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Lawyers chose the Queen

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  • Lawyers chose the Queen

    This week Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark announced that Victorian Senior Counsels will in future have the option to be appointed as Queen’s Counsel (QC) or Senior Counsel (SC). Mr. Clark followed a request to the Victorian Government from the Victorian Bar Council to give senior barristers the choice of being known as Senior Counsel (SCs) or Queen’s Counsel (QCs).

    Mr. Clark's predecessor, controversial Labour Attorney-General Rob Hulls ditched the QC title in favour of SC in 2010.

    Victoria's move follows Queensland's example, which restored the QC title in 2013, giving Senior Counsels the option to change their title to Queen's Counsel. Seventy of that state’s 73 senior counsels changed their title to QC in the wake of that announcement.

    As in Queensland, Victoria's current senior counsels will now have the option to retain the SC title or switch to QC. NSW, WA, SA and the ACT have so far retained the SC title. The Northern Territory was the only Australian jurisdiction not to dump QC.

    Queen Victoria would welcome the Victorian Attorney-General's decision to restore the Queen's Counsel.

    Victoria's move came three days before Her Majesty's 62nd anniversary as Queen of Australia. On 6th February 1952 her father, King George VI died in his sleep and his eldest daughter ascended to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II.