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Unsolicited: Letters to the editor

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Cite as: September 2015 89 (9) LIJ, p.08

Marriage view unrepresentative

I have just received today’s LawNews and read with interest that “the LIV has long supported the principle of same sex marriage”. I cannot help wondering why the LIV would express a view on a subject upon which its members’ views would traverse the spectrum from passionately in favour, vehemently opposed, undecided to couldn’t care.

The LIV Council is elected to represent its members, and as such should endeavour to reflect its members’ views. The Council should limit itself to opining on issues of importance to members and/or of public interest when it can be sure it is expressing a view supported by the majority of members. To do otherwise risks alienating a large number of members, and distracts Council’s attention from matters which it should be addressing.

I recall reading candidates’ views on the ballot-paper for the last Council election. I may be mistaken but I cannot recall any candidate campaigning on a platform including support for same sex marriage.

David J Denby, in-house counsel, Kelly and Chapman Lawyers, and former LIV president

LIV: Thank you for sharing your views. The LIV does more than 100 submissions each year, which are developed through the expertise of its sections and approved by our president after being reviewed by a Council liaison officer.

We have done a number of submissions on marriage equality, which have been considered and approved by our Administrative and Human Rights Law Section and relate to discrimination under the law for same sex couples. It has been the LIV’s longstanding position that denying same sex couples the right to marry is an unjustifiable restraint on individual freedom, in violation of Australia’s human rights and other international legal commitments.

I appreciate this is a sensitive issue, and not all our members will agree with us.

Our mission statement includes “advocating justice for all” and this does see us comment on justice issues that affect the wider community. It is obviously not possible to consult all our nearly 19,000 members on each issue, which is why we rely on our sections comprised of lawyers who practise in each area. We encourage all members to become involved in our sections and committees to ensure that they represent a wide diversity of views.

Kerry O’Shea, General Manager Public Affairs and Legal Policy
Best of old and new

Congratulations on the new LIJ.

You’ve pulled it off: kept the old in terms of quality, but dragged the look and feel into the 21st century.

Big effort to bring about change without dislocation.

Rod Saunders, lawyer Letters
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Mail: LIJ managing editor Carolyn Ford, GPO Box 263, Melbourne 3001; or DX 350 Melbourne.

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