A National Profession
The barrister profession in Australia is represented in each of the States and territories. Barristers are regulated by the Bar for the jurisdiction where they practice. All state and territory Bar Associations are members of our Australian Bar Association.
As Australian lawyers and Australian legal practitioners, all barristers in Australia are now entitled to appear before the courts in any jurisdiction in Australia.
The States and Territories
While the role of a barrister is common across all jurisdictions, the administration of the profession is slightly different.
In New South Wales and Queensland, there is a split profession, meaning that the roles of barrister and solicitor are separated. Each state Bar Association regulates the profession. In South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, the professions of barrister and solicitor are fused, but an independent bar is maintained for those wishing to practice solely as barristers, regulated by the Legal Practice Board of the jurisdiction. In Tasmania and the Northern Territory, the profession is fused, although a very small number of practitioners operate as an independent bar.
Further slight differences exist in the administration of Barristers’ Chambers and in the clerking system.
Greater Access to Resources and Education
There is an increasing tendency, through the relationships forged through the ABA, for the states and territories to share resources and knowledge and most state Bar Associations welcome members from other states to their events and education programs.