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LIV Advocacy

Every Issue

Cite as: April 2015 89 (4) LIJ, p.12

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.

Access to Justice Arrangements Inquiry report

LIV president Katie Miller and LIV CEO Nerida Wallace attended the public lecture at Monash University’s Australian Centre for Justice Innovation on the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Access to Civil Justice. Commissioner Dr Warren Mundy discussed the report’s findings and application of economics to the examination of civil justice policy and institutions, and future challenges to improving access to civil justice. Ms Miller and Ms Wallace met with Federation of Community Legal Centres executive director Liana Buchanan to discuss responses to the Commission’s recommendations on increasing legal aid. Ms Miller and Ms Wallace also met with Justice Connect CEO Fiona McLeay.

Commercial hub in the Asia Pacific

Ms Miller presented at the seminar “Australia – a vital commercial hub in the Asia Pacific” hosted by Monash University alongside Federal Court of Australia Chief Justice James Allsop, Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Warren and Victorian Bar president Jim Peters QC. They discussed the importance of Australia as a major legal centre for commercial disputes in the Asia Pacific region and the challenges for Australian commercial courts and arbitral institutions in a regional justice system.

Courts

Ms Miller and Ms Wallace met with Justice Greg Garde, president of VCAT. They also met with State Coroner Judge Ian Gray. Ms Miller and Ms Wallace attended the welcome for Justice Geoffrey Nettle to the High Court where Ms Miller spoke. Ms Miller also spoke at the farewell for Justice Katharine Williams at the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Ms Miller and Ms Wallace met with Director of Public Prosecutions John Champion SC and the acting solicitor for Public Prosecutions Vaille Anscombe to discuss the impact of the Uniform Law on government lawyers. Ms Miller and Ms Wallace met with Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen to discuss the LIV’s support of the Family Violence Taskforce and potential expansion of successful court pilots including the Drug Court and Koori Courts.

Data retention

In addition to the LIV’s submissions to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, Ms Miller and Ms Wallace met with stakeholders to discuss mandatory data retention laws. Ms Miller spoke with lobbyists Simon Banks of Hawker Britton and John Griffin of Barton Deakin to discuss the LIV’s lobbying for changes to the government’s mandatory data retention laws. Ms Miller and Ms Wallace met with Law Council of Australia (LCA) president Duncan McConnel and Secretary-General Martyn Hagan to discuss the laws. Ms Miller met with legal policy adviser to federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Shawn Lambert, to discuss the concerns the LIV has identified with the Bill. Ms Miller spoke with Shadow Minister for Communications Jason Clare to discuss the ramifications of the Bill. Miss Miller met with shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC and his adviser David Rowe. Ms Miller met with Law Society of South Australia president Rocky Perrotta to discuss lobbying for changes to data retention laws.

Human Rights Commission

LIV immediate past president Geoff Bowyer was interviewed on ABC Statewide Drive on Wednesday 25 February. He discussed issues around Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs and explained that only the Governor-General can remove the Human Rights Commissioner.

Institute of Legal Executives

Ms Wallace met with Institute of Legal Executives CEO Roz Curnow and president Denise McConville to discuss joint projects in 2015, such as the annual legal executives salary survey.

Legal Profession Uniform Law

The LIV has been working closely with its NSW counterparts on the rollout of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (LPUL) which will begin mid-year. Ms Wallace met with Commissioner for Uniform Legal Services Regulation Dale Boucher to review the progress of the implementation of LPUL. Ms Miller and Ms Wallace met with adviser to Attorney-General Martin Pakula, Tully Fletcher. Ms Miller and Ms Wallace met with Lexcel Consulting managing director Paddy Oliver to discuss Victorian partnerships of incorporated legal practices under the LPUL. Ms Wallace spoke at the Australian Defence Lawyers Conference about the future of the legal profession and LPUL. Ms Wallace also attended the regular meeting with Legal Services Commissioner Michael McGarvie. Ms Wallace attended the LCA’s retreat in Melbourne where a range of issues including implementation of the Uniform Law were discussed.

LIV National Costs Conference

Ms Miller and Ms Wallace attended the conference where Commissioner for Uniform Legal Services Regulation Dale Boucher gave the keynote address on developing new costs rules for a national legal profession.

Melbourne Law School dinner

Ms Miller attended the event alongside Yarris executive chairman Ian Goddard and Melbourne Law School Dean Carolyn Evans. Director general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation Dr Francis Gurry was the guest speaker. There was much discussion about new law and the future of the profession.

Submissions

Submissions made by the LIV may be viewed at www.liv.asn.au/For-Lawyers/Sections-Groups-Associations/Practice-Sections/Submissions.
ALRC review of Commonwealth laws for consistency with traditional rights

The LIV prepared a memorandum to the LCA outlining its views on the proposed Terms of Reference for the Australian Law Reform Commission Review of Commonwealth Laws for Consistency with Traditional Rights, Freedoms and Privileges. In the memorandum the LIV noted its concerns with the time constraints for providing comment to the review as well as the narrow focus of the Terms of Reference which limit the review’s ability to focus on other important rights and freedoms. The LIV also raised concern about the nature of the rights, freedoms and privileges contemplated by the Terms of Reference.

Review of the national curriculum

The LIV prepared a memorandum to the Law Council of Australia outlining its views on the Department of Education’s review of the Australian curriculum. In the memorandum, the LIV emphasised the importance of proper consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the development of the curriculum and reiterated that there should be an emphasis on the promotion of reconciliation, respect and non-discrimination which is essential to avoid perpetuating harmful stereotypes that marginalise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The LIV also advocated that the national curriculum allow the opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to learn their own language(s) and to be educated within their communities about their own culture and laws.

Delivering High Quality Criminal Trials consultation

The LIV submitted its response to Victoria Legal Aid’s Delivering High Quality Criminal Trials consultation paper. The LIV submission suggested that many of the proposals focus on cost cutting exercises which can risk reducing the quality of criminal trials.

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