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LIV advocacy

Every Issue

Cite as: (2007) 81(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.

LIV Criminal Law Section

The Criminal Law Section has made several submissions to the Department of Justice on reforms to the Juries Act, Criminal Procedure Legislation Amendment Bill and Family Violence Bill. These submissions were confidential as the Section had been supplied with draft Bills for comment.

Federal Court “Fast Track List”

Representatives from about 35 law firms attended a briefing session at the LIV on the Federal Court’s “Fast Track List”. The session was led by Justices John Middleton and Michelle Gordon and District Registrar Sia Lagos. The briefing session provided background information on the “Fast Track List”, and outlined its key elements and the eligible proceedings that can be allocated to it.

NSW Law Society Council

LIV president Geoff Provis, vice-president Tony Burke and CEO Mike Brett Young attended the monthly NSW Council meeting. Among the topics discussed with the vice-president Hugh Macken and the Council were the resourcing of the Law Council of Australia and reciprocal arrangements between constituent bodies.

Small Business Commission

Mr Brett Young met with Small Business Commissioner Mark Brennan as the Commission launched its study into “Business behaviour”.

Tort law reform

Mr Provis and Mr Brett Young met with representatives from the LCA and Australian Lawyers Alliance to discuss tort law reform.

Traineeship system

At a Southern Solicitors Group meeting, Mr Brett Young explained the implementation of the traineeship system, which will replace articles from 1 July next year. Under the Victorian government’s changes to pre-admission legal training, trainees must complete a year’s traineeship with a legal firm and the new Competency Standards for Entry-level Lawyers. The Standards include eight compulsory education components and two elective components.

World Masters of Law Firm Management

Mr Brett Young addressed the 2007 World Masters of Law Firm Management seminar. College of Law of England and Wales Legal Services Policy Institute director Prof Stephen Mayson was the keynote speaker at the seminar. The World Masters was organised by the Australian Law Management Group and the Australian Legal Practice Management Association.

LIV Submissions

Submissions made by the LIV may be viewed at

Civil Justice Review: second exposure draft

The LIV has made a submission in response to the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s (VLRC) Civil Justice Review: second exposure draft. It reiterates its support for a docket managed system with judge-managed, specialised Lists in order to alleviate blockages in the court system. Among other things, it also supports the recommendation to provide additional resources and funding of legal aid, Law Aid and a national civil legal aid scheme to provide potential self-represented litigants with information and advice.

Consultative Draft National Indigenous Law and Justice Strategy

The LIV has provided feedback on the Consultative Draft National Indigenous Law and Justice Strategy. It generally agrees with the four strategic aims in the draft strategy – reducing crime in communities and increasing access to justice, reducing imprisonment and juvenile detention, increasing actual and perceived safety, and reducing the impact of family violence. However, it believes they should be amended to: strengthening community capacity, recognising the rights of Indigenous Australians, increasing access to justice, reducing crime in communities, reducing imprisonment and detention and improving conditions and reducing family violence and its effects.

Human rights issues relevant to the 2007 federal election

In the lead-up to the federal election, the LIV Administrative Law and Human Rights Section sought the views of the major parties on a number of issues of concern. These included counter-terror laws, a national human rights instrument, non-discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation, the rights of Indigenous Australians, dialogue with Indigenous Australians, disability advocacy services, disability tax incentives, mandatory and indefinite detention of unlawful non-citizens, refugee offshore processing, temporary business visas and use of the death penalty. Other issues of concern included the use of executive powers and the rule of law, law and policy-making processes, and ratification and promotion of international treaties and processes.

Proposed amendment to s149 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic)

The LIV supports the view that s149 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic) should be amended to make it clear that decisions of a collecting agency as to whether works are to be accepted in lieu of payment of levies are reviewable by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal on their merits.

Review of advertising sign provisions – issues and options paper

The Minister for Planning appointed an advisory committee to conduct a review of the advertising signage provisions in the Victoria Planning Provisions. The advisory committee prepared an issues and options paper entitled, “Advertising Sign Provisions in Victorian Planning Schemes”. The LIV has made a submission to the advisory committee in respect of some of the legal issues which it considers need to be canvassed in respect of advertising signage.

Review of Statutory Self-Regulation of the Migration Advice Profession

The LIV has made a number of recommendations regarding the Review of Statutory Self-Regulation of the Migration Advice Profession discussion paper. In its submission to the Department of Immigration & Citizenship, the LIV said, among other issues, that it considers that the roles of regulator and representative of registered migration advice industry should be divided between two separate and independent organisations to ensure that the regulatory function is carried out without bias.

Law Council of Australia (LCA) submissions

The latest LCA submissions can be seen at The LIV’s media adviser is available to help members with particular media issues and can be contacted on ph 9607 9373 or for more information see

LIV and the media

ABC Statewide with the LIV
Legal talkback
17 October – Drugs in football, election enrolment, providing blood samples to the police and penalties for refusing to do so, farm boundaries and fences.
24 October – Judicial appointments, legalities of nurses’ strike, child homicide, double jeopardy, Hicks control order.
31 October – Anaphylaxis training and a plan for it to be mandatory at every childcare service, routine and random drug testing of Victoria Police, the exhumation of Ronald Ryan’s body from the Pentridge site, the Bali 9 and the constitutional challenge in Indonesia, wills.

ABC 774 Drive
Legal and non-legal topics on ABC 774 Drive show with former LIV president Bill O’Shea as co-host
19 October The removal of the law of double jeopardy is discussed as it is proposed to scrap it in Queensland

Andrew Fraser and drug use
LIV responds to claims of former solicitor Andrew Fraser jailed for his part in drug importation that cocaine is widely abused by the legal community
30 October Channel 7, 3AW
31 October Channel 9, 3AW
1 November The Age
2 November The Financial Review, The Australian

Collective bargaining
LIV explains why small business may not have taken the opportunity afforded by ACCC to use collective bargaining to favourably target companies
24 October The Age Online

LIV warns of potential risks for solicitors engaging in e-conveyancing
26 October The Australian
2 November The Australian

Impropriety between clients and lawyers
The ethics of lawyers and their sexual partners is questioned and a past complaint to the LIV is outlined
19 and 26 October The Australian

Legality of a petition
LIV discusses the history of petitions as a lobbying tool for government and suggests that writing letters may be more powerful
30 October ABC Goulburn Murray

New law degree at Melbourne University
LIV comments on course fees for new law degree at Melbourne University
26 October Financial Review

Real estate advice
Advice to property buyers to see a lawyer for all property dealings
10 October Ballarat Ensign


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