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LIV Advocacy

Every Issue

Cite as: December 2010 84(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.

ACLA

LIV president Steven Stevens and CEO Michael Brett Young met with the incoming Australian Corporate Lawyers Association CEO Trish Hyde.

AIJA

Mr Stevens attended the annual general meeting of the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration in Brisbane.

ALPMA seminar

Mr Brett Young provided an update on developments in the legal profession, including the proposed national profession reform, at a seminar for the Australian Legal Practice Management Association.

Do you manage? launch

Mr Stevens spoke at the launch held at the LIV of Do you manage? A guide to managing lawyers with flexible working arrangements. The guide was produced by Victorian Women Lawyers and launched by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick.

Ethics guide launch

Mr Brett Young launched Associate Professor Adrian Evans’ new book Assessing Lawyers’ Ethics: A practitioners’ guide at Monash University Law Chambers.

Federal Attorney-General in town

Mr Stevens and Mr Brett Young discussed legal aid funding, incentives for rural and regional lawyers, national profession reform and practising certificates for government lawyers with federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland when he visited Melbourne at the end of October.

Human rights leadership forum

Mr Brett Young attended the last meeting of this government-convened group before the state election. It discussed the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.

New silks

Mr Stevens consulted with Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Warren over the appointments of new senior counsel.

NSW Law Society

Mr Stevens and Mr Brett Young attended the NSW Law Society annual dinner. It was addressed by High Court Chief Justice Robert French who discussed billable hours.

Reconciliation action plan

The LIV hosted a meeting with Indigenous traditional owners and leaders to discuss the development of a reconciliation action plan for developing policies and increasing representation of Indigenous people in the legal profession. The meeting was facilitated by Ron Merkel QC. Both Mr Stevens and Mr Brett Young attended to listen to the discussions.

Vancouver conference

Mr Stevens attended the International Bar Association conference in Vancouver.

Victoria Law School anniversary

Mr Stevens and Mr Brett Young attended the 10th anniversary celebrations for Victoria Law School. This included the inaugural Michael Kirby Justice Oration.

VLA whole of job fee

Mr Stevens and Mr Brett Young had a telephone hook-up with Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) managing director Bevan Warner and chairman John Howie as part of the continuing negotiations over VLA’s whole of job fee proposal.

Women in leadership lunch

Mr Brett Young spoke at the “Partners in business – women in leadership” event presented by the LIV, Australian Institute of Management and the Financial Services Institute of Australasia.

Women’s breakfast fundraiser

Mr Stevens attended the inaugural “Women’s Business in the Law” breakfast fundraiser for Tarwirri.

Submissions

Submissions made by the LIV may be viewed at www.liv.asn.au/Membership/Practice-Sections.

Alpine leases

Earlier this year, the LIV became aware of conflicting approaches adopted by different divisions of the Department of Sustainability and Environment regarding the registration of alpine leases and sub-leases.

The LIV made a submission to Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings to highlight how this conflict substantially undermined the efficiency and certainty of alpine property transactions for developers, vendors and purchasers.

The LIV also met with representatives of the Department of Sustainability and Environment to discuss members’ concerns, and to identify potential solutions. The LIV is pleased to advise that registration of certain sub-leases has now been facilitated.

Cooling-off rights

In August 2008, the LIV made a submission seeking the repeal of s31(5)(e) from the Sale of Land Act 1962 (Vic), so that a consumer could seek pre-contractual advice from either a legal practitioner or a licensed conveyancer without losing cooling-off rights. The LIV is pleased to advise that the Consumer Affairs Legislation Amendment (Reform) Act 2010 (Vic) provides for the repeal of s31(5)(e).

Elimination of cheques as Land Victoria payment method

Following concern from members about Land Victoria’s proposal to eliminate cheques as a payment method from 4 January 2011, the LIV sent an urgent submission to Land Victoria in opposition to the proposal and met with Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings’ staff.

The LIV is pleased to advise that the state government has confirmed Land Victoria will defer its proposal to eliminate the use of cheques for land registration fees until 1 July 2011. This will allow further consultation with stakeholders, including the LIV.

Human Rights Scrutiny Bills

The LIV made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Bill 2010 and the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2010.

The LIV supported the enactment of the Bills subject to some amendments, recognising that properly structured parliamentary scrutiny of human rights compliance would be an important vehicle for promoting human rights in the absence of a national human rights charter. 

The LIV suggested that the definition of “human rights” should be framed as an inclusive list of human rights instruments to ensure it captures all human rights instruments binding on, or recognised by, Australia now and in the future.

It also considered that a clause based on s28(3) of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities (requiring detailed explanations of whether and how proposed legislation is compatible with human rights) should be included in the part of the main Bill that provides for statements of compatibility.

Finally, the LIV maintained that the Human Rights Committee charged with reporting on human rights compliance under the main Bill must be provided with appropriate time and resources to consider Bills.

National framework for advance care directives

The LIV made a submission on A National Framework for Advance Care Directives – Consultation Draft 2010, a consultation paper by the working group of the Clinical, Technical and Ethical Principal Committee of the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council

The LIV recognised the need for a national framework to support self-determination in end-of-life matters and welcomed working group goals to work towards greater use of advance care planning and mutual recognition of Advance Care Directives (ACD) across all states and territories.

The LIV recommended the adoption of a national, uniform system of powers of attorney and that the Victorian government enact a single, comprehensive law to provide a principled framework for substitute decision-making, with one test for assessment of capacity.

The LIV also emphasised the importance of broad and detailed consultation with relevant stakeholders and consumer groups about the process of legislative reform.

LCA Submissions

The latest LCA submissions can be seen at www.law.council.asn.au/submissions.html.

LIV and the media

DNA testing to be widened to all indictable offences

LIV is concerned about the proposal and its civil liberty implications.

6 October: ABC Ballarat

GPS monitoring

LIV says the GPS monitoring device proposed for firebugs and sex offenders by the Victorian Opposition is a “gross breach of privacy”. For alleged offenders on bail, it ignores their presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

18 October: Channel 9, ABC TV, ABC Radio, 3AW, AAP

19 October: AAP, Border Mail

LIV backs Judicial Commission

LIV supports Supreme and County Courts’ handling of complaints and calls for Judicial Commission Bill to be passed.

27 October: New Lawyer and Lawyers Weekly

29 October: The Age

Naming of sexual assault suspects

LIV suggests law should be changed to prevent naming suspects.

8 October:The Age

Police and AFL agreement

LIV critical of a memorandum of understanding between the AFL and Victoria Police. It gave the impression of different laws for special groups, and should never have been drawn up.

14 October: The Age

Pre-nuptial agreements

LIV advises that lawyers are required for pre-nups.

25 October: ABC Richard Stubbs



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. For more information see www.liv.asn.au/About-LIV/Media-Centre.

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