The Bar has produced a practice guide. It is a great achievement and stands as a beacon for the Law Institute’s future efforts at promulgating knowledge of the practice rules. The Bar actually has something called the Professional Standards Education Committee. Written by Roisin Annesley, it was launched by Victoria Marles, the Legal Services Commissioner on 18 October 2006, and distributed free to every member of the Bar. Annesley has done a lot of work as Counsel Assisting the Legal Profession Tribunal (and continues to do occasional work assisting the Legal Practice List at VCAT). A doyen of professional discipline, Paul Lacava SC, and a judge who has excoriated Professional Standards, Justice Gillard, are credited with substantial involvement. It has chapters on:
- the concept of the independence of the bar;
- the regulatory regime for barristers;
- duties to the court;
- duties to the client;
- direct access;
- special duties in criminal cases; and
- common grounds of ethical complaint or negligence.
It also contains the full text of the Bar’s Constitution, the practice rules, the parts of the Legal Profession Act, 2004 dealing with fees, a list of approved direct access bodies, and a collection of bulletins from the Bar’s Ethics Committee.