Full Name: Hilary Bonney
Fax: 9225 6464
Mobile: 0430 111 540
Chambers: Owen Dixon Chambers East
Room: N/A
Called to the Bar: 23 May 1996
Qualifications: BA (Melb), LLB (Hons) (Melb), LLM (Monash)
Previous Occupation: Solicitor, Law Lecturer


Type of practice: I presently practice in the following areas: 

  • family law;
  • intervention orders at Magistrates' Court and County Court level (including appeals); 
  • crimes compensation hearings including appeals to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal against decisions of the Tribunal; 
  • coronial inquests;
  • guardianship and administration hearings;
  • anti-discrimination and equal opportunity hearings both at the state and federal level; 
  • unfair dismissals;
  • administrative law (merits review and judicial review) at the VCAT;
  • Children's Court both in the care and protection jurisdiction and the criminal law jurisdiction; and appeals from the Children's Court to the County Court;
  • criminal law - both prosecuting and defence pleas and appeals in the Magistrates' and County Court; 
  • prosecuting on behalf of government departments in the Magistrates' and County Court; 
  • intervening on behalf of Centres Against Sexual Assaults in criminal proceedings. 

Examples of recent cases include: 

  • acting for a complainant in a sexual harassment case against an employer in the Anti-discrimination List of the VCAT; 
  • acting for CASA in a rape trial as an intervener seeking to have the victim's counselling files suppressed; 
  • acting as junior counsel for the defence in the Supreme Court (in the first electronically lodged appeal) in an appeal against a sentence received for drug trafficking; 
  • acting in the Children's Court for two girls who were alleged to have been neglected by their mother.

Professional background:

  • Articles 1990, Freehill, Hollingdale and Page - litigation, industrial law and intellectual property sections
  • Solicitor, Freehill, Hollingdale and Page 1991-1992 - litigation section 
  • Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (Vic) 1992-1994 - County Court general prosecutions section 
  • Wisewoulds 1994-1995 - litigation section 
  • Lecturer, Melbourne University Law School 1995 - taught Criminal Law, Contracts and Evidence 
  • Reader Victorian Bar March 1996.  Mentor - Felicity Hampel QC.

Other professional experience:

  • Tutor in Criminal Law, Trinity College 1992 
  • Tutor in Legal Studies, Southern Cross University 1996 
  • Guest Instructor in Practical Legal Education Course, Leo Cussen Institute, 1999 and continuing.
  • Member of Feminist Lawyers (Convenor 1997) and Women Barristers' Association 
  • International Commission of Jurists (1990 -1993) 
  • Women' s Legal Resource Group (1990 -1993 ) 
  • Member of List Committee for Barristers' Clerk - Paul Holmes (1998,1999) 
  • Civil Locum Lawyer - Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service (2000)

Publications and seminar participation: 1999 - Author of Materials on Custodial Medicine for the Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Medicine, Monash University  1998 - Speaker on Crimes Compensation - then and now for Warrnambool Legal Centre Justice Forum 1998 - Speaker on Appeals to the County Court at the Legal Aid Commission of Victoria  1995 - Author of Creating Maximum Difficulties - section 10 of the Sentencing Act 1991 after Boucher 900 (1995) 69 Law Institute Journal 1995 - Author of Young Offenders: Some Sentencing Considerations 897 (1995) 69 Law Institute Journal 1990 - Editor Girls Own Legal Resource Magazine for Girls (Women's Legal Resource Group) (1990)

Areas of Practice

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

  • Mediation

Criminal Law

  • Appellate
  • Proceeds of Crime
  • Victims of Crime

Family Law

  • Care & Protection

Inquests, Inquiries, Tribunals & Commissions

Public Law & Administrative Law

  • Discrimination & Equal Opportunity
  • Judicial Review
  • Merits Review

Also Entitled to Practice in

  • Federal Court of Australia
  • High Court of Australia
  • Northern Territory

Committee Memberships

  • (Committee Member) Family Law Bar Association
  • (Member) International Advocacy Training Committee

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