Your Area of Law
Administrative law is concerned with the regulation of government decision-making at both a State and Federal level. Citizens who are adversely affected by a decision made by a government authority can have those decisions reviewed under administrative law. Statutory interpretation is a key aspect of administrative law.
Individuals can apply for merits review, which is a re-consideration of an original decision. This review process can be internal (within the same agency, but by a different officer). Merits review can also be sought at a Tribunal if provided for under legislation. The main Tribunal at the Commonwealth level is the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, while at the Victorian level it is the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Individuals can also apply for judicial review of a decision, which is carried out by a court. Judicial review looks only at the legality of the decision made, not the merits of the decision. Avenues of judicial review at a Commonwealth level are through: the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth); rights to judicial review under the Australian Constitution; and specific statutory schemes for judicial review (such as under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).
In Victoria, administrative lawyers often focus on matters arising from access to information (Freedom of Information Acts and Regulations (Victorian and Commonwealth).
Administrative law is also concerned with integrity and oversight bodies such as the Victorian Ombudsman, the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission and the Victorian Audit-General’s Office.
The LIV’s Administrative and Human Rights Law Section has an Administrative Review & Constitutional Law Committee which monitors developments between the legal profession, courts, tribunals, regulatory and administrative bodies and government as well as promoting within the legal and non-legal community the observance of constitutional and administrative law, and an appreciation for the rule of law.
The LIV offers Administrative Law as an area of specialisation.
Animal (Welfare) Law
Animal law is the area of law concerned with the legislation governing the welfare and treatment of animals. Animal Law principally concerns the challenges confronting the enforcement of such laws including by way of prosecution and private challenges utilising civil remedies such as interlocutory injunctions, the rights of advocates (including by way of secondary boycotts) and protestors, and possible legal impediments to the public dissemination of the animal welfare message (such as enunciated by the High Court in the Levy ‘free speech’ case), the manner in which strategic litigation may be creatively used to improve animal welfare outcomes in reliance on laws other than animal protection statutes (with their low welfare thresholds for most animals).
Organisations in Victoria that specialise in animal law and policy include: Lawyers for Animals, the Animal Law Clinic at Fitzroy Legal Service, the Animal Law Institute and the Barristers Animal Welfare Panel.
The LIV’s Animal Welfare Reference Group (part of the Administrative Law & Human Rights Section) discuss animal law concerns while the LIV’s Family Violence Portfolio explores the connection between animal welfare and family violence (family law and/or criminal law).
Banking & Finance
Banking and Finance Law refers to the collection of legal principles which impact banking and finance transactions, and the institutions involved in such transactions.
Regulation and monitoring of financial institutions the subject of these laws is predominantly undertaken by the Australia Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australia Prudential Regulation Authority.
The LIV 's Commercial Law Section has a Financial Services Committee whch discusses recent cases, legislative change and potential llaw reofrm erlevant to banking and finance.
Business lawyers focus on all legal matters relating to the formation and management of small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as the transactions undertaken by these enterprises.
The LIV’s Commercial Law Section has a Business & Corporate Law Committee which discusses recent cases, legislative change and potential law reform relevant to business lawyers.
The LIV also offers Business Law as an area of specialisation.
Children’s Law (child protection)
Child protection lawyers (or children’s lawyers) primarily practice in the Children’s Court and deal with matters involving children being removed, or at risk of being removed, from their families by the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria (DHHS) as well as youth justice. Child protection practitioners liaise with a number of professionals and service providers including educational providers, out of home care service providers, Victoria police, hospitals and health centres.
Child protection lawyers regularly liaise with the DHHS, the police and many are on Victoria Legal Aid’s Child Protection Panel.
Some child protection lawyers also act as Independent Children’s Lawyers in the Children’s Court. The LIV’s Family Law Section has a Children and Youth Issues Committee which discusses family law parenting as well as child protection, youth crime matters.
The LIV offers Children’s Law as an area of specialisation.
Collaborative practice is a method of dispute resolution whereby the parties and their lawyers contract in writing to attempt to resolve a dispute without recourse to litigation and agree in writing that the lawyers will not act for the clients if they cannot resolve their matter by collaboration and decide to litigate the dispute.
Collaborative practitioners work together with other collaborative professional, including but dependent on the requirements of each individual matter financial planners, accountants and psychologists, in a collaborative process in such ways as best suit the needs of the clients.
The collaboratively trained legal practitioner provides legal advice to clients and manages the process of dispute and conflict resolution whereby the clients agree upon the outcomes, when appropriate.
The LIV’s Collaborative Practice Section has an Executive Committee whose members include collaborative practice legal practitioner as well as other collaborative professionals. The Section focuses on law reform and practice support issues affecting collaborative practitioners in Victoria and liaises with the Collaborative Practice committee of the Law Council of Australia and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP)
The LIV, in conjunction with the Australian Centre for Innovation Justice (Monash University), offers a 3 day Collaborative Practice workshop each year. Professionals who complete this program will be eligible to practice as a Collaborative practitioner.
In addition to LIV activities, collaborative practitioners in Victoria meet regularly with other collaborative professionals in the geographic areas in which they practice (Practice Groups).
See also Dispute Resolution for more information about other forms of dispute resolution.
Frequently asked questions
Q. What’s the difference between Mediation and Collaboration?
A. Mediation is a means of resolving a dispute whereby a neutral person, the mediator, helps the disagreeing parties reach a solution during a face-to-face meeting. The mediator assists the parties clarify the disputed issues and identify possible options but does not impose a decision. The mediator does not provide legal advice to the parties.
Legal advice can be given along the way in collaboration, and your lawyers will write up agreements which they understand from representing you in meetings, rather than you needing to meet with a lawyer after the mediation to explain your needs and to have your agreement written up.
Q. What kinds of disputes can be resolved through Collaborative Practice?
A. Collaboration is especially effective in achieving mutually agreeable outcomes for family law matters and is also an effective way to resolve many different kinds of disputes, including workplace relations, inheritance claims and medical negligence.
The process is designed to help people work through their differences in a transparent and non-aggressive manner. Learning how to communicate with one another and resolve conflict as it arises are invaluable tools in maintaining an ongoing working relationship where this is relevant.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. Collaboration is an efficient method of dispute resolution and the cost can be much less than going to Court. Collaboration is also usually more cost effective than long negotiations outside of the Court process.
The professionals in your case will negotiate their fees individually with you, and that will usually be an hourly fee which you can discuss. There are some other methods of charging which you can discuss with the professionals in the case.
Q. How does Collaboration work?
A. Collaboration allows lawyers and clients to work together to resolve disputes, sometimes with the aid of other professionals.
In family law cases where children are involved, a child specialist may come on board to work with the parents and the children separately or together. A financial planner may work in cases to gather and assess financial information and to assist with generating financial settlement options.
Q. I’ve decided that Collaboration is the way forward for my case, but the other party to the dispute is not convinced. Do we both need a Collaborative lawyer?
A. Yes, lawyers who work in Collaboration are specially trained so it’s a requirement that both lawyers in a dispute have this training in order to ensure the best outcome for you. Most collaborative lawyers will offer a process meeting to you and the person with whom you are in dispute at which legal advice is not provided, but options for resolving the dispute are discussed.
When commercial disputes extend beyond negotiations, commercial litigation lawyers may be engaged to advise on how to resolve the issues in dispute.
Commercial litigators advise on a range of issues including general contractual principles, claims and remedies, misleading or deceptive conduct, misrepresentation and unconscionable conduct, equitable claims and remedies, contribution and proportionate liability, Statute of Limitations, and liability of directors and officers.
The LIV’s Litigation Lawyers Section represents its commercial litigator members through its Litigation Executive Committee and it Courts Practice Committee. Some members of these committees represent the LIV on external Court committees which facilitate regular liaison between judges and members to discuss practice issues and Court processes and procedure.
Competition and Consumer
Competition Law relates to the legal regulation of markets to protect and encourage competition in Australia.
Matters relating to anti-competitive conduct (for example, misuse of market power, horizontal and vertical restraints and resale price maintenance) are regulated under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Consumer law is the national law for fair trading and consumer protection. It is governed by the Australian Consumer Law (Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)).
Regulation of the Australian Consumer Law is managed jointly by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the relevant state and territory consumer protection agencies.
The LIV’s Commercial Law Section has a Competition and Consumer Law Committee which proactively lobbies matters of trade practices and competition law and regularly facilitates guest speakers and submissions.
Constitutional lawyers primarily advise in relation to matters arising from the interpretation and application of the Australian Constitution which defines the relationship of different entities within Australia, namely, the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. Key features of constitutional law in Australia include: federalism, inconsistencies between Commonwealth and State laws and the scope of Commonwealth and State powers. The ability to apply statutory interpretation and knowledge of constitutional principles is key to practising in constitutional law.
Constitutional lawyers are often engaged by other legal practitioners to advise in relation to the constitutional validity of an Act law made by the Commonwealth or a State or Territory government, whether that law is within power or inconsistent.
Similarly, the Courts in which constitutional issues may arise are varied although proceedings to determine disputes about the constitutional validity of an Act are heard by the High Court of Australia.
The LIV’s Administrative and Human Rights Law Section has an Administrative Review & Constitutional Law Committee which monitors developments in between the legal profession, courts, tribunals, regulatory and administrative bodies and government as well as promoting within the legal and non-legal community the observance of constitutional and administrative law, and an appreciation for the rule of law.
Relevant organisations in this area include the Australian Association of Constitutional Law and the Rule of Law Institute of Australia.
Corporate lawyers focus on the formation, management and regulation of corporate entities and the transactions undertaken by these entities.
These matters are predominantly regulated under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) by the Australia Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The LIV’s Commercial Law Section has a Business & Corporate Law Committee which discusses recent cases, legislative change and potential law reform relevant to corporate lawyers.
Criminal lawyers focus on summary and indictable criminal law matters under Victorian laws, as well as criminal offences under Commonwealth legislation.
The courts in which they practice include Magistrates' Court, Children’s Court, County Court, Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and Coroner's Court.
LIV’s Criminal Law Section members are wide and varied, comprising prosecutors, criminal defence practitioners, government lawyers, and legal aid services providers. Many members also practice as trial advocates.
The LIV’s Criminal Law Section has a General Committee which represents and advances the interests of members through regular liaison with the courts, the police, the prosecution and other organisations within the criminal justice system. The Committee is also actively involved in various law reform and policy initiatives, issuing a number of submissions throughout the year.
The General Committee is overseen by an elected Executive Committee.
The LIV offers Criminal Law as an area of specialisation.
Dispute Resolution (Mediation & Arbitration)
Dispute resolution processes fall into two major types: adjudicative processes such as arbitration in which an arbitrator determines the outcome; and consensual processes, also known as alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes, such as mediation, conciliation, or collaborative practice, in which the parties attempt to reach agreement with the assistance of a mediator/conciliator/collaborative practice professional.
The ADR Committee of the LIV’s Litigation Lawyers Section is involved in the development of ADR initiatives and promoting ADR to the legal profession, the courts and the general community. The committee also discusses rules and guidelines relating to ADR practitioners and processes.
The LIV’s Collaborative Practice Section’s Executive Committee specifically deals with collaborative practice . Similarly, the LIV’s Family Law Section Executive Committee specifically deals with dispute resolution processes involving family law matters, including family dispute resolution processes (FDR) required under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), mediators, arbitrators and mediation-style conference chairs accredited by the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators (AIFLAM).
The LIV offers Mediation Law as an area of specialisation.
Entertainment, Arts and Media
This area of law relates to legal issues relevant to the entertainment, arts and media industries and the individuals working within these industries.
This includes a large range of legal issues including intellectual property protection and licensing, talent and sponsorship agreements, censorship and defamation.
The LIV Council has a Technology and the Law Committee and the LIV’s Commercial Law Section has an Intellectual Property and Information Technology Committee which often discusses issues arising from technological advancements including those affecting practitioners in these industries.
Environmental and Planning
Environmental and Planning law relates to urban, recreational and large scarce environments with the purpose to preserve and prevent destruction through development. This area of law includes consideration of the following matters and issues:
Jurisdictions, powers and rocedures
The LIV’s Property and Environmental Law Section’s Environmental Issues Committee discusses issues relating to environmental law Issues while the Planning and Local Government Committee focuses on areas of law relating to planning and local government.
The LIV offers Environment & Planning Law as an area of specialisation.
Equity & Trusts
Lawyers specialising in trust law and equity primarily advise in relation to claims involving claims for equitable relief and/or issues arising from trusts (including resulting or constructive trusts as well as unit or discretionary trusts).
Apart from advising clients in relation to the creation of a trust, trustees in relation to their obligations and beneficiaries of their rights pursuant to the trust deed lawyers and barristers practising in this area are often engaged by other legal practitioners for opinion regarding a discrete issue about potential equitable claims or resulting or constructive trusts).
Increasingly, these issues are arising in family law cases where the interest of a party in a trust is central to determination of a property settlement or maintenance issues as well as arising in succession, commercial or property law disputes.
The LIV’s Commercial Law Section and Family Law Section includes members who specialise in this areas.
Family law is an area of law that deals with family and domestic matters including divorce, nullity, parenting arrangements, spousal maintenance, adult child maintenance and child support, child relocation, binding financial agreements, property and financial settlements, adoption and surrogacy.
Family law for married and de facto parties is primarily governed by federal law (Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)) and proceedings for most matters heard in either the Family Court of Australia or Federal Circuit Court of Australia. Some aspects of family law, including adoption, surrogacy and child protection matters are governed by state legislation. For child protection matters, see “Children’s Law”
It is common for family law matters to involve consideration of other areas of law including equity and trusts, property (conveyancing) law, superannuation law, tax law and work closely in collaboration with other professionals and experts including psychologists, financial planners, accountants, mediators, family consultants, real estate agents, business and property valuers, forensic experts.
Family lawyers are skilled in litigation and dispute resolution practices.
Committees: The LIV has within it’s Family Law Section the following committees:
Executive Committee (which oversees all sub-committees and section activities)
Children and Youth Issues Committee (discusses family law parenting as well as child protection, youth crime matters),
Maintenance & Property Committee (discusses financial aspects of family law matters),
Courts’ Practice Committee (regular dialogue with judges of both family courts to discuss practice issues) and the
The LIV’s Family Law Section Executive Committee works closely with the Law Council of Australia’s Family Law Section and the Victorian Family Law Bar in relation to federal family law reform. The International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (IAML) is an invitation only wide association of practising lawyers who are recognised by their peers as the most experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries.
The LIV offers Family Law as an area of specialisation.
Lawyers play an important role in the way they work with clients and other professionals within the family violence system. For example, practitioners with family violence matters usually include family lawyers, criminal lawyers, child protection lawyers and duty lawyers. The courts in which their clients may have proceedings (potentially concurrently) include the Family Courts (parenting proceedings or financial matters arising from a relationship breakdown), the Children’s Court (where there are child protection concerns), the Family Violence and Criminal Divisions of the Magistrates' Court (for intervention orders and other charges) and, in cases of serious criminal offences, the County Court or Supreme Court. Lawyers working with families affected by family violence will often liaise with Victoria police, medical centre and hospital staff, Corrections Victoria, counselling services, refuges, Department of Health and Human Services, family violence networkers, community legal centres and interpreters.
To effectively support people affected by family violence, lawyers in the family violence system not only need to understand a broad range of legal issues and jurisdictions but also be aware of how the unique psychological complexities and inter-party dynamics that exist in matters involving family violence are best addressed and managed – both within the court system and the greater family violence support networks. This requires a breadth of knowledge, a range of interpersonal skills, 5 and strong inter-professional referral and collaboration. Lawyers play an integral part of the system, ensuring that all parties are adequately advised and represented, and acting as a conduit to all other support networks in the system.
The LIV has a Family Violence Portfolio which explores issues affecting Victorian practitioners who practice within the family violence system.
Health & Disability Law
Health law is a broad and interdisciplinary field that involves any law which affects the health of individuals and the public including laws regulating the health industry, the public's health, and the delivery and financing of health care services.
Disability Law is an area of law that focuses more on protecting the legal rights of people with a disability.
The LIV’s Administrative Law and Human Rights Section has a Health Law Committee and Disability Law Committee.
The Health Law Committee provides a forum for discussion and networking opportunities for health lawyers and continuing legal education seminars, conferences and publications and prepares and makes submissions on health and medical law issues.
The Disability Law Committee is made up of private practitioners, lawyers with community legal services and government agencies with an interest in disability issues. Its work covers a broad range of issues, including discrimination against people with disabilities, mental health issues and guardianship matters. It initiates continuing legal education seminars, events and publications, and prepares and makes submissions on disability law issues.
Human rights lawyers are concerned with the protection of basic rights and endeavours to guarantee equality for all individuals based on age, gender, orientation, race, religion, creed, nationality, colour or disability.
In Victorian the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities sets out the basic rights, freedoms and responsibilities of all people in Victoria and requires public authorities to act consistency with those rights. The LIV has a Charter Case Audit database which contains summaries and analyses of Victorian court and tribunal decisions which involve the Charter. [insert link to Charter Case Audit]
The LIV’s Administrative Law and Human Rights Section has a Human Rights/Charter of Rights Committee made up of members who have an interest in the advancement of human rights law in Victoria. The Committee hosts human rights presentations at the LIV, reviews and comments on relevant legislation where appropriate and makes submissions on human rights issues. The Committee seeks to liaise with other stakeholder organisations such as the Human Rights Law Centre, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and Liberty Victoria to formulate opportunities for co-presentations or symposia on human rights issues. It also initiates continuing legal education seminars, events and publications on human rights matters.
The LIV Council has a Diversity Taskforce which seeks to support and provide access to resources and services to meet the needs of a diverse community. The LIV has specific programs in relation to the promotion of gender equality, to support people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) and those who experience disability and to implement the LIV’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and guide the legal profession towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respect, recognition and reconciliation
This area of law concerns the regulations guiding internet, software and broadcasting companies.
Issues which arise in this area of law include online aspects of internet governance, Censorship and content regulation, Privacy, copyright and patents, e-Commerce issues, Cybercrime, Security and trust, Jurisdiction and conflict of laws.
On an international scale, the International Association of IT Lawyers (IATL) contributes to the role of IT law in international relations and aims to promote the comparative study of IT law.
The LIV Council has a Technology and the Law Committee and the LIV’s Commercial Law Section has an Intellectual Property and Information Technology Committee which often discusses issues arising from technological advancements including those affecting practitioners in these industries.
Insurance Law relates to the regulation of the insurance industry and includes regulatory frameworks to regulate insurance companies and contracts.
The key legislation in this regard are the Insurance Act 1973 (Cth), the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth). The LIV’s Commercial Law Section’s Executive Committee discusses aspects of insurance and matters relating to insurance lawyers.
Intellectual property law relates to the bundle of rights which protects creations of the mind, including inventions, literary and artistic marks, and trademarks. Intellectual Property rights include:
Plant breeder’s rights;
Confidential information and trade secrets.
These rights are all regulated under separate pieces of legislation. Regulation of intellectual property matters is, however, centrally overseen by Intellectual Property Australia, a Federal Government agency. Intellectual property disputes are usually heard in the Federal Court and often have a trans-national element.
The LIV’s Commercial Law Section has an Intellectual Property and Information Technology Committee which assumes responsibility for matters of law and policy in Intellectual Property.
Koori justice is about social justice and human rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Victoria. It also means recognising the distinctive rights that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people hold as the original peoples of the land, including the right to a distinct status and culture, the right to self-determination and the right to land.
Koori justice spans all areas of law, most commonly human rights law, family law, child protection law, criminal law and environment and planning law.
The LIV has a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) which is overseen by LIV Council Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Oversight Committee. One initiative of the RAP, is the LIVWominjeka page [insert link to the committee page] which includes resources to assist members advance reconciliation and the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria.
The LIV Council also has a Reconciliation Action Committee (RAC).
Liquor, Gaming & Hospitality Law
This area of the law regulates the supply of liquor in public venues and related issues, as well as gaming machines.
The LIV’s Property Law Section has a Liquor, Gaming & Hospitality Law Committee which provides a forum to consider and workshop areas of the law affecting the Liquor and Gaming industries.
Migration and Refugee
Migration and refugee law concerns the movement of people to and from Australia for reasons including permanent residency, work, study and leisure and those seeking asylum.
The LIV’s Administrative Law and Human Rights Section has a Migration Law Committee and Refugee Law Committee.
The Migration Law Committee comprises many experienced immigration lawyers, who are also registered migration agents, working in various areas of immigration law, including refugee, business, skilled and family migration. It initiates continuing legal education seminars, events and publications and prepares and makes submissions on migration law issues.
The Refugee Law Committee uses the legal expertise of its members to stand up for justice and seek legal change for asylum seekers and detainees. Through the Committee, members can have a voice on law reform or gain important information from Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, or the Minister about changes in the area. The Committee also has an education and information sharing function, able to engage the broader community on refugee issues.
The LIV offers Immigration Law as an area of specialisation.
Native title in Australia recognises the traditional rights and interests to land and waters of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The non-discriminatory protection of native title is a recognised human right. The principles Commonwealth legislation in this area is the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth). At a Victorian level, the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic) provides for an alternative way of recognising traditional owner rights over land, through out-of-court settlement of native title. Native Title Services Victoria is the legal service in Victoria that represents native title claimants.
The LIV’s Administrative Law and Human Rights Section has a Reconciliation and Advancement Committee which works in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in order to raise awareness of issues of a legal nature that impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The Committee also comment on proposals and reviews of a legal nature that impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, organise forums and events, and support increased participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the legal profession.
Not-for-profit & Charity Law
This area of law relates to the laws and regulations that govern the formation, management and regulation of not-for-profit entities and charities. This encompasses a broad range of regulatory schemes including:
Legal structures and formation
Regulation of charities
Practitioners working in this area will often have expertise in areas such as taxation and corporate law. The LIV’s Commercial Law Section has a Not-for-profit and Charity Law Committee which focuses on providing practical support, education and advocacy for matters affecting lawyers practising in this area of law.
Personal Injury Law
Personal injury law applies to claims by those who have been injured, physically or psychologically, in the course of their employment; as a result of a motor vehicle accident; or as a result of the negligence or wrongdoing of another person or entity. The LIV’s Litigation Lawyers Section has two committees which deal with personal injury matters: the Transport Accident Committee, and the Public Liability & Medical Negligence Committee.
In addition, the Accident Compensation Committee (a committee of LIV Council) deals with workers compensation issues (such as WorkCover or Comcare claims).
The LIV offers Personal Injury Law as an area of specialisation.
Privacy & Surveillance
The LIV monitors developments in privacy-related areas such as data retention, biometrics and surveillance.
The LIV aims to educate law practices about how privacy can be “built in” to the design of information systems, and practice management processes and ensure that privacy is considered before and during the development and implementation of initiatives that involve the collection and handling of personal information.
The LIV further engages in ongoing advocacy in a number of privacy-related areas including:
- data availability and use
- funding and resourcing of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
- the regulation of drones
- real-time prescription monitoring.
Private International Law
Private international law is the body of conventions, model laws, national laws, legal guides, and other documents and instruments that regulate private relationships across national borders.
The LIV’s International Law Section Committee supports members with diverse legal experience and interest across its three main focus areas: international trade and commerce law, international arbitration and public international law.
The Committee often collaborates with the other LIV Sections to write submissions and engage in various lobbying activities on issues and reforms related to international law and holds an annual International Commercial Arbitration Moot for young lawyers.
Public International Law
Public international law is normally defined as the law between sovereign nation-states, especially within the context of the laws of war, peace and security, the protection of territories, international human rights, labour, finance and the natural environment.
The LIV’s Administrative and Human Rights Section’s Executive Committee, Human Rights/Charter of Rights Committee, Disability Law Committee, and Refugee Law Reform Committee all involve aspects of public international law and their members come from a variety of legal backgrounds.
The Human Rights/Charter of Rights Committee seeks to liaise with other stakeholder organisations to formulate opportunities for co-presentations or symposia on human rights issues. It also initiates continuing legal education seminars, events and publications on human rights matters.
Refugee Law Reform Committee uses the legal expertise of its members to stand up for justice and seek legal change for asylum seekers and detainees.
The Executive Committee sets the agenda for the all of the sub-committees of the Administrative Law and Human Rights Section and has ongoing dialogue with the Law Council of Australia in relation to these issues.
The Disability Law Committee advocates for the rights of people with a disability and contributes to law reform work and CPD in this space.
Restructuring and Insolvency (Bankruptcy)
This area of law relates to legal matters relevant to companies in financial distress, most commonly when a company goes into voluntary administration, liquidation and receivership.
Legal practitioners in this area work to manage the legal and practical implications for the company, its creditors or another affected party (for example banks and other financial institutions). The LIV’s Commercial Law Section and Family Law Section Executive Committees discuss these issues in so far as they relate to disputes in those areas of law.
Sports Law relates to all legal aspects regarding sporting events, personnel and entities. It ranges from matters relating to the regulation of the sporting industry, including the specific regulation of particular sporting codes and the individuals involved in those codes to matters of intellectual property or contractual issues as well as the formation and management of sporting entities (whether that be through companies, trusts or incorporated associations).
The LIV’s Commercial Law Section has a Sports Law Committee which caters for lawyers who have an interest in sports law, whether as full time practitioners in that area, in house lawyers for sporting organisations, part time sporting tribunal members, or other levels of practice in the field.
The Committee also runs a Sports Law Interest Group provides legal practitioners with the opportunity to become engaged with likeminded individuals who each share a love for sport. The Sports Law Discussion Interest Group provides informative and educational discussion forums on current sporting issues.
Tax law relates to the administration and regulation of tax at both the state and federal level. This includes a large range of matters including income tax, capital gains tax, stamp duty, land tax, and GST.
For state tax matters, the LIV’s Commercial Law Section has a State Taxes Committee which discusses law and policy related to the collection of taxes by the State Revenue Office including land tax, stamp duty and payroll tax.
For federal tax matters, the LIV’s Commercial Law Section has a Taxation and Revenue Committee which is principally responsible for all federal revenue matters and is a practice lobby for ongoing reform within the Australian tax system (regulated by the Australia Taxation Office (ATO)). The LIV Taxation and Revenue Committee liaises with the Law Council of Australia in respect of federal tax issues.
The LIV offers Tax Law as an area of specialisation.
Technology and the Law
The LIV provides practice support to members through the setting of minimum standards and guidelines for legal practitioners in their use of technology. Areas of priority include cybersecurity, new technologies and ethical obligations, digital assets and intellectual property.
The LIV assists members to use technology in a manner that ensures efficiency, cost effectiveness and better outcomes for both the practitioner and their client. Areas of priority include artificial intelligence, online dispute resolution, electronic trials, electronic conveyancing adoption, and electronic contracting.
The LIV further advocates for regulatory and legislative change by investigating:
- ways in which the use of technology is inhibited or restrained by legislation, regulation and bureaucracy;
- the dangers inherent in the use of technology where legislation and regulation is needed to provide protection; and
- how lawyers can work with the technology industry to ensure that the benefits to society of technology tools are maximised whilst also protecting against the potential risks and downsides that adopting such technologies might then create.
Wills & Estates (Succession)
Succession lawyers primarily advise clients in relation to wills and estate planning. Common areas coveredby succession lawyers in practice include :
Grants of Representation
Powers of Attorney & Guardianship
Superannuation & Insurance
Choses in Action
Testator's Family Maintenance / Family Provision
Other Estate Litigation
The LIV’s Succession Law Section Committee makes submissions on important state issues including the Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) inquiry into the rule of forfeiture and providing feedback to the Attorney-General on the safekeeping of wills. The Section also assists with the development of guidelines for legal practitioners on capacity whentaking instructions and continues to engage in law reform in relation to guardianship and powers of attorney, and provides speakers for community legal education activities.
This Committee has continued representation on the Law Council of Australia Elder and Succession Law Committee.
The LIV offers Wills & Estates as an area of specialisation.
Diversity (LIV Council)
Discrimination Law Committee
Employment & Industrial Relations Committee
Executive Committee (Workplace Relations Section)
Workplace relations lawyers explore the division between employment and industrial law, discrimination and occupational health and safety, including issues arising from:
The Common Law of Employment
Industrial Relations Systems (Cth & Vic)
Statutory Unfair Dismissal (Cth)
Minimum entitlements under Modern Awards and the National Employment Standards (NES)
Statutory regimes relating to misconduct
Agreement Making – Collective & Individual
Transmission of Business Issues
Occupational Health & Safety Law
Key Aspects of the Unfair Dismissal Statutory Regime in State Jurisdictions
Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) Matters
Taxation & Superannuation
The LIV’s Workplace Relations Section is comprised of three Committees: the Executive, Discrimination Law and Employment and Industrial Relations Law.
The Executive Committee sets the overall agenda and policy direction for the Section and the Section’s sub-committees.
The Discrimination Law Committee undertakes a range of activities and law reform submissions to develop the area of Discrimination Law.
The Employment & Industrial Relations Law Committee, in addition to employment and industrial relations law, also considers occupation health and safety concerns.
The LIV offers Workplace Relations as an area of specialisation.