Have Australian legal professional regulators missed the diversity boat or are law societies sailing away with the glory?
In March 2014 the Law Council of Australia (LCA) released a report: National attrition and re-engagement study (NARS).1 That report identified many of the challenges faced by women in the legal sector in Australia, particularly triggers that prompt women to leave the sector and barriers to returning. NARS made recommendations about avenues for change which focused on professional bodies and law firms, or chambers. In light of NARS, the discussion of the diversity challenge facing the Australian legal profession has centred on what professional organisations or firms and chambers are doing to address diversity. Little has been said about what is being done by legal profession regulators and the essential role these regulators must play.
The 2014 law Society national profile revealed that of the 66 211 practising solicitors in Australia the split between male and female was 51.5% male to 48.5% female. The report also shows a trend of increasing female representation and acknowledges that female solicitors comprised 60% of solicitors admitted in the prior year and 59.1% of all solicitors admitted in the past ten years.2Read more
The Law Society will launch a new book by the Chief Justice of the Northern Territory, Hon. Trevor Riley at the Opening of the Legal Year lunch to be held at the Darwin Convention Centre on Thursday.Read more
It is traditional for legal communities around the world to mark the Opening of the Legal Year (OLY) with celebrations of collegiality and the administration of justice. In the Northern Territory, Law Society Northern Territory (Society) marks the opening of the legal year with events for members and guests where the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court reflects on the work of the courts and the challenges on the horizon. This year, the Society also joins other Australian law societies by marking the commencement of a national campaign for restoration of legal assistance funding.
To view the entire media release click here.Read more
On 31 December 2015, Duncan McConnel’s 7-year career with the Law Council of Australia (“LCA”) will draw to a peaceful close, drawing the line under an historic 2015 presidential year.
The LCA was established in 1933 and is the peak national representative body of the Australian legal profession. It represents about 60,000 legal practitioners nationwide. In addition to representing the legal profession at a national level the LCA advises governments, courts and federal agencies on ways that the law and justice system can be improved for the benefit of the community. The LCA also represents the Australian legal profession internationally.
Law Society Northern Territory (“Society”) president Mr Tass Liveris said, “Mr McConnel’s entire LCA career is a rare and outstanding achievement, but his presidency in particular has been a significant and historic opportunity for the Territory. His great success in bringing issues that have a major impact in the Territory onto the national and international stage is what has made his presidency so remarkable.”Read more
“There is no evidence that public registers are successful in increasing community safety or reducing the rates of re-offending. There is the added risk that they create further barriers for victims to report offending.” said Law Society Northern Territory (“Society”) President, Mr Tass Liveris. The Society’s concerns were expressed in relation to the Sex Offender and Child Homicide Offender Public Website (Daniel’s Law) Bill, commonly referred to as “Daniel’s Law”.Read more
The Society AGM was held last night with almost 250 members voting in person or by proxy. Mr Tass Liveris was re-elected President (unopposed) and expressed his gratitude to the 2014/15 Council, members and the secretariat for a very productive year. Copies of the annual report can be found on the Society website. The outcome of the election is below. Congratulations to the Council 2015/16.Read more
TERRITORIAN EDDIE CUBILLO WINS PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL INDIGENOUS LEGAL AWARD
At the National Indigenous Legal Conference dinner in Melbourne on 4 September 2015, former Territory lawyer Eddie Cubillo was announced as the 2015 National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year. New South Wales law student Alison Whittaker was announced as the National Indigenous Law Student of the Year.Read more
JUSTICE OUT OF REACH FOR MANY AS GOVERNMENT INCREASES SUPREME COURT FEES AGAIN
In the 2015/16 financial year, a 5-day hearing in the Supreme Court will cost an individual $9,426 and a corporation $17,683 in filing fees alone, not including any legal fees. It will cost even more for every additional day in court.
Parties will be charged thousands of dollars to file a notice of appeal. Law Society Northern Territory (“Society”) today expressed deep concern about the growing size of these sorts of fees.Read more
Law Society NT (Society) congratulates Sonia Brownhill and Matthew Nathan, who were appointed Senior Counsel by the Chief Justice on 15 September 2015.
Society President Tass Liveris said, “Ms Brownhill, a member of the independent Bar and Mr Nathan, a Senior Crown Prosecutor, are each highly skilled advocates in their chosen fields and are both richly deserving of their appointments. They have exemplary knowledge of the law and have a demonstrated commitment to the best traditions of the Bar and the administration of justice.”.Read more
The Commonwealth Attorney‑General and Minister for the Arts, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, is pleased to announce the Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year Award and the Indigenous Law Student of the Year Prize.Read more
The Law Society Northern Territory (the Society) is proud to support the "Change the Record" campaign (Campaign), an initiative of the National Justice Coalition aimed to end the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the justice system.Read more
The Law Society Northern Territory will launch its second edition of Indigenous Protocols for Lawyers (Protocols) at noon tomorrow at Chifley Alice Springs Resort.Read more
Letter dated 4 June 2015 to the Attorney-General, the Hon John Elferick MLA
The Law Society Northern Territory (the Society) refers to our letter to you dated 18 September 2014 calling on you to introduce urgent amendments to the Youth Justice Act (Act) to prevent the publication of information identifying youth who come in contact with the justice system.Read more
From Wednesday 27 May 2015 the Darwin Family Law Registry will no longer be located at TCG Centre 80 Mitchell St Darwin.Read more
Letter to Chief Justice Trevor Riley dated 21 April 2015:
Thank you for your letter dated 16 March 2015 in relation to the Supreme Court listings for 2016.
On 14 April 2015 the Society"™s Legal Practice Committee (Committee) met and considered the matters raised in your letter. Membership of the Committee is made up from representatives of private firms, government lawyers and the Bar.Read more
Letter to The Hon John Elferink MLA dated 21 April 2015:
Law Society Northern Territory (the Society) has received a number of inquiries from members of the public seeking to complain about behaviour of corrections officers at the Darwin Correctional Precinct.Read more
Letter to Director Legal Policy, Department of Attorney-General and Justice:
The Law Society Northern Territory (the Society) thanks you for the opportunity to provide input on the Issues Paper - Development of a Central Bond Holding Scheme in the Northern Territory (the Scheme). The Society applauds measures that will address areas of unmet legal need.Read more
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