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LIV update

Every Issue

Cite as: October 2009 83(10) LIJ, p93

LIV Council

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

As part of the Council's policy to include all interests of LIV members, the LIV holds one meeting per year in a regional district. This year the 20 August meeting was held at Hunter House, Queen Street, Bendigo. A number of representatives from the Bendigo Law Association attended.

Other guests included Legal Practitioners' Liability Committee (LPLC) CEO Miranda Milne.

Topics discussed by Council included the approval of the Indigenous Equal Opportunity Briefing Policy, the appointment of a new Councillor and returning officers for the November LIV Council elections.

Bendigo Law Association attendees

The meeting was attended by Bendigo Law Association president Megan Aumair and other representatives Tammy Barker, Roslyn Baker, Lui Basile, Luke Docherty, Dianne Farlow and Kevin Finn.

Also in attendance were Rosemarie Holland, Stuart Mcrae, Marika McMahon, Michael O'Donnell, Russell Robertson, Neil Thredgold and John Whelan.

Indigenous Equal Opportunity Briefing Policy

Council approved the Indigenous Equal Opportunity Briefing Policy, which is a joint initiative of the LIV and the Victorian Bar.

A policy encouraging solicitors to brief Indigenous barristers was first advocated by current LIV president Danny Barlow in August 2008.

The final draft was developed, endorsed and supported by the LIV Indigenous Issues and Reconciliation Committee and the Victorian Bar Indigenous Lawyers Committee.

Council heard the objectives of the briefing policy were to promote equal opportunity for Indigenous barristers, offer the choice for legal practitioners and their clients to brief Indigenous barristers at the Victorian Bar, encourage legal practitioners to play a role in addressing under-representation and increase awareness of the presence of Indigenous Australians in the legal profession.

The briefing policy is consistent with the LIV policy statement of August 2006, Indigenous Australians in the legal profession and the justice system, and states that, in selecting legal counsel, all endeavours should be made to identify Indigenous barristers and solicitor advocates in the relevant practice area, and genuinely consider engaging Indigenous barristers and solicitor advocates.

Council appointment

On 1 September, following the resignation of LIV immediate past president Tony Burke, the LIV Council resolved to appoint Anita Aarons until 31 December. Ms Aarons, a practising lawyer with Evans Ellis Law, has been heavily involved with the LIV Tax and Revenue Committee as alternate chair and represents that committee on the Commercial Executive committee. She is an active contributor to the LIV.

Returning officer appointments

Under the Constitution of the Law Institute of Victoria Ltd the LIV Council elections are to be supervised by three returning officers who are elected by Council in accordance with cl 48.3(6).

Council approved the appointment of Gail Owens, Frank Paton and David Faram as returning officers for the November 2009 Council elections.

LPLC CEO Miranda Milne

Legal Practitioners' Liability Committee (LPLC) CEO Miranda Milne provided attendees with an overview of the 2009/2010 LPLC insurance premiums and explained that since 1998 LPLC had subsidised the cost of professional indemnity (PI) insurance. This had been possible because of a surplus in the funds accumulated through investment returns.

This year there has been a significant rise in the cost of PI insurance as a direct result of the global financial crisis.

The premiums for 2009-2010 have been increased and are now in line with those of most other states except New South Wales.

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