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Hayley Bennett

Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) - University of NSW (2008)
Doctor of Philosophy - University of Sydney (Faculty of Medicine) (2001)
Master of Science (Clinical Neuropsychology) - Macquarie University (1993)
Master of Arts (Counselling) - Macquarie University (1991)
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology Honours) - University of Sydney


Admitted to the Bar 2009


Hayley commenced practice as a barrister in 2009 and since that time has been involved in cases in a broad range of areas in both public and private domains. She further specializes in health law across jurisdictions, and has advised and appeared in areas including: Equity (testamentary capacity, knowledge and approval, undue influence, inter vivos property transfers; Family Provision: she is listed as recommended in the “Doyles Guide of Leading Wills & Estates Litigation Barristers, NSW”); Public law (health and legal professional discipline); Protective (guardianship and financial management); and Coronial Inquests and other Commissions of Inquiry. She also accepts briefs in other jurisdictions where analysis of complex evidence, including expert evidence, is a central feature.

Hayley previously worked as a clinical and research neuropsychologist specialising in the cognitive and behavioural sequale of neurological, psychiatric, and other medical and psychological disorders. Her qualifications in this area include a BA (Psychology honours), MA (Counselling), MSc (Neuropsychology), and PhD (Clinical Neuroscience). She also provided expert opinion to courts and tribunals, where issues included mental capacity and decision-making, and sat on the Guardianship Tribunal of NSW (as it then was). Hayley has published and lectured in these areas, as well as more recently in the area of judicial decision-making and its neurobiological underpinnings.

Whilst working as a research neuroscientist at Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute (now Neuroscience Research Australia), Hayley decided she would like to practise as a barrister and in 2003 commenced a law degree at the University of NSW. In 2007 she worked as Tipstaff to Justice David Kirby of the Supreme Court of NSW, and in 2008 graduated from the law degree with first class honours.

Hayley maintains academic and research interests in neuroscience within law, and has been invited to speak to judges, magistrates, commissioners and tribunal members about the interface between neuroscience and the law in general, and judicial neurobiology and decision making in particular. She has also been invited to speak to legal and health practitioners about ethical decision making, expert evidence, and Succession, Protective, and Health Law.

During her time as a barrister, Hayley has served as a member of various NSW Bar Association Committees: Bar Examination Working Committee (2010-2017), Succession and Protective Law Committee (2021-current, Deputy Chair from July 2023), and Education Committee (2021–current). She has also represented the NSW Bar Association on a Working Party of the Motor Accidents Authority (2011-2012); has been a Mentor with the NSW Bar Association’s Mentoring Program (2016-2017); and is currently a NSW Bar Association appointee member of the Council of Law Reporting for NSW (2021-current). Hayley’s previous academic appointments include Adjunct Senior Lecturer (2015-2019) and Research Affiliate (2020-2022) with the Faculty of Law of the University of Sydney; and currently as Honorary Research Scientist, Neuroscience Research Australia (since 2017, ongoing affiliation since 2009).

Principal Areas of Practice


Government, Healthcare,

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