On 5 February 2009 the Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) formally agreed that legal profession regulation would be added to its microeconomic and regulatory reform agenda.
On 30 April 2009, COAG agreed that:
A specialist Taskforce headed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department was established and its membership includes the Secretary-General of the Law Council of Australia.
The Taskforce comprises:
The key themes underpinning the Taskforce's reform proposals are:
The National Legal Profession unit at the Law Council has been involved in a National Legal Profession Reform Working Group that is assisting the Taskforce.
Several representatives from the Law Council's constituent bodies have also been appointed to the Consultative Group headed by former Law Council Secretary-General Michael Lavarch, Professor of Law at Queensland University of Technology.
On 20 April 2010, COAG considered draft legislation and authorised its release for public consultation in May 2010.
On 7 May 2010 the Attorney-General, Robert McClelland announced public consultation on the National Legal Profession Reform Project would commence on 14 May for a period of 3 months, with the consultation period ending on 13 August 2010.
On 14 May 2010, COAG's National Legal Profession Reform Taskforce consultation package was released. The package includes a draft Bill, National Rules, a Consultation Report from the Legal Profession Reform Taskforce, a Regulation Impact Statement, and independent economic analysis conducted by ACIL Tasman.
The Law Council looks forward to providing its comments on the draft legislation.
The National Legal Profession Reform Consultation package includes a draft Bill, accompanying National Rules, a Consultation Report from the Legal Profession Taskforce, a Regulation Impact Statement and independent economic analysis conducted by ACIL Tasman.
A copy of the Consultation Package is available here.
To facilitate the consultation process, stakeholder meetings will be in held in the following locations throughout May and June:
In addition, the Commonwealth has developed a process to engage with consumer representatives on the proposed reforms during the consultation period in order to specifically receive input from the perspective of legal service consumers. Please go to the COAG National Legal Profession Reform for Consumers web page for further information regarding consultation times and dates.
The Law Council will host a two-day consultation forum with its constituent bodies on 5 and 6 June 2010 to examine the reform consultation package in detail with a view to establishing an agreed national response.
Submissions may be made until 13 August 2010. Details on how to make a submission will be available at the COAG National Legal Profession Reform website.
A copy of the consultation package is available here.
Details on how to make a submission is contained within the consultation package. To find out more about how to make a submission go to the COAG National Legal Profession Reform website.
Director, Communication and Stakeholder Relations, Law Council of Australia
T. (02) 6246 3716
M. 0408 014 110