Public Defenders

The Bar Book Project​

The Bar Book Project has developed the below chapters of research relating to experiences of disadvantage and deprivation. The purpose of this resource, for practitioners, is to assist in the preparation and presentation of evidence to establish the application of the Bugmy principles.

​Index of Chapters

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum 
Disorders (FASD)

​Exposure to Domestic 
and Family Violence

Incarceration of
Parents and Caregivers


​Out-of-Home Care

Childhood Sexual Abuse

Early Exposure to Alcohol
and Other Drug Abuse

​Interrupted School Attendance 
and Suspension

Acquired Brain 

Stolen Generations and


Child Abuse and Neglect 

​Grief and Loss 

Cultural Dispossession 

Social Exclusion 

Refugee Background


Guidance on how the chapters may be used and presented can be found in the following papers:  

Click here to view other relevant speeches and papers >>

A Note for Practitioners

The research extracted in the chapters has been drawn from major reports and leading research. Each chapter has been reviewed by a committee of senior lawyers and academics, and has also been reviewed by an expert in the field to ensure the research is reliable, credible and reflects the general body of research available for the topic. 

Not all of the research which is contained in the chapters may be relevant to your client. We suggest that it would be helpful for the presentation of your case to identify to the court the paragraphs of the chapter which are relevant to your case. There may also be further research available which is not included in the chapter and is relevant to your client’s particular experience or condition.  

Most of the chapters include extracts from the research relating to treatment and healing. The research contained in relation to treatment and healing does not attempt to prescribe or recommend what is required for any individual. This will of course be determined by factors such as the individual’s personal experience or condition, the advice of any relevant experts, health providers or other support persons and the availability of treatment and opportunities to recover and heal. 


The Bar Book is produced by the Bar Book Project Committee in consultation with experts in each area of research and under the guidance of a multi-disciplinary, independent advisory panel.

The Committee is comprised of representatives from the Public Defenders, the private profession, the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT), Legal Aid NSW, the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, Just Reinvest NSW, Shopfront Youth Legal Centre, and academics, law graduates and students from the University of New South Wales, the University of Technology Sydney, the University of Sydney and the Australian National University.

Click here for a full list of contributors to the project.

Enquiries and Feedback

Feedback, suggestions or enquiries may be emailed to the Bar Book Project Coordinator.

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To be notified of updates to the Bar Book and upcoming training events, sign up to the Bar Book Project Mailing List (external link).