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The Chief Justice of Victoria, Anne Ferguson, has released a special video message for the many lawyers who were admitted to practise ‘on the papers’ in 2020.

The Court made the difficult decision to suspend in-person admission ceremonies in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the Court has transformed the way it works and now hears almost all matters online.

Chief Justice Ferguson said the video message was a way to congratulate the 1,762 lawyers who had been admitted on the papers, instead of in-person in the historic Banco Court.

“I know it must have been difficult to have received notification of your admission by email, rather than surrounded by your loved ones and colleagues,” the Chief Justice says in her message.

“I know that I have missed having the opportunity to see and speak to you in person”.  

“But while your admission involved less spectacle than would usually be the case, the significance of it is undiminished.”

Chief Justice Ferguson said that being admitted to practise was the culmination of many years of dedicated study and hard work.  

“It marks the beginning of your journeys as Australian lawyers and officers of the Supreme Court. So to you, more so than ever, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations,” her Honour says.

“I would also like to extend my thanks to your loved ones on your behalf.  I am sure you are grateful for the support and encouragement they have offered you over the years. They are all undoubtedly very proud of you.”

The video message was played in advance at an online event organised by the Young Lawyers section of the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) on Friday 11 December.

Chief Justice Ferguson recognised those within the legal profession who assisted the many new lawyers with the admissions process.

“It has been an extraordinary year, and I have been moved by the way the profession has come together in support of one another,” her Honour said.

“Once again, congratulations to each of you as the newest Australian lawyers.  I wish you all health, safety, and the very best for the lives and careers that lie ahead of you.”

Watch the Chief Justice of Victoria’s 2020 admissions video message.

Published on 14 December 2020