Senior Counsel


Senior Counsel is a person who is admitted to practise as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory and who practises exclusively or substantially as counsel (Senior Counsel SC, previously described as Queen’s Counsel (QC).

The designation of a practitioner as Senior Counsel is intended to recognise those whose standing and achievements justify an expectation on the part of the public and the judiciary that they will provide outstanding services, as counsel, to the administration of justice.

Senior Counsel must be, and be seen by the judiciary and by their peers to be, deserving of such recognition.Qualities required to a high degree for appointment as Senior Counsel are learning and skill, integrity and independence, maturity and a sense of public responsibility.


In accordance with new Senior Counsel Protocol, adopted at the 2019 Annual General Meeting.

  1. Applications for appointment are to be made in writing to the President by junior counsel with a full unrestricted practising certificate who wish to be considered for appointment as Senior Counsel, during periods as notified from time to time by the President. Applications for appointment as Senior Counsel may also be accepted from Government Practising Certificate Holders issued by the ACT Bar Association. The appointment of Senior Counsel takes effect from the date of appointment, unless otherwise stated in the notice of appointment.
  2. All applications must be accompanied with an application fee as set by the council (payable to the ACT Bar Association).
  3. The process of selection is to be completed so that a public announcement of the successful applicant/s may be made by the first week of November or at a suitable date and at the discretion of the President.

You can download the protocol here.  The Guide to Practical Aspects can be found here.