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LIV update

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Cite as: (2008) 82(10) LIJ, p. 86

LIV Council

LIV Council held its 21 August Council meeting in conjunction with the Southern Solicitors Group in Highett.

Acting judicial officers

Council discussed the appointment of acting judicial officers and approved a paper which outlined the LIV’s opposition to the current process by which acting judicial officers in Victoria were “activated” by their appointment.

The paper summarised the current system of engaging acting judicial officers and highlighted the practical conflict of this with the principle of judicial independence.

The LIV repeated the views previously expressed in its submission of September 2004 [] which opposed the establishment of the system of acting judicial officers on the basis that it inherently conflicted with the principle of judicial independence.

The paper presented to Council in August stated the belief that the current process of “activation” of acting judicial officers for short periods within their five-year appointment period presented an even greater threat to judicial independence as it further eroded acting judicial officers’ security of tenure and security of remuneration and exposed those judicial officers to additional internal and external influences.

Further, the LIV was particularly concerned about the judicial independence of acting judicial officers who were more likely to seek reappointment and/or “reactivation” because of their relatively younger age (those appointed while under 70 years of age) and who had not already secured a judicial pension.

The paper suggested a number of approaches to deal with the threat to judicial independence posed by the system of acting judicial officers. These included:

“At the highest level, it is proposed that the entire system of acting judicial officers should be abolished due to its inherent conflict on judicial independence.

“In the alternative, and working within the system, changes to the eligibility of candidates who may be appointed as acting judicial officers and to the system of ‘activation’ would go some way to alleviating the problems of the system.

“The establishment of a judicial appointments commission to take on much of the responsibility for acting appointments is also offered as a real and practical solution.”

Council approved the paper and adopted the report as a submission to be sent to the Attorney-General.

Casual vacancy

Bendigo solicitor and LIV Criminal Law Section chair Stella Stuthridge has been appointed to fill the casual vacancy which arose when Elissa Watson resigned as a Council member.

Ms Watson, whose resignation was effective 31 August, left Council to begin the Bar readers’ course.

Three nominations were received for the casual vacancy.

LIV president Tony Burke thanked Ms Watson for her contribution to the LIV and her work on Council.

LIV representative on PILCH board

As a result of her resignation from Council, Ms Watson also effectively stepped down from her position as the LIV representative on the PILCH board.

Councillor Stuart Webb was elected as the board representative.

LIV Governance and Representation


Tony Burke 9822 8588

Danny Barlow 5823 7600

Immediate Past President
Geoff Provis 9609 1549

Steven Stevens 9288 1241

5th Executive Member
Caroline Counsel 9328 5810


Cathy Gale 9620 0088

Iresha Herath 9607 9372

Michael Holcroft 5022 2622

Aurora Kostezky 8602 9200

Anthony (Tom) May 9670 6123

Conor O’Brien 9351 1455

Bruce Pippett 9592 7800

Dominique Saunders 9607 9372

Stella Stuthridge 5444 0906

Patrick Sweeney 9672 5800

Reynah Tang 9672 3535

Stuart Webb 9269 0416

Mark Woods 5174 6311


Eastern Suburbs
Law Association
Ron Rowe 9888 6088

North West Solicitors
George Conlan 9370 3636

Northern Suburbs
Law Association
Carolyn Kovac 9462 2608

Southern Solicitors Group
Celina Roth 9592 7744

Western Suburbs
Law Association
Linda Paric 0422 961 005

LIV country LAW

Ballarat & District
Law Association
Sarah Edwards 5333 8871

Bendigo Law Association
Megan Aumair 5444 0906

Geelong Law Association
Alicia Carroll 5273 5281

Gippsland Law Association
Mark Woods 5174 6311

Goulburn Valley
Law Association
Anthony Coote 5821 4144

Mornington Peninsula
Solicitors Association
Stephen Shipp 9783 7700

North East Law Association
Karen Keegan (02) 6056 8210

North West Law Association
John Roccisano 5021 6227

Western District
Law Association
Anthony Robinson 5562 1044

Wimmera Law Association
Phil Babic 5382 4455

To find out more about LIV Governance and Representation see and or phone the Secretary to the Council on
9607 9372 or email


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