​Amendment to Rule 18 (Police Reports)

Date issued: 17 February 2017


An amendment has been made to Rule 18 of the Uniform Admission Rules 2015. This has particular effect for applicants who may have to provide police reports from countries or jurisdictions other than Australia.  Following Standing Committee approval, the LSC resolved to make the amendment at its meeting on 14 February and the amendment was notified on the NSW Legislation website on 17 February 2017.

The amended Rule 18 now states that:

  1. An application for a compliance certificate must be accompanied by a report from police in Australia on the applicant's criminal history in Australia, prepared within 6 months before the application is made.

  2. If the Board so requires, the applicant must obtain and provide to the Board a report from police in any country or jurisdiction determined by the Board, on the applicant's criminal history.

The previous rule required applicants with an overseas qualification to obtain a police report from every country or jurisdiction in which they had previously lived, prepared within 6 months before the application for a compliance certificate was made. The Admissions Committee of the Legal Services Council considered that an amendment to Rule 18 was necessary as it had proved to be both difficult to comply with and unduly expensive for some applicants.

 The amendment relieves applicants of this burden, by allowing the Board to request a police report after the application has been made, rather than requiring it to be provided in all cases.

 The Admissions Boards have found that a certificate of good standing from the relevant professional body in the overseas country where an applicant has previously been admitted also appears to be a reliable indicator of an applicant's status.  ​