Date issued: Tuesday, 13 December 2016
As we head towards the holiday period, I would like to take a moment to reflect on a busy and productive year for the Legal Services Council and for my office. This year we've made a number of significant steps towards a united legal profession in Australia, operating under the same law.
I have also been buoyed by the great spirit of cooperation and collaboration between the regulatory authorities in Victoria and NSW under the framework given by the Uniform Law. The renewed relationship between the participating States is extremely encouraging, as is the expanded willingness to exchange and contribute constructive ideas since the Uniform Law was adopted.
Over the year, a number of amendments have been made to the Uniform Law as well as some rule changes to improve its operation.
Of particular note are:
In other work of note, Stage 1 of the Data Exchange Project was completed. The result of this can be seen in my Annual Report as Commissioner. The project involved the development of the LSC Uniform Law database. This includes information from NSW Bar Association, NSW Law Society, OLSC and VLSB+C and operates with their full cooperation and support. The database will serve as a repository of information and knowledge about the legal profession, identifying trends and demonstrating progress towards uniformity between the participating States under the Uniform Law.
We have continued to engage with stakeholders and community groups, with two consultative forums held this year in Melbourne and Sydney. They brought a number of important issues into the spotlight, including an Australian Legal Profession Register, how we can improve costs disclosure and other matters.
We have also developed branding for the Legal Profession Uniform Law which is currently reflected in our online fact sheets. The distinctive Southern Cross logo reflects the tagline of "towards uniform regulation of the Australian legal profession" and can be used in every jurisdiction covered by the Uniform Law.
In October, Julia Langham, our new communications officer, joined the Secretariat. Julia brings several years of Government communications experience to the team and we look forward to working with her to ensure our stakeholders are kept well informed.
On behalf of the Chair, the Hon. Michael Black AC QC and the Legal Services Council, I wish to thank our stakeholders for their valuable contributions during the year and for the ongoing spirit of cooperation and collaboration. I would like to wish you and your loved ones a relaxing, safe and happy Christmas and good tidings for 2017.
Dale BoucherCEO Legal Services CouncilCommissioner for Uniform Legal Services Regulation