Criminal Law Conference

Delve deep into the heart of the challenges of criminal law practice and uncover crucial knowledge and skill. You’ll explore the latest reforms to the Victorian Bail Acts, delve into regulatory criminal offences, sexual offences and youth justice issues. But the day doesn't end there; explore advocacy and trial preparation to mastering the skill of international criminal cases and addressing ethical dilemmas of criminal law practice. 243V13

Friday, 15 March 2024
9.00am to 1.15pm  Session 1: Critical Updates for Criminal Lawyers

Chair: Paul Galbally, Partner, Galbally O’Bryan, Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law; Leading Criminal Defence Lawyer, Doyle’s Guide 2023

9.05am to 9.50am Victorian Bail Amendments: An Overview
  • Proposed amendments to threshold categories
  • Abolition of Bail offences from Schedule I and amendment to double uplift provisions
  • Introduction of new Schedule III
  • Prohibition on remand for some sumary offences
  • Changes to bail considerations for children
  • Do these amendments go far enough?

Presented by Melinda Walker, Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law

11.35am to 12.20pm Preparation and More Preparation: Nine Tenths Perspiration One Tenth Inspiration?
  • Examination, cross-examination and re-examination in criminal trials
  • Cross-examination of expert witnesses
  • Cross-examination re prior inconsistent statements

Presented by Amit Malik, Barrister, Gorman Chambers

12.20pm to 1.05pm Criminal Practice in Youth Justice

Unpack the elements of criminal practice that are unique to the Children’s Court:

  • The presumption of doli incapax: DPP v PM [2023] VSC 560
  • How the Criminal Division and Family Divisions of the Children’s Court intersect when therapeutic treatment orders are made
  • Managing indictable matters and making an application for summary jurisdiction in the Children’s Court

Presented by Briana Proud, Barrister, Parnell’s Barristers

Professional Skills
4.15pm to 5.15pm How to Handle the International Issues in Criminal Law Practice

Learn how to effectively represent your clients and maneuver through complex jurisdictional issues.

  • Mastering International Criminal Cases in Australia: A Practical Guide

As a criminal lawyer, international cases can pose unique challenges. Explore the practical know-how, indispensable legal strategies, and current insights needed to adeptly handle International Criminal Court (ICC) and Universal Jurisdiction cases in Australia.

  • Identifying trafficked persons who commit crime

Presented by Dr. Felicity Gerry KC, Crockett Chambers; Recommended Criminal Law Senior Counsel, Doyle’s Guide 2023

9.50am to 10.35am Preparing A Sexual Offence Case with Trial Jury Directions in Mind
  • Information to pursue
  • Pre trial application to consider
  • The prospect of a defence case

Presented by Tanya Skvortsova, Barrister, Stawell Chambers

10.50am to 11.35am Prosecuting and Defending Regulatory Criminal Offences

Examine practical and legal issues which regularly arise for prosecutors and defence lawyers prosecuting individuals and corporate bodies for regulatory offences.

  • Review key substantive and procedural legislative provisions relevant to conduct of regulatory prosecutions
  • Gain practical suggestions and examples for appearing in regulatory criminal proceedings
  • Consider recent, illustrative case examples

Presented by Nicole Spicer, Lead Counsel, Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office

Session 2: Ethics, Professional Skills & Practice Management for Criminal Lawyers

Chair: Andrew Waters, Senior Public Defender, Victoria Legal Aid

Practice Management & Business Skills
2.00pm to 3.00pm Dealing with Difficult Clients
  • Handling abusive and threatening clients
  • Is it appropriate to withdraw at a late stage?

Presented by Emma Turnbull, Director, Emma Turnbull Lawyers; Accredited Criminal Law Specialist

Ethics & Professional Responsibility
3.00pm to 4.00pm Handling Ethical Issues, Stress and Trauma when Practicing Criminal Law
  • What not to do when practising in the criminal jurisdiction
  • How to deal with an ethical complaint

Nicole Spicer, Managing Principal Solicitor, Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office
Andrew Waters, Senior Public Defender, Victoria Legal Aid
Dr. Felicity Gerry KC, Crockett Chambers
Paul Galbally, Partner, Galbally O’Bryan
Melinda Walker, Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law


Attend and earn 7 CPD units including:
4 units in Substantive Law
1 unit in Ethics & Professional Responsibility
1 unit in Practice Management & Business Skills
1 unit in Professional Skills

This program is based on VIC legislation

9.00am to 9.05am Opening Comments by the Chair
Morning Tea
4.00pm to 4.15pm Afternoon Tea
1.05pm to 1.15pm Questions and Closing Comments by the Chair


Nicole Spicer, Lead Counsel , Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office
Nicole is Lead Counsel in the Inquiries, Prosecutions and Administrative Law branch at the Victorian Government Solicitors Office (VGSO) . She is currently involved in advising the State of Victoria in connection with its responses to the Yoorrook Justice Commission and the Defence and Veteran Suicide Royal Commission. She has previously worked over an extended period of time in the field of criminal and quasi-criminal litigation. Prior to moving to the VGSO she was a supervising lawyer and mentor at Stary Norton Halphen Lawyers. She has been an LIV accredited specialist in criminal law since 2002, a past co-chair of the Criminal Law Section,

Mr. Amit Malik, Barrister,
Amit has significant experience as a trial advocate, encompassing all aspects of criminal law. He has also appeared as an appellate advocate in the Court of Appeal in New Zealand and Amit began his career as a solicitor with the Western Aboriginal Legal Service based in Dubbo, NSW (2001-2002) and has previously worked as a Barrister (2007-2012) and Public Defender (2012-2014) in New Zealand before joining Victoria Legal Aid as an in-house advocate in 2014.

Ms Emma Turnbull, Principal,
Emma Turnbull is a Director and founding partner of Emma Turnbull Lawyers Pty Ltd. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and a Master of Laws (LLM) from Monash University. Emma is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist with the Law Institute of Victoria having passed the examinations in 2014. Emma has dedicated her legal career to being a defence lawyer. A passionate and forceful advocate, Emma appears regularly in all courts across the Victorian criminal law jurisdiction. This includes appearing as Counsel and instructing solicitor in Supreme and County Court trials, mental impairment trials, County Court and Magistrates’ Court plea hearings and bail applications. Emma’s team of lawyers are in Court every day of the week and the office runs one of the largest practices of indictable crime and jury trials in Victoria. The firm is the largest criminal law firm headed by a female in Victoria. She is an industry leader and a forceful advocate for change and development of criminal law practice. Emma has been acknowledged year after year as a leading criminal defence lawyer in Doyle’s Annual Guide (as has the firm), has won ACQ Partner of the Year and is a current Finalist in the Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards. Emma continues to undertake professional development to refine her skills as an advocate and firm Director. During her time as an employee at some of Victoria’s largest criminal law firms, Emma had the opportunity to obtain experience, skills and knowledge that has enabled the firm to develop into the success that it is today. As a result of her consistently thorough preparation and commitment to achieve the best possible outcomes, Emma has established a large and loyal client base. She maintains an excellent network of experienced and highly regarded barristers and other forensic professionals who assist in the preparation of cases for court. Emma is admitted in the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia. Emma maintains membership with the Law Institute of Victoria, is a former member of their Criminal Law Executive and current member of the General Criminal Law Committee. During her Masters of Law studies, she was a student representative on two academic committees at Monash University. Emma has completed postgraduate study and major research in Advanced Evidence, Sentencing, Corporate and White Collar Crime, Cybercrime, Terrorism and Children’s Laws. She is committed to ongoing professional development and this is evidenced by her excellent academic results.

Ms. Felicity Gerry KC, Barrister, Crockett Chambers
Labelled “The International Dynamo”, Felicity has been recognised for her work across jurisdictions on career defining cases including in the UK Supreme Court on #jointenterprise law, the Australian High Court on rights to second appeal, a due diligence memorandum on investment listing on SGX for Justice for Myanmar, which led to the $82m divestment of the Golden City scheme and for her role in saving a trafficked woman from death row in Indonesia. She is leading the legal petition for Christine Keeler to receive a posthumous pardon after the fallout of one of Britain’s biggest ever political scandal, The Profumo Affair, in the 1960s. Her successful petition for mercy for Zak Grieve, a young Indigenous man in Australia, has been described as “rock star lawyering”. She was admitted in the International Criminal Court (ICC) & Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in The Hague, in England & Wales and Australia (Victoria & High Court Roll) and has had ad hoc admission in Hong Kong and Gibraltar. Felicity is currently defending at the ICC on the Al Hassan team and has led for the defence in major terrorism and homicide trials. Felicity holds a PhD on human trafficking and is regularly called upon to handle complex and sensitive matters at trial and on appeal. She has appeared on all major news channels and is an expert on issues relating to women and law, technology and law and reform of justice systems.

Ms Melinda Walker, Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law
Melinda was admitted to practice in 2000, commenced sole practice in 2003 and has conducted her practice coming on 21 years. She attained Accredited Criminal Law Specialisation in 2014 and was Co-Chair of the Executive Committee for the Criminal Law Section of the Law Institute of Victoria (“LIV”) 2017-2021. In 2017 Melinda was appointed the Chair of the Bail Reform Committee on behalf of the Law Institute of Victoria to make submissions to the Honourable Justice Coghlan who presided over the Bail review. She was also LIV representative at the Bail Reform Project, Criminal Justice Strategy & Coordination – Bail Reform Implementation Working Group convened by the Department of Justice & Regulation 2017-2018 to identify priorities for the development of the “Coghlan Recommendations” and consider proposals for action and appeared before the Coroners Court inquest into the death of Veronica Nelson as a member of expert panel on bail law. Melinda has extensive experience and knowledge of all jurisdictions and have appeared as counsel and instructor in all courts. I have represented many Indigenous clients and appeared in Koori Court both in the Magistrates’ Court and County Court jurisdictions. She has now been involved in the services of Law for close to 30 years in various capacities. This includes paid and volunteer work. Melinda is an active participant in law reform in the areas of bail, family violence, sentencing, youth, policy and procedure.

Mr. Philip Dunn KC, Barrister,
Philip Dunn QC has 40 years experience as a criminal barrister. He has appeared in many of Australia's most significant cases and inquiries. His clients have included John Elliot, Brian Quinn, Gary Ablett, Peter Walker, Maritza Wales-King, James Ramage, Alan Bond, Carmen Lawrence, Warren Anderson, John Kizon, WA Gypsy Jokers, WA Coffin Cheaters and Laree Jane. Philip has served as a member of the Bar Council for 10 years and has served on its executive committee and ethics and advocacy training committee. Philip is the Chairman of Foley's List and member of the Bar Association's Equality and Diversity Committee.,

Ms Tanya Skvortsova, Barrister,
Tanya Skvortsova is a trial advocate who came to the Bar in 2018. She most frequently appears for individuals accused of sexual misconduct in the criminal jurisdiction, in disciplinary matters and in civil proceedings. Prior to coming to the Bar Tanya worked for various prosecutorial agencies and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. She holds a Master of Science (Criminal Justice) from the University of Alabama, with a specialist focus on sexual offending.

Ms Briana Proud, Barrister,
Briana accepts briefs in criminal law and quasi-criminal law matters. Before coming to the Bar, Briana had over 10 years’ experience across the criminal justice system. Briana was a criminal lawyer at Victoria Legal Aid with a particular focus on representing children and young people. She appeared regularly as a solicitor advocate in summary and indictable proceedings in the Magistrates’, Children’s and County Courts as well as in matters before the Family Division of the Children’s Court. For the last three years, Briana was the Criminal Division Senior Legal Registrar at the Supreme Court of Victoria. In this role she was responsible for the allocation and legal case management of all applications made in the Criminal Division. This included bail applications, post-sentence applications and reviews under the CMIA and serious offender legislation, public interest immunity proceedings and other covert applications such as those under the Major Crimes (Investigative Powers) Act and the Surveillance Devices Act. As the Senior Legal Registrar, Briana also led the Division’s operational, policy and reform work as well as managing the legal and administrative functions of the Criminal Registry. Briana was senior associate to the Honourable Justice Hollingworth in the Criminal Division of the Supreme Court of Victoria, and also worked a senior policy officer at the Victorian Law Reform Commission. Briana is reading with Sarah Keating and her senior mentor is Sally Flynn KC.

Mr. Andrew Waters, Senior Public Defender, Victoria Legal Aid
Admitted to the legal profession:1996. Signed Victorian Bar Roll: 2001. Andrew is an experienced criminal advocate, who is committed to delivering high quality and compassionate representation to all legally aided clients. Prior to joining Chambers in January 2021, Andrew had over 19 years' experience at the Victorian Bar appearing in all manner of criminal hearings including complex County Court and Supreme Court trials and appeals. Andrew also has extensive experience in the Children's Court (Criminal Division) and continues to appear in serious indictable matters for children both in the Children's and higher courts. Andrew is available to be briefed in County Court trials and pleas, Supreme Court trials and pleas, Court of Appeal matters, breach proceedings, committals, Complex Children's, Court matters County, Court and Supreme Court, bail applications advice matters. Qualifications, memberships and accreditations: Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (Hons), Bachelor of Arts (Criminology) (Hons) member of Criminal Bar Association, member of Children's Court Bar Association.


Criminal Law Conference


All Sessions
Friday, 15 March 2024
9.00am to 5.15pm Australia/Sydney
CPD Points 7
Face to Face 20240624 20240315

Face to Face

Online 20240624 20240315


On Demand 20240624 20240315

On Demand

Morning Session
Friday, 15 March 2024
9.00am to 1.15pm Australia/Sydney
CPD Points 4
Face to Face 20240624 20240315

Face to Face

Online 20240624 20240315


On Demand 20240624 20240315

On Demand

Afternoon Session
Friday, 15 March 2024
2.00pm to 5.15pm Australia/Sydney
CPD Points 3
Face to Face 20240624 20240315

Face to Face

Online 20240624 20240315


On Demand 20240624 20240315

On Demand

InterContinental Melbourne

495 Collins Street, Melbourne 


Nearest Public Transport:

  • By train: Southern Cross Station (5-minute walk)
  • By subway: Southern Cross Station (5-minute walk)
  • By Tram: Trams on routes 12, 109, 11 and 48 all pass the hotel along Collins Street, get off at the William Street stop (3-minute walk). The hotel is located within the free tram zone which means travel within the CBD on the tram is free.
Parking Information

Valet Parking is only available for Resident Guests.

Nearby Parking: 
Wilson Parking - View locations and rates here