Counsel News

Second Appearance of Witness K Case before the ACT Magistrates Court

Dr Christopher Ward SC represented lawyer Bernard Collaery for the second appearance of the Witness K case on Wednesday, 7 November before the ACT Magistrates Court. 

Proceedings centred around the possibility of holding the trial in a closed court. 

More details can be found in articles from the Washington PostThe Canberra Times and The Australian.

Dr Stephen Tully speaks at 2018 ADLA Conference

Dr Stephen Tully has made a presentation about recent developments in international criminal law and practice as relevant to Australian legal practitioners. Organised by Nyman Gibson Miralis, the Australian Defence Lawyers Alliance (ADLA) Conference for 2018 was held in Sydney on 23 March and topics included advocacy, Commonwealth sentencing, mental health and the media. Stephen’s presentation is available here. 

Pro Bono Judicial Review Training

On 23 January 2018 Dr Stephen Tully, together with Nicholas Poynder of Frederick Jordan Chambers, Laura Free of Victoria Legal Aid, David Burke of Lander and Rogers Lawyers and Nadine Darling from the Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS), conducted a workshop on the judicial review of fast track decision-making by the Immigration Assessment Authority. Attended by some 27 solicitors and barristers, the workshop was the final step in an online programme established in Victoria and now made available in NSW. The training complements a current initiative of RACS - Justice for Refugees, or J4R – which engages barristers to advise on refugee matters and undertake judicial review applications before the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

Dr Stephen Tully helps to secure a second chance for refugee applicant

Dr Stephen Tully worked pro bono with Liz Simpson, Ali Mojtahedi and Olivia Todhunter of the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre in FTYC v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.

In December 2016, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal affirmed a decision to refuse to grant a protection visa to an applicant on character grounds, because she had a substantial criminal record and visa refusal was considered to be the preferable decision. The applicant was arrested upon her arrival into Australia in 2010, was convicted and sentenced, and was being held in immigration detention pending deportation.

However, Australia owed non-refoulement obligations to her under international law and she faced the prospect of indefinite detention. Following a hearing before the Federal Court of Australia in June, the parties agreed to remit this matter to the tribunal for reconsideration.

Truly a team effort by all involved with a fantastic outcome for a very deserving client.

Dr James Stellios co-authors new Constitutional Law book

Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia: History, Principle and Interpretation

History, principle and interpretation are brought together in this new book by Nicholas Aroney, Peter Gerangelos, Sarah Murray and 6 St James Hall Chambers' Dr James Stellios. Its title directs us to the book's disclosure of the dynamic nature of constitutional law — a wavefront moved by the historical, social and political energies of our society emerging from the great body of cases and governmental practices in which the constitutional text has been construed and applied. 

The book was launched by the Chief Justice of the High Court, Justice French, on 10 October 2015. The Chief Justice's speech is available online.

6 St James Hall's Philip Dowdy Appointed to the Federal Circuit Court

6 St James' Hall is delighted to note today's announcement by the Commonwealth Attorney-General Sen. the Hon. George Brandis of our long-standing member Mr Philip Dowdy to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, commencing in the Sydney registry on 7 December 2015.

The Court is an independent federal court under the Australian Constitution. It is a federal court of record and a court of law and equity.

Mr Dowdy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1973 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1975 from the University of Sydney. He was admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1978. Mr Dowdy was an Articled Clerk for Clayton Utz from 1976 to 1978, prior to being called to the New South Wales bar in 1978. He has practiced at the Bar for over thirty years and his primary areas of practice are banking, equity and commercial law.

Congratulations Philip!


ABA pays tribute to lawyers who defended Chan & Sukumaran

From the New South Wales Bar Association's InBrief:

Australian Bar Association President Fiona McLeod SC today endorsed the remarks of Victorian Bar President Jim Peters QC and New South Wales Bar Association President Jane Needham SC in paying tribute to the team of Indonesian and Australian lawyers who had worked so tirelessly, pro bono, over many years to prevent the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Dr. Christopher Ward was amongst those honoured for their efforts.