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LIV Advocacy

Every Issue

Cite as: April 2011 85(4) LIJ, p.8

To represent the interests of members and the wider community, the LIV actively seeks to influence policy and legislation through lobbying and submissions to government, the courts and other bodies.

A-G’s agenda

LIV President Caroline Counsel and LIV CEO Michael Brett Young attended a meeting with Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark to discuss the government’s plans for legislative change in the current term.

Anti-corruption

Ms Counsel and Mr Brett Young met with state Crime Prevention Minister Andrew McIntosh to discuss Victoria’s new Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission, in particular the requirement that people who appear before it have legal representation.

Chinese New Year

Ms Counsel and Mr Brett Young attended a Chinese New Year reception hosted by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.

Equal opportunity

Ms Counsel attended a meeting of the Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Dr Helen Szoke to discuss possible synergies between the LIV and the commission.

Irish lawyers

Mr Brett Young attended a function with Irish lawyers in Victoria. Victoria’s professional entry requirements for lawyers from Ireland were discussed.

Legal Laneway Breakfast

Ms Counsel and Mr Brett Young attended the Victorian Law Foundation’s Legal Laneway Breakfast to mark the opening of the legal year. Attorney-General Robert Clark also attended and spoke of his support for the independence of the judiciary, as well as his legislative priorities.

Legal precinct

Mr Brett Young and Ms Counsel met with Victorian Bar chairman Mark Moshinsky SC, to prepare a precinct plan of the legal district.

Mid-tier meeting

Mr Brett Young and Ms Counsel met with the managing partners of Melbourne’s mid-tier law firms. A presentation was made by the College of Law Victoria.

National profession

Ms Counsel and Mr Brett Young met with Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark and representatives of the Victorian Bar to discuss national profession reform before the Council of Australian Governments meeting, where it was on the agenda.

VCAT

Ms Counsel and Mr Brett Young attended a meeting with VCAT president Justice Iain Ross AO. Under discussion were plans to overhaul the tribunal’s operations to achieve greater efficiency.

Women lawyers

Ms Counsel attended a Victorian Women Lawyers sponsors’ dinner. The LIV is a major sponsor of the VWL.

Submissions

Submissions made by the LIV may be viewed at www.liv.asn.au/Membership/Practice-Sections.

New protection obligation process and split family visas

In a submission to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the LIV and Law Council of Australia (LCA) commend the federal government’s commitment to ensuring procedural fairness for asylum seeker applicants. However concerns were raised about the proposed reduction of “target periods” for assessment at the primary decision stage and a general emphasis by the government on speed and efficiency, over quality decision-making.

The submission also addressed concerns with decision-making delays for split-family applications for unaccompanied minors seeking to reunite with family in Australia. These delays can have an adverse impact on the prospect of the unaccompanied minor being reunited with their family, as different criteria apply to family members seeking Australian visas once the unaccompanied minor turns 18.

Immigration detention policy

The LIV has consistently advocated for immigration policies and laws facilitating the humane treatment of asylum-seekers. In a joint submission in November 2010, the LIV and LCA expressed concern regarding the federal government’s proposed regional protection framework, the detention of children and treatment of unaccompanied minors.

On 1 March 2011, the LIV requested a response to this submission from the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.

Replication of Tasmania jury sentencing study in Victoria

The LIV wrote to Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark, supporting a recent Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) research on public judgment and sentencing (see http://bit.ly/gjKJmn).

The LIV advised the Attorney-General that it was supportive of this research being replicated in Victoria

National Equality Act

The LIV provided comments on the development of an LCA submission in response to the proposed consolidation of commonwealth anti-discrimination laws into a single National Equality Act.

The LIV submission was initiated by a working group made up of members from the Administrative Law and Human Rights, Workplace Relations, and Elder Law Sections.

LCA submissions

The latest LCA submissions can be seen at www.lawcouncil.asn.au/submissions.html.

The LIV’s public affairs manager Kerry O’Shea is available to help members with particular media issues and can be contacted on ph 9607 9373. For more information see www.liv.asn.au/About-LIV/Media-Centre.

LIV and the media

Attack on sentencing, judiciary

LIV says newspaper column attacking sentencing and a judge encourages a disconnect between the public and the judiciary.

10 February: Letter to the Editor, Herald Sun

Bury death penalty

LIV rejects an MPs call for death penalty for drug traffickers.

11 February: Herald Sun 12 February: 3MTR

Coroner’s powers

LIV comments on case of teenager who allegedly murdered her sexually-abusive stepfather but was not prosecuted as Coroner’s inquest is due to begin. A focus of the inquest is believed to be mandatory reporting of children at risk .

14 February: ABC Radio

Flood assistance

LIV talks about legal assistance for victims of the floods.

8 February: ABC Radio 9 February: ABC Radio

Legal referral service

A listener advised to contact the LIV for a referral.

15 February: ABC Radio

Myki exit dispute

LIV says a dispute over any cancelled Myki contract could take years to resolve in the courts and be an expensive dispute.

11 February: MX

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addresses forum

LIV supports the Melbourne forum, at which Julian Assange and his UK and Melbourne lawyers spoke about legal issues to do with WikiLeaks.

1 February: The Age; Lawyers Weekly

2 February: Herald Sun, ABC; MTR

5 February: Lawyers Weekly; Herald Sun; The Age

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