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LIV President's Blog
September 30, 2011

What you need to know about the new Land Victoria payment system

Late last year, the LIV was contacted by many members concerned about proposed changes to payment methods which included the elimination of cheques. Since December 2010, we have been liaising with Land Victoria about appropriate alternatives. 
 
What we wanted
We were keen to ensure that any proposed changes will enable electronic payments from solicitors’ trust accounts and that solicitor’s trust account and bank cheques will continue to be accepted. 
 
Land Victoria’s response
Land Victoria has advised us that it is introducing an on-line invoice and payment system known as Quickview.

Quickview customers will receive email notification of invoices for lodgement fees. Practitioners can access the system, verify the invoice and then pay the account. 
 
Range of payment options
• Quickview on-line will accept credit card and bank account payments
• Credit card payments can be made over the internet
• Bpay phone and internet will accept debit cards, credit cards and bank account payments
• Credit card payments can be made over the phone
• Australia Post will accept cash, cheque (bank or trust account) and debit card payments.

LIV response
We are pleased that the range of proposed payment options should address concerns expressed by our members about the proposed elimination of cheques.

The new system is likely to commence in November and there will be a transition period of six months during which existing payment methods will also apply. After that period non Quickview customers will still be able to pay by cash, debit or credit card.

For further information or to give us feedback about the new system, contact kcheng@liv.asn.au.

Does this proposal address your concerns about Land Victoria payments?
Comment here

*President Caroline Counsel is overseas, Acting President is Michael Holcroft

 
September 23, 2011

Media has a responsibility for balanced reporting of terrorism trials

The LIV and Victorian Bar have complained to Herald Sun editor Simon Pristel about the front page reporting this week of Justice Terry Forrest's ruling in a proposed new terrorism trial. Both the LIV and the Bar believe that the media has a duty to report court proceedings responsibly, particularly in the sensitive arena of terrorism trials and community fears.

One ruling, two very different stories
On Tuesday 20 September, Justice Terry Forrest made a ruling in an application for a new trial against four men accused of terrorism offences – Abdul Benbrika, Aimen Joud, Fadl Sayadi and Ahmed Raad. The ruling is available on the Supreme Court website.

This is undoubtedly a matter of major public interest, and it is instructive to see how our two local daily newspapers reported the event this week.

The Age reported the ruling on Page 1 the following day under the headline “Judge orders halt to second terrorism trial”. The article went on to report accurately the reasons for the Judge’s decision.

The Herald Sun lead Page 1 story that day ran under the headline “These terrorists wanted to kill us but a court has decided that they can’t be prosecuted. Mercy for haters.”

Creating a climate of fear
In our letter to the editor of the Herald Sun sent yesterday we said that the paper is doing the community no favours by whipping up a climate of fear.

"Justice Terry Forrest made his reasons for not allowing a further trial to proceed perfectly clear. In his ruling he explained that a criminal trial ought only be stayed in 'extreme and unusual circumstances'," the letter said.

In his judgment, Justice Forrest found the proposed conspiracy trial would be an abuse of the court's process.

"The public interest in bringing the accused men to trial is diminished by the fact that they have already been prosecuted and punished for most of their criminal conduct and that they will not receive significant additional terms of imprisonment," the judgment said.

Justice Forrest found that a second trial was avoidable.

Read our letter in full. 

Responsibility to inform - not terrify

It is important that there is community understanding of the reasons for judicial decisions.  Our media has a responsibility to inform the community, not terrify it with scare headlines and articles.

What do you think?
Comment here

 
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