Coming to the Bar

Reading Program

Reading with a tutor

The period of reading starts when the practising certificate with reader conditions is issued, and continues for a minimum of 12 months. Often referred to as the reading year. During that time, the reader remains under the supervision of at least one experienced barrister, who is called a tutor.

DEFINITIONS

1. In these Rules for the Reading Program, unless the context requires otherwise:

Bar council has the meaning in the Legal Profession Act 2006.
Bar Exams means the examinations required by the NSW Bar Association to be passed prior to a person undertaking the NSW Bar Practice Course. Note: Those exams cover ethics (currently called “Legal Ethics for Barristers”), rules of evidence (currently called “Aspects of Evidence”), and procedure (currently called “Practice and Procedure for Barristers”) or such other names as may be given to those exams from time to time.
Civil Reading means 10 days undertaken by the Reader in which the Reader participates with a Tutor, or barrister approved by the Tutor, in the following:
(a) not less than five (5) days in final hearings;
(b) not more than three (3) days for opposed interlocutory matters, including applications for leave to appeal;
(c) not more than three (3) days before a Tribunal, Arbitrator or an Inquiry (including a Coronial Inquiry);
(d) not more than three (3) days for the hearing of appeals;
(e) not more than three (3) days for preparation towards a final hearing that proceeds to a final hearing;
(f) not more than one (1) day participating in a mediation, as long as the mediation lasts for more than 3 hours.
CPD means Continuing Professional Development and includes any educational courses provided by a Law Society or Bar Association and may be provided under the name of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) or such similar title.
Criminal Reading means 10 days undertaken by the Reader in which the Reader participates with a Tutor, or barrister approved by the Tutor in the following:
(a) not less than five (5) days in criminal trials;
(b) not more than three (3) days in committal proceedings;
(c) not more than three (3) days reading on either hearing of appeals or applications for (special) leave to appeal;
(d) not more than three (3) days for preparation of criminal trials, such days only counting if the matter proceeds to trial;
(e) any day set aside for trial, a committal or an appellate hearing which does not proceed or lasts less than two (2) hours does not count towards a day of criminal reading.
Licensing body means the entity authorised by the Legal Profession Act 2006 to issue a barrister’s practising certificate.
NSW Bar Practice Course means the course approved by the NSW Bar Association for readers in New South Wales.Note: Details of the NSW Bar Association Reading Program are available through the NSW Bar Association (www.nswbar.asn.au)
Reading Period means the period defined in the Rules
Rule means a rule of the ACT Bar Association Rules.
Tutor means a barrister approved by the bar council to supervise and teach a reader the skills to engage in legal practice as a barrister.

ACT Bar Reading Program ACT Bar Reading Program (294 KB)