Miguel writes the blog townplanningbarrister.wordpress.com that provides case summaries and commentary on land development matters decided by VCAT and the courts.

He is a member of the Victorian Football Federation Tribunal that hears matters involving infringements of the rules of soccer. He has also heard and determined contract disputes between players and clubs.

In 2010 he became a nationally accredited mediator and he conducts mediations in his chosen fields of practice.

Practice focusing on the following areas:

  • Town Planning/Environment: appearing in VCAT hearings, Planning Panels, Prosecutions and Enforcement and Compulsory Acquisition. Advising and appearing for proponents and objectors as well as Responsible Authorities.
  • Common Law: Personal injuries paperwork and trials in matters arising from workplace accidents, transport accidents and police assaults.
  • Contract: disputes arising from commercial relationships and in particular workplace employment agreements, including partnership disputes and domestic disciplinary proceedings.

Cases in which he has appeared include:

Hennessy v Minister Responsible for the Establishment of an Anti-Corruption Commission & Anor (Review and Regulation) [2013] VCAT 822 – FOI Appeared for applicant, cabinet documents, working documents, public interest. Tribunal ordered release of part of a document.

Vivoda v Kealy & Ors [2013] VCC 130 (with D. Hore-Lacy SC) Appeared for Plaintiff – Police Assault, self defence, malicious prosecution, one Police officer aiding and abetting another in bringing prosecution, general and aggravated damages awarded to plaintiff.

Svajcer v Woolworths Limited [2012] VCC 1496 – return of subpoena – resisted application for acces to documents in possession of DPP. No legitimate forensic purpose. Ruling upheld by Court of Appeal in Woolworths Ltd v Svajcer [2013] VSCA 123

The Hawksburn South Yarra Pty Ltd v Stonnington CC [2012] VCAT 990 (11 July 2012) with Chris Townshend SC amendment to existing planning permit, neighborhood activity centre.

Nepean Conservation Group Inc & Ors v Mornington Peninsula SC [2010] VCAT 336: successfully arguing that Trustee Company had standing to bring an application to subdivide land. At a separate hearing a permit to subdivide was granted by the Tribunal.

Airlie House Developments Pty Ltd v Port Phillip CC [2010] VCAT 78: (with Chris Townshend SC) obtaining amendment to a permit for a multi-storey residential/commercial building including illuminated signage.

Country Endeavours Pty Ltd v West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority [2010] VCAT 566: successfully resisting application to commence proceeding out of time seeking to set aside a works permit.

South Gippsland C54 (PSA) [2010] PPV 133 Planning Panel hearing concerning helicopter flight paths and landing areas near regional hospitals.

Winky Pop Pty Ltd v Hobsons Bay City Council (2007) 19 VR 492: (with Adrian Finanzio) setting aside a resolution of a local council to adopt a planning scheme amendment as a consequence of a finding of apprehended bias by a councillor.

Ucar v Nylex Industrial Products Pty Ltd (2007) 17 VR 492: (with Jim Kennan SC) dealing with in-court observations by a Judge during a hearing and procedural fairness.

Christidis v Civil Aviation Safety Authority [2006] FCA 615 appeal concerning mutual recognition of aircraft pilot licences.

Casey City Council v Kohn [2006] VSCA 82: (with Dyson Hore-Lacy SC) considers contributory negligence and the correct method for assessing interest on damages following a jury verdict.

Neofotistou v Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs [2005] FCA 919 (with Richard Niall) – Appeal concerning Migration Act and definition of spouse and continuing relationship.

Download Miguel’s CV

Miguel Belmar’s Vicbar Profile

Isaacs Chambers
Level 12, Room 15, 555 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Telephone: 03 9225 7473
Facsimile: 03 9225 8485
Mobile: 0407 889 817

Admitted to Practice: 03 May 1999
Signed Bar Roll: 22 May 2002
Nationally Accredited as Mediator: 22 December 2011
Also admitted to: Federal Court of Australia

Areas of Practice:

Common Law/Personal Injury

  • Intentional Torts
  • Negligence
  • Workers Compensation


  • Contractual Disputes
  • Insurance


  • Appellate
  • Civil and Human Rights
  • Disciplinary Proceedings
  • Judicial Review and administrative law


  • Discrimination
  • Employment Contracts and Restraint of Trade
  • Industrial Disputes and statutory employment rights

Environment and Planning

  • Civil enforcement
  • Compulsory acquisition of land compensation
  • Local Government
  • Valuation of land – rating and tax appeals


  • Commisssions and other inquiries
  • Coronial Inquests

Alternative Dispute Resolution

  • Mediators

Field of Practice

  • Environment and Planning