shows
Privacy is a major concern for 70% of Australians while 87% want more control and choice over the collection and use of their personal information, our Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey 2020 shows (24 September 2020).  More...

Law reforms will encourage more victims of sexual or family violence to seek help
The NSW Law Society welcomes proposed changes to the offence of concealing a serious indictable offence under section 316 of the Crimes Act 1900. The amendment to the Act, which has been introduced into NSW Parliament, provides an exemption in adult cases of sexual or family violence offences where the individual does not want the matter reported to police. (17 September 2020).  More...

Domestic violence training for community and religious leaders
Community and religious leaders will be empowered to respond to domestic and family violence through a new training program to begin next month in NSW (20 September 2020).  More...

Law Council reports ‘welcome shift’ in equitable briefing
According to the latest equal opportunity data released by the Law Council of Australia, there has been a rise in the number of female barristers being briefed on matters (18 September 2020).  More...

In practice and courts

National Cabinet meeting, 18 September 2020
The National Cabinet met to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response, recent progress following the Victorian outbreak, easing restrictions (including international border measures), helping Australians prepare to go back to work in a COVID-safe environment and getting the economy moving again.  More...

LSC: Regulation of litigation funding schemes
The Legal Services Council has amended the Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015 with effect from 22 August 2020 so the prohibitions in s 258(1) and (3) of the Legal Profession Uniform Law do not apply in relation to litigation funding schemes now regulated as managed investment schemes. The new rule will operate for 12 months to allow for consultation.  More...

New law council of Australia guidelines - Equitable briefing policy
The Law Council’s portal for the annual reporting by Equitable Briefing Policy adoptees (Policy adoptees) have opened. To assist in this process, the Law Council has updated its Equitable Briefing Policy Reporting Template and Guidelines in response to feedback from previous reporting periods. Policy adoptees have until 30 September 2020 to provide their annual report, and will be updated once the portal is opened on 1 July 2020.

COVID-19: Information for attending court - 25 September 2020
The New South Wales Bar Association’s consolidated guide to COVID-19-related court arrangements has again been updated in terms of recent developments.

Amendment to UCPR forms 62, 64 and 66, and creation of UCPR form 164
The following amended forms have been made pursuant to the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 and published: Form 62 – writ of restitution; Form 64 – writ of delivery; and  Form 66 – writ for levy of property. A new Form 164 – writ of sequestration has also been created and was published today. This form was created to provide a form of writ to be used should a writ of sequestration be issued (September 2020).

NSW IPC international day of democracy 15 September 2020
The Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) supports International Day of Democracy on 15 September 2020. Learn more about International Day of Democracy here and see the Information and Privacy Commission’s information for NSW public sector agencies and citizens about COVID-19 here.

Fifth edition of “Sentence” now available
The comprehensive text of the law of sentencing in NSW by SJ Odgers SC is now available in its fifth edition. That edition (736 pages) or an on-line version of the work may be purchased at odgers.net or through Booktopia (16 September 2020). 

ICAC: Public inquiry into allegations concerning former MP Daryl Maguire
The NSW ICAC’s Operation Keppel public inquiry into allegations concerning the former NSW Member of Parliament for Wagga Wagga, Mr Daryl Maguire, has started on Monday, 21 September 2020.  More...

NCAT: Requesting support made easier with new NCAT form
A new NCAT-wide form has been developed to enable a party or witness to request language or disability support. Request for language or disability support form. This new form allows you to request additional support without having to disclose personal information to the other parties (15 September 2020). 

NCAT: Change to appeal panel callover days
From 14 September 2020, the Appeal callover days will change from Tuesday and Thursday to Wednesday and Friday. NCAT will continue to notify parties in writing of the date and time of the callover. The appeal itself is not heard at the callover.  For information about how to prepare for a callover, please refer to the 'Appeal an NCAT decision' web page.

Court of appeal decisions of interest bulletin
The NSW Court of Appeal has published its latest Decisions of Interest Bulletin on the Court of Appeal website. Learn more here.

Reminder: 2020 professional standards scheme commences
The fourth New South Wales Bar Association Professional Standards Scheme will remain in effect until 30 June 2025. You can learn more about the scheme here.

JUDCOM: Decisions reserved
The Court of Appeal maintains a list of matters before the Court for which judgment is reserved. The list is updated weekly. View the latest publication here.  

Resumption of defended hearings in the Local Court of NSW – information for solicitors
There are two cohorts of those matters: matters that were listed for hearing from 23 March 2020 to 4 May 2020 and those listed for 4 May – 31 July 2020 (as per paragraph 12 of Memorandum 10). The  Court  is  endeavouring to ensure that as far as possible these   defended hearings proceed as defended hearings and are not the subject of pleas of guilty on the day of hearing or of adjournments or delay. More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

The impact of the practice guide for intervention (PGI) on recidivism among parolees
Evarn J. Ooi; Evarn J. Ooi; Crime and Justice Bulletin No. 228: 17 September 2020
Practice Guide for Intervention (PGI), risk-need-responsivity (RNR), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), recidivism, parole.  More...

Purchase of the ‘Leppington Triangle’ land for the future development of Western Sydney airport
ANAO Report No 9: 21 September 2020
The objective of this audit was to examine whether the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications exercised appropriate due diligence in its acquisition of the ‘Leppington Triangle’ land for the future development of the Western Sydney Airport.  More...

Cases

EFL v Secretary, Department of Education [2020] NSWCATAD 239
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — Freedom of information — Personal information

Choi v University of Technology Sydney [2020] NSWCATAD 238
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (Access to Information) s110 Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 - restraint order of unmeritorious access application - application seeking leave to make a Government information public access application where restraint is in place

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning v Zonnevylle [2020] NSWCA 232
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — administrative tribunals – scope of authority of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to dismiss proceedings as vexatious – where respondent sought review of a decision determining his application for access to information held by a government agency – where respondent persisted in allegations of misconduct against officers of the agency after those allegations had been dismissed by the Tribunal – relevance of history of making similar allegations in other proceedings – where Tribunal’s decision dismissing proceedings as vexatious overturned by Appeal Panel – whether Appeal Panel erred in regarding persistence in claims that were bad in law as being outside the scope of the collateral purpose principle – whether Appeal Panel erred in declining to have regard to previous litigation brought by the respondent 

Griffin v Sydney Trains [2020] NSWCATAD 234
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Government Information (Public Access) – whether disclosure of government information could reasonably be expected to endanger or prejudice any system or procedure for protecting the safety of any person - whether disclosure of government information could reasonably be expected to endanger or prejudice the security of or any system or procedure for protecting any place, property or vehicle - whether disclosure of government information could reasonably be expected to facilitate the commission of a criminal act – clauses 2 (d), (e) and (f) of the s14 GIPA Act Table – no conditions to be imposed by the Respondent on the use or further disclosure of the information – balancing of public interest considerations for and against disclosure

O’Keefe v Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages [2020] NSWCATAD 233
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – registration of birth – whether Registrar should correct the Applicant’s date of birth as recorded in the Register – Applicant born in the early hours of the morning – incorrect date provided for entry into the Register

Pearson v Nepean Blue Mountains Health District [2020] NSWSC 1278
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Judicial review – Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW) r 49.19 – Review of Registrar’s decision not to transfer proceedings from the District Court to Supreme Court

EIO v Central Coast Council [2020] NSWCATAD 230
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Freedom of information – consultation with third parties – risk of harm, serious harassment or serious intimidation

DTN v Commissioner of Police (No 2) [2020] NSWCATAD 227
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW – health information – review of conduct of agency admitted to be a contravention of Health Privacy Principle – ancillary order that the agency search its records and correct any documents containing incorrect information 

Legislation

NSW

Bills introduced – 23 September 2020

Government
Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2020

Non-Government
Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Amendment (Coercive Control—Preethi’s Law) Bill 2020
Government Sector Employment Amendment (Teleworking) Bill 2020
Liquor Amendment (Right to Play Music) Bill 2020

Bills revised following amendment in Committee
Liquor Amendment (24-hour Economy) Bill 2020
Stronger Communities Legislation Amendment (Courts and Civil) Bill 2020

Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament – 23 September 2020
Stronger Communities Legislation Amendment (Courts and Civil) Bill 2020

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Constitution (COVID-19 Emergency Measures) Amendment (Prescribed Period) Regulation 2020 (2020-550) — published LW 18 September 2020
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (COVID-19 Prescribed Period) Regulation 2020 (2020-551) — published LW 18 September 2020
Interpretation (COVID-19) Regulation 2020 (2020-553) — published LW 18 September 2020
Local Government (General) Amendment (COVID-19) Regulation (No 3) 2020 (2020-554) — published LW 18 September 2020
Photo Card Amendment (Digital Photo Cards) Regulation 2020 (2020-559) — published LW 18 September 2020
Stronger Communities Legislation Amendment (COVID-19) Regulation 2020 (2020-562) — published LW 18 September 2020

Government – 18 September 2020
Stronger Communities Legislation Amendment (Crimes) Bill 2020

Non-Government
Crimes Amendment (Assault of Emergency Services Workers—3 Strikes Sentencing) Bill 2020
Dividing Fences Amendment Bill 2020
Public Works and Procurement Amendment (Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer) Bill 2020

Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament – 18 September 2020
Adoption Legislation Amendment (Integrated Birth Certificates) Bill 2020
Police Amendment (Promotions) Bill 2020

Disclaimer
The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

Published by:

Rebecca Weakley, Clare Giugni

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