Saul Holt QC
Saul Holt QC took silk in 2012. He holds a Masters Degree in Public Law. Until recently Saul was Chief Counsel at Victoria Legal Aid and he remains a Victorian Law Reform Commissioner.
Saul now lives in Brisbane and practices in both Victoria and Queensland.
Saul is available to be briefed for advice or appearance work, particularly in appellate, public law, criminal law and medical law cases. He also has a strong interest in human rights and public interest law.
Qualifications and Appointments
Victorian Law Reform Commissioner
Senior Counsel (Victoria)
Chief Counsel – Victoria Legal Aid
Accredited Specialist (Criminal Law) (Law Institute of Victoria)
Accredited Advocacy Trainer (Australian Advocacy Institute)
Admitted as a Legal Practitioner of the Supreme Court of Queensland
LLM (Public Law) (Hons) (Auckland)
Senior Crown Counsel (NZ)
Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
As Chief Counsel at Victoria Legal Aid Saul appeared in some of Victoria’s most significant recent administrative law/human rights and criminal cases. He appeared or advised regularly in the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, County Court, Coroners Court, Federal Court, High Court and administrative tribunals.
Before moving to Melbourne in 2007 Saul was a Senior Associate at Mcdonells Law in Townsville where he practiced in commercial litigation and defended major regulatory prosecutions.
For 9 years before moving to Australia Saul was Crown Counsel in New Zealand. As well as appearing as prosecuting counsel in approximately 200 jury trials, he appeared and advised on complex regulatory prosecutions for government agencies, public law proceedings for the Attorney General and appeared for the Crown in the Court of Appeal.
Saul has a strong background in medical law. He has advised and appeared in cases involving substituted decision-making including in the parens patriae jurisdiction. He has published on legal issues in assisted reproductive technology and he sat for 5 years as a legal member on the Royal Children’s Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee in Melbourne.
Saul was contracted to the Victorian Department of Justice between 2008 and 2009 where he was responsible for the Trials and Appeals Chapters of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009.
Fees are by negotiation. Saul will consider appearing pro bono in appropriate cases.
Saul appears in Brisbane or Melbourne on local basis i.e. without additional costs for travel or accommodation. All other locations attract travel and accommodation costs.
Notable Recent Cases
Victorian Toll & Anor v Taha and Anor  VSCA 37
Court of Appeal –Appeal against order in the nature of certiorari – construction of the Infringements Act to protect the rights of people with intellectual disabilities – application of Charter of Human Rights and the principle of legality.
DFJ v Secretary to the Department of Justice  VSCA 177
Court of Appeal –Appeal against VCAT decision – question of law – construction of “exceptional circumstances” provisions for the refusal of a Working with Children Check.
Slaveski v Smith & Anor  VSCA 25
Court of Appeal – Case Stated (Charter of Human Rights) – existence of an enforceable right of access to legal aid in criminal appeals
R v Bayley  VSCA 295
Court of Appeal – appeal against sentence for murder – construction of Sentencing Act.
MK v Victoria Legal Aid  VSC 49
Supreme Court of Victoria – Application for order requiring legal aid funding for instructors in criminal trials
R v Chaouk  VSCA 99
Court of Appeal – interlocutory appeal by the DPP against stay of trial on the grounds of limitation on funding for solicitors at trial.
A & B v Children's Court of Victoria & Ors  VSC 589
Supreme Court of Victoria – Application for Judicial Review of Children’s Court order that children be represented on a ‘best interests’ rather than ‘direct instructions’ basis.
Payara v CDPP  VSCA 266
Court of Appeal – Case Stated in people smuggling prosecution on the question of whether asylum seekers have a ‘lawful right to come to Australia’ (Judgment as to Costs following retrospective legislation)
Selected Publications and Presentations
Fertility Society of Australia 2013 Annual Conference, “Post-mortem Sperm Retrieval – the legalities” (Sydney 1 – 4 September 2013)
Australian Institute of Administrative Law Annual Conference, “The automation of criminal justice” (Canberra 18-19 July 2013).
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, “Postmortem Sperm Retrieval in Australasia” (August 2012).
'Issues and Challenges for Judicial Administration', “Life after Deitrich: Legal Defence and Legal Aid” (Sydney 8-9 September 2011).
AIJA – Criminal Justice in Australia and New Zealand - 'Issues and Challenges for Judicial Administration', “the forensic implications of jury research” (Sydney 8-9 September 2011).
Australasian Human Rights and Policing Conference, “Reverse onus provisions in human rights litigation” (Melbourne 8-10 December 2008).
Journal of Law and Medicine, “Medico-legal secrecy in New Zealand” (2008) 15 JLM 602.
NZ Post-Graduate Law E-Journal (Issue 4, 2006), “Television Coverage of Election Campaigns: Do Broadcasters have Public Law Obligations?”
NZ Post-Graduate Law E-Journal (Issue 3, 2006), “Appellate Sentencing Guidance in New Zealand”.
P 07 3369 5907
M 0437 834 441
F 07 3369 7098
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation