President's Message

In Ziems v The Prothonotary of the Supreme Court of NSW, Dixon CJ acknowledged that the Bar exercises a unique but indispensable function in the administration of justice. Reflecting on the unique character of the bar Kitto J said in the same case:

It has been said before, and in this case the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has said again, that the Bar is no ordinary profession or occupation. These are not empty words, nor is it their purpose to express or encourage professional pretensions. They should be understood as a reminder that a barrister is more than his client’s confidant, adviser and advocate, and must therefore possess more than honesty, learning and forensic ability. He is, by virtue of a long tradition, in a relationship of intimate collaboration with the judges, as well as with his fellow-members of the Bar, in the high task of endeavouring to make successful the service of the law to the community. That is a delicate relationship, and it carries exceptional obligations. If a barrister is found to be, for any reason, an unsuitable person to share in the enjoyment of those privileges and in the affective discharge of those responsibilities, he is not a fit and proper person to remain at the Bar.

Mark Livesey QC
Past President
President Australian Bar Association

(Current President:  Ian Robertson SC)