Opening Statement - Inquiry on the adequacy and efficacy of Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regime
Dr Jacoba Brasch QC, President, Law Council of Australia.
10 November 2021
"Australia is indeed the lucky country – a free and vibrant working democracy for so many reasons, not the least that we have a strong and profoundly secure attachment to and observance of the rule of law. We have a legal profession that owes its first duty to the court, and its second to its clients. That first duty to the court ought not be underestimated. It is why we swear or affirm an oath of office.
Lawyers in Australia are vital members of our urban, rural, regional, and remote communities, to which we contribute in so many ways different ways. A cornerstone of this contribution is that when a client tells us something to seek our advice, they can do so within the cloak of legal professional privilege, the oldest of the privileges for confidential communications known to the common law.
The foundation for the rule is not difficult to discover. It is not (as has sometimes been said) on account of any particular importance which the law attributes to the business of legal professors, or any particular disposition to afford them protection."
You can read the full opening statement below.