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LIV Advocacy

LIV Advocacy

By Law Institute Journal

Advocacy 


Representation Australian Catholic University LIV president Steven Sapountsis and LIV CEO Nerida Wallace met with Thomas More Law School dean Professor Rocque Reynolds to discuss legal education in Victoria, including the LIV submission regarding legal education in Australia, and encouragement and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples studying law. Deakin Law School Mr Sapountsis and Ms Wallace met with Deakin Law School dean Professor Sandeep Gopalan to discuss legal education in Victoria, including the LIV submission regarding legal education in Australia, resources available to young lawyers and the role of internships in legal experience. Department of Justice and Regulation Mr Sapountsis and Ms Wallace met with Department of Justice and Regulation principal counsel Mark Sneddon to discuss the department’s access to justice review and the national legal aid campaign, redress and legislative change for child abuse cases and model litigant guidelines, the Royal Commission into Family Violence and changes to the Children Youth and Families Act 2005 and the Wrongs Amendment Act 2015. Filipino legal academics Mr Sapountsis met with visiting Filipino legal academics. Topics discussed included regulation of the legal profession in Victoria and Australia. Law Week launch Ms Wallace attended the launch of Law Week 2016. Legal community members attending included Victorian Attorney-General Martin Pakula. Submissions Capital gains tax withholding regime A joint submission by the Law Council of Australia, New South Wales Law Society and the LIV on the foreign resident capital gains tax withholding payments regime introduced with the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No 6) Act 2015 was sent to Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business Kelly O’Dwyer in May. The submission raised potential uncertainty, delays and a significant administrative burden the regime may cause. It requested a delay to the start of the regime until 1 July 2017 or alternatively suggested a range of measures which may address the concerns if the measure commences as planned on 1 July 2016. Read the submission at www.liv.asn.au/Staying-Informed/Submissions/submissions/May-2016/Foreign-resident-capital-gains-tax-withholding-pay. Consumer property acts review Consumer Affairs Victoria is undertaking a review of four key pieces of consumer property legislation: the Sale of Land Act 1962, the Estate Agents Act 1980, the Conveyancers Act 2006 and the Owners Corporations Act 2006. Issues Paper No 3 examines issues regarding the Sale of Land Act 1962 which governs the sale of land in Victoria, and the small business statement contained in the Estate Agents Act 1980. Long service leave review The LIV, in its submission to the Victorian government, recommended that the Long Service Leave Act 1992 (Vic) be amended to better meet contemporary community standards. It recommends flexibility and consistency. The LIV recommends more flexibility in how and when leave is taken provided adequate safeguards are implemented and supports the harmonisation of state and national laws. The LIV also made recommendations that the Act be made more certain with respect to long service leave entitlements on the transfer of a business and the method for calculating long service leave entitlements. Residential tenancy Fairer Safer Housing is an initiative of the Victorian government to ensure all Victorians have access to safe, affordable and secure housing. A component of the program is the review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997. The review examines how well Victoria’s rental laws work in the modern rental market and the Review Issues Paper No 3 specifically addresses the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. VCAT fees The LIV provided feedback on the regulatory impact statement for the proposed VCAT (Fees) Regulations 2016 maintaining that access to justice is the paramount consideration weighing against the introduction of a user-pays system at VCAT. This is consistent with the LIV response to the proposed increase in VCAT fees in 2013, and its submission to the Department of Justice and Regulation in the Access to Justice Review. In line with this view, key recommendations included avoiding any models based on cost recovery; avoiding any substantial increases in fees incurred by applicants; exploring other avenues for cost savings; and maintaining a clear and accessible process for waiving fees.

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