Celebrating 10 years of the Trial Counsel Development Program

Celebrating 10 years of the Trial Counsel Development Program

Tuesday, 11 May 2021
Victoria Legal Aid CEO Louise Glanville with some of the 2021 participants in the Trial Counsel Development Program
(L-R back row) Hugo Moodie, Felicity Fox, William Blake (L-R front row) Chris Edwards, Emma Strugnell, Victoria Legal Aid CEO Louise Glanville, Ashleigh Harrold, Julie Buxton

This week, we joined with colleagues from the Victorian Bar to celebrate 10 years of the Trial Counsel Development Program, and to acknowledge this year’s participants.

The program is designed to deliver on-the-job training and mentoring to selected Junior Counsel at the Victorian Bar by partnering them with senior trial advocates in criminal trials each year.

At this year’s program launch on Monday 10 May we were honoured to be joined by the Chief Magistrate, Her Honour, Lisa Hannan as well as other members of the judiciary and senior court staff.

This year’s participants are William Blake, Julie Buxton, Chris Edwards, Felicity Fox, Ashleigh Harrold, Kat Ljubcic, Carly Marcs, Hugo Moodie and Emma Strugnell.

The program gives junior counsel a chance to do meaningful trial work, advocacy and cross-examination training and provides access to realistic moots at the end of the program.

President of the Victorian Bar, Christopher Blanden QC, said the collaborative environment was crucial to give junior counsel practical experience in preparing for and conducting trials.

‘There’s no substitute for actually doing it. It’s all well and good to learn about trial work, but doing it is what makes you better at it and that’s why this is such a marvellous program,’ said Christopher.

Since the program began in 2011, five juniors have been appointed to the bench of the County and Magistrates’ Courts, four juniors have been appointed as senior public defenders and another two as crown prosecutors.

Our Chief Executive Officer, Louise Glanville noted the program’s success in contributing to greater diversity in the Victorian legal assistance sector, by creating opportunities for younger women to develop their advocacy careers.

‘It is hugely pleasing to see people who undertake this period of work and experience who are then able to go on and play another and different very significant role in the justice system,’ said Louise.

‘I really look forward to seeing how the intake of people this year goes and what they come to achieve over the next decade.’

Our Acting Chief Counsel, Julia Munster also thanked the many senior leaders involved in the program over its 10 years, noting their support was crucial to the program’s success and the development of participants’ careers.

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