Find out more about the Ethics Committee, including upcoming meeting dates, and search for specific rulings from the last 10 years.

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LIV Ethics Guidelines are published with the approval of the LIV Council. Each Guideline is published after rigorous research, drafting and consultation.

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Read through the current conduct rules for legal professionals and access previous rules to supplement your research.

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About Legal Ethics

Solicitors are officers of the court. A solicitor’s duty to the court and the administration of justice is paramount. A solicitor’s other fundamental duties include acting in the best interests of a client, being honest and courteous, and delivering legal services competently, diligently, and in a timely manner. These duties are set out in the Legal Profession Uniform Law Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules 2015.

Need Help with a Legal Ethical Dilemma?

The Ethics and Professional Practice department provides ethics guidance, develops and delivers ethics education including customised in-house ethics seminars, administers the Ethics Committee, produces Ethics Guidelines and administers the Ethics Liaison Group.

Ethics Guidance Telephone Service – 03 9607 9336

The LIV Ethics Guidance Telephone service is staffed by expert ethics lawyers who provide ethical guidance to several thousand legal practitioners each year. Please note: The department does not take calls from or provide guidance to the public.

The LIV uses its best endeavours to maintain confidentiality over all communications between practitioners and the Ethics Advice Line. However in limited circumstances, we can be required by law to disclose information to others.

One such situation can arise where the practitioner is under investigation by the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner.

The Legal Profession Uniform Law gives broad (but not unlimited) powers to the regulatory authorities. If a conversation with the Ethics Advice Line becomes relevant to the subject matter of a complaint, and the regulator approaches the LIV and requests our records or information about that conversation, the Uniform Law expressly abrogates the protection of privilege and confidentiality: s466(1)(d) and (2). The LIV, like anyone else (including other lawyers), may be called upon to hand over documents or information in the course of an investigation. The information will not be protected by privilege if that happens.

In many cases, it will in any event be in a practitioner’s bests interests for this information to be handed over. For example, a practitioner under investigation might tell the investigator that she thought she was doing the right thing and she had discussed her options at the time with the Law Institute. If the regulator then asks us to confirm the contents of that conversation, and it is consistent with the practitioner’s explanation, then that might assist the practitioner in the investigation.

Information and documents that are given to the regulator under s371 can only be used for limited purposes: see s466(4) LPUL.

Ethics Guidance Telephone Service – 03 9607 9336

The Ethics Guidance Telephone Service is staffed from Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm. Queries can also be sent by email to


The information on this page is intended to be a general guide only. The information is not intended to constitute professional or legal advice, and you should rely on your own inquiries and assessment. The Law Institute of Victoria expressly disclaims any and all liability for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information on this page.

Upcoming Activities View All Activities

  • CPD Program: February - March 2018

    Short on points? The LIV has you covered. Our 2018 program offers sessions covering all practice areas - available in-person, online and via video.

    CPD Program: February - March 2018

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