Harman and Parliamentary privilege

Harman and Parliamentary privilege

The ACT Bar Association and ACT Law Society invite you to attend a joint CPD session on Harman and Parliamentary privilege with Tim Begbie KC.

This seminar will discuss two principles – the Harman obligation (or ‘implied undertaking’) and parliamentary privilege – to examine interesting, sometimes surprising, and often poorly understand aspects of these broad and important protections.

The Harman obligation operates in all court proceedings to protect the integrity of the courts’ processes. If overlooked it may result in a contempt of court. Yet the nature and status of the principle has been the subject of considerable debate and the limits of the principle have been shaped by a number of recent cases.

Parliamentary privilege does not simply protect parliamentarians from defamation action – it is a fundamental bulwark of the separation of powers. To ensure that courts do not intrude upon Parliament, it imposes very strict limits on the use of parliamentary information in court proceedings. If overlooked it may result in a contempt of Parliament. Yet it is regularly overlooked because parties and lawyers are often surprised to learn that it operates as an absolute prohibition on the use of parliamentary information that is widely and publicly known.  


Tim Begbie KC, Chief Counsel Dispute Resolution, AGS

As Chief Counsel, Tim is the professional leader of AGS’s national dispute resolution practice. He appears in significant public law cases for the Government. He has appeared in a number of leading cases in relation to privileges and immunities, civil regulation, and national security.



  • When: Monday 24 July 2023, 5.30-7pm
  • Where: Blackburn Chambers, level 12 of 1 Hobart Place, and on Zoom
  • Cost (inc. GST): $88 for in-person attendance, $44 for online attendance
  • Members will earn 1.5 CPD points in Core Area 4
  • Registrations close Tuesday 18 July 2023

Event registration terms and conditions

The Law Society is enforcing covid-safe measures as set out by ACT Health at all our face-to-face events. 

If you are a close contact of an active covid case, or feel unwell in the lead up to the event, we kindly ask you not to attend. 

In these circumstances, please advise us by email prior to the event start time and we will issue you a full refund. Contact us on casey.magnussen@actlawsociety.asn.au.

Fees are payable upon registration. 30 days payment invoices are available to members at the discretion of the Law Society. A 1.2% surcharge may be incurred on payments processed via credit/debit card. The Society reserves the right to cancel or alter events at its discretion, and in such circumstances, attendees will be notified via email. 

Definitions — 'Registration' means any booking given to the Society in writing, on our website, or by phone. 'Member' means any member of the ACT Law Society, including associate members and honorary members. 'New Lawyer' means any member who has held a practising certificate for five years or less. 'CLC' means any member working for a recognised community legal centre, or holding a volunteer practising certificate. 'Student' means any member holding a student membership.

All cancellations must be made in writing, and all cancellations will incur a fee, however, no charge will be incurred for substituting another person. Outside of the cancellation periods given below, a $10 administration fee will be incurred for any cancellation made. If a registered attendee fails to attend without notifying the Society in writing, no credit or refund will be offered and 100% of the total cost will be retained by the Society. 

CPD Events — In the case of CPD events held at an venue other than the Law Society, no refund can be made after the RSVP date of the event. In the case of CPD events held at the Law Society, for cancellations made within two working days of the event, 50% of the total cost will be retained by the Society as a cancellation fee and the balance may be used as a credit towards other CPD events or be refunded. If you choose to keep a credit it will remain valid for 12 months from the event date, after which time it will expire. 

Webinars — In the case of live or on-demand webinars, as connection details are sent when registration is completed, no refund or cancellation is available. 

Social events — In the case of social events, no refund can be made after the RSVP date of the event.




Single ticket (in person) $88.00(GST incl.) Register
Single ticket (online) $44.00(GST incl.) Register



Sponsors & Supporters

The Law Society is proud to recognise legalsuper as the sponsor of the Law Society CPD Program.

legalsuper is the industry super fund for Australia’s legal community. With personal service for every member, we can help you to maximise your super, consolidate accounts, adjust insurance or investments, plan for retirement and more. Contact Peter Nicholas on 0499 959 980, pnicholas@legalsuper.com.au or CSM Appointment Bookings to book your free appointment today – meetings can be conducted by phone or Zoom.