Beyond COVID-19: Where to next for tribunals?

The coronavirus pandemic has required all organisations to reassess how they operate. Tribunals are no exception, introducing a range of procedural and other changes in a short space of time to continue to deliver services. This session offers an opportunity to look beyond the immediate effects of the pandemic. Three tribunal leaders – Judge Gerard Phillips, Deputy President Malcolm Schyvens and Registrar Sian Leathem – will discuss what COVID-19 may mean for tribunals in the longer term.

Presenter biographies:

Judge Gerard Phillips

Judge Gerard Phillips was appointed President of the Workers Compensation Commission of NSW and a judge of the NSW District Court in January 2019. On 26 August 2020, he was appointed as inaugural President of the Personal Injury Commission of NSW which will be established on 1 March 2021. Prior to these appointments, Judge Phillips enjoyed over 30 years’ of legal experience as a solicitor. He was a partner at the global private law firm K&L Gates and was a board member between 2011 and 2017. He practiced extensively in every state in Australia and the United Kingdom across a range of criminal, civil, personal injury, industrial relations and employment matters. Judge Phillips is Vice Convenor of the NSW Chapter of the Council of Australasian Tribunals.

Malcolm Schyvens

Malcolm Schyvens was appointed a Deputy President of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Division Head for the Guardianship Division on 1 January 2014. He was appointed Deputy President of the NSW Guardianship Tribunal in October 2008 and was subsequently appointed President of that Tribunal in September 2011. Malcolm is a past president of the Law Society of Tasmania, having been in private practice in Hobart for 11 years. He was also a part-time member of the Tasmanian Guardianship and Administration Board and the Forensic Tribunal. Malcolm holds degrees in law and commerce. He is currently the Chair of the Australian Guardianship and Administration Council and National Secretary of the Council of Australasian Tribunals.

Sian Leathem

Sian Leathem was appointed Registrar and Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal in April 2015. She has over 15 years’ experience in tribunal management. She led the project team responsible for merging 22 tribunals into the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal and performed the role of Principal Registrar of that amalgamated tribunal. Prior to that, Sian was the Registrar of the Workers Compensation Commission of NSW for 5 years. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons), a Master of Arts (Merit) and an Executive Masters in Public Administration from the Australian and New Zealand School of Government.

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