Areas of Practice

Dr Freckelton QC has a mixed trial, appellate and advisory practice at the Bar. He commenced practice in Victoria in 1988 and took silk in 2007.

His practice is based in Melbourne but Dr Freckelton has appeared in significant cases in all jurisdictions in Australia.

His principal areas of practice are:

Administrative Law

All areas of merits review of administrative decisions and appeals against first instance state and federal tribunal decisions. He has appeared in a wide array of administrative law cases, including a number of the major cases in relation to Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, and case involving allegations of discriminatory conduct. Dr Freckelton has frequently been briefed by the Victorian Government Solicitors Office and by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), the Victorian Institute of Teaching, the Department of Human Services and the Victorian Taxi Directorate.

Dr Freckelton has also appeared in judicial inquiries and Royal Commissions. In 2014 he was briefed in the Eastman judicial inquiry into the murder of Assistant Commissioner Winchester, conducted by Justice Martin in the ACT: see http://www.eastmaninquiry.org.au

He is the co-author of the Council of Australasian Tribunals (COAT), Practice Manual for Tribunals (2006). He is also a COAT Committee Member in Victoria.

Disciplinary Law

Health practitioner, veterinary, teaching, accounting, legal profession, local councillor, church and sporting disciplinary cases at trial and appellate level. Dr Freckelton has appeared for over a decade in many of Australia’s leading disciplinary cases in the health practitioner area and in other jurisdictions. He has also been a member of a number of investigative and disciplinary tribunals in the contexts of policing (Police Complaints Authority of Victoria), medical (Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria), psychology (Psychologists Registration Board of Victoria, and pro tem disciplinary committee in Tasmania), teaching (Disciplinary Appeals Board of Victoria), health professions (Investigation Review Panel of Victoria), foster carers (Suitability Panel of Victoria) and football (Northern Suburbs AFL Disciplinary Tribunal).

He has also written extensively about disciplinary law, and undertaken training for tribunal members. His major publications in the area include Regulating Health Practitioners (Federation Press, 2006) and (with Belinda Bennett) Regulation of Health Practitioners (Thomson Reuters, 2017, forthcoming).

Personal Injury Law

Trial and appellate cases. Dr Freckelton has appeared in many of Victoria’s best known appellate decisions in respect of transport accidents and workplace accidents for both plaintiffs and defendants. These have included Elsdon v Victorian WorkCover Authority [2012] VSC 347; Transport Accident Commission v Kutz [2011] VSC 236 (AMA Guides); Rekatsinas v Transport Accident Commission [2010] VCAT 967 (Charter) Serwylo v Transport Accident Commission [2010] VSC 421 (affirmed by Ct of App: [2011] VSCA 305) (AMA Guides); Transport Accident Commission v Elworthy [2007] VSC 48; McRitchie v Transport Accident Commission [2000] VSC 151; (2001) 17 VAR 347;  Bentley v Furlan [1999] 3 VR 63; Mobilio v Transport Accident Commission [1998] 3 VR 833; Transport Accident Commission v Lake (1997) 11 VAR 260; (1998) 1 VR 616; and Transport Accident Commission v Dennis (1997) 25 MVR 421; (1998) 1 VR 702.

He has also been briefed in many cases involving personal injuries, including in relation to injuries asserted to have been inflicted either by negligence or intentionally by participants in sports, health practitioners and members of the clergy. He has a particular experise in psychiatric injury (pure mental harm) litigation.

 

Health Law and Medical Negligence Law

Dr Freckelton has appeared in many significant cases at trial and appellate level in relation to health law generally and practitioner negligence and malpractice. He has appeared for both plaintiffs and defendants. Dr Freckelton has also been briefed in many cases involving medical practitioners’ candidacy to obtain fellowships with the learned colleges. He has also appeared in the leading end-of-life case Gardner; Re BWV [2003] VSC 173 and the special medical procedure case Re Jamie [2012] FCAFC .

 

Dr Freckelton is a member of Victoria’s Mental Health Tribunal and was formerly a long-time member of Victoria’s Mental Health Review Board and Psychosurgery Review Board. He has a particular interest and experience in mental health law.

 

In 2015 Dr Freckelton was the Commissioner at the Victorian Law Reform Commission who ran its reference on Medicinal Cannabis.

He is the editor of the Journal of Law and Medicine, and (with Kerry Petersen) the co-editor of  Tensions and Traumas in Health Law (Federation Press, 2017), Disputes and Dilemmas in Health Law (Federation Press, 2006) and Controversies in Health Law (Federation Press, 1999). He is also the Co-Director of the Masters of Health and Medical Law program at the University of Melbourne.

Guardianship and Administration

Dr Freckelton has been briefed in many sensitive guardianship and administration cases before the former Board in Victoria and before VCAT. Such matters have often had ramifications with other areas of actual and potential litigation.

Coronial Law

Dr Freckelton has appeared for 20 years in many leading cases at trial and on appeal in coroners’ courts. In Victoria these include many fatal police shooting cases, deaths in prisons, industrial deaths, hospital deaths and institutional deaths. Well known cases include the fatal police shooting inquests of the 1990s, the Kew Cottages Inquests, the Tyler Cassidy Inquest, the David Wilson backpacker Inquest, the Briscoe Inquest in the Northern Territory, and the Lindt Cafe Inquest in New South Wales.

He is also the author (with David Ranson) of Death Investigation and the Coroner’s Inquest (Oxford University Press, 2006, 2nd end, forthcoming 2017) and from 2010 has been a member of Victoria’s Coronial Council.

Criminal Law

Dr Freckelton is an experienced criminal lawyer at both trial and appellate level. He both prosecutes and defends and has appeared in a significant number of leading criminal law cases. As well as the ordinary fare of criminal law. He has undertaken many cases in the occupational health and safety area, as well as in relation to confiscation of profits.

He is the Editor of the 6 volume work, Victorian Criminal law, Investigation and Procedure (Thomson) and of the 4th, 5th (with D Andrewartha) and 6th (with Kerryn Cockroft)  of the leading practitioner book, Indictable Offences in Victoria. He also edits for Thomson Reuters its volumes on Laws of Australia volumes on Sentencing and Criminal Procedure.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Law

Dr Freckelton has appeared in many leading criminal injuries compensation cases, both at appellate tribunal and Supreme Court level, as well as against offenders under s85B of the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic).

He is also the author of the leading Australian text on the subject, Criminal Injuries Compensation Law, Practice and Policy (LBC Information Services, 2001).

Commercial Law

Dr Freckelton has undertaken many cases for both plaintiffs and defendants in the context of commercial and corporate disputation.

Family Law and Children’s Court Law

Dr Freckelton has appeared in a number of significant Family Court cases in relation to the best interests of children, including those with disabilities. Dr Freckelton has regularly been briefed in appellate matters relating to the protection of children, in particular by the Department of Human Services in Victoria.

Scholarly Misconduct

Dr Freckelton has been briefed in a number of cases involving allegations of scholarly impropriety, including alleged misconduct by students and staff at universities and involving disputes within academia and between academics. He is the author of  Scholarly Misconduct and the Law (Oxford UniversityPress, 2016).

 

Dr Freckelton’s Clerk can be contacted for bookings for cases: Ric Howells, Owen Dixon Chambers West, 525 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000; 03 92257666; Richowells@vicbar.com.au