Direct briefing part two

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Bill DoogueThe article Direct briefing part two is written by Bill Doogue, Director, Accredited Criminal Law Specialist, Doogue + George Defence Lawyers.

Bill is a director of the operations of Doogue + George. He has been an accredited criminal law specialist ever since 1998 and has over 30 years of experience in criminal defence.

Over the years, Bill's legal expertise has allowed the firm to represent numerous clients - including high ranking church officials, state and federal politicians, as well as huge corporations which sometimes involve foreign jurisdictions. His excellence in the field earned him a Law Institute of Victoria Service Award in 2013 and the title of Preeminent Criminal Defence Lawyer in the Doyle’s Guide 2023.

GavelI want to apologize to anyone offended by my last blog article on direct briefing.

This is a blog, and it is my blog. It does not represent the Law Institute Victoria “LIV” in any way and that last blog article was never expressed as being the view of the LIV.  There is no LIV plan or proposal to have a blacklist and, as I understand it, the process is being expanded  to all legal practitioners who want to be on the list.
I  still think it is a remarkably ill-considered and badly implemented idea.

For those of you forwarded my email I apologize if you believed “a list of barristers who go on the list will be posted on the “Not to brief before hell freezes over” website” . Before you rush to the web you will be pleased to know that there is no such website and that the creation of that website was a joke. I was suggesting the link to my article was meant to be forwarded not the lame joke.

My view is that this is a matter of the Government (Federal and State) not funding the Courts and properly and that is the issue that should be addressed.

I was voted on the executive of the LIV criminal law section and have been a criminal law section committee member for nigh on 20 years. I received an award from the LIV last year (which I was grateful for) for services to the Law. That award was for the close to a thousand hours (we did the calculations) I have spent working in a voluntary capacity for the LIV on committees and the like over a very long time.

Some at the Criminal Bar Association “CBA” have taken offence and said that my blog causes a problem for the CBA and LIV approach to the direct briefing proposal. I am told that in some ways that the appearance that my blog reflects the view of the LIV criminal law committee will affect the CBA in how they approach this issue.

I struggle to understand that position but have no desire to be an impediment in what is done by the LIV and CBA in relation to this and the other issues that they face in the near future.

The complaint from the Bar was sent to me with an email from one of our committee stating;

“No doubt the removal of the blog article, or some modification of it – to water down or remove the attack of the bar – would go a long way to mending the issue. That of course is matter for you…”

I wrote what I believed to be true and I am not removing the blog or watering it down to placate people who disagree with my view. If I was being, inadvertently, defamatory or had by mistake caused distress to someone I would take it down straight away. That is not the case here.

There is another option which seems far better in all the circumstances and as such I am resigning my position on the LIV criminal law executive immediately. I will not attend the meeting tomorrow morning (which is at 7.30 am – so there’s a blessing) and will not participate further in the deliberations of the committee. Therefore neither I nor my blog can be considered related to the Law Institute at all (not even by the wildest conspiracy theorist) .
Lastly, as a friend pointed out, there is a fair degree of  humour in my previous blog being about unintended consequences.

Know more about Bill Doogue on LinkedIn.
Date Published: 5 February 2014

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