Regulation of the Profession and Ethics
The Law Council is a major participant and contributor to shaping legal profession regulation throughout Australia, at both the State and Territory level through its work on the Legal Profession Acts and the Legal Profession Uniform Law scheme, and through its advocacy on federal proposals that affect the legal profession.
In addition to its work on the primary legal profession regulatory laws and policies, the Law Council develops the Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules, which are a single set of professional conduct rules for all Australia’s solicitors. The Law Council has released a Discussion Paper for a Review of the Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules and is inviting Submissions by 31 May 2018.
In the current federal arena, the Law Council is a strong advocate against the extension of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing regime’s regulatory requirements to lawyers. Central to the Law Council’s advocacy is concern the legislation’s suspicious matter reporting obligations are inconsistent with fundamental common law doctrines and principles that underpin the professional obligations and functions of lawyers in Australia. At risk are; client legal privilege, client confidentiality, the client-lawyer relationship and ultimately the independence of the legal profession.
The Law Council’s Policy Division works collaboratively with State and Territory Law Societies and Bar Associations and its other constituent bodies and Sections on developing and promoting regulation that is efficient, consistent and effective.