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LIV update

Every Issue

Cite as: Jan/Feb 2011 85(1/2) LIJ, p.89

LIV Council

The LIV Council meets each month to debate and decide issues of importance to members, the overall legal profession and the community.

During the 18 November meeting, Council discussed the national legal profession reform project, the proposed Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) whole-of-job fee, the LIV reputation scoping project and proposed LIV information barrier guidelines. Specialisation Board chair David Brett was special guest.

Council elected Councillor Conor O’Brien as the 2011 5th Executive Member, effective as of 1 January 2011.

Council also appointed Genevieve Collins from Lander & Rogers Lawyers as the LIV’s endorsed trustee of the Law Aid Scheme following the resignation of trustee David Denby.

During the 16 December meeting, Council discussed engaging with the new Coalition state government and the LIV Strategic Plan 2010-2013 half yearly status report.

Three Council members were also farewelled at the meeting. Anita Aarons was appointed as a casual vacancy in March 2010, Iresha Herath was first appointed to Council in 2005-06 and, following the birth of her child, served from 2007-2010. Erwin Loh was appointed to Council as a casual vacancy in March 2010.

National profession reform

Council discussed the national legal profession taskforce’s interim report on key issues and funding.

It was noted that while the reforms would bring about a number of changes to the profession, the outstanding question was whether day-to-day functionality would change and whether funding of a national profession would come from admission fees.

Proposed VLA whole-of-job fee

It was reported that the whole-of-job fee situation had not been resolved and that the LIV was continuing to hold discussions with VLA over the issue.

LIV reputation scoping project

Council heard that reputation had been identified as a key initiative within the LIV Strategic Plan 2010-2013.

A report based on a review of national and international literature, key stakeholder interviews and social media analysis has been finalised. The report contains potential initiatives, such as multi-level promotional campaigns and identifying opportunities to address issues of perceived low esteem of the profession within the community.

Information barrier guidelines

Council endorsed the proposed summary information barrier guidelines as approved by the LIV Ethics Committee on 21 October 2010. For further information, (See also “Building better barriers” on page 18 of this edition.)

Special guest

Specialisation Board chair David Brett reported on strategic specialisation activities during 2010.

Mr Brett said the board had approved a change in rules relating to maintaining accredited specialisation status, the introduction of the new area of specialisation in costs law and the establishment of a new area of specialisation in children’s law, to be launched in 2012.

Coalition policies

Council heard then President Steven Stevens met with new Attorney-General Robert Clark and noted that the LIV had the opportunity to brief him on proposed national profession reforms. At the meeting, Mr Clark noted that he was keen to establish a courts executive service so that the courts were independent from the Department of Justice.

Strategic report

Council was presented with the LIV Strategic Plan 2010-2013 half-yearly status report and asked to provide feedback to CEO Michael Brett Young. Part of the LIV’s governance framework is to conduct half-yearly reviews of the strategic plan.

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