Christmas decorations

Here where I work we've had a Christmas Decorations competition. I won a special mention for my Christmas Jawa and my rotating selection of Christmas themed Mad Magazine covers.

Update : Law Library, Supreme Court of WA

12 December 2013

Law Library, Supreme Court of WA

Since the distribution of Tom Percy’s memo under the banner of the Australian Lawyers Alliance there have been further enquiries regarding the future of the Law Library.

At this stage, there are no decisions to report. The Department of the Attorney General is working through the implications of the amalgamation and is in discussion with the Legal Practice Board and the Law Society as well as the Bar.

There are issues of service agreements, space and finance to be sorted before any definite decision can be made.

Meanwhile, we are here to provide the service we always have and we see no immediate end to that.


Catherine Macgill
Law Librarian

Called to the bar : La la means something in Spanish

It all started with a wobbly table, that Wednesday night on September 25. I sauntered down to Lalla Rookh to find C, from the nearby Supreme Court Library, already seated at a table in the small sunken courtyard at the bottom of the stairway, which takes you to this underground bar and restaurant.

Don't be scared to go downstairs

There's a whole other world below
I joined C at her table. I was glad she could make it, while she was glad for the opportunity to finally visit this venue and to do something in Perth, other than come to work.
I started to peruse the menu for drinks and nibbles. I was shocked to find that there was no olives on offer.

A menu with no olives on offer
This was not looking good. Just to make matters worse, the table wobbled. C and I decided to relocate, ostensibly to find a non-wobbly table but also to see what Lalla Rookh had to offer inside.
As we walked in, a waitress asked C if she had changed her mind about the wine tasting? C explained that while waiting for me, she was offered a place in a wine tasting session. The waitress now added that the session had started but we could join without a worry.
C and I both agreed that the wine tasting could be fun. Also, in the back of my mind, I was thinking to myself, there might be olives there too.

And there was. And more. The waitress led us through the quite sizable restaurant, all the way to the back, where there was a massive door, which went from floor to ceiling and had a handle to match it’s size. Upon opening this portal, she ushered us into a whole other barroom, completely separate from where we had just been. This barroom faced Sherwood Court and had it’s own entrance into that street along with a fully stocked bar and stools under the window. It also had olives. And a wine tasting in progress. I couldn’t believe the spread that was laid out on the bar for this wine tasting. It seemed all out of proportion to the event and even the small space we were in. The whole length of the bar was packed with three platters of olives, meat, bread and cheese. All this just for the two wine tasting participants, whose numbers were now bolstered by C and myself. It was then that I understood it all. I was in Lalla land.


Spanish wine was the theme of this tasting event. A very knowledgeable man with an authentic Antonio Banderos accent was talking us through four bottles of very fine Spanish wine, each one of which really complimented the free olives I was helping myself to.

As the product of various wine growing regions of Spain visited my palette, time passed in the outside world but I didn’t notice.
It wasn’t like the olives were starting to run low nor the bottles get close to empty. C shared stories of her visit to Spain and refills were offered and I supplemented my olive diet with cheese and bread and salami. If this was a myth I would suspect that this was the part where I am trapped with the lotus eaters; able to leave but unable to want to leave since I have all the food and drink and good company that I desire. It was then that M texted me. She and her husband were on the other side of the portal, back in the world where we had originally come from and she couldn’t find us. Where were we? Where indeed? I think I was now near the Portuguese border but with the next glass I was returning once more to the southern wine growing region of Spain. I had to get back.
I thanked my host and put down my glass. I told C that M was looking for us and then I had one last olive. Sustenance for the journey back, you understand and then I opened the portal and stepped through. The spell was broken. The wine tasting was over. I didn’t risk a look back at the olives.

C and I found M and her husband and regaled them with tales of our Spanish exploits. C’s husband soon joined us and the talk moved onto the Grand Canyon and other sights to see in the United States. I ordered a delightful alcoholic Ginger Beer and tried not to think about Spanish olives.

'Link rot' is degrading legal research and case cites

The World Wide Web may seem like a limitless superhighway. But it is filled with dead ends: hyperlinks that point to webpages that have become permanently unavailable. It’s a phenomenon known as “link rot”.

Article in The Australian Law Journal

You may be interested in this article in the December issue of The Australian Law Journal -

The status of law reports produced in England prior to 1865
(2013) 87 ALJ 844.

Nominate reports appeared in England between 1530 and 1865 through private enterprise and varied in both quality and accuracy.  This article attempts to provide a helpful guide as to what reports are considered more reliable than others.  The article will particularly focus on the reporters of the period from the accession of George III, 1760 to 1865.

The Australian Law Librarian travels again

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend some time with my family in Colorado Springs, Colorado over the American Thanksgiving holiday. It was a snowy -20 degrees Celsius on my last day there, but Colorado has marvellously changeable weather. We enjoyed many beautiful warm days, perfect for hiking—as seen here with the Australian Law Librarian in tow.

Megan Fitzgibbons

A warm welcome to Kristy Pallin

Kristy has commenced work as a librarian with the Department of the Attorney-General's Library.  She was previously employed in the library at Monash University.

Called to the Bar : Choos your bar

So, let’s get this out of the way first; there are no olives at Choo Choos. Instead they offer free popcorn to all who drink there and for $5 you can get a hot dog.

Hot diggity

Choo Choos is in the Brookfield Plaza, somewhat near Bar Lafayette. It was a rainy night in August when I stopped in early in the week. My timing was good as Choo Choos is small and a busy night would have been difficult. Yet there was ample space for me and my drinking buddy from the ABC on the night we visited.

As you walk in there is a long bar to the right and bench seating to the left and all throughout there are some large face murals on various walls. I initially plonked myself down on a stool at the bar so that I could take a look at what was in the glass-door fridges. It was to also get away from the staring eyes of those face murals. The staff were friendly and gladly helped me choose a cider to have; they only had the one so it wasn’t that difficult.
Easy to find and easy to drink

With that task achieved I asked about food and that is when I discovered the awful truth about the olives. Popcorn is a poor substitute for my marinated favourites but at least it is memorable. I don’t think I will ever forget that time I was at a small bar and I was offered free popcorn. This was that time. As for the hot dog it was a simple “sausage with sauce in a bun”; it put the cider to good use as something for it to wash down.

A cosy nook just past the bar at Choo Choos - note the eyes

I took off with my cider and hot dog to sit amongst the bench seating. The light was dim and the wall behind me refused to relax but it was dry and pleasant and I took this chance to get better acquainted with the cider.

Did I mention the dim lighting?

The music on this night was a great selection of late-60s rock with songs by Traffic, Cream and The Rolling Stones being heard at just the right volume. I could still converse but I could also just sit back and listen to the music. And not look at the eyes.

Not only did the eyes follow you around the room, they seemed to say "buy me a drink"

Hot dogs are not substantial but then neither are olives. So it is a good thing that Choo Choos is also near Grill’d and so having had an appetiser and a cider aperitif we ended the night with solid plank chips and juicy burgers. I could have then gone on next door to Bar Lafayette for some olives but as there was a break in the weather, it was a good time to head home.

Wat'choo looking at?

Justin Booker

Law librarians just want to have fun

Well, it’s been three weeks since I’ve been back from my trip to Paris and since returning to the day-to-day routine it has now become just a distant memory.

I do remember having a great time, except for a little incident at the Eiffel Tower which will be indelibly printed on my mind.

Getting to the very top after squeezing into a lift with a number of Aussie teenage boys who I presume were on a school trip; my husband, who is diabetic, had a hypoglycaemic reaction. Of course there isn’t any food available at the top and he forgot to pack his jellybeans so I had to get him to the level below – again in a packed lift, and ply him with food and a can of Coke (not of the diet variety).

He eventually returned from an ashen shade of grey to a semblance of a normal colour and we decided we might then take the opportunity to take in the view.

The photograph below was taken after the incident when we had returned from a cruise down the Seine feeling a bit more relaxed and positive about life. However, things were still not totally back to normal by this stage hence the fact that the photograph with the Australian Law Librarian does not show the journal in all its glory.

The other photograph was taken at the Louvre which was far less eventful and with no dramas so I haven’t got an excuse as to why this one also doesn't do the journal justice (except that photography is definitely not our forte) because by this stage we were well and truly having fun.

A word of travel advice though – if you are going to the top of the Eiffel Tower with a diabetic, make sure they take their jellybeans.

Lorraine Pearce

Natalie McDonald is leaving her current position

Natalie McDonald has resigned from Norton Rose Fulbright.  Her final day in her current position will be 7 November.

Bonne chance, Natalie!

Supreme Court : Open Day 2013

GlobaLex : new update

A Guide to the U.S. Federal Legal System
Web-based Public Accessible Sources

Gretchen Feltes
Faculty Services/Reference Librarian at New York University School of Law Library

Published September 2013

Constitute : newly-launched website

The world's constitutions to read, search and compare

This site..."includes the constitution that was in force in September of 2013 for nearly every independent state in the world. Certain countries whose constitutional order consists of multiple documents, or whose constitutions are in transition, are temporarily omitted. Soon we will include many of these cases as well as a version of every available constitution ever written since 1789".

Amendments to Union List

Union list : law library serial holdings in WA
3rd ed

Amendments to holdings by AGS (Australian Government Solicitor)


Commercial notes
Legal briefing
Litigation notes
Victorian law reports


Australian bar review
Vol 1 (1985) - Vol 36 No 1 (2012)

Australian journal of public administration
Vol 47 (1988) - Vol 71 No 2 (2012)

University of Western Australia law review
Vol 5 (1960) - Vol 35 (2011)

AGLC tweets

Have a tricky question about the Australian Guide to Legal Citation? It might be a good idea to turn to Twitter for help.

@AGLCTweets ( is a very useful account run by former editors of the Melbourne University Law Review and the Melbourne Journal of International Law. Pose your questions in 140 characters or less, and they'll tweet back some advice.

Megan Fitzgibbons

Called to the Bar : next outing

Justin is heading to Lalla Rookh on Wednesday, 25 September.

Lalla Rookh is a below-ground bar and eating-house -

All members are welcome to join Justin and other colleagues for a libation or two (and, of course, olives). Please let Justin know if you are interested in going along -

To be or not to be a law librarian? : that was my question

I can’t say that for the most part I was looking to law for a change in my library career. I was aware however that I needed a change. Not feeling particularly happy in my current position and, although I loved being a local history librarian, I had had enough of working in local government. I found myself in one of those situations in life whereby I knew I needed something different but wasn’t sure exactly what it was. OK, so I had a few ideas going through my head but felt that I was locked into local history because that was my speciality and there’s not much opportunity to practice local history outside of the local government situation. It was a bit of a dilemma really – wanting something but not really knowing what it was, let alone how to go about getting it. Then out of the blue (as so often happens when you least expect it), a message came through WAIN. Kirsty McPhee, on behalf of Kott Gunning Lawyers, posted a position for a library manager. It was one of those moments when I knew that "this is it Lorraine, you need to go for it". Of course, the voices in my head were telling me “You don’t have a chance.” “You have no law experience.” “Why would they even consider you?” Anyway, having nothing to lose but my pride and self-esteem (I’m such a sensitive soul), I decided I would apply for the position. The rest, as they say, is history.

A year later, and amazingly I’m still here. I have survived. In part, I would have to thank the network of law librarians who are a great bunch and always so eager to help each other. I never felt like I was totally alone as I knew if I needed assistance it would only be an email away. Even with my little knowledge as a law librarian (something which I am painfully obvious of when I see the wealth of experience everyone else seems to have), I am excited to now be a member of the ALLA (WA) Committee. I hope I can contribute something worthwhile to the group as I know I will be receiving heaps in return.

Well, here’s to my second year – no more questioning whether I can or I can’t – it’s time once again to get on and "just do it".

Lorraine Pearce
Information Resources Manager
Kott Gunning Lawyers

Additions to AustLII

The following titles are now available on AustLII:

South Australian Law Reports 1863-1920;

State Reports (South Australia) 1921-1950.

Called to the Bar : Olive this bar

Can it be that after only a few Calls to the Bar that I have stumbled across the best small wine bar ever? That is a big claim, and who can say that on any other night Bar Lafayette may have not been that wonderful, but even on a bad night I dare say this place has got a lot going for it.

Tuesday 16 July was wet and wintry so there were not many out and about and even fewer willing to make the trip to this place hidden in Brookfield Place. Yet the grimness outside was not continued within.

Does no-one bring the chairs in when it rains?
One of the two serving barmen greeted me as soon as I entered. He proceeded to offer me either a spot at the bar or to locate a spot somewhere within to take advantage of the table service. I have been going to a lot of small wine bars since their explosion in Perth but I can’t remember when I last got table service at one. Encouraged by the novelty of the situation I went looking for a table. I left the bar area and went down a corridor to the left that opened into a larger room with a selection of chairs and tables. Although it was a large room it felt more like cosy den.

Cosy din looking in

Cosy den looking out
I chose a small lamp lit table as I knew that not many could make it tonight. Here I started studying the rather large menu and waiting for my drinking companions.

Not even halfway through this menu; I think I need a drink to keep going
It was hard going trying to decide what to get as the choice of drinks is extensive. The food list is less so and it was made even easier by my predilection for always ordering olives. So cider and olives it was and I didn’t have to go to the bar to place my order. Someone came to me and then came back with my drink and olives. I guess it really doesn’t take much to make me happy, but let’s keep that between ourselves. So far this night out had everything going for it. The vibe and the service were fantastic. Could the olives maintain the high standard? I am happy to say they did. The olives were fantastic. The olives came in a variety of sizes, big, small and in between, plus there was both black and green. What’s more, there was plenty of them. Oh, and not only did they come with toothpicks, and a bowl for the pips but even a fork.

The new gold standard by which all other servings of olives will be judged
The only other law librarian willing to brave the wet weather was M from UWA; her husband too heard the call and arrived soon after. I guess they have seen deep snow in Canada so really, a little bit of Perth rain is nothing to overcome. They too both loved the atmosphere and the set up of Bar Lafeyette. However, the size of the drinks list can be daunting and they found themselves looking for a long time trying to pick. Still, we were all comfortable while we tried to decide. So we just drank in the atmosphere until our real drinks arrived.

On the way home, having finally managed to tear myself away, I got the extra bonus of seeing the Winter Art Festival Light Show along St George’s Tce. Great way to top off a great night out.

If you would like to be included in the next Call to the Bar let me know.

Justin Booker

A ring on her finger

Our former President, Lei Lin, has a new challenge ahead. She has a wedding to organise as she recently became engaged.

On behalf of the membership Lei, we wish you much happiness in the future.

AGM : 14 August

The ALLA (WA) Annual General Meeting was held in the Central Park Theatrette on 14 August. Seventeen people attended. Lei presented her final President’s Report, outlining the many initiatives of the previous year and the challenges that have been faced. Justin presented the Treasurer’s Report then Lei announced the new Committee for 2013/2014. This was followed by wine, nibbles and a fair amount of conversation. Apparently, the cheese selection was pretty good which is, of course, the main thing at any meeting! Well done to Lei and the previous Committee, as the reins are passed over to Mawghan.

Jenny Lucre

IFLA Trend Report

What is the IFLA Trend Report? In the global information environment, time moves quickly and there's an abundance of commentators trying to keep up. With each new technological development, a new report emerges assessing its impact on different sectors of society. The IFLA Trend Report takes a broader approach and identifies five high level trends shaping the information society, spanning access to education, privacy, civic engagement and transformation. Its findings reflect a year’s consultation with a range of experts and stakeholders from different disciplines to map broader societal changes occurring, or likely to occur in the information environment.

The IFLA Trend Report is more than a single document – it is a selection of resources to help you understand where libraries fit into a changing society.

A new arrival

It's a girl!

Lori and Mike welcomed baby Penelope Frances Frazier into the world on 2 August at 12.29am, weighing 2.98kg and 46cm long. All are doing well.

Cindy Duong
Herbert Smith Freehills

A round of applause please...

...for Natalie McDonald.

In a herculean effort, Natalie has served thirteen consecutive years on the ALLA (WA) Committee but will bid adieu at the AGM on 14 August.

On behalf of the membership, the remainder of the Committee thank Natalie for her valued contribution and sage advice over the years.  We wish her all the best in her life post-Committee and hope that she doesn't miss preparing agendas and taking minutes too much!


Downings Legal has merged with HWL Ebsworth and as a result Linda Simonis has been made redundant.  Linda is looking for work so please bear her in mind should any position open up.  She can be contacted at

Sky Atkins has been made redundant from her position with DLA Piper.  Although Sky has her hands full looking after two little boys at present, she is considering returning to part-time work some time in the future.

New staff member : Herbert Smith Freehills

Anne Young started at Herbert Smith Freehills on 15 July.  This is a one-year contract to replace Lori Frazier while she is on maternity leave.

Called to the Bar : Mr Wolf says "It's drinking time"

Wednesday, 19 June and I heard the call of the bar, all the way from Wolfe Lane.

And what else would you name a bar situated in Wolfe Lane but Wolfe Lane? (Cheeky Sparrow is the answer, as that’s the bar/cafe which is almost next door; I guess I’ll go there some other time.)

I was worried I would have trouble finding Wolfe Lane as I imagined getting lost in twisting back alleys trying to locate it. Thankfully it was quite straightforward. I approached it by coming down the lane from Murray Street, which took me past Cheeky Sparrow (yep, definitely some other time). There is another lane leading to the bar from King Street. Wolfe Lane, the bar, sits right where these two lanes intersect.

The doorway is small but the interior is large and on the night I arrived it was not too full. I was able to bag some comfy couches close to the bar and near the stunning artwork that takes up one whole wall.

Some of the impressive artwork that features real bark

A word about these retro couches and chairs. What op shops do hipsters shop at to score such chairs? Because I never come across old furniture like this when I go to Salvos' stores. I just see the 80s throwaways all rattan and chrome or shapeless puffy couches. But I digress; where was I? That’s right; I was getting a drink.

Grandma's house was well known for its couches

I ordered a Fat Yak and some olives. It used to be that I always ordered olives back in my UWA wine bar days as they seem to be a perennial mainstay of wine bar food. Nearly every bar has them so they offer an efficient method of comparing one bar to another. The olives here at Wolfe Lane were plentiful but fairly standard. However points are added for including a bowl for the pips and toothpicks for sharing.

Fat Yak, fat olives, slim toothpicks

Joining me in this law librarian get together was M from UWA along with her husband. I had only met M a few times previously so this was a good chance to get to know her and her husband better. I did the expected thing and asked her lots of questions about Canada which is where they recently moved from. In my defence all I know of Canada I gleaned from watching You Can’t Do That On Television and reading Alpha Flight comics. I do know that Wolverine is Canadian though. They really should emphasise that more.

Wolfe Lane was quiet the day we were there, which suited us fine for a relaxed evening of talking over a slow drink. Wednesdays are the first night of the week that Wolfe Lane is open which may explain the small turnout. I am certain the conditions would be different on a Thursday.

Oh what a big bar you have

The music was at the right level to allow for comfortable conversing. The lighting was fine letting you see who you were talking to and also find the olives. Yet someone in charge must have thought otherwise. On two occasions the lights dimmed and then flickered before returning to their initial brightness. I guess it goes to show you shouldn’t mess with a winning formula. And on the right night Wolfe Lane certainly does have a winning formula. Successfully hidden right in the middle of the city Wolfe Lane enables you to get away from the office without having to actually go too far. The night I was there I had a great time with some new friends amidst a comfortable setting.

I can see I like it here

Justin Booker

Reminder re AGM

Wednesday, 14 August 2013
Foyer of Central Park Theatrette (5.30 pm)

Come along and meet your new ALLA(WA) Committee!
Cheese, hummus and wine after the AGM

Visit to Parliament House

Parliament House Tour (3 July 2013)

Western Australia inherited the English system of government and law when it was colonised in 1829.  Its first legislative body was the Legislative Council, which met for the first time on 7 February 1832 and was presided over by the Governor of Western Australia, Captain James Stirling, who nominated four other members.

The fifteen of us who attended the tour of Parliament House had the picture of this event explained to us, as well as viewing other pictures of Parliament’s early days. We were then escorted on a building tour which included going into the chamber floor of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly, where different items of interest were explained. I found it fascinating that the mace used by the Speaker came into being as a protection device after nine of them were murdered in England after delivering unpopular policies.

Following this, we visited the Parliamentary Library where Judy Ballantyne kindly provided us with a brief overview of the library – a place full of charm that was originally designated as a ballroom. Overall, it was a very interesting and enjoyable morning.

Jenny Lucre

Congratulations to Cassie Netolicky

It is my pleasure to announce that the 2013 CCH ALLA(WA) Conference Bursary has been awarded to Cassie Netolicky (Jackson McDonald).  Cassie will receive $1500 towards the cost of attending the 2013 ALLA Conference – Agitations, Empowering, Inspiring and Audacious – in Sydney in September.  After the conference, Cassie will give a presentation to WA members to share the experience and knowledge she has gained.

We received a number of excellent applications.  I would like to thank everyone who took the time to apply and encourage those who were unsuccessful to apply again in 2014.

I would like to thank CCH for their generosity and support of this award.  Without their financial assistance, the Association would not have been able to offer this opportunity to our members.

Congratulations Cassie.

Lei Lin
ALLA(WA) President

JSI write up from Kirsty McPhee

In addition to Belinda’s excellent post, I would like to add the details of 3 more papers that may be of interest to the members. I spoke of these papers at the JSI Reporting Back Easter Breakfast in March, but this should provide a more comprehensive write up as well as links to other resources and information that may be of use or interest.

The JSI was a fantastic event - the papers, the events and the attention to detail – as noted by Belinda. As with any event however, the most rewarding and enjoyable aspect was the people. Whilst it is unlikely another JSI will be held in Australia, at least in the foreseeable future, I would strongly encourage as many of you as possible to look at attending conferences – especially with an international focus.

Organisations such as the International Association of Law Librarians put on a fantastic conference each year – this year in Barcelona - and offer wonderful opportunities to meet with colleagues from all over the world (IALL website - The differences but also the similarities are always staggering when networking with international law librarians and information professionals, and in addition to comparative workplaces the connections come in very handy in a research environment that is increasingly global. Both ALLA(WA) and ALLA offer great bursary opportunities and I would encourage all members to consider applying for these.

All at Sea? Australia’s Refugee Law and Policy in a Global Context
Associate Professor Michelle Foster

This paper was presented by Melbourne Law School Associate Professor Michelle Foster and looked at the current and future laws in Australia in a local and global context. It is important to note the difference between refugees and immigrants, as the two are often confused. Refugees and asylum seekers are defined by the United National Convention relation to the Status of Refugees (1967 Protocol) as a person who is outside their own country and is unwilling or unable to return due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or their political opinion. (Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees -

Michelle began with a look at Australia itself. I was surprised to learn that Australia is made up of 4892 islands. The only way to reach Australian soil is by resettlement scheme or visa but Australian law does not currently offer a visa type for refugees or asylum seekers to apply for before their arrival. This status can only be applied for once they are on Australian soil – which makes it pretty much impossible for anyone seeking refugee status to arrive legally and by aeroplane. As arriving by foot, as is frequently the case in other countries, is not an option for those seeking refuge in Australia arrival by boat without prior consent or arrangement is the only option available.

When an asylum seeker lands on Australian soil, they can apply for protection and a visa provided they land on non-excised land. Excised land is not part of Australia for the purposes of asylum seekers and our laws enable us to send these asylum seekers to another country for processing. Currently there is legislation under consideration that would make the Australian mainland excised land – most of the islands that compromise Australia are already classed as excised lands. Points to note include the Christmas Island processes look much like the current on-shore processing procedures, but they have in fact removed the option of judicial review. Sending asylum seekers to Malaysia is also concerning, as Malaysian law does not recognise refugees – upon arrival to Malaysia the refugees loose all the rights conferred on them by the United Nations treaty that Australia has signed and agreed to.

My conversations with delegates from overseas around the “boat-people” media coverage were also quite eye-opening. For the last decade, we have not gone a week without media coverage and government comment on the topic of boat people. The community holds strong opinions about the topic and it is an on-going highly contentious political debate, and yet none of my colleagues from the other jurisdictions could recall ever hearing about it in their main stream media. Australia only takes 2% of the world’s refugees currently, and our decision makers have found a loop hole to include those targeted and chosen for resettlement to Australia as part of this figure.

Whilst the JSI covered a number of legal topics that were sensitive or controversial, this paper was the only time that many of the Australians in the room felt uncomfortable right through to ashamed. Whilst this is not a forum for points of view either way on asylum seekers rights, I would encourage everyone to look beyond the coverage of this topic in mainstream media and the statements made by our politicians. Australia voluntarily signed and agreed to a number of legal obligations in regards to refugees that we are not meeting or seeking loopholes to avoid. Michelle Foster has a written a wealth of fantastic material on the topic and I would suggest this is a great place to start further reading:

Fixing Financial Services: Observations on Law, Regulation and Reform
Associate Professor Pamela Hanrahan

Many of us were not overly excited about this paper before the session, fearing the topic of financial services would be dry and make the pre-lunch paper drag as we looked forward to lunch at Middle Fish. However, the presentation by Melbourne Law Schools’ Associate Professor Pamela Hanrahan proved to be an emotionally charged account of two of the most devastating financial collapses in recent Australian history, followed by an evocative and thought provoking look at current legislative change and the role of the Government in regulation and control of financial services, particularly in regards to unsophisticated investors.

The paper began with a look into the Wingecarribee Shire. In the late 1990’s the State Government of NSW made it possible for local government authorities to invest more broadly. Financial Service Providers came after councils with a vengeance, using overly complicated agreements, running to hundreds of thousands of pages in some circumstances, to gain access to the vast sums of money held by the local government authorities. The Wingecarribee Council lost millions of dollars and the debacle was an embarrassment of private law involving contractual obligations, duty of care, fiduciary obligations and misleading or deceptive conduct. In September 2012, the Council won a landmark Federal Court class action against Lehman Brothers for poor financial advice. (Wingecarribee Shire Council v Lehman Brothers Australia Ltd (in liq) [2012] FCA 1028 -

The second set of events explored were those surrounding the collapse of Storm Financial. Storm Financial were an investment company trading in Townsville, Queensland from 2004. The company offered financial independence at retirement, by mortgaging the investors house and using the money as a 10% deposit on a margin fund. The investment was solid, friends and family bought each other in to the deal. However, in 2009 when the Commonwealth Bank forced Storm Financial into administration, 3000 Queenslanders were suddenly told to start making mortgage repayments on loans of around $1.8m each. Many of these investors were retirees or families on limited funds. Many lost their homes, devastating enough but on top of this the knowledge that many had brought their friends and family into the investment caused shame, depression and suicide. Pamela was involved with the inquiry, and the emotion and grief she witnessed had clearly had an effect on her personally. A copy of the report can found online: Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services: Inquiry into financial products and services in Australia (

Whilst both cases represent very different circumstances they both highlight the fact that under Australian law financial service providers have no obligations to take the best inetersts of their client into consideration. Possibly the only industry without such an obligation, it was a shocking piece of information for most of us in the audience. The result of the inquiry were reforms that significantly reworded the Act – 14 words were proposed to rectify this issue but in the end 2736 words were inserted that essentially still left financial service providers without obligation to their clients. It provided a negligence test, but not a best interest obligation Maximising their own profits, as the Lehman Brothers Group set out to do, is allowed to be the driving force for financial providers.

Pamela made it clear that more reform is required, but this poses a difficult question for which she had no answers – how much control and regulation - especially for unsophisticated investors. Should Mum & Dad investors like those in Storm Financial be unable legally to get involved in investments with risks, clauses and investments that are too complex for them to fully grasp? Is it fair for the Government to expose them to such risks by not regulating against it. But would such regulation restrict the rights of the investors to use their money as they see fit, and possibly deny them the opportunity of an excellent investment opportunity as not all ventures are scams and not all are poorly managed or doomed to failure. Even once the level of regulation is determined, how do you regulate such a market is an even more challenging question. Until reform is achieved, the advice when it comes to financial services - caveat emptor.

For a full list of Associate Professor Pamela Hanrahan’s publication - which includes a number of book titles we will all be very familiar with – please check out:

Big Tobacco’s Legal Challenges to Plain Packaging in Australia
Professor Andrew Mitchell

Regardless of your views on smoking, this paper presented by Melbourne Law Schools Professor Andrew Mitchell provided a fascinating look at the legal issues surrounding the plain packaging debate. The plain packaging laws were introduced into Australia on 1st December 2011 – we were the first country in the world to introduce full-plain packaging requirements. The laws also called for the graphic image on the box to be increased from 30% to 75% of the packet, and the brand of the cigarette or cigar to be removed from the identification band on the cigarettes themselves. Full compliance with these laws was required by 1 December 2012.

16% of Australians are smokers. The impetus behind these laws was the need to improve public health and to implement certain obligations Australia had agreed to as a signature to the World Health Organisation (WGO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Studies proved colours and clever graphic design had been successfully used by cigarette companies for years to make their products more appealing and that once a cigarette was de-branded the smoker would feel that it tasted different and would no longer wish to smoke.

The challenges to the Plain Packaging law reforms came from three main areas:

Australian Constitutional Law: On December 1st 2011, British American Tobacco issued a Writ of Summons against the Commonwealth of Australia challenging the Constitutional legitimacy of the plain packaging laws. British American Tobacco claimed that they held Trade Marks and copyright that they were being denied the use of. This was a landmark case for the High Court. The High Court concluded that the rights attached to intellectual property and trademarks were a negative right of use – that is – the right protects the holder from another party using the protected property, it does not confer on the owner the right to use the property themselves. The litigation history and judgement can be found here:

International Investment Law – In April 2010 the Australian Government announced its decision to implement plain packaging laws. In February 2011 Philip Morris Asia Ltd purchased Philip Morris (Australia) Ltd and then in June 2011 Philip Morris Asia issued a Notice of Claim under the Hong Kong – Australia Bilateral Investment Treaty. In November 2011 the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill 2011 is passed and Philip Morris Asia issued a Notice of Arbitration. The basis of the claim was expropriation: the investors claim cannot be taken without compensation, and fair and equitable treatment: investors must be dealt with in a manner that is fair and equitable. The Australian Government claims that Philip Morris Asia acted in bad faith and the purchase of the Australian company 10 months after the legislation was announced was an abuse of process. This arbitration is likely to take a few years to resolve, during which other countries will wait to introduce the plain packages laws. This wait is preferred by the tobacco companies as they believe the introduction of plain packaging in any jurisdiction will negatively impact on company profits.

WTO Law – Australia is a signatory to the World Trade Organizations Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights – also known as the TRIPS Agreement. Article 16.1 states that trademark owners have “the exclusive right to prevent all third parties not having the owner’s consent from using … identical or similar signs”. As previously discussed, it has been found that the right to trade mark and intellectual property is the negative right not to have it used by someone else, not the right of the holder to use it. However, Article 20 of the TRIPS Agreement states that the use of a trademark in the course of trade shall not be unjustifiably encumbered by special requirements, such as in a manner detrimental to its capability to distinguish the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings. Further complicated by Article 8 of the TRIPS Agreement that allows members to formulate or amend laws to protect public health and nutrition, amongst other things.

Contract position available

The Law Library at the Supreme Court is still seeking some one for a couple of days a week to attend the reference desk in the absence of the Library Manager. The requirement is now only for three weeks from 22 July to 9 August 2013.

If you can assist we would be most grateful. 

Please contact Catherine Macgill, Law Librarian on 9421 5372 or by email at

Possibility of short-term work

The Department of Sport and Recreation may be able to offer work for a few weeks on a project to review and collate legal documents.  Please contact Renae Clement if you are interested, or know someone who may be.

Renae Clement
Librarian / Actg FOI Coordinator
Department of Sport and Recreation
Clearinghouse for Sport (WA Branch)

(08) 9492 9870 or (08) 9492 9869

Don't let Justin drink alone

Want to hear the next Call to the Bar?

Justin is planning a bar hop mid-June so let him know if you want to come along.

In response to questions asked...

Catherine Macgill (Law Librarian, Law Library, Supreme Court of WA)

states -

The current state of plans for the future of the Law Library collection is as follows.

The recommendation to the Attorney General is that practitioners will have access to the new Supreme Court Library on a user-pays basis.  There has not as yet been any memorandum of understanding drawn up.

A project team to resolve the issue (among other things) of service to practitioners is to be established with members from the Law Society, the Legal Practice Board, the Judiciary and the Department of the Attorney General.  This committee has not yet met.

The State Reference Library and the City of Perth Library have been approached with the view to housing a law collection for public access.  Neither party was interested in doing so.

Brown bag : Rights of the Unborn Child

CPD seminar
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
The rights of the unborn child, as the law currently stands in WA and the proposed amendments

Mrs Lorraine Finlay, lecturer in criminal law at the Murdoch University School of Law, addressed a group of 15 delegates at a lunchtime brown bag seminar in Downings boardroom on Wednesday, 15 May.  She spoke on the rights of the unborn child, addressing a neglected area in WA legislation, and citing some cases which had touched the general public where, through no fault of the expectant mother, the unborn child had been lost through criminal action, without any recourse for justice.  Her fascinating presentation led to many questions from the floor, and further discussion in this informal setting.  In addition, some new points were raised, much to Lorraine's delight!  We all came away with some issues to digest.

Thank you, Linda, for your hospitality at Downings!

Belinda Eisenhauer

Joint Study Institute : reporting back...continued

Joint Studies Institute
13-16 February 2013

Report : Belinda Eisenhauer


Kirsty and I were fortunate to attend the JSI Conference in Melbourne in mid-February 2013. We stayed in the conference hotel, the Rydges on Swanston Street, on the campus of Melbourne University, 10 minutes walk to the Law School (the oldest in the country, opening its doors in 1857).

The thoroughness of the planning was evident from the start, with regular updates being issued to those who had registered, with useful tips such as where to find the weather conditions (especially for the international visitors) and the dress code for the three evening functions.

No single detail had been forgotten – even the newly-introduced Myki electronic travel card had been provided for each delegate, ready for us to collect at our hotel reception.

The JSI Conference has been hosted once before in Australia - in Sydney in 2004.

There were 50 delegates from common law countries such as New Zealand, USA, Canada, UK, Eire and, of course, Australia. There were 3 law librarians from WA.

We had all come together on shared territory to share and compare our experience as law librarians. We compared databases and publishers, classifications systems, professional criteria, and offered information about our countries. We had so much to share and talk about – we were never at a loss for a topic of conversation.

The registration and the opening of the 2013 JSI Conference was at the Supreme Court Library, which was most convenient for most delegates.

The conference was opened by Chief Justice Marilyn Warren, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Overview of three conference papers presented


Dr Mark McMillan (Law School, University of Melbourne) and Steven Ellis, Esq (University of Boston School of Law)

The Welcome to Country statement at the beginning of events was explained by Mark, for visitors that this is adopted in Australia. This is one step closer to acknowledging the place of the Aboriginal people in Australia’s past and present. This is an important development. We must bear in mind that it was only in 1967 that Aboriginals gained citizenship. Aboriginals are 1.5% of the Australian population. We all have a shared future in Australia. We cannot develop in a vacuum and must study the US and the Canadian Constitutions, as well as our past, to build a new Australian Constitution, which includes the indigenous peoples. We must study other countries too – they are important in this; we can use their experiences to help us.

It will not be easy; constitutional reform is difficult in Australia. He pointed out that 8 out of 44 referenda have been successful in Australia.  He doesn’t hold out much hope for much change soon, but at least a start has been made in addressing the situation.


The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG (former Justice of the High Court of Australia)

The presenter acknowledged that he had the advantage of not having a titled paper in the program, which gave him a lot of latitude! The paper was entitled Librarians I have loved, to commemorate St. Valentine's Day (February 14) and his lifelong celebration of librarians.

He spoke of his fond memories of librarians right from his first days at school, and remembering their names, and throughout his career in law, mentioning Naomi Glynn who became a judge and Petal Kinder, and paid tribute to Graham Greenleaf who initiated AustLII. He congratulated librarians in that they made a lot of noise in libraries – the noise of ideas. Librarians have helped legal practitioners appreciate the richness of the English language, as every concept we have has two words of differing origins – one Germanic and one Romance language, for example “will” and “estate”.

He recommended that we get over our parochialism and think globally – we need to think in sync with the world, not in isolation.

The law field today is a business – it is no longer a vocation or calling.  Hence, problems have manifested themselves as depression and worse, when new graduates with high-flying ideas of the glory of being a law graduate are confronted with reality . The profession today is a roller-coaster of emotions.

This paper was a very personal creation, born of a long career in law, from experience and memories. There were no hard facts and figures based on research. He wrapped the audience in a cocoon of gentle memories and poetic words.


Dr Jacqueline Horan (Law School, University of Melbourne)

The advent of technology has put the Australian judicial system in a difficult place – the Internet and DNA analysis have rocked the traditional system in Australia. The DNA analysis techniques have given a lot of power to forensic research – power which must be used cautiously. It has become too easy to make quantum leaps to incorrect conclusions.

With internet, a text-savvy active group of people (the jury in the court room), who have been actively encouraged to seek knowledge by questioning, suddenly have to become passive and non-questioning.

Jurors are not allowed to do their own research – if a copy of the Oxford dictionary or a Wikipedia printout is found in a juror’s possession, that person can be prosecuted, due to the fact that pre-judicial publicity could jeopardise the verdict. An active, questioning being is suddenly not allowed to question the judge in a court room. The jury system is not working well under these new developments. Jurors need to be encouraged to ask questions.

In some countries such as Japan, Kazakhstan and South Korea, mixed juries have evolved, where judges and jurors sit together to formulate a decision. We need to study other countries’ experiences of juries more thoroughly.

This was the only paper on criminal law given at the conference.

Personal impressions of the JSI conference

Delightful to meet the people whose names one had come to know. Ruth Bird from the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, and whom we know through her Letter from Oxford published in the Australian Law Librarian, being an example.

Imagination had been used in planning the venues and activities – a different venue every day to stimulate the delegates: Day One was the Law School seminar room, Day Two in the morning was the seminar room in the Baileau Library, at University of Melbourne, in the afternoon was a lecture hall at the university and Day Three (final day) was the Rydges' conference room.

The committee had worked very hard to make us feel welcome and make our stay as pleasant as possible; nothing had been forgotten – not even the issuing of the Myki card. Appreciated receiving the dress code tip, as well.

Registration was at the same place as the first evening’s reception – the Supreme Court Library – an excellent idea!

Communication prior and during the conference was excellent.

Shame it was so short – we were just beginning to get to know each other, then it was all over!


I would like to thank ALLA (WA) for granting us the opportunity to travel to the JSI Conference in February 2013. I greatly appreciated the opportunity; it was everything I had hoped it would be and more besides.

Thank you.

The very hardworking Committee of the JSI Conference also need to be congratulated for their superb planning:

Carol Hinchcliff – University of Melbourne Law School;
Robyn Gardner – University of Melbourne Law School;
Kirsty Wilson – University of Melbourne Law School;
Vanessa Blackmore – Supreme Court of NSW Library, Sydney;
James Butler – formerly of Supreme Court of Victoria Library.

Belinda Eisenhauer

Joint Study Institute : reporting back

Twenty-four people attended the ALLA (WA) Easter breakfast held at Herbert Smith Freehills on 27 March.  Their wonderful coffee machine again received a good workout and we all enjoyed a light breakfast and an abundance of the obligatory Easter eggs.

Belinda Eisenhauer and Kirsty McPhee reported back on the JSI that they attended in Melbourne in February.  The topics presented seemed as fascinating as they were diverse - plain packaging for cigarettes and cigars, rights of refugees and the behaviour of financial institutions.  The ladies were very enthusiastic and I think everyone at the breakast wished they could have been at the JSI too.

Jenny Lucre

New feature

Called to the Bar - Now and Venn

When I was working for a certain academic institution out Nedlands way (you work it out) I used to coordinate a monthly gathering of library workers. We would go to a different wine bar each month and blog a review. You can still see the reviews online here.

Now that I work for a law firm in the city, which is ground zero for wine bars in Perth, I thought it was time to start doing this again, only this time for the ALLA WA blog. Plus, I can buy a drink for all those people I owe one to. Namely those that have provided me with scans of various law reports. These hopefully regular posts will be appearing under the title of “Called to the Bar”. Enjoy.

For the first post of this re-badged venture I took a trip to Venn Bar . Venn operates on many levels, literally and figuratively. They have upstairs and ground floor areas and they also function as an art gallery. They have a cool gift shop too but that wasn’t open by the time I got there at about quarter past 6 on Wednesday 1 May.

I was able to get a seat without too much hassle. The place was comfortably packed if you know what I mean.

I was all set to order a cider and a pizza when the guy behind the bar pointed out that there was a special on Wednesdays; beer and pizza for $15. Since the pizza ordinarily is $15 you’re getting a beer for free. Now, how can you not like a bar that offers that? Points to the bar staff for this.

Points are deducted from the bar staff for later ignoring my drinking companion NS. He had the misfortune to be standing at the bar when a pretty blonde came along and she got served first. NS works for the ABC. He might do a story about this discrimination. We’ll see.

Both NS and I had to wait a bit for our respective pizzas. Mine was tasty but my free beer was almost all gone by this time.

Venn Bar presents well, being sleek and modern both on the ground floor and upstairs and now even outdoors. They have just added an outside area leading into Raine Square, that operates as a cafe area. This area isn’t licensed, so you can’t take drinks out there.

The too loud music was in competition to the low level lighting so it was hard to tell what ambience was being aimed for. I personally was on the side of the lights. Gathering from how loud others around me had to talk to be heard I suspect they too were in this camp.

Apart from this and the predilection of the bar staff for serving pretty blondes first, Venn Bar is a great venue. If you are hearing the call of the bar Venn Bar is worth a visit.

All ALLA WA members are welcome to come with me on my next bar hop. Let me know if you are interested.

Justin Booker

Free copyright training : State Library

From WAIN -

Australian Libraries Copyright Committee presents FREE copyright training available to all interested persons.

The Australian Libraries Copyright Committee is the primary policy body for the discussion of copyright issues affecting Australian libraries, with major members comprising the Australian Library & Information Association (ALIA), National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA), Council of University Librarians (CAUL) and National Library of Australia (NLA).

Date: Thursday 6th June 2013

Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm (with repeat session 1:30pm – 4:30pm)

Location: Great Southern Room, State Library of Western Australia

‘Get your collections out there: understanding the copyright framework around online collections’ follows on from last year’s ALCC training, which tackled the copyright basics. This year’s training aims to demystify copyright law for librarians looking to promote collections online, and help staff develop risk management guidelines for using copyright works.


9:30am Part 1 – Making friends with copyright
Quick run through of the basics! Protection, duration, and copyright exceptions

10:30am Tea break

11:00am Part 2 – Engaging with your collections online
Dealing with digital challenges: content licensing, digitisation, data and text mining, social media use, Creative Commons and more!

12:30pm Close

To register:

RSVP to Shelli Johnston with: your name/ your organisation/ session you will be attending (AM or PM)

Kind regards,

Shelli Johnston
Public Library Liaison Technician

T (08)9427 3213
F +618 9427 3256

The future of the profession : themes and scenarios 2025

Latest News : ALIA
Discussion Paper released 1 May 2013

Future of the profession The Future of the Profession is an ALIA Board project examining what the future holds for library and information services. The purpose of this paper is to promote discussion across the sector between library leaders, information service providers, vendors, practitioners, students, commentators, colleagues in Australia and internationally – anyone and everyone with an interest in the field. To find out more, download the document or comment on it, please visit the ALIA futures wiki.

Tasmanian Law Reports

The Tasmanian Law Reports1897-1940 are now available on AustLII -

Thanks to Mawghan Elverd for the tip.

In memoriam

Glenda Ligtermoet
Colleague and friend

Although many of us knew that Glenda was battling a serious illness, we were still shocked and very saddened to learn of her passing last week.

Glenda was a valued member of our association - always friendly with a smile at the ready and genuinely interested in the wellbeing of others.

In memory of Glenda, we have made a donation to Bowel Cancer Australia on behalf of the members.

There will be a smile missing at our future gatherings.

Job listed by The One Umbrella

Legal Information Management : latest issue is currently free online

Message from Cambridge University Press

We are pleased to announce that the latest issue of Legal Information Management (LIM) is currently free online for a limited period.

The main theme of this issue centres around Chinese Law and Legal Information. A discussion of the key political and economic developments give context to issues such as legal education in China and practical litigation matters and the management of information.

Access this issue without charge until the end of May 2013 by following this link .

At the 2013 BIALL conference in June, LIM editor David Wills will speak about information management, the journal and its future. Find out more about the conference here.

We hope you enjoy this issue.

Casual reference position

The Law Library at the Supreme Court is seeking expressions of interest from a qualified librarian with experience in legal research to cover a period of leave. We require someone two days a week for the period July 8 to August 9 2013. We require a librarian to provide reference desk coverage for the 2 days. This will involve dealing with requests, document delivery, interlibrary loans and general support to the two librarians on staff.

Please contact Catherine Macgill at

Catherine Macgill
Law Librarian
Law Library, Supreme Court of Western Australia

Contract position at Herbert Smith Freehills

Position: Research Librarian – 1 year contract position (full-time)

Organisation: Herbert Smith Freehills

Location: Perth Knowledge Centre


A fantastic opportunity exists in the Perth Office of Herbert Smith Freehills for a Research Librarian. We are looking for a qualified and experienced librarian with a demonstrated commitment to providing high quality legal and business research to join our busy Perth Knowledge Centre.

The role is a 1 year full-time contract position, however applications for part-time (minimum 4 days per week) will be considered also. The position will become available in late June 2013.

Previous experience in a law library is desired.

Primary responsibilities will include:

· Provision of high calibre legal and business research services

· Collection development activities

· Current Awareness and Knowledge Sharing

· Knowledge Centre promotion and research skills training


The closing date for applications is Wednesday 1 May 2013.

Please submit your application to Helen Sommerville, People & Development Consultant, via email

Further information:

For more information, please contact either:

Helen Sommerville, People & Development Consultant, by email or phone +61 8 9211 7556;

Cindy Duong, Knowledge Centre Team Leader, by email or phone +61 8 9211 7942.