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Proposed LIV redraft part of national plan


Briefs

Cite as: (2009) 83(03) LIJ, p.14


Law Council of Australia (LCA) president John Corcoran has congratulated the LIV on its proposed changes to the Professional Conduct and Practice Rules 2005.

The proposed changes, contained in an LIV redraft of the rules, are intended to put an end to unethical behaviours by solicitors circumventing aspects of the current rules.

Mr Corcoran said the work would be used by the LCA as a “very solid basis” for the revision of its Model Rules of Professional Conduct and Practice, currently underway.

The LCA will also use the work of its Model Conduct Rules Working Group and that of the Australian Bar Association.

“By combining all of this work, the LCA can produce a new set of national rules which can be adopted uniformly across the country, setting out the standards of professional conduct and practice of legal practitioners,” Mr Corcoran said.

The proposed LIV redraft, completed in October last year, seeks to change the 2005 Rules by inserting commentary, including principles, explanations of potential conflicts and case studies, after each dictum.

The Rules were based on the LCA 2002 National Code of Solicitors Conduct Rules, which were adapted to differing extents in various jurisdictions.

LIV Professional Standards general manager James Leach said the unethical conduct was made possible as the current rules were drawn as black letter law and practitioners treated them as such.

He said the proposed redraft more broadly outlined unethical behaviours, making it easier for the Legal Services Commissioner and other disciplinary bodies to deal with rogue solicitors.

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