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LIV Advocacy

Every Issue

Cite as: December 2012 86 (12) LIJ, p.12

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.
Dublin conference

LIV president Michael Holcroft and LIV CEO Michael Brett Young attended the annual International Bar Association conference in Dublin. Mr Holcroft met with England and Wales Law Society director of legal policy and practice Mark Stobbs and UK Chartered Institute of Arbitrators director Anthony Abrahams. They discussed emerging issues for the profession including use of litigation funders and surviving in small practices. Mr Brett Young met separately with representatives of the England and Wales Law Society and discussed regulation and communication issues for the profession.

Gippsland conference

Mr Brett Young attended the Gippsland Law Association conference.

Hong Kong conference

Mr Brett Young attended the IILACE (International Institute of Law Association Chief Executives) conference in Hong Kong. Mr Brett Young gave a presentation on the state of the Australian legal profession.

Law Library board

Mr Holcroft attended an interim board meeting of the Law Library of Victoria project at the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Legal aid talks

Mr Holcroft met with Victoria Legal Aid managing director Bevan Warner to discuss changes to qualifications for legal aid. The LIV opposes the removal of grants of legal aid for serious traffic offences, and has raised the issue with Attorney-General Robert Clark.

Legal education

Mr Brett Young met with former Supreme Court judge Bernard Teague to discuss legal education and admission issues.

LIV Legal Awards

Mr Holcroft hosted the annual LIV Legal Awards presentation ceremony and luncheon. He presented the President’s Honorary Award to barrister Richard Wilson for his human rights work and work on the LIV Reconciliation Action Plan.

Mail change

Mr Holcroft met with Ms Katie O’Keefe of the County Court of Victoria about the cessation of mailing of Civil Orders in the County Court.

NSW dinner

Mr Holcroft attended the Law Society of New South Wales annual dinner.

Partners meet

Mr Brett Young attended a managing partners meeting, hosted by Cornwall Stodart.

Sex offenders register

Mr Holcroft met with Victoria Police’s acting commander of Intelligence and Covert Support Department Neil Paterson to discuss the sex offenders register.

Southern Solicitors

Mr Holcroft attended the LIV Council meeting which was held in conjunction with the Southern Solicitors Group at the Bentleigh Club.

VEOHRC survey

Mr Holcroft met with Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) acting commissioner Ms Karen Toohey to discuss the findings of the Women in the Law report. The LIV supported this report, which was launched this month.

Western suburbs dinner

Mr Holcroft attended the Western Suburbs Law Association Dinner in Sydenham where criminal lawyer Rob Stary spoke on bail applications and collaborative lawyers Peter Lustig, Michael Wells and Katrina Koniuszko spoke on collaborative law.

Women in Business

Mr Brett Young hosted the LIV Women in Business lunch held in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Management. This year’s speakers were former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Christine Nixon, Diversity Council Australia chief executive Nareen Young, and Southern Health chief executive Shelly Park.

Submissions

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

Associations Incorporation Reform

The LIV made a submission to the Department of Justice broadly supporting the reform to the Associations Incorporation Reform Regulations but recommending the reinstatement of some timing commitments which were contained in the original Rules. Those commitments included the removal of the requirement to discuss disputes within 14 days, the removal of the need to notify the secretary of a proxy within 14 days, and the removal of the need for any nominations made to be done so in writing. The submission also discussed recommendations regarding the introduction of the national not-for-profit legislation and the establishment of a review committee to consider whether additional amendments should be made to the Victorian legislation to ensure harmonisation between the state and federal legislation.

Birth registration

The LIV made a submission to the Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) in November in response to the VLRC’s community law reform project on birth registrations and birth certificates. The submission notes that birth registration is a fundamental human right and that birth registration and access to a birth certificate evidencing registration are fundamental to engaging with all aspects of our society. The submission calls on the Victorian government to ensure that birth registration systems are accessible and that procedural barriers to birth registration do not disadvantage any Australian child.

Innovation patent reforms

The LIV made a submission to IP Australia questioning the timing of the consultation, which was released before the federal government’s Advisory Council Intellectual Property report. In its submission, the LIV acknowledged that there was a need for the current threshold for innovation patents to be raised. However, the LIV did not support the proposal by IP Australia that the innovation patent threshold should be raised to the same patentability threshold as standard patents. In outlining its concerns, the LIV noted that the overall benefit of the innovation patent system would be placed in doubt if the threshold for innovation patents was the same as that of the standard patent, the enforcement of the innovation patent would require examination with the standard patent threshold of inventiveness if the proposed new threshold was introduced, and the amendments would mean the innovations patent system would no longer meet the needs of small and medium sized enterprises.

International Strategy 2013

The International Law Section provided comments to the Law Council of Australia (LCA) regarding their proposed International Strategy 2013. The LIV emphasised the importance of strengthening the relationship between the LCA and the LIV through Strategy 7: Engage with Law Council Constituent Bodies to Implement the International Strategy 2013.

LCA SUBMISSIONS

The latest LCA submissions can be seen at www.lawcouncil.asn.au/library/submissions.cfm.

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