THE Chief Justice of Victoria will be stripped of the chance to appoint Victorian silks from next year.
The Victorian Silks appointment process is set to change in 2012, with the role moving from the Chief Justice of Victoria to a Bar-based system.
The Chief Justice will continue to perform the appointment role in this year.
Models for the new process will be considered during the transition year of 2011, with the Bar set to invite submissions, and input from the Chief Justice Marilyn Warren, before the final model is adopted.
Before 2004, Silks were appointed by the Victorian Governor on the advice of the Attorney-General.
With the planned commencement of the Courts Executive Service in 2012, the Chief Justice has advised that it will not be possible for her to continue the appointment process.
The Victorian Government’s proposed new Courts Executive Service will separate the governance of the Victorian Courts from the Executive. It is anticipated that the Chief Justice will chair and oversee the governing body.
“These developments mean the Bar will develop its own model for the appointment of Senior Counsel for 2012,” said Mark Moshinsky SC, chairman of the Victorian Bar.
“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. We will consult our members and the wider profession, and there will be opportunities for submissions and discussion as we go about this process,” he said.
“We welcome the offer by the Chief Justice to assist the Bar as we go about developing a new model.
“The Chief Justice has carried out the appointment process for the last 7 years and the Bar is very grateful to her Honour for performing this role. The system has been strongly supported by the Bar, and is one which has worked extremely well,” he said.