1992 – BA (University of Sydney)
1994 – LLB (University of Sydney)
1995 – Dip PLT (University of Technology Sydney); Admitted as a legal practitioner
1996 – Called to the bar
2011 – Appointed to Legal Aid’s Specialist Barrister Panel for Complex Criminal Law
2012 – Appointed to Legal Aid’s Specialist Barrister Panel for Criminal Appellate Matters
The majority of my practice is criminal law. I won my first jury trial in 1999. I have advised and appeared as defence counsel in many homicide proceedings, including seven homicide trials without a leader. Three of those seven trials resulted in my clients being acquitted of all charges. I have appeared as defence counsel in District Court trial matters involving allegations of a wide range of criminal offences. I have appeared as defence counsel in criminal proceedings in the ACT and Western Australia. In the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal I have appeared in severity, interlocutory and conviction appeals.
Throughout my career I have appeared for clients from socially and economically disadvantaged families and communities. Early in my career I gained extensive experience in communicating with clients suffering from mental illness. From 1996 to 2002 I appeared many times as duty lawyer representing patients brought before the Mental Health Review Tribunal or Magistrate pursuant to the Mental Health Act. I have had a range of experience where children are involved in court proceedings. From 1996 until 2008 I appeared for many young persons facing criminal proceedings in the Children’s Court. From 1999 until 2007 I appeared for various parties to proceedings in the care and protection jurisdiction, including as separate representative for the subject children.
My practice was based in Newcastle from 1996-2002. In 2002 I returned to Sydney and joined Sir Owen Dixon Chambers.
A Selection of Media Mentions
Seminars and Lectures
I have delivered continuing legal education seminar papers on Crown Duties of Fairness, Impartiality and Restraint in a Criminal Trial (2004), Defended Local Court Hearings (2004), Conduct of Sexual Assault Trials (2006), Interventionist Judges (2009), The Historical Development of Fundamental Features of a Fair Trial (2010), Recent Legislative Amendments in Criminal Law (2014), Childhood Adversity and Sentencing (2015), Ethics Hypotheticals (2017), Cross-Examination of Children in Criminal Trials (2018), Developing a Trauma Informed Practice (2019) and Dealing with Judicial Bullying (2020).
I have delivered lectures to law students on the law of evidence, criminal law practice, trial process, and search and seizure. In 1998 I designed and lectured in a course on public international law at the University of Newcastle. I have acted as a judge in moot court exercises for law students at the University of Newcastle and the University of Sydney.
Areas of Interest in Criminal Justice Reform
In 2006 I contributed to the NSW Bar Association’s written submissions to Greg James QC’s Review of the New South Wales Forensic Mental Health Legislation (August 2007). From 2007-2009 I served on the NSW Bar Association’s Human Rights Committee. In 2011 I served on the NSW Bar Association’s Criminal Law and Legal Aid Committees.
I am interested in science-based solutions to causes of criminal behaviour, particularly trauma informed systems, reducing childhood adversity and building resilience. Two feature films, Paper Tigers and Resilience, illustrate what can be achieved with science-based innovations that address adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Non-profit screenings of both films can be arranged upon request. I am interested in bringing the ACE Interface self-healing communities model to New South Wales. Michigan is one of several American states showcasing what can be achieved.
If you are interested in ACE Interface, Paper Tigers or Resilience – DM me on Twitter.
If you have any enquiries concerning my availability please contact the Clerk, Ian Irvine.