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LIV Advocacy

Every Issue

Cite as: (2009) 83(03) 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.

Department of Justice

LIV president Danny Barlow and CEO Mike Brett Young met with Department of Justice secretary Penny Armytage and executive director legal and equity Louise Glanville. Topics discussed included judge-led mediation, the Koori County Court, proposed youth justice panels and legal aid funding.

LCA meeting

The first LIV Council meeting for the year was addressed by new Law Council of Australia (LCA) president John Corcoran and secretary-general Bill Grant. Under discussion were the LCA’s plans for the year and the LIV’s involvement in programs including a rural and regional retention study. [For more on the meeting, see LIV Update on page 92 of this edition of the LIJ.]

Legal aid review

Mr Brett Young and Criminal Law Section chair Stella Stuthridge met with a committee convened by Victoria Legal Aid managing director Bevan Warner to begin work on a time allowance review for criminal lawyers.

Opening of the Legal Year

Mr Barlow spoke at the second annual Community Observance for the Opening of the Legal Year, which was held in Queen’s Hall, Parliament House.

Mr Brett Young attended the Geelong opening, while president-elect Steven Stevens read at the ecumenical observance at St Paul’s Cathedral and vice-president Caroline Counsel represented the LIV at the Red Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral. [For more on the Opening of the Legal Year, see “Welcome to 2009” on page 38 of this edition of the LIJ.]

Mr Barlow and Mr Brett Young were invited by the Law Society of Tasmania to attend the Tasmanian Opening of the Legal Year and Judges’ Breakfast as well as the Tasmanian Law Society Council meeting. They discussed further cooperation between the two societies.

State Revenue Office (SRO) consultation

Mr Brett Young met with the Commissioner of State Revenue Paul Broderick to discuss consultation between the SRO and the LIV and issues including the Duties Amendment Bill 2008, which the LIV opposes.

VCAT

Mr Barlow, president-elect Steven Stevens and Mr Brett Young met with VCAT president Justice Kevin Bell and new VCAT CEO Terry O’Donohue about future plans for VCAT and the current review being undertaken by Justice Bell.

Submissions

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

Aged care concerns

The Elder Law Section raised concerns relating to accommodation bonds and the operation of the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth) and the Aged Care Complaints Investigation Scheme of the Department of Health and Ageing. The LIV submission raises concerns regarding the disclosure of information to residents on entry into aged care, accommodation bond agreements and liability to pay, payment of interest, and the amount of bond payable in certain circumstances. The LIV submission makes a number of recommendations for reform in this area.

Fair Work Bill 2008

The Workplace Relations Section made a submission in respect of the Fair Work Bill 2008. The submission draws attention to some issues surrounding unfair and unlawful termination cases that may affect efficiency, access to justice and procedural fairness. This submission also lobbies for changes to proposed restrictions on representation by lawyers before Fair Work Australia.

Federal Court of Australia Amendment (Criminal Jurisdiction) Bill 2008

The Criminal Law Section made a submission in respect of the Federal Court of Australia Amendment (Criminal Jurisdiction) Bill 2008 which offered the LIV’s preliminary comments on some provisions of the Bill.

Fine defaulters

The Criminal Law Section made a submission in respect of fine defaults and car registration, and the Victorian Attorney-General’s new measures to ensure payment of outstanding fines which are subject to an infringement warrant.

Register of private binding rulings

The Commercial Law Section wrote to the Assistant Treasurer to express the LIV’s concern in respect of the ATO’s proposed removal of the current form of the register of private binding rulings. The LIV considers this would result in a reduction in the transparency of the rulings process and, accordingly, a reduction in the transparency of the Commissioner’s processes.

Retirement Villages (Contractual Arrangements) Amendment (Formula) Regulations 2008

The Property and Environmental Law Section made a submission in respect of the regulatory impact statement for the proposed Retirement Villages (Contractual Arrangements) Amendment (Formula) Regulations 2008. The proposed regulations will amend the Retirement Villages (Contractual Arrangements) Regulations 2006 to prescribe a formula for adjusting maintenance charges paid by retirement village residents. These regulations will replace the Retirement Village Regulations 1998 which are to sunset on 25 May 2009.

LCA submissions

The latest LCA submissions can be seen at http://www.lawcouncil.asn.au

LIV and the media

ABC radio legal segment with Lindy Burns
14 January Discusses appeals from County Court decisions to Court of Appeal
27 January Potential for class action against Connex over train cancellations

ABC regional radio with Kathy Bedford
19 January Councillors with criminal convictions, native title and fine defaulters
28 January Charter of Human Rights, presumption of death

Class action proposed against government following 2003 bushfires
Proposed class action by landowners discussed by LIV
6 January ABC Gippsland

Family Violence Protection Act
LIV comments on the interpretation of the new laws
9 January Geelong Advertiser

Hotel owner responsible for drunk driver killed
LIV explains court decision allowing widow to claim damages
21 January The Age

LIV argues against removal of private binding register
LIV submission opposes removal of ATO register
28 January Australian Financial Review

LIV Awards
Glen Waverley lawyer Andrew Goddard receives LIV Award
12 January Monash Journal

LIV concerned about proposed amendments to stamp duty
LIV submission on Duties Amendment Bill 2008 and concerns about increased fees and reduced time limits
26 January Herald Sun

LIV priorities for 2009
LIV priorities include 150th anniversary and regional retention of lawyers
16 January Australian Financial Review

Property sale advice
LIV advises the public on issues with buying and selling property
14 January Benalla Ensign

Protesters sue over pipeline
LIV explains legal issues over pipeline writ
19 January ABC Statewide

Push for bond reform
LIV submission argues for changes to law over accommodation bonds
16 January The Age

Recruitment and retention of rural lawyers
LIV discusses country recruitment problems and potential remedies, including HECS relief
27 January The World Today (ABC National radio)

Water fees
LIV comments on whether water brokers can retain interest on fees
14 January Weekly Times


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 http://www.liv.asn.au/media.

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