NSW How Best to Find a Pro Bono Barrister?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now

Sally-Anne Fagin

Well-Known Member
18 September 2017
35
0
121
I have an appeal going in the Court of Appeals from a decision of the Land and Environment Court of NSW.

Currently I have filed and served the Notice of Appeal on the Respondent, and am in the process of compiling the Red Book.

I can't afford legal representation and while I understand the law I think it would be better if a barrister represented me in the hearing, as Judges don't usually like people representing themselves, plus I'm not that good at speaking in public.

So what is the best way to go about finding pro bono legal representation?

Do many barristers or law firms do pro bono?

Thanks
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
3,751
710
2,894
Sydney
"Pro-bono" is short for pro bono publico - for the public good.

Lawyers typically act pro bono publico by waiving some or all of their fees.
They typically do this because somewhere within the matter
there is a question that it is in the public interest to have addressed,
and that question is of sufficient importance that,
if affordability is the only impediment, then that impediment should be removed.

Now, while lawyers can (and do) reduce or waive their fees
as a matter of their own commercial choice for any number of reasons,
actual pro bono publico matters are not all that common.

Going only by what you have said above, missing facts missing,
and with all the unstated ifs, buts, maybes, exceptions and unless-es not allowed for,
you appear to be running a private matter.
It is not clear (at least, not to me) to what extent your private matter has within it
an aspect of the public interest?
 

Sally-Anne Fagin

Well-Known Member
18 September 2017
35
0
121
Oh ok. I took proceedings against a local hotel in the Land and Environment Court under S. 123 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act:, seeking an order that they cease playing live or amplified or recorded music in the outdoor open air beer garden of the hotel.

123 Restraint etc of breaches of this Act
(1) Any person may bring proceedings in the Court for an order to remedy or restrain a breach of this Act, whether or not any right of that person has been or may be infringed by or as a consequence of that breach.

The Development Consent for the construction and use of the beer garden was granted subject to the condition that they not play live or recorded or amplified music in the beer garden of the hotel.

So as the hotels breach of their Development Consent affects other residents as well as my self, and will affect new residents in the future, then it's not a private matter, it's a public interest matter, as I'm seeking to restrain the hotel from committing a public wrong.

The hotels main defence is they are arguing that the Development Consent for the construction and use of the beer garden has lapsed and therefore is not valid.
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
3,751
710
2,894
Sydney
I wonder if you are not doing this the hard way?
Have you considered making complaints of noise pollution to the EPA?

And no, your dispute as you currently frame it, is personal.
 

Sally-Anne Fagin

Well-Known Member
18 September 2017
35
0
121
It is not a personal dispute, but I couldn't be bothered at the moment digging up the relevant decisions saying that, as I have other things to do.

Well I have typed up my written submissions as required by the UCPR; the Rules say maximum of 20 pages, mine ran to 26 pages, and will file them tomorrow and post copies to the other side.

I think I put a winning argument and covered everything, I don't think I will bother with finding a pro-bono barrister now.
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
3,751
710
2,894
Sydney
I've just read the judgement in
Sally-Anne Maree Fagin v Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group Pty Limited [2017] NSWLEC 59,
which is published on the web.

I'm no expert, but if you can find grounds to successfully appeal that decision,
which do not include matters not previously raised, I will be most impressed.
(that's if you can be bothered, of course....)

Oh, and just to be clear - you are having a personal dispute.
This is you and them - there is no public interest question here.
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
16 February 2017
2,452
511
2,894
Gold Coast, Queensland
lawtap.com
I've also had a read of the judgment. I'm don't practise in NSW, and only have some experience in planning law, but I also don't see much prospect for you. I think there are sufficient surrounding factors to preclude an argument that the 2006 consent was acted upon.
 

Sally-Anne Fagin

Well-Known Member
18 September 2017
35
0
121
I've just read the judgement in
Sally-Anne Maree Fagin v Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group Pty Limited [2017] NSWLEC 59,
which is published on the web.

I'm no expert, but if you can find grounds to successfully appeal that decision,
which do not include matters not previously raised, I will be most impressed.
(that's if you can be bothered, of course....)

Oh, and just to be clear - you are having a personal dispute.
This is you and them - there is no public interest question here.

Waringah Shire Council v Sedevcic (1987) 10 NSWLR 335 at 346

"...the obvious intention of the Act is that, normally, those concerned in development and use of the environment will comply with the terms of the legislation".

"In exercising the discretion, it must be kept in mind that the restraint sought is not, in its nature, the enforcement of a private right, whether in equity or otherwise. It is the enforcement of a public duty imposed by or under an Act of Parliament, by which Parliament has expressed itself on the public interest which exists in the orderly development and use of the environment.."

That answer the question?
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
3,751
710
2,894
Sydney
No. And nor does it create a question of law
of such public interest as to justify being done pro bono.

Don't flatter yourself that you are on a public crusade.
In the end, this is your personal dispute with the pub owners.
 
Last edited: