Submissions & Advocacy

What We Do

The LIV is the peak membership body for the Victorian legal profession and represents more than 19,000 lawyers and people working in the law in Victoria, interstate and overseas.

The LIV initiates programs to support the needs of a changing profession, promotes an active law reform advocacy agenda, responds publicly to issues affecting the profession and broader community, delivers continuing legal education programs, and continues to provide expert services and resources to support our members.

As a leader in law, the LIV plays an important role in shaping the law and materially influencing law reform and public policy for the benefit of our members, the legal profession and the community as a whole by:

  • advancing social and public understanding of and confidence in the courts and legal system
  • educating the profession and the public about legal rights, processes and services
  • identifying unmet legal needs not only for our members, but for the legal profession and the community as a whole
  • actively advocating and influencing policy and law reform.  

How We Do It

The LIV is committed to serving the legal profession and the community by creating education, information, services and products that empower the community. The LIV influences law reform and and advocates justice for all in a variety of ways, including:

  • preparing submissions to government and statutory bodies
  • advocating for access to justice across Victoria and in particular for the disadvantaged and those in regional, rural and remote areas
  • collaborating and strengthening relationships with the government, media, constituent bodies, courts and other stakeholders
  • providing feedback to the government on Cabinet in Confidence Bills and other materials through specially convened working groups
  • servicing the legal profession through an ethics support line and legal referrals service
  • providing education about the system and upholding the high ethical standards of legal practice and the processes by which laws are made and administered
  • providing legal research assistance to the legal profession.

What We Have Done

There are a variety of ways in which the LIV shapes the law and serves the profession and the community. As an example, over the last 12 months, the LIV has:

  • provided expert opinion and policy positions on bills in response to 74 requests from Members of Parliament
  • provided 130 submissions to government authorities and other bodies, 80 per cent of which are in response to requests from external legal stakeholders and 20 per cent of which were proactive suggestions of law reform
  • prepared and updated a suite of electronic educational materials to support the 1 July 2015 implementation of the Legal Profession Uniform Law and released this information to practitioners and the legal profession
  • organised and facilitated forums on the National Ice Strategy and Sentencing reform
  • responded to 2435 ethics advice telephone inquiries, 19 requests for Ethics Committee rulings and received 2957 registrations for the LIVing Ethics interactive seminars
  • responded to more than 2000 research inquiries and loaned more than 3000 items from the library
  • prepared submissions and appeared as amicus curiae intervener for sentencing matters in the Court of Appeal
  • negotiated with publishers to provide legal practitioners with remote access to key resources to deliver substantial benefit to those in suburban, rural and remote areas
  • hosted the Legacy Caseload Working Group consisting of stakeholders from across the legal profession to coordinate pro bono assistance for legacy caseload asylum seekers
  • hosted a discussion forum on legal responses to reducing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in child protection with speakers from across the sector including the judiciary and Aboriginal child care agencies
  • hosted a forum and launched an open letter to the Prime Minister, with more than 50 signatories representing the legal profession, calling for an end to offshore processing of asylum seekers
  • introduced a section of the LIV website built specifically for the community
  • launched the LIV’s Guide to Procedural Fairness aimed at assisting the Victorian community to comply with procedural fairness requirements, for example in community organisations
  • made extensive submission to the Department of Justice & Regulation Access to Justice Review, including 104 recommendations to improve access to justice for the Victorian community
  • co-hosted forum called "Children’s Matters: What Really Matter to Victoria’s Children" at the Royal Children’s Hospital in February 2016 with more than 200 attendees to discuss recent changes to child protection in Victoria
  • hosted family violence roundtable event in March 2016 with more than 35 stakeholders to discuss multi-disciplinary "one stop shops" for addressing the needs of family violence survivors in Victoria
  • made it easier for the community to find a lawyer to assist them with their needs through the Find Your Lawyer website. Information about connecting with a lawyer continues to grow and is the highest traffic area on the LIV website. More members of the public with a clear need for legal support are finding the LIV services online and connecting with a lawyer where required.

How You Can Get Involved

There are a variety of ways in which you can become involved to help the LIV shape the law.

For more information about the committees, working groups and special interest groups, and to see if you are eligible to join, view our Get Involved page.

Apart from committee activities, the LIV welcomes and often actively seeks input and feedback from members and the wider community on a range of submissions and topics through media releases, our daily news service LawNews, the LIV website and through associated member organisations. 

If you are interested in contributing to a particular inquiry, submission or project or to provide feedback, please email membership@liv.asn.au and we will speak to you further about the ways in which you can get involved and help shape the law.