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LIV advocacy

Every Issue

Cite as: (2006) 80(12) LIJ, p. 12


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

AMA

LIV CEO Mike Brett Young met with Australian Medical Association (Victoria) CEO Jane Stephens to discuss mutual issues relating to professional organisations.

Civil Justice Review

Mr Brett Young met with Victorian Law Reform Commissioner Dr Peter Cashman and Victoria Legal Aid managing director Tony Parsons to discuss the terms of reference for the Civil Justice Review.

Conference of Regulatory Officers

A conference of regulatory officers to discuss issues including the national profession, model rules, ILPs, CPD and the role of regulatory organisations was attended by Mr Brett Young.

Costs

LIV Costs manager Meg Gourlay and Mr Brett Young met with County Court Chief Judge Michael Rozenes, other County Court judges and representatives from the Victorian Bar to discuss costs scales in relation to the extension of the court’s jurisdiction.

Mr Brett Young had previously met with Supreme Court of Victoria Master Jamie Wood to discuss LIV concerns regarding the appearance of unqualified costs consultants.

eConveyancing

Following the release of the draft legal framework documentation for the Victorian Electronic Conveyancing Project, LIV Advocacy and Practice manager Natalina Velardi and solicitor Nadia Venier joined other members of the LIV eConveyancing Working Group to meet with representatives of Land Exchange, Land Registry and Mallesons Stephen Jaques to raise initial concerns. The Working Group also attended an industry stakeholder discussion held by the National Electronic Conveyancing Office (NECO) where presentations were made by NECO executive director Simon Libbis and the three consultants currently undertaking reviews for the national project.

Institute of Chartered Accountants

Mr Brett Young and Institute of Chartered Accountants representatives met to discuss cooperative approaches to issues including education, professional development and networking.

Latrobe Valley Justice precinct opens

The $37 million Latrobe Valley Justice complex was officially opened by Attorney-General Rob Hulls and Police Minister Tim Holding. The complex in Morwell includes a 24-hour police station and regional headquarters, as well as multi-jurisdictional court facilities. Mr Brett Young attended the official opening which included lunch with Mr Hulls and Mr Holding and country legal practitioners.

Legal Services Commissioner

Legal Services Commissioner Vic Marles, managing partners from mid-tier firms and Mr Brett Young met to discuss regulatory matters and the implementation of the Campbell report on legal education.

State Revenue Office Commissioner’s CEO Forum

Recent changes to legislation governing the State Revenue Office and the collection of stamp duties were discussed when Mr Brett Young attended the SRO Commissioner’s CEO Forum.

VCAT

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) president Stuart Morris and Mr Brett Young met to discuss various VCAT matters, in particular the LIV’s con-cerns regarding non-lawyers appearing on behalf of applicants and respondents.

Submissions

Submissions made by the LIV may be viewed at http://www.liv.asn.au/members/sections/submissions

Land sale

The LIV has written to the Valuer-General about its concerns relating to the recording of consideration on a land document in a sale of land in Victoria.

Litigation funding

The LIV has made a submission to the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General in response to its discussion paper “Litigation funding in Australia”. The LIV makes recommendations as to how a litigation funding regulatory regime is best structured to pro-vide protection for the plaintiffs without imposing obligations that would stifle the ability of either a litigation funded company to conduct its business commercially or a solicitor to run cases efficiently.

People in custody

The LIV Criminal Law Section has written to the Attorney-General supporting the recommendations made by the Ombuds-man in his report “Conditions for persons in custody”. The LIV endorses the general recommendations contained in the report and particularly supports the recommendations to decriminalise public drunkenness and to make condoms available in Victorian prisons.

Stolen wages

The LIV has made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee for its review of stolen wages. In its submission, the LIV submits that the extent of unpaid money to indigenous workers in Victoria is largely unknown and that the spirit of reconciliation would be assisted through a national forum to publicly air the complexity and the consequences of mandatory controls over indigenous labour and finances.

Taxpayer privacy

The LIV has made a submission in relation to a discussion paper released by federal Treasurer Peter Costello. The LIV believes that if tax secrecy and disclosure provisions are to be standardised and simplified, taxpayer privacy must be paramount. The LIV recommends safeguards be put in place to avoid unnecessary disclosure and use of the information by other agencies, or use for enforcement of other federal legislation, and does not generally support the use of tax information for prosecution of non-tax crimes.

Workplace relations

Members of the LIV have identified a number of issues which concern them with respect to the operation and effect of the Workplace Relations Amendment Act 2005 and the Workplace Relations Regulations 2006. The LIV has made a submission to the federal Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews in relation to these issues.

LIV and the media

ABC Statewide weekly segment with the LIV

Former LIV president Bill O’Shea discusses the law in a weekly segment on ABC regional radio show Stateline

4 October
Is it right to appear against a coroner’s findings? What is double jeopardy? Can workers refuse to have GPS in company vehicles?

11 October
What are reverse mortgages?

18 October
Call on the state government to properly explain the water rights issue for irrigators

25 October
Water rights

Age discrimination
3 November The Financial Review

Alleged misconduct by lawyers on tobacco case
LIV says the allegations require full and transparent investigation
30 October The Age

Bring Hicks home for Christmas
LIV calls for prisoner David Hicks to be returned to Australia, but not on a control order
8 October Sunday Herald Sun

Condemning vigilantes
The LIV condemns vigilante behaviour and explains how the appeal system deals with sentencing
8 October Radio 3AW
12 October Herald Sun

Conveyancing
6 November Herald Sun

Conveyancing appeal
LIV appeals against a court decision regarding legal work by a conveyancer
20 October The Australian
27 October The Financial Review

Crime victims bashed twice
LIV calls for higher compensation payments under the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal
23 October Herald Sun

Law bounces back
LIV warns nightclubs and bouncers to observe equal opportunity laws
31 October Herald Sun


The LIV’s media adviser Colleen Coghlan is available to help members with particular media issues and can be contacted on ph 9607 9373

To facilitate lawyers and firms becoming involved in pro bono work other than legal services, the LIJ will profile a community group and its needs each month.

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