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About the LIV Legal Awards Recognition Framework

Nominations for the LIV’s revamped legal awards open 1 April 2021.

Following a review seeking to strengthen recognition of members. The  LIV's recognition framework has been updated to better align with the organisation’s wish to celebrate and acknowledge the work of members.

The three LIV Council awards available for nomination are:

  • Honorary Life Membership
  • Distinguished Service Award
  • President’s Award for Outstanding Service

The structure of the three awards is now explicit in terms of identifying and assessing candidates, nominations, voting process and confidentiality.

An added element to these awards is that they may form the basis of a recipient’s nomination for an Australian honour or commendation to government by the LIV.

Honorary Life Membership

Honorary Life Membership of the LIV, the highest honour the organisation gives, is decided by Council. It is bestowed on a member who, in the board’s opinion, has made a significant contribution to the LIV, the profession and/or the community over a significant period.

Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award, decided by Council, acknowledges members and other individuals who have provided valuable service over a sustained period to the LIV and significantly contributed to the advancement, promotion and improvement of the Victorian legal profession. No more than three of these awards will be given each year.

President's Award for Outstanding Service

The President’s Award for Outstanding Service, nominated by members, directors and management and decided by Council, recognises members and other individuals who have gone over and above in service to the LIV or the profession in a particular field or endeavour.

Other Awards 

In addition to the three major board-appointed awards, there will be important specific purpose awards aimed at recognising member contributions to the community or LIV Sections or Committees. They include the Stephen Myall Award and the Paul Baker Award, also membership milestones which build on the tradition of the 50-year membership ceremony.

Stephen Myall Award

The Stephen Myall Award, an inaugural presentation in memory of the late Melbourne magistrate, which is sponsored by the LIV Criminal Law Section, will recognise a commitment to social justice.

Paul Baker Award

The Paul Baker Award, sponsored by the LIV ALHR Section, will recognise an outstanding contribution to administrative or human rights law.


Historically, the LIV has provided a range of event opportunities to recognise members’ efforts and celebrate career and personal milestones. As well as the annual awards event, there have been member milestone events, new member welcome functions and other award presentations.

Following the 2019 Victorian Legal Awards, the LIV began a strategic review of the awards program. Consulting widely with staff, management and members, the LIV considered how it might better recognise members in future, streamline the awards process including any events and ensure awards were prestigious and engendered pride and engagement.

As part of the review, various options and models were considered. The result is a streamlined rewards and recognition structure that provides for three LIV Council awards, specific purpose awards and membership recognition certificates.

As a whole, the awards will reinforce one of the key goals of the LIV Strategic Plan 2019-2022, which is to promote the value of members in the community.


Any member can nominate someone for an award. Nominations are assessed by LIV management, considered by the LIV Nominations and Remuneration Committee and recommendations made to the LIV board. All award winners will be ratified by the LIV board.

Specific related criteria as well as membership of the LIV, seniority, length of service and nature of the contribution will be taken into account when assessing nominations. Recipients can come from across the LIV membership and all areas of the legal profession.

While some well-known members may receive awards, others may be known only to some in the profession because of their efforts day-in, day-out. However, all recipients will be worthy of recognition and celebration.

Members are encouraged to nominate candidates. The nomination period is April 1 to April 30.