Victoria Reinstates QCs
Victoria’s senior barristers now have the option of being appointed Queen’s Counsel, the state government announced last week.
Victoria previously abolished the title in 2000, with senior barristers appointed after that date known as Senior Counsel, rather than Queen’s Counsel.The role has now been reinstated, following a request from the Victorian Bar Council.
The state’s senior barristers now have the choice of being Senior Counsel or Queen’s Counsel. The Chief Justice will retain the role of appointing barristers as Senior Counsel, and SCs who would prefer to be QCs will need to then be appointed by the Governor.
The Victorian Bar currently has approximately 250 practicing Queen’s Counsel and Senior Counsel.
“Allowing senior Victorian barristers the option to be appointed as QCs will help Victorian barristers to ensure full recognition of their experience, skills and expertise both within the Asia-Pacific region and within Australia,” Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark said.
“At present, barristers from the UK or other jurisdictions who have the title QC are often regarded by non-lawyer clients as being more senior than Victorian SCs, and many senior Victorian barristers consider this has placed them at a competitive disadvantage,” he explained.
The title was also restored in Queensland in June last year, with 70 of the state’s 73 Senior Counsel opting to make the switch to QC.
17 APRIL 2014 UPDATE: 156 Victorian Senior Counsel have been appointed as Queen’s Counsel.
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