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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:

Administrative and Public law

  • Briefed to appear on behalf of the Commissioner of NSW Police under the Crimes (Serious Crime Prevention Orders) Act 2016 (NSW) in Commissioner of Police v Bowtell [2018] NSWSC 520 (first ever matter brought under the legislation) and Commissioner of Police v Cole [2018] NSWSC 517, led by Mark Tedeschi AM QC (both applications were successful).
  • Briefed on behalf of the State of NSW in matters under the Terrorism (High Risk Offenders) Act 2017.
  • Briefed to advise and appear in appeals in the Supreme Court of Nauru against decisions of the Refugee Status Review Tribunal in Nauru, 2017-2018, (admitted in the Supreme Court of Nauru).
  • Briefed to advise and appear in Solomon Bauxite Ltd v Mereki & Ors, High Court of Solomon Islands (trespass, land rights) and Mereki v Director of the Environment and Conservation Division (merits review) in conjunction with EDO NSW, 2017-2018.
  • Briefed to appear on behalf of the Commissioner of NSW Police in McNamara v Fenner [2017] NSWSC 1746 (costs appeal).
  • Review of Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 on behalf of Justice Connect, Homeless Law, June 2015 with Ron Merkel QC and Daniel Aghion.
  • Burgess v Director of Housing & 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 (one of the first cases to apply direction 55).
  • 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, 2009-2015.
  • 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.
  • 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).

Inquests and Inquiries

  • Counsel for the Commissioner of Corrections NSW in the inquest into the death of Fenika Junior, 2018 (death in custody).
  • Counsel for ISS Health Services Pty Ltd in the inquest into the death of Alan Bugden (death in public toilet).
  • Counsel for a gastroenterologist in the inquest into the death of June Nutter (death following medical procedure).
  • Counsel Assisting in the inquest into the fire at Currandooley Station, 2018 (manner and cause).
  • Counsel Assisting in the inquest into the death of James Hunt, 2018 (manner and cause).
  • Counsel for the Commissioner of NSW Police and members of NSW Police Force, Inquest into the deaths arising from the Lindt Café siege, led by Ian Freckelton QC, 2015-2017 (red bag received from Freckelton QC).
  • Counsel for Voices of the Valley, instructed by Environmental Justice Australia, Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire Inquiry, 2015.
  • Counsel for Chief Commissioner of Police (Vic), Application pursuant to s77 of the Coroners Act 2008 to re-open the inquest into the death of Jennifer Tanner and associated costs application, August 2012-January 2013.
  • Counsel for Transport Safety Victoria, Inquest into the death of Kay Stanley, 23 August 2012 (railway collision).
  • Counsel for Chief Commissioner of Police (Vic) & Police members, Kerang Inquest, 2011-2012 (Emergency Response; railway collision).
  • Counsel Assisting the Coroner, Inquest into the death of Rachel Louise Incoll, November 2011 (learner driver issues).

Royal Commissions

  • Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, briefed on behalf of Baptcare, case study 24, March 2015.
  • Royal Commission into the Victorian Bushfires, junior counsel for the State of Victoria, 2009-2010, led by Neil Clelland QC and Kerri Judd QC.

Disciplinary tribunals

  • Briefed to appear in various matters on behalf of medical practitioners before the Professional Standards Committee, including, Dr Tien Yen Chee and Dr Mahbub Hasan.
  • 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), November-December 2014; April 2015.
  • Briefed by the Architects Registration Board (Vic) in a number of prosecutions under the Architects Act 1991, including Architects Registration Board of Victoria v Raffoul, 2013.
  • 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.

Commercial

  • Holz v 2 Bond St Nominees P/L & Ors, County Court of Victoria, (claims in negligence and contribution), 2013-2015.
  • Casey City Council v Frankston City Council and Ors, Supreme Court of Victoria, junior counsel for Frankston led by Fiona McLeod SC (claims in contract, contribution and negligence in respect of contaminated premises), 2012-2014 (red bag received from Fiona McLeod SC).
  • Regent Holdings v State of Victoria, junior counsel for the State of Victoria led by Michael Wheelahan QC (negligence class action), 2010-2012.

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.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation. 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 +61 3 9225 6777
Email christine.melis@vicbar.com.au


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

Practice Areas

Alternative Dispute Resolution
International Arbitration
Appellate
Civil Appeals
Criminal Appeals
Commercial Law
Competition Law & Consumer Law
Environmental Law & Planning Law
Merit Appeals
Planning Offences
Government
Local Government
Inquests, Inquiries, Tribunals & Commissions
Coronial Inquests
Royal Commissions
Public Law & Administrative Law
Constitutional Law
Disciplinary Proceedings
Human Rights Law
Judicial Review
Merits Review

ADMISSIONS

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

Qualifications

LLB (Hons), BA