Media releases - Archive


Cuts to legal aid put trials at risk

Monday, December 22 2014,

The federal government’s contribution to legal aid funding for Commonwealth cases is fast running out, raising the spectre of very important trials being delayed or even aborted, according to the New South Wales Bar Association.

A statement from President Jane Needham SC Thursday, December 18 2014,

The tragic events of this last week have understandably led to questions being raised as to what caused the untimely deaths of two loved members of our community, and what can be done in the future to minimise the risk of such incidents occurring again. However, it has been regrettable that members of the judiciary have been targeted in a personal manner as if they were somehow to blame for the terrible events in Martin Place.

A media statement from the president regarding Katrina Dawson

Monday, December 15 2014,

It is with a heavy heart and deep sorrow that I must inform members of the New South Wales Bar Association that Katrina Dawson, of 8 Selborne Chambers, passed away in the early hours of this morning. Katrina, together with two other members of the NSW Bar, were held as hostages during the incident at the Lindt Café in Phillip Street, Sydney, yesterday.


Time to discuss changes to drug laws Monday, November 24 2014,

The Criminal Law Committee of the New South Wales Bar Association released a discussion paper in relation to drug law reform today.


Clothing, religious beliefs and racial vilification Thursday, October 02 2014,

All members of the community, including those who occupy leadership positions, need to be mindful that comments should not be made that have the tendency to incite hatred or violence towards any Australian based on their religious beliefs.


Bail changes threaten basic legal rights Tuesday, August 05 2014,

The government’s proposed changes to the Bail Act, which only commenced on 20 May this year, are a retrograde step which has the potential to threaten fundamental legal rights, the president of the New South Wales Bar Association Jane Needham SC said today.

Childcare scheme for New South Wales Bar commences Monday, August 04 2014,

The New South Wales Bar Association’s childcare scheme commenced with the opening of a new Guardian Early Learning Centre in Martin Place, Sydney today. The Bar Association has entered a partnership with Guardian which offers priority childcare places for members of the New South Wales Bar.


Government Bail Act Review is premature Monday, June 30 2014,

The president of the New South Wales Bar Association, Jane Needham SC, today urged the NSW Government to exercise caution in relation to the premature review of the new Bail Act provisions which only commenced operation on 20 May 2014.

Sentencing for drug and alcohol related violence: Media Brief Tuesday, June 10 2014,

The Legislative Council has passed an amendment to the Crimes Amendment (Intoxication) Bill 2014. That amendment replaces proposed offences with respect to which to which mandatory minimum sentences are to be imposed with an offence of ‘Reckless grievous bodily harm when intoxicated in public and in circumstances of gross violence’. That offence will have a minimum penalty of 5 years imprisonment but a court may impose a lesser sentence if persuaded that ‘substantial and compelling circumstances’ justify a finding that a ‘special reason’ exists for not imposing that minimum.


Federal budget legal aid cuts undermine our justice system Wednesday, May 14 2014,

Cuts to commonwealth legal aid funding announced in last night’s federal budget will adversely impact on parties, courts and the justice system as a whole, the president of the New South Wales Bar Association, Phillip Boulten SC said today.


Mandatory sentencing: a change for the better Thursday, March 20 2014,

Amendments to mandatory sentencing legislation passed in the Legislative Council last night represent an improvement on the government’s bill, the president of the New South Wales Bar Association, Phillip Boulten SC said today.


Bar president supports office of senior counsel

Thursday, February 06 2014,

The president of the New South Wales Bar Association, Phillip Boulten SC, today expressed his strong support for the existing system of senior counsel in NSW. His comments come in the wake of the news that the Victorian Government will grant senior counsel the option of applying to the governor for the use of the term ‘queen’s counsel’

Time for calm in sentencing debate

Tuesday, February 04 2014,

The president of the New South Wales Bar Association, Phillip Boulten SC, today expressed his support for comments made by the chief justice in his opening of Law Term address last night. In his address the Hon Tom Bathurst proposed educational initiatives to help politicians, the media and the public generally better understand the sentencing process and the role of the judiciary.


Mandatory one punch laws not the solution

Tuesday, January 21 2014,

The government’s proposed mandatory eight year minimum sentences for ‘coward punch’ assaults will do nothing to prevent alcohol-fuelled violence on our streets, the president of the New South Wales Bar Association, Phillip Boulten SC, said today.

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