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LIV update

Every Issue

Cite as: April 2015 89 (4) LIJ, p.86

At the 26 February meeting, Council discussed a range of issues including the LIV Charter Case Audit database, the Law Admission Consultative Committee (LACC) academic requirements review and the allocation of Council members to LIV committees.

Charter audit database

Directors noted conversion of the existing LIV Charter Case Audit into an online searchable database, which, with pro bono assistance from Ashurst, was released in March – to coincide with the formal review of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights, which is to be completed by October 2015.

The Charter Case Audit provides information about legal cases involving the Charter, including name of the case, date, the court it was heard in, the legal basis for action and the Charter section raised in argument. It provides more detailed information and also provides cases with a ranking from 0-4 on how important the Charter was to the final outcome of the case. The Charter Case Audit provides significant additional analysis compared to other legal databases available, Council was informed.

Priestley 11

The LACC is conducting a review of the 11 academic requirements needed for admission to the Australian legal profession.

The Law Council of Australia (LCA) sought contributions from constituent bodies to inform its submission to the review, which focused on answering 10 questions about the requirements.

The LIV’s response, submitted to the LCA at the end of February, was informed by comments and contributions from practising section committees. It answered three broad questions which were distilled from the 10 posed in the background paper:

Does the Priestley 11 require changing? What are employers’ views on the skills graduates obtain at law school – what is working and what is missing? What are the views of law graduates and young lawyers?

Overall, it was agreed that whether or not the Priestley 11 are changed, there needed to be an increased focus on practical rather than theoretical skills.

Statutory interpretation was acknowledged as important but there was no consensus on whether it should be a compulsory subject or whether existing subjects should include statutory interpretation elements.

The LIV’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and Reconciliation and Advancement (RA) committees proposed that universities could incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander topics within broader subjects.

The LIV has previously said that statutory interpretation should be an integral part of subjects through a law course and taught progressively; that broadening the skills training of law students will better prepare them for employment in the law or elsewhere; that there be a diversity of assessment tasks and modes; and that it supports the integration of skills and ethics teaching and assessment for each core unit.

Council resolved to submit LIV comments and contributions to the LCA.

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