Call for Submissions on the Legal Profession Uniform Admission Rules 2015 (NSW)
Removal of the word 'fame' 

Date issued: 11 December 2019

The Legal Services Council's (LSC's) Admissions Committee invites comment about its recommendation that the text of the Legal Profession Uniform Admission Rules 2015 (Admission Rules) be amended to reflect the language of the Legal Profession Uniform Law 2014 (Uniform Law). Specifically, the Admissions Committee supports the removal of the word 'fame'.

Background

The Admissions Committee develops Admission Rules under s 426 of the Uniform Law. The question of whether a person is of 'good fame and character' is applied by Australian admitting authorities when assessing applications for admission; and by practising certificate authorities when assessing applications by lawyers for the grant or renewal of a practising certificate.

The word 'fame' is not used in the Uniform Law. However, it appears in Admission Rules 10(f),
14(1)(c), 16(6) and 17(1) and (7). On each occasion it is part of the phrase 'fame and character'.

In the case of Council of the Law Society of New South Wales v Parente [2019] NSWCA 33 (Parente) at paragraphs 9 to 13, the Supreme Court of NSW, Court of Appeal commented on the language of the Admission Rules.

Admissions Committee Response to Parente

The Admissions Committee requested the NSW Parliamentary Counsel's Office to produce a draft rule (Attachment A) to provide that any test regarding 'fame and character' should be referable to the objects of the Uniform Law, in particular, maintaining high ethical and professional standards in the provision of legal services; and maintaining public confidence in the integrity and honesty of the profession.

Attachment B is a document demonstrating the proposed effect of the draft rule on the Admission Rules.

Next Steps

The contact person for this project is Cora Groenewegen, the LSC's Principal Policy Officer. 
Tel: (02) 9692 1304.

Submissions are invited by email to: submissions@legalservicescouncil.org.au on or before Friday 28 February 2020 and may be published on the LSC website.