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Moots for Women Barristers

02 June 2017

On Saturday 20 May 2017, the Court of Appeal hosted the second annual day of moots for women barristers. An initiative of Justice Tate, the moots are aimed at encouraging female counsel to appear in the Court of Appeal. They provide an opportunity for women who have been at the Bar for some years to appear in a speaking role before a three-member Bench. The statistics in the Court of Appeal record that, from July 2016 to April 2017, female counsel had a speaking role in only 5 per cent of civil appeals and 17 per cent of criminal appeals.

The Bench is composed of women judges.  This year Justices Tate, Hollingworth, Emerton, McMillan, Zammit, Jane Dixon, and Associate Justice Ierodiaconou from the Supreme Court, and Justices Davies and Mortimer from the Federal Court, participated. In the pilot program in 2016 former Justice Neave and Associate Justice Lansdowne also assisted. The judges provide extensive feedback to counsel.  The standard of advocacy has been high. 

The Convenor of Women Barristers’ Association (‘WBA’), Ms Kylie Weston-Scheuber, called for expressions of interest and assisted in the selection of eight women barristers.  The initiative is an example of co-operation between the Bench and the Bar that aims at securing equality for women in the legal profession.

Counsel addressing the bench, (from left to right), Justice Hollingworth, Justice Tate and Justice McMillan.

(From left to right: Justice Jane Dixon, Justice Davies, Justice Tate, Associate Justice Ierodiaconou and Associates Greg Buchhorn and Paige Darby).

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