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Christine
Melis

Christine practises in commercial and administrative law including inquests and inquiries. She has experience at both State and Federal levels in matters led and unled.

Immediately prior to joining the Bar Christine was the Associate to the Honourable Justice Cavanough of the Supreme Court of Victoria between 2006 and 2008. Before that she was a lawyer with Minter Ellison Lawyers where she practised in administrative and employment law.

She is a trained Advocacy Instructor with the Australian Advocacy Institute and a Sessional Lecturer in Trial Practice and Advocacy in the Faculty of Law at Monash University. She has taught advocacy in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. She led the inaugural Empowering Women in the Law in PNG program in July 2015 and continues to oversee the program.

Christine is also a member of Third Floor St James' Hall Chambers in Sydney.

Examples of some of the matters in which Christine has been briefed to advise and appear include:

Royal Commissions

Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, case study 24, on behalf of Baptcare

Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission for the State of Victoria, led by Neil Clelland QC and Kerri Judd QC

Inquests and Inquiries

Inquest into the deaths arising from the Lindt Café siege, for Commissioner of NSW Police and members of NSW Police Force, led by Ian Freckelton QC

Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire Inquiry, for Voices of the Valley, instructed by Environmental Justice Australia

Application pursuant to s77 of the Coroners Act 2008 to re-open the inquest into the death of Jennifer Tanner and associated costs application, for Chief Commissioner of Police

Inquest into the death of Kay Stanley, for Transport Safety Victoria (railway collision)

Kerang Inquest, counsel for Chief Commissioner of Police and Police members (emergency Response; railway collision)

Counsel Assisting the Coroner, Inquest into the death of Rachel Louise Incoll(learner driver issues)

Christine has a working knowledge of the Ombudsman Act and Protected Disclosure Act having been briefed to advise and appear in various matters under this legislation

Commercial

Casey v Frankston and Ors, for Frankston City Council led by Fiona McLeod SC (claims in contract, contribution and negligence in respect of contaminated premises);

Regent v State of Victoria (abalone virus outbreak; negligence claim; class action), for the State of Victoria, led by Michael Wheelahan SC

Holz v 2 Bond St Nominees and Ors, on behalf of one of three defendants, claims in negligence and contribution.

Administrative and Public Law

Counsel appointed to the panel to advise and appear in appeals against the Refugee Status Review Tribunal in Nauru

Review of Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 on behalf of Justice Connect, Homeless Law, with Ron Merkel QC and Daniel Aghion

Burgess v Director of Housing and Anor [2014] VSC 648; [2015] VSC 70, counsel for the successful plaintiff with Daniel Aghion (judicial review and application of Charter)

Briefed to appear in the AAT, Federal Magistrates’ Court and Federal Court of Australia in a variety of migration matters, including:

VWLL and Minister for Immigration and Citizenship [2012] AATA 858 (cancellation of visa due to substantial criminal record; one of the first cases to apply direction 55)

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v JSFD [2010] FCA 569, for the respondent led by Greg Hughan (visa cancellation, s 501(2) of Migration Act)

Kamal and Minister for Immigration and Citizenship [2009] AATA 555, Counsel for the applicant (cancellation of visa due to substantial criminal record)

Briefed to appear on behalf of the Attorney-General in reviews and applications in the Supreme Court and County Court of Victoria under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997

Briefed to appear on behalf of Victorian Police in judicial review matters and appeals, including Zigouris v Magistrates' Court of Victoria at Sunshine [2012] VSC 183 and on appeal

Briefed to appear on behalf of the State Coroner in Helmer v State Coroner of Victoria [2011] VSC 25 (statutory interpretation; transitional provisions of Coroners Act 2008)

Castles v Secretary to the Department of Justice [2010] VSC 181, counsel for VEOHRC (application of Human Rights Charter)

Christine regularly advises on matters of statutory interpretation. Examples of some reported decisions include:

Helmer v State Coroner of Victoria [2011] VSC 25, counsel for the Coroner of Victoria (transitional provisions in Coroners Act 1985)

Tucker v Patrick Stevedores No. 2 Pty Ltd, Magistrates' Court of Victoria, 17 December 2010, led by R. Gorton QC (interpretation of s114E of Accident Compensation Act)

Disciplinary Proceedings and Merits Review

In the matter of HCCC and Dr Julie Epstein in the Medical Tribunal of NSW, led by Philip Greenwood SC (allegations of professional misconduct; off label use of restricted substances);Health Care Complaints Commission v Epstein [2015] NSWCATOD 21; Health Care Complaints Commission v Epstein (No 2) [2015] NSWCATOD 36


Briefed by the Architects Registration Board of Victoria in a number of prosecutions under the Architects Act 1991

Briefed to appear on behalf of Department of Environment and Primary Industries before the Licensing and Appeals Tribunal of Victoria in a number of fishery related matters, Leeworthy v LAT, 2014; Bowerman v LAT, 2013; Graham v LAT, 2013

Architects Registration Board of Victoria v R - counsel assisting the ARBV, 2013

 

Christine is a LLB (Hons)/BA (Major in Politics) graduate of Monash University (2003).

Christine teaches advocacy at professional workshops and in the Victorian Bar  and NSW Readers Course. She participated in the ABA Advanced Trial Advocacy Course in January 2014.

She was Vice President of Australian Women Lawyers between August 2011 and August 2012. She was the Convenor of Victorian Women Lawyers Inc. between November 2007 and November 2008 and also a nominee of the Women Lawyers Achievement Awards Victoria in 2012. In 2012 she participated in the ANZPAA NIFS expert evidence workshop.

Click here to view Christine's CV.

The information referred to above has been supplied by the barrister concerned. Neither Victorian Bar Inc nor the barrister's clerk have independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the information and neither accepts any responsibility in that regard.

Contact

PH +61 3 9225 6777
Email christine.melis@vicbar.com.au


Owen Dixon Chambers West
Ground Floor, 525 Lonsdale St
Melbourne Victoria 3000

Practice Areas

Appellate
Criminal Appeals
Civil Appeals
Commercial
Appellate
Competition
International Commercial Arbitration
Environment and Planning
Environmental and Planning Offences
Local Government
Merit Appeals
Appellate
Inquests/Inquiries
Coronial Inquests
Commissions and other inquiries
International Law
Public/Administrative
Merits Review
Judicial Review and administrative law
Disciplinary Proceedings
Constitutional Law
Civil and Human Rights
Appellate

ADMISSIONS

Admitted to the Legal Profession:
26 Apr 2005
Signed Victorian Bar Roll:
20 Nov 2008

Qualifications

LLB (Hons), BA

Also Entitled to Practise in

Australian Capital Territory
Federal Court of Australia
High Court of Australia
New South Wales
Queensland
South Australia
Tasmania
Western Australia