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    "[Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests] volunteered that they felt at peace with themselves after being listened to by Peter O'Callaghan. As Commissioner, Peter achieved a unique thing – in [Václav] Havel's words he helped countless people 'orient their spirit' and gave them the certainty that their lives made sense Peter gave them hope just as it is described by Havel."

    Former High Court judge Susan Crennan at the unveiling of the portrait of Melbourne barrister Peter O'Callagan QC who ran Archbishop Pell's Melbourne Response to sexual abuse by priests. The Royal Commission reported that he failed to report criminal offences to the police. September 26, 2017 ... Read more ... 


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    Whitelocke on Lawmanship ... Beguiling pastiche of barristerial posturing ... The importance of looking the part ... The Velvet Salamander transforms into the Silver Canetoad ... James Hutton reviews Bullstrode Whitelocke’s essential text for advocates ... From Justinian's archive, July 13, 2010 ... Read more ... 


     

    « PIC picks on punters | Main | Bathurst CJ - questions and answers »
    Thursday
    Nov272014

    It's raining on Yarraside's silks parade 

    The future of Vic Bar's two-step QC scheme is riding on the outcome of Saturday's election ... Ambition to switch from SC to QC likely to be thwarted if Labor is returned to government ... Intriguing possibilities 

    Warren: produced the SC list three days before the state election

    On Wednesday (Nov. 26). Chief Justice Earl Warren announced 18 new senior counsel in and for Victoria - 14 lads and four lasses.  

    Under the arrangements that came into effect for the first time in April, Vic SCs can transition to queen's counsel if they fill in a form and request the attorney general to have the governor-in-council give them letters patent. 

    So it's a two step arrangement. First, appointment as SC, second the option of converting SC to QC. 

    On Saturday (Nov. 29) Victoria goes to the ballot box and the shadow attorney general Martin Pakula may well be the AG shortly after, if the polls are any indication. 

    Pakula has said he doesn't like step two of the appointment process, which was stitched together between the bar and the Libs. 

    In May Pakula criticised the Victorian government's decision to return the royal bauble to Yarraside silks, saying it was not in the public interest. 

    "At the very least - the very least - the Victorian Bar Council ought to give as much consideration to the important matters of public interest and independence of the bar as their NSW colleagues did." 

    Of course, those who want the queenly suffix now cannot rush off to attorney general Robert Clark and beg him for the gong. The government is in caretaker mode, so there are no new appointments. 

    The timing couldn't be more terrible. 

    If the Liberals get back in on Saturday, the new silks can proceed with step two and be crowned as queens. If Labor wins, the prized trinket is likely to be dangling, but denied. 

    This is a reminder of the ridiculous on again, off again regime that compromises the vanity-driven enterprise to restore queen's counsel. It is now so entangled in politics and notions of imperialism as to be a divisive embarrassment for the bar.  

    For those who have just collected their SC certificates from the bar's front counter, and are hankering for the full-plumage, the frustration must be frightful. 

    Meanwhile, the Queensland bar has just announced the appointment of nine new QCs

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