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Local Attorney Mark Fulford Meets, Discusses AI Technology with Australian Bar Association VP

Local attorney and TCI Bar Council Member Mark A Fulford (left) is photographed with Australian Bar Association Vice President Dominic Toomey SC

Fulford who is in Australia on business, took the time to reach out to counterparts in various sectors as a means of forging new relationships that can prove to be equally beneficial to both Associations of their respective countries.

The meeting, which was general in nature, focused on the structure of the bar associations in both countries and their many similarities. Toomey SC is both the VP of the Federal National Bar, which is the Australian Bar Association, and VP of New South Whales (NSW) Bar Association, in providing an overview noted that their Bar Association has 3483 members, 2468 of whom hold a New South Wales barristers’ practising certificate. Among their non-practising members are 199 judges, 214 inter-state and overseas barristers, as well as 450 former barristers and Judicial Officers. The NSW Bar Association was established in 1936 and since its establishment has had 43 Presidents.

Similar to TCI, Toomey SC shared that The Bar Council is their governing body, comprised of 21 Barristers elected by the membership. The Bar Council leadership consists of a president, two vice-presidents, a treasurer, and the honorary secretary. Toomey SC shared that the NSWBA work is vast and is organized through a Secretariat and is assisted by specialist committees comprised of barrister-volunteers, who offer their skills and expertise for the benefit of the public and the profession.

Committees regularly advise and assist the Bar Council in matters of law reform and public affairs, including responding to matters of public policy and the administration of justice. This can involve providing expert commentary to ministers, members of parliament, government and parliamentary committees and law reform agencies.

Fulford shared the history of the TCI Bar Association and the number of members being just under 200 and even less than 100 for those practicing in the fused profession in TCI.

In terms of recent and ongoing developments, Fulford also shared the fact that the Bar Association is embarking on writing a new Legal Profession Ordinance and sought insight into areas that may be noteworthy to be included.

The pair of Council members discussed current technology with AI and the legal sector’s response. Fulford shared that TCI Council has not yet taken a position on AI but is very well aware of the disrupting technology of Artificial Intelligence.

Toomey SC shared that the NSWBA has published its views on the use of AI where it states that attorneys must ensure that the use of AI supplements, does not substitute, the barrister’s own legal skills and knowledge.



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