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St Patricks Day
Written by ACM   
Monday, 17 March 2014
For St Patrick's Day, listen to "Danny Boy" written by English lyricist and lawyer Frederic Weatherly in Bath in 1910, which he later modified to be sung according to the tune of "Londonderry Air". On last Friday night the Attorney General of New South Wales, Greg Smith, sung this and other Irish songs at a function at the Rugby Club in Sydney entertaining a large crowd.

 
Duchess of Cambridge on St Patrick's Day
Written by ACM   
Monday, 17 March 2014

Duchess of Cambridge presents a 'Shamrock' to Regimental Mascot Domhnall during the St Patrick's Day parade at Mons Barracks on March 17, 2014 in Aldershot, England. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge visited the 1st Battalion Irish Guards to present the traditional sprigs of Shamrocks to the Officers and Guardsmen of the Regiment. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Duchess of Cambridge presents a 'Shamrock' to Regimental Mascot Domhnall during the St Patrick's Day parade at Mons Barracks on March 17, 2014 in Aldershot, England. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge visited the 1st Battalion Irish Guards to present the traditional sprigs of Shamrocks to the Officers and Guardsmen of the Regiment. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
 
New Zealanders overwhelmingly say NO
Written by ACM   
Sunday, 16 March 2014

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who describes himself as a republican,  seriously misjudged how strongly opposed New Zealanders are to ditching their flag. 

Polling indicates almost three quarters of New Zealanders are opposed to this.

 Had he proceeded with a referendum at the same time as the September 2014 election, it could have become the big issue.

There would have been massive opposition which could have affected the voting at the election. So he has postponed flag change to the next term. 

 

 Image

 

...contrast with Australia... 

 

 

When he suddenly announced he wanted to ditch the New Zealand Flag, Mr Key at least did not do what the Keating government planned to do to Australians.

 This was to force us, against our wishes, to accept the trashing of our flag.

 The Keating government actually announced the flag would be changed before the Centenary of Federation. There was no indication t there would be a referendum. It was as though we were living under a republican dictatorship.

In The Sydney Morning Herald 6 June 1994, Mike Seccombe reported ( ''New Flag on track,'') that the Minister of Finance Kim Beazley had stated that the Keating Government ''was sticking to its timetable' for changes to Australia’s constitution and flag by the end of the century.'' 

This was '' in spite of strong public opposition''.

 

...strong opposition... 

 

 

 

In announcing a referendum for a new flag at the time of the next election later this year, the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has seriously misjudged the New Zealand people.

 An opinion poll in New Zealand has revealed that most people just do not share Prime Minister John Key's passion  to change their flag. As in Australia, the politicians are completely out of touch. With the exception of a minority, politicians like the idea of imposing a politicians Republic and trashing the flag. In Australia, politicians have gone quiet on these issues because they have realised that the public does not support them.

Apparently there's a similar attitude in New Zealand where there is reported to be widespread  political support for flag change.

But the public are overwhelmingly opposed. A Colmar Brunton-One News opinion poll has   found that almost three quarters of respondents want to keep the flag and only 28 per cent want a change.

Only two per cent of those polled considered the flag an election issue. But had there been a referendum at the same time it could have become the big issue . 

Watch the news here:http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/kiwis-don-t-want-flag-change-poll-video-5850356

 
New Zealanders overwhelmingly say NO
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 16 March 2014

 

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who describes himself as a republican,  seriously misjudged how strongly opposed New Zealanders are to ditching their flag.  Polling indicates almost three quarters of New Zealanders are opposed to this.

 Had he proceeded with a referendum at the same time as the September 2014 election, it could have become the big issue.

There would have been massive opposition which could have affected the voting at the election. So he has postponed flag change to the next term. 

 

 Image

 

...contrast with Australia... 

 

 

When he suddenly announced he wanted to ditch the New Zealand Flag, Mr Key at least did not do what the Keating government planned to do to Australians.

 This was to force us, against our wishes, to accept the trashing of our flag.

 The Keating government actually announced the flag would be changed before the Centenary of Federation. There was no indication t there would be a referendum. It was as though we were living under a republican dictatorship.

In The Sydney Morning Herald 6 June 1994, Mike Seccombe reported ( ''New Flag on track,'') that the Minister of Finance Kim Beazley had stated that the Keating Government ''was sticking to its timetable' for changes to Australia’s constitution and flag by the end of the century.'' 

This was '' in spite of strong public opposition''.

 

...strong opposition... 

 

 

 
Read more...
 
Queen receives King of the Belgians
Written by ACM   
Sunday, 16 March 2014

Queen Elizabeth has welcomed the Belgian King and Queen to Buckingham Palace. The dog nearly got in the way.

This extract was published by ITN on  13 March 2014.           

 

 
Commonwealth Day, London 2014
Written by ACM   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014

 As in Australia where The Queen's message is traditionally read at a Commonwealth Day function at Parliament House Sydney, an observance for Commonwealth Day 2014 was held at Westminster Abbey, London in the presence of HM The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Earl and Countess of Wessex.

The Service was conducted by The Dean of Westminster, The Very Reverend Dr John Hall. The theme of the service was 'Team Commonwealth' 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: As in Australia where The Queen's message is traditionally  read at a Commonwealth Day function at Parliament House Sydney, an observance for Commonwealth Day 2014 was held at Westminster Abbey, London in the presence of HM The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Earl and Countess of Wessex.   The Service was conducted by The Dean of Westminster, The Very Reverend Dr John Hall. The theme of the service was 'Team Commonwealth'   In this picture we see The Pipes and Drums of Gordon's School Friends of Gordon's School.   © PICTURE PARTNERSHIP 2014.
 
 
 In this picture we see The Pipes and Drums of Gordon's School Friends of Gordon's School.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Photo: HM Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth, meets guests at the Commonwealth Secretary-General's reception for Commonwealth Day, 10 March 2014 .
 
 
 
 HM Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth, meets guests at the Commonwealth Secretary-General's reception for Commonwealth Day, 10 March 2014 .
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Photo: As in Australia where The Queen's message is traditionally  read at a Commonwealth Day function at Parliament House Sydney - always well attended by members of ACM -  an observance for Commonwealth Day 2014 was held at Westminster Abbey, London in the presence of HM The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Earl and Countess of Wessex.   The Service was conducted by The Dean of Westminster, The Very Reverend Dr John Hall. The theme of the service was 'Team Commonwealth'  Here HM The Queen meets Malala Yousafzai Malala Fund who gave the Address  © PICTURE PARTNERSHIP 2014.
 
 
 
HM The Queen meets Malala Yousafzai Malala Fund who gave the Address. © PICTURE PARTNERSHIP 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
God save the Queens Counsel
Written by Jeffery Phillips SC and Andrew Martin   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Image 

The QC post-nominal has been revived in Queensland and Victoria. Jeffrey Phillips SC and Andrew Martin argue for its return in NSW.

The title of Queen’s Counsel (QC) is well known throughout Australia and the Commonwealth. Its widespread recognition is no doubt embedded in our consciousness because it is a rank some four centuries old. On the other hand the title of Senior Counsel (SC) has not taken root in the public mind and is not well recognised outside of the legal profession.

The appointment of Queen’s Counsel by the Executive Council in the state of New South Wales was abolished by decision of the then Premier, John Fahey, in November 1992.

The last time Queen’s Counsel were appointed in New South Wales by the Governor-in-Council was therefore in 1992. The history of this change is well set out by Geoff Lindsay in the Personalia column of the Australian Law Journal. The column contains the address of welcome in December 1992 that the then Chief Justice Murray Gleeson made to the last Queen’s Counsels to be appointed in NSW. The Chief Justice traced the history and importance of the rank of Queen’s Counsel. He only touched upon the recently announced abolition of the title.

A few days later in a speech to the new silks in the Court of Appeal, its then President Justice Michael Kirby described the Chief Justice’s comments as “delphic”. Justice Kirby was not so restrained about the decision of the Government to abolish the office of Queen’s Counsel. His Honour said (in part):

"There is no doubt that an increased demand will arise for Australian legal services in Asia and elsewhere in the years ahead. The appointment to the rank of Queen’s Counsel is an important and professionally valuable step in the life of a barrister. Appointment to a new rank, differently styled and differently chosen, of senior counsel would not carry the same respect, at least until it earned it. That would take time."

His Honour’s words spoken in 1992 have indeed been prophetic, as the title SC has never fully caught on and has crumbled in New Zealand, Queensland and Victoria. In those places where a choice has been offered to members of the Inner Bar to be either SC or QC, the rush to regain the latter post-nominal has been headlong and overwhelming. We do not know of any QC appointed up to December 1992 in New South Wales who relinquished the appointment of QC in favour of its ersatz replacement the SC.

The prestige of a QC in Asia

The practice of law is often referred to as a noble calling but is still a business. The brand of a business is a valuable and carefully guarded asset. The marketing of the brand is of enormous importance. The value of the brand recognition that the office QC has would be incalculable.

The United Kingdom had a debate about getting rid of Queen’s Counsels during the time of Tony Blair’s New Labour. The decision was ultimately made to retain the QC, albeit with a different appointment process. As Lord Falconer of Thoroton (then Lord Chancellor) told the House of Lords at the time:

"We felt it was wrong to abolish the rank of QC when there was considerable evidence that it benefited the market – in particular, so far as concerned the international business that came to London in relation to legal services."

The theory was that internationally, companies would source QCs from the UK, and then there was a flow-on economic effect to the law firms that engaged them.

The importance of such brand recognition for the QC title is not just for the supply by barristers of their services but also when considering the contemporary competition between legal firms across Europe and the Asia Pacific for the Asian legal dollar. QCs are also internationally recognised in the former British colonies of Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Critics of this view [see Greg Barns Opinion piece in Lawyers Weekly on 20 February 2014] may challenge whether or not the mark QC is still highly regarded there.

We asked Dr Patrick Lau, managing director and head of the Mergers and Acquisitions Department for CCB International, the investment arm of the China Construction Bank, based in Hong Kong, for his thoughts on the QC vs. SC debate. He had this to say:

"My experience is that certain sectors of Asians view royal connections favorably. Historically and even now there is tight control on the entitlements to use royal and related connotations. As such, QC will denote a high level of seniority. In my view, I would think QC sounds better to Asians than SC."

The words of Dr Lau, in our view, hit the right note. Part of the value of the Queen’s Counsel title is that it is readily apparent who has conferred it. The fact that the Americans and others can never have this mark of quality is exactly what makes its retention or restoration in this market so attractive.

Inevitably this debate may begin to split people along on the constitutional monarchy versus republican divide that has been on the boil or slow simmer for the past 20 years. Quite apart from the private sentiments people may have concerning the monarchy itself, there remains a sound business case for the restoration of the rank of QC.

Bring back the QC!

Jeff Phillips SC (pictured top), is a New South Wales barrister who practices in the areas of employment and industrial disputation, and is a member of Denman Chambers.

Andrew Martin (pictured below), is a New South Wales barrister who practices in the areas of equity and employment, and is a member of Chalfont Chambers.

Image

[This article was originally published in Lawyers Weekly and has been republished with full permission]

 
NZ PM drops Flag referendum...until after the election
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
The news is not so much that the New Zealanders will have a referendum on changing the flag.

The news is the republican New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (one who re-introduced titles) has now decided not to have the referendum on the Flag planned for the September election. 
 
 
Photo: The news is not so much that the New Zealanders will have a referendum on changing the flag.   The news is the republican Prime Minister John Key (one who re-introduced titles) has now decided not to have the  referendum on the Flag planned for the September election.    No doubt he fears not so much losing it but also losing votes for his party from angry patriotic New Zealanders.   It will be held during the next term with a choice only between the present Flag and the Prime Minister's own design.    In the unlikely event of New Zealand changing their Flag, Australian republicans will lose one of their arguments.   This is that the Flags of the two close, indeed similar nations are also ....surprise, surprise, similar. Like our laws, languages and sporting prowess.  But our flags are not as similar as the confusing, boring tricolours vast numbers of countries fly.

  

No doubt he fears not so much losing it but also losing votes for his party from angry patriotic New Zealanders.

It will be held during the next term with a choice only between the present Flag and the Prime Minister's own design.

In the unlikely event of New Zealand changing their Flag, Australian republicans will lose one of their arguments.

This is that the Flags of the two close, indeed similar nations are also ....surprise, surprise, similar.
 
Like our laws, languages and sporting prowess.

But our flags are not as similar as the confusing, boring tricolours vast numbers of countries fly.

 

 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Congratulations and thank you, Mr. Attorney
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
We must congratulate the Attorney General of Queensland, the Hon. Jarrod Bleijie for his important and fundamental role in initiating the process under which the title Queen's Counsel has been restored in Australia.

The reversal of this form of creeping republicanism required someone in public life not only knowing that the removal of the title was wrong in principle, but who was strong enough to take the necessary action.

Jarrod Bleijie was that person and he deserves our thanks and our warm congratulations.
 
 
Image
 
Queens Counsel restored
Written by ACM   
Tuesday, 11 March 2014

In yet another blow to republicans, the title of Queen's Counsel has been restored at the Federal level by the Attorney General, George Brandis QC.

This follows the restoration of the title in Queensland and the support for this by the Victorian bar. Sen Brandis expects that Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia will follow this trend.

 "Even the New South Wales Bar Association," he said, "that bastion of Keating-era republican sentiment, as I understand established a committee to examine the question."

Image

 

 

 


 ACM has long been campaigning for the restoration of the title. According to Chris Merritt, the legal affairs editor of The Australian, (11/3) the option to existing Queensland Senior Counsel to become a QCs has "led to the near extinction of the SC title''. Only four barristers have declined the offer from the Queensland Attorney General Hon. Jarrod Bleijie.

 

 
Commonwealth Day 2014
Written by ACM   
Monday, 10 March 2014

Commonwealth Day was celebrated on 10 March 2014 by the NSW Commonwealth Day Council at Parliament House Sydney. Her Excellency the Governor, Professor Bashir, read a message from HM The Queen and Head of the Commonwealth. ACM took up the largest number of group tables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Commonwealth Day was celebrated on 10 March 2014 by the NSW Commonwealth Day Council at Parliament House Sydney.  Her Excellency the Governor, Professor Bashir, read a message from HM The Queen and Head of the Commonwealth. ACM took up the largest number of group tables.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Photo: The Governor was received in the forecourt and inspected the  Scots College Band at the Commonwealth Day function referred to below. This image is from 2013
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Photo: The entry of the Governor into Parliament House between children parading the flags of the Commonwealth on Commonwealth Day 2013. This was repeated on 10 March 2014 ( see below)
 
 

 

 

 

 

 
Photo: Another image by Ian Bird of the 2012 Commonwealth Day Debate.  The Debate is held every year among NSW schools on the second Monday in March, normally in the Legislative Assembly chamber.   It precedes the Commonwealth Day Lunch where the Governor reads a message from the Head of the Commonwealth, The Queen.   The Governor normally reviews the Scots College Pipe Band in the forecourt of the Parliament, the oldest in the nation.
The images above are from  Commonwealth Day, 2012. They are by Ian Bird.
 
 
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