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Silk appointment overhaul for Victoria

Silk appointment overhaul for Victoria

The process surrounding the appointment of Victorian Silks will change in 2012, with a bar-based system of appointment to replace the current process by which the Chief Justice of Victoria…

The process surrounding the appointment of Victorian Silks will change in 2012, with a bar-based system of appointment to replace the current process by which the Chief Justice of Victoria decides.

The Victorian Bar is set to invite submissions from members and input from the current Chief Justice Marilyn Warren before adopting a new model for the appointment process before the end of the year.

Mark Moshinsky SC, chairman of the Victorian Bar, says the Bar is well-placed to develop a new model of silk appointments.

"With a review of the Silks process already underway, we are well placed to give careful consideration to all the options and look closely at a number of models which are already in place - for example, in NSW and the UK," said Moshinsky.

"We will consult our members and the wider profession, and there will be opportunities for submissions and discussion as we go about this process."

The changes come in line with the planned commencement of the Courts Executive Service in 2012, which will separate the governance of Victorian Courts from the Executive. The Chief Justice is expected to chair and oversee the governing body. Justice Warren has declared the changes mean she will be unable to continue the appointment process.

Moshinsky said the Bar is "grateful" to the Chief Justice for carrying out the appointment process for the last seven years and that the existing system has "been strongly supported by the Bar".

Prior to 2004, the Victorian Governor appointed Silks on the advice of the Attorney-General.

The Chief Justice will still be required to undertake the appointment process this year.

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