Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Victorian Bar pro bono awards 2011

I attended the 2011 Victorian Bar pro bono awards in the library of the Supreme Court of Victoria on 17 May 2011. The Honourable Justice Maxwell gave an excellent speech, as did Julian Burnside QC. Burnside gave an entertaining account of the various hate emails he received and politely responded to as part of his ongoing human rights work.

Congratulations to the following senior and junior barristers who received awards for their pro bono work:
  • Debbie Mortimer SC (Victorian pro bono trophy).
  • Kathryn Bundrock (Daniel Pollak readers award).
  • Emrys Nekvapil (Ron Castan QC award for counsel of 1 to 6 years standing).
  • Ashley Halphen and Serge Petrovich (Susan Crennan AC QC award for counsel of 7 to 15 years standing).
  • Fiona McLeod SC (Ron Merkel QC award for counsel of 15 years + standing and/or silk).
  • The team in Rowe & Anor v Electoral Commissioner & Anor, including Ron Merkel QC, Kristen Walker, Fiona Forsyth and Neil McAteer (Public interest/justice innovation award).
Apparently the Victorian Bar contributed around $12 million worth of pro bono work this year, which is an incredible effort.

I also perform pro bono work and I find it very rewarding. I encourage all barristers and solicitors to engage in and support pro bono work, whether on a small, medium or large scale.

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