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Outspoken barrister gains say in silk selections

Outspoken barrister gains say in silk selections

A Sydney barrister who put his reputation on the line by publicly criticising the silk selection process will now have a direct say in silk selections for next year.Greg Curtin, who publicly…

A Sydney barrister who put his reputation on the line by publicly criticising the silk selection process will now have a direct say in silk selections for next year.

Greg Curtin, who publicly criticised the silk selection process after missing out on the SC title three times, has been elected to the NSW Bar Council for 2010.

Curtin is one of 21 barristers elected to the Council out of a total of 120 candidates. He polled 15th overall, and fourth amongst those who were not senior counsel or Queen's counsel.

As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, Curtin hit the media headlines last month when he wrote to barristers saying that he had evidence showing that the selection process "lacked integrity".

Specifically, he alleged that the success rates of applicants who were in the same chambers as members of the 2007 and 2008 silk selection committees was five times higher than other applicants.

He suggested a number of reforms to the current selection process, including that either the selection committees be made up of retired judges appointed by the Bar Council (rather than practicing barristers), or disallow committee members from voting for or against applicants from their own chambers.

Pulling the greatest number of votes this year was Tom Bathurst SC, the 2009 senior vice president who also sat on this year's selection panel.

2010 Bar Council members:

Tom Bathurst QC

Jeremy Gormly SC

Jane Needham SC

Bernard Coles QC

Phillip Boulten SC

Warwick Hunt

Louise Goodchild

Kylie Day

Paresh Khandhar

Ian Temby AO QC

Tim Game SC

Peter Maiden SC

Alexander Street SC

Chrissa Loukas

Kate Traill

Greg Curtin

Garry McGrath

Michael McHugh

David Ash

Anne Healey

Dominic Toomey

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