Legal Services Council

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Consultation and Engagement

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.

Recent consultations

Public consultation on changes to the Barristers’ Conduct Rules

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. 


Proposed Indexation rule 

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: submissions@legalservicescouncil.org.au

Submissions closed on 15 October 2018


Consultative forums

Consultative forums which are rotated between States and Territories that have joined the Uniform Law scheme, provide:

  • a sounding board for the Council, the Commissioner and other key bodies to help inform how they exercise their functions, and
  • an opportunity to share information and ideas, explore issues about the Uniform Law and network with a broad group of participants.

The inaugural forum was held in Sydney on 20 November 2015 and three more have been held since then.

Email us at lsc@legalservicescouncil.org.au to register your early interest in future forums.

How to provide feedback

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.

 

 

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