Bringing together community, client and legal practitioner perspectives is vital to the work of the Legal Services Council and the Commissioner for Uniform Legal Services Regulation. We consult with our stakeholders widely and regularly in carrying out our functions.
The Legal Services Council liaises with other jurisdictions to inform them about the Uniform Law and encourage them to join the scheme. This includes interstate visits and keeping Ministers informed about implementation of the Uniform Law.
The Legal Services Council Admissions Committee (Committee) invites public comment on a draft Legal Profession Uniform Admission Rule (UAR) to be made in accordance with s 426(2) of the Uniform Law.
Currently, UAR 7 deals with accrediting law courses and practical legal training (PLT) providers. UAR 8 deals with monitoring and reviewing accredited law courses and PLT providers. These functions are performed by the admitting authorities (Boards) in each of NSW and Victoria.
The Committee notes that currently under UAR 7, the Boards' powers of accreditation and reaccreditation are inconsistent. For example, conditions may be imposed on accreditation but not on reaccreditation. Further, when determining whether a law course or PLT provider should be reaccredited, there is no obligation on the Boards to consider the recommendations of a reviewer of the law course or PLT provider.
The Committee's proposed amendments will make the Boards' powers the same for accreditation and reaccreditation by defining "accredit" to include "reaccredit", and by removing the words "reaccredit" and "reaccreditation" from UAR 7. In addition, inserting UAR 7(2)(a1) means that when determining whether a law course or PLT provider should be reaccredited, the Boards must take into account any relevant report by a reviewer.
The effect of the Committee's proposed amendments to UAR 8(1) is that the duty of the Boards to monitor and review law courses and PLT providers will be for the purposes of accreditation under UAR 7.
Changes to UARs 3 and 4 are necessary to support the substantive changes to UARs 7 and 8.
This Consultation Draft Rule is publically released for written submissions for a minimum period of 30 days in accordance with s 426(3)(b) of the Uniform Law. Submissions can be sent to the Committee by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org on or before Friday 15 February 2019.
In September 2018, following approval by the Legal Services Council, the Australian Bar Association released for consultation, proposed changes to r 101(n) of the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015 on briefs which must be refused or returned. The proposed new rule, r 101A, provides that while the prohibition period for judges from appearing in the court they previously served should be preserved at 5 years, tribunal members, with limited tenure should be treated differently and be prohibited from appearance as barristers in their tribunal division or list for only 2 years. The proposed rule also states that the new rule will not apply to a barrister who was appointed a judge or other judicial officer before the commencement of the Barristers’ Conduct Rules on 1 July 2015.
The ABA is the peak body representing nearly 6,000 barristers throughout Australia which developed the ABA Model Rules for all barristers in Australia. The LSC made the rules developed by the ABA as the Uniform Barristers’ Conduct Rules in Victoria and NSW. The development of these rules follows the process set in s 427(5) of the Uniform Law.
The draft rule is available on the ABA website. Submissions to the ABA closed on 13 October 2018. Please visit the ABA website for more information.
The Legal Services Council (LSC) is seeking public comment on a draft Uniform General Rule to be made in accordance with s 471 of the Uniform Law. Indexation will maintain the Victorian and NSW Legal Services Commissioners’ jurisdiction to determine costs disputes in line with inflation.
Sections 291-293 of the Uniform Law refer to indexed amounts which include thresholds for costs disputes that designated local regulatory authorities (DLRAs) can deal with and make binding determinations on. Section 99 of the Legal Profession Uniform Application Act 2014 (Vic) refers to the determination of costs disputes by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
The Council has considered different bases for indexation of amounts in the Uniform Law and consulted with DLRAs and other relevant stakeholders, such as VCAT and the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT).
Since the Uniform Law commenced on 1 July 2015, there have not been any Uniform Rules which relate to indexation. Following this process of consultation and subsequent approval by the Standing Committee, the Council expects a new Uniform Rule may take effect from 1 July 2019.
This Consultation Draft Rule is publicly released for written submissions for a minimum period of 30 days until 15 October 2018 in accordance with s 425(3)(b) of the Uniform Law.
The Council’s proposal is to adopt a simple formula for the calculation of indexation of relevant amounts under the Uniform Law, for the Commissioner of Uniform Legal Services Regulation to publish each year on the NSW legislation website and on the LSC website. The formulation also takes into account the cumulative indexation from previous financial years.
Please email your submissions to: email@example.com
Submissions closed on 15 October 2018
Consultative forums which are rotated between States and Territories that have joined the Uniform Law scheme, provide:
The inaugural forum was held in Sydney on 20 November 2015 and three more have been held since then.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your early interest in future forums.
Submissions and feedback should be forwarded to:
There is no set format for making written submissions to the Council and they need not be formal documents. Electronic submissions in Microsoft Word (.docx) format are preferred.
Submissions may be published on the Legal Services Council website, unless the information is provided in confidence. If you would prefer for all or part of your submission not to be published please clearly mark the material 'IN CONFIDENCE'.
If you have any questions or would like to provide comments in an alternative format please contact the Legal Services Council's secretariat on phone (02) 9692 1300.
If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can contact us through the National Relay Service. For more information, visit: www.relayservice.gov.au.