Almost 100 barristers pen open letter over call to get out of shorts and thongs
Almost 100 barristers have hit back at the head of the Victorian Bar in an open letter after he encouraged them to return to court in person where possible.
The barristers wrote to Victorian Bar Council president Christopher Blanden, QC, after he told them “shorts and thongs under the desk are convenient, but it’s not who we are and it’s not what we do”.
Former chief magistrate, Nick Papas, QC, says the barristers who signed the open letter objecting to Mr Blanden’s comments aren’t saying they won’t attend court in person where necessary.
“The reality is that certain cases need to be heard in court and there would be no pushback on the need to go to court if the client is in custody, there’s a jury trial to be had and there’s a hearing to be had,” he told Ross Stevenson.
“But there are a lot of things that can be done from home.”
Mr Papas says what the barristers are taking issue with is being told how they should do their jobs.
“I guess the gist of the story is that barristers don’t want to be told, as sole traders, as sole, individual lawyers, how they should prepare their cases,” he said.
State Parliament passed legislation last week making online hearings a permanent court fixture.
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