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LIV update

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Cite as: September 2014 88 (09) LIJ, p.86

LIV COUNCIL UPDATE

LIV Council meets each month to decide issues of importance to members, the legal profession and the community. At the 17 July meeting, LIV Council approved the LIV entering into an arrangement with the Australian Taxation Office to assist practitioners to fulfil their compliance obligations through a hardship relief process. Sue Kee, who is filling a casual vacancy on LIV Council until 31 December 2014, gave her maiden address. An edited version follows.

Maiden speech – Sue Kee

After a career in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs I graduated with honours from Monash University in 2003 and completed a practical legal training course with Monash in mid-2003 with merit. During that time, I worked part-time as a research assistant in the law faculty. I spent the first year of my post admission legal career as a research associate, working for a number of judges including a three-month period with the then newly appointed Federal Court judge Susan Crennan. The judges were particularly generous with their knowledge during that tenure and I thank them for their legal guidance.

I was offered a position in the litigation and dispute resolution practice at Arnold Bloch Leibler. I am now a senior associate at Arnold Bloch Leibler and have been with the firm for 10 years. My practice is in commercial disputes, with a focus on corporate governance, regulatory and administrative law, privacy and FOI.

As a mature age student, I joined the LIV and came to rely on the LIJ as a reliable source of information on current developments in the law. It is from this perspective that I was motivated to be involved with the LIV Council. I think it is important that the LIV remains a relevant and authoritative body representing the interests of its members, and that it continues to provide legal updates and information about current events and issues in the profession in formats that make this information accessible to law students and practitioners alike. The LIV must also continue to take a leadership stand on important legal matters of public interest and make necessary submissions to government. I commend the LIV for its stand on the proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act as one among many important public interest issues that the LIV has stepped up to support.

At a personal level, I am committed to recognition and respect to be given to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. I encourage the adoption of appropriate policy within the legal profession to promote opportunities for an increase in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in law schools and in the legal profession generally, including the LIV. A number of law schools offer courses such as Monash University’s “Indigenous Peoples and the Law”, which provide insight into historical, comparative and contemporary contexts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences in and with the Australian legal system. This is an area that I think we should build on.

Country & Suburban Law Associations

At the meeting, representatives of the country and suburban law associations were invited to report on activities and initiatives and bring any issues to Council for consideration. Those who attended were Zubair Mian (eastern suburbs), Danny Frigerio (north eastern suburbs), Stephen Shipp (Mornington Peninsula), Jesse Rankine (Geelong), Rob Gray (Ballarat), Carlo Serafini (northern suburbs), Daniel Taylor (Gippsland) and Jennifer Digby (Bendigo).

Mr Mian reported that Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark had been invited to speak to the eastern suburbs lawyers in July to respond to the LIV’s Call to Parties lobbying document, and will be asked to do so again before the 29 November state election.

Mr Rankine reported that the Geelong association was looking to establish a social media presence and website following inquiries from the LIV careers fair.

Mr Serafini reported on a meeting with LIV president Geoff Bowyer and La Trobe University about an integrated learning proposal to assist law students (first and second year) to get experience at firms as part of their course. He also sought LIV views on the introduction of electronic conveyancing, in particular the PEXA system. It was reported that the LIV plans to roll out information and education on e-conveyancing and these initiatives will be released in coming months.

Mr Taylor reported on a trial of occasional Skype-like virtual meetings of the association executive. It is to keep costs and time imposts to a minimum for members who live across Gippsland.

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