Update to Profession – 1 May 2024

  • On 26 April, the Law Society received notification from the Chambers Manager to Chief Justice Mortimer that the Attorney-General (Commonwealth) had approved an assignment by Her Honour of Justice McElwaine to the Victorian Registry of the Court. This leaves the Tasmanian registry of the Federal Court without a resident judge. We are told that the assignment will not affect the Court’s engagement with the Tasmanian profession and rather will allow for a larger number of judges to rotate through the work in Tasmania. Nevertheless, we are extremely disappointed by this decision of the Court.
  • On 22 and 23 April, I attended the 2024 Risk & Practice Management conferences in Hobart and Launceston followed by the Leaders Forum lunches. Both events were well attended. The sessions were extremely informative, particularly around the use of AI within legal practice.
  • On 30 April, the Law Society delivered its final CPD session for the 2023/2024 CPD calendar. I want to acknowledge the hard work of the Law Society staff, particularly Ms Amal Cutler.
  • On 29 April, Luke Rheinberger, Executive Director and I attended the ceremonial sitting for Associate Justice Daly. It was an honour to speak on behalf of the Law Society of Tasmania along with Attorney-General the Honourable Guy Barnett and Mr Ken Read SC on behalf of the Tasmanian Bar Association. His Honour has had an outstanding legal career spanning over three decades and is an inspiration to the profession.
  • In seeking information from members of the Tasmanian profession, members of the judiciary and magistrates, I noted a very consistent theme and description of His Honour which I seek to share with you:
    • Kind
    • Passionate
    • Determined
    • Engaged
    • Interesting
    • Enthusiastic
    • Dedicated to his family
    • Love of music
  • On 29 April, the Executive Director and I attended a Justice Forum hosted by the Attorney-General.
  • On 2 May, the Executive Director and I will be meeting with the Attorney-General.
  • On 10 May, the Supreme Court will be celebrating 200 years. There will be several events held to celebrate this important and significant milestone. I will be attending and speaking on behalf of the Law Society of Tasmania at the ceremonial sittings in Hobart. I will also be attending the reception at Government House and formal dinner in Hobart.
  • As a result of my commitments in Hobart on 10 May, unfortunately I will not be able to join the profession on the northwest coast for the scheduled CPD events and dinner. I want to pass on my apologies to practitioners on the northwest coast for my absence.
  • On 11 May, I will be attending our next scheduled Law Society Council meeting via zoom.

JULIA HIGGINS
PRESIDENT