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Right to representation before the Fair Work Commission

7 November 2018

On 7 November 2018, the Chair of the Industrial Law Committee of the Federal Litigation & Dispute Resolution Section Ingmar Taylor SC and President of the Law Council, Morry Bailes, wrote to the Minister for Jobs & Industrial Relations, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Shadow Minister and President of the Fair Work Commission on the right to representation at the commission.

The Law Council proposes that section 596 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), which requires the Commission's permission for outside legal assistance, is burdensome and time-consuming to administer.

It is proposed that Section 596 be amended so that:

a. Parties do not need permission to obtain legal assistance prior to a hearing; and

b. Parties can have a lawyer appear for them at hearing unless that would be unfair.

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