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insites (web)

Every Issue

Cite as: (2004) 78(3) LIJ, p. 76

This month’s mixed bag of online goodies includes calculators and conversions, the Legal Practice Board, occupational health and safety, equal opportunity, business resources and practising certificates.

No, we’re not suggesting you adopt a new religion – this site deals with the expression of quantity in alternative units. claims to “convert just about anything to anything else”, with more than 5000 units and 50,000 conversions. I visited to find out how many square feet there are in an acre (43,560). In the same visit I discovered how much I would weigh on the moon and how many days until I retire. The latter two calculations can be found by following the “Fun Stuff” link from the menu. Other categories include length/distance, temperature, speed, volume, finance, time and cooking. The site is well laid out and quick and easy to use.

Legal Practice Board

The Legal Practice Board (LPB) maintains a register of all legal practitioners in Victoria. The register, other than trust account details and residential addresses, was projected to be available online from 5 February 2004. Information on restrictions, Legal Profession Tribunal and court orders will be published on the site some time after that date. Registry forms can be located and downloaded in Word format by following the “Register” link located just above the heading “About the Legal Practice Board”. The LPB also oversees the activities of the Law Institute of Victoria, sets and oversees budgets for the LPB, the Legal Ombudsman and the Legal Profession Tribunal, and administers the Legal Practitioners’ Fidelity Fund and the Public Purpose Fund. Cosmetically, this site could do with a little work. Some of the information is dated.

National Occupational Health & Safety Commission

Occupational health and safety is an area that has the potential to affect us all at some stage during our lives, whatever our chosen career. So it is not surprising that the NOHSC site contains a vast amount of information. Fortunately, clear and consistent navigation will help you find your way around. If you do get lost (or overwhelmed), click on the site map link to get a simple breakdown of the main areas of the site, which range from news and publications to information about major hazard facilities. Of particular interest is the practical guidance information, available in the OHS Information section. From here you can check fact sheets, obtain guidance for implementing OHS best practices, or get an overview of the current legal environment.

Equal Opportunity Commission Victoria

Do you know which types of unfair treatment are prohibited by equal opportunity law and which are not? You can check on this and much more by using the rights brochures on the Equal Opportunity Commission’s (EOC) site. These brochures, which clarify the difference between direct and indirect discrimination, are available on a range of topics from age to breastfeeding to religious beliefs. This site also contains a variety of guidelines, media releases, latest news and the full text of EOC publications. Unfortunately, the site’s design is a little uninspiring. The front page is not enticing, some of the links do not work and navigation can be confusing. But despite these design problems this is an excellent resource that should not be overlooked.

Business Channel

Business Channel is one of the Victorian government’s online channel programs, which are part of the government’s online service delivery program. The Business Channel connects you with business-related information and services from state, commonwealth and local government. You can either take one of the site’s guided tours or do your own browsing for information about starting and managing a business, to check which licences and codes of practice apply to your business (or your client’s) or find information about business support programs, assistance and advisory services. Another feature of this site is the Business Location section, where you can search for the business support services offered by your council as well as view statistics and demographic information about your local area.

Practising Certificates

The practising certificates area of the Law Institute’s site has been updated to provide improved information on obtaining or renewing legal practising certificates in Victoria. This information is located in the Professional Standards section of the site. The primary topics covered are: types of practising certificate, applications, variations and annual renewal of practising certificates, incorporated practices and refusal of practising certificates.

Application forms for all types of practising certificate are available here, and the practising certificate application checklist is a helpful tool in ensuring you have met all the required criteria. An explanation of the renewal process provides information on cut-off dates, late lodgment penalties, insurance and trust requirements.

Website reviews are provided by the Law Institute library. For more information on legal websites, see the Guide to Legal Internet Sites at


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