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Is Queens Counsel the Same as Senior Counsel?


Chief Justice Chris Kourakis

Once QC but now SC: Chief Justice Chris Kourakis. ABC photo

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a view that SC is inferior to QC” – Rocco Perotta, Law Society SA.  Full article ABC 4 Sept 2015

Since 2008 all new appointments  in South Australia have been known as Senior Counsel. The Attorney-General, the Honourable John Rau MP has indicated that there is sense in having a national legal framework which was clear to legal consumers.  Consultation is occurring with lawyers and the Law Society of SA.

The Law Society of SA has outlined the process in the recent issue of in brief, Issue 37 dated 1 October 2015 as follows.

‘The process in Victoria is that after the Chief Justice appoints Senior Counsel, the applicant may seek to be appointed as Queens Counsel by making an application to the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General then conveys this to the Governor who issues the letters patent. Those existing and future Senior Counsel who wish to continue to use the SC title are able to do so.

In the contrast, the process in SA is for the Chief Justice to appoint Senior Counsel pursuant to Supreme Court Civil Supplementary Rule 331. The appointment is published in the South Australian Government Gazette.’

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