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LIV Advocacy

Every Issue

Cite as: December 2009 83(12) LIJ, p.10


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.

Acting Legal Services Commissioner and acting LSB CEO

LIV CEO Michael Brett Young met with the acting Legal Services Commissioner and acting Legal Services Board (LSB) CEO Michael McGarvie, who has been appointed in the interim, following the departure of Victoria Marles. [Mr McGarvie also remains CEO of the Supreme Court of Victoria.] Mr Brett Young also held a meeting with LSB representatives about the LIV’s contract and service level agreement on delegated matters.

Chinese delegation

Mr Brett Young met with a delegation from China’s Anhui Province to discuss the Australian legal system, including judicial appointments and civil litigation.

CORO

Following the decision to hold the annual Conference of Regulatory Officers (CORO) meeting in Melbourne next year, a planning meeting was held with the LIV and the LSB.

International view of the legal profession

In October, LIV president Danny Barlow attended the International Bar Association conference in Madrid, while Mr Brett Young attended the Joint Conference of the Chief Executives of European Bar Associations and the International Institute of Law Association Chief Executives in Dublin. Mr Brett Young presented a paper on financing law societies and Bars.

Judicial Conduct Project

Mr Brett Young represented the profession at a confidential briefing on Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls’ proposed Judicial Conduct review. A discussion paper is due to be released this month.

Managing partners meeting

The LIV hosted a regular meeting of managing partners from mid-tier law firms. The group heard from Mr Brett Young about the world legal economy and the national profession reform project, as well as from Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee CEO Miranda Milne about professional indemnity insurance rates.

Melbourne Law School

Mr Barlow met with MLS Careers Office manager Angela Edwards to discuss better ways to develop employment opportunities for students with regional law firms.

National regulation

Mr Brett Young and LCA representatives discussed the progress of the national regulation reform.

Next Generation Courts

Mr Barlow met with the Department of Justice to discuss the Next Generation Courts project.

State Opposition meeting

Mr Barlow, Mr Brett Young and president-elect Steven Stevens spoke with Victorian Opposition leader Ted Baillieu and shadow Attorney-General Robert Clark on various legal issues, including legal aid funding, national profession reform and law and order.

SRO meeting

Mr Brett Young met with State Revenue Office CEO Paul Broderick about various issues, including stamp duty and growth area infrastructure tax.

WA Law Society meeting

Mr Brett Young and Mr Stevens met with Dudley Stowe from the Western Australia Law Society about Law Council of Australia issues.

Submissions

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

Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 review

The LIV contributed comments to the Law Council of Australia’s submission to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Office for Women’s Review of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999.

Federal and Family Law Courts practice and procedure

The LIV Family Law Section made a submission to the federal Attorney-General’s Department on the review of Federal and Family Law Courts practice and procedure in the context of family violence. The LIV limited its responses to the areas within the Federal and Family Court system that it considers require improvement, and also made some recommendations for change in the areas of greater community education about the nature and effect of the changes to family law and increased support services for parents after trial.

Inquiry into powers of attorney

LIV representatives gave oral evidence at a public hearing before the Parliament of Victoria Law Reform Committee Inquiry into Powers of Attorney. The LIV argues that powers of attorney legislation should be simplified and that increased safeguards should be introduced to prevent abuse.

Migration Amendment (Complementary Protection) Bill 2009

The LIV made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee welcoming the introduction of a formal system of complementary protection, whereby people who do not meet the definition of “refugee” in the 1951 Refugee Convention, but who are still in need of protection under international law, can apply in the first instance to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for a protection visa.

National security legislation – discussion paper on proposed amendments

The LIV provided comments to the federal Attorney-General’s Department on select issues in the discussion paper, including limiting the proposed new power to search premises without warrant and clarifying limitations to investigative “dead time” in terrorism-related investigations. The LIV urged the federal government to undertake a comprehensive review of the necessity and proportionality of Australia’s counter- terrorism laws.

Planning and Environment Act 1987 review

In late August 2009, the Department of Planning and Community Development issued five response papers that set out in more detail proposals regarding review of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. The LIV made a submission to provide feedback on the issues in the response papers.

Planning certificates

Planning certificates currently do not contain any information about whether a property is outside the metropolitan area and if so, whether a planning instrument prohibits the construction of a dwelling house on the property (sub-s32(2)(c)(iv) of the Sale of Land Act 1962) or whether there is access to the property by road (sub-s32(2)(ec) of the Sale of Land Act 1962). The LIV has proposed that this information be included in planning certificates.

Summary Procedure Reforms – joint communication

The LIV has signed a joint communication document which gives an overview of the summary procedure reforms. Pilot processes in summary procedures will be rolled out across the state over the coming months. The document (see www.liv.asn.au/PDF/Membership/Sections/Criminal/Committees/SumCriminal_Justice_Pro) provides an overview of the changes and what criminal law practitioners should expect in the coming months.

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 or for more information see www.liv.asn.au.

LIV AND THE MEDIA

ABC Afternoons with Lindy Burns

13 October Living wills

20 October Charter of Rights

27 October Resolving neighbourhood disputes; Bushfire Legal Help

ABC Statewide with Kathy Bedford

14 October Enduring power of attorney and living wills

21 October Likely charges for wasting police time

28 October Youth courts; responsibility of CFA during bushfires

Custody disputes
Family Court’s “what’s best for the child” policy explained

29 October Ch 10 7PM Project

DIY pre-nuptial agreements
Warnings about the pitfalls of DIY kits

9 October ABC Jon Faine

Muck-up activities
LIV explains penalties for muck-up misbehaviour for school leavers

26 October Joseph Thomsen, ABC Goulburn Murray

Powers of Ombudsman
LIV expresses concern about ability to deny people legal representation when being interviewed

18 October Sunday Age

VCAT Review
Discussion on the current review of VCAT

23 October Stateline ABC TV

30 October ABC Jon Faine

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