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LSB April 2018_Web

DIALOGUE A round-up of

DIALOGUE A round-up of recent Society meetings & conferences ROSEMARY PRIDMORE, EXECUTIVE OFFICER 2-3 MARCH 2018 Meetings of Law Society Presidents, Chief Executives of Constituent Bodies of the Law Council of Australia; Chief Executives of Law Societies; the Conference of Law Societies; and Directors of the Law Council of Australia Tim Mellor, as President, Tony Rossi as the Society appointed Director of the Law Council, and Stephen Hodder as Chief Executive Officer variously participated in the above quarterly meetings which were hosted by the Society. Topics discussed included a coordinated approach to responses to Federal issues (recognising each Constituent Body wishes to retain its right to speak independently on such issues); the LCA’s protocol for submissions; the process for the LCA’s submission to the upcoming Family Law Review; a review of LCA Committees; communication strategies; the consultation practices of Attorneys-General in relation to judicial appointments; and the timeline for the report of the LCA’s Justice Project – which is presently expected in June. Professor Sanford Clark, Chair of the Law Admissions Consultative Council presented a paper on a proposal for a long-term project, “Assuring Professional Competence”; and the Honourable Bruce Lander QC spoke as to the need for a national integrity commission, the features of the South Australian ICAC and differences from the NSW model. 5 MARCH 2018 SA Legal Assistance Forum Policy Coordinator, Anna Finizio represented the Society at a quarterly meeting of the SALAF, a group convened by the Legal Services Commission in 2010 to provide closer cooperation, mutual assistance and a forum for sharing ideas and information regarding programs within the legal assistance sector of 6 THE BULLETIN April 2018 South Australia. Matters discussed included a review by State, Territory and Commonwealth Governments of the efficiency and appropriateness of the National Partnership Agreement for achieving its objectives, with responses to a consultation paper due by 16 March 2018; and timelines and arrangements for participation in the Review of the Family Law System. The various entities at the meeting shared and provided updates on the issues and projects they are currently working on. 6 MARCH 2018 Joint Rules Advisory Committee Tim Mellor, Nick Anderson (as Chair of the Civil Litigation Committee) and Philip Adams represented the Society at a meeting of the Joint Rules Advisory Committee. The main focus of the meeting was consideration of draft forms for the Electronic Court Management System (ECMS) relating to the originating process, secondary process and interlocutory applications. Comments received from Society Committees were relayed to the JRAC. 13 MARCH 2018 Meeting with Adviser to the Attorney- General Chris Kwong, Adviser to the Attorney- General responded to the Society’s request to meet with the Premier about the efficiency dividend imposed on the Courts Administration Authority that was included in the mid-year budget review. The CAA will face a funding reduction of $2.735 million over four years to 2020-21. Tim Mellor, Michael Esposito (Communications Manager) and Anna Finizio met with Mr Kwong, pressing the Society’s view that there be a significant increase in the CAA’s budget to allow it to operate effectively and that the courts/justice system are a frontline service of equal importance to other the Government funded services for constituents. Other issues discussed included the Labor Party’s response to the Society’s key election policy issues, particularly legal aid funding, funding for Community Legal Centres and Justice Reinvestment; the unacceptable delay in matters under the new major indictable reform legislation; the Government’s opposition to the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption’s request to be allowed to hold hearings into maladministration in public; the Society’s desire for South Australia to participate in the National Redress Scheme; and the Society’s views on policy announcements by the various Parties participating in the State election, as set out on its Election Watch website. 14 MARCH 2018 Retail Shop Leases Advisory Committee At the invitation of the Small Business Commissioner (SBC), the Society sent an observer, David Hopkins (a Member of the Property Committee) to a meeting of the Retail Shop Leases Advisory Committee. The SBC, Mr John Chapman intends to push for the Retail and Commercial Leases Act (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2017 to be reintroduced to the Parliament as soon as reasonably possible, once Parliament resumes. 15 MARCH 2018 Criminal Justice Management Forum Co-Chair of the Criminal Law Committee, Craig Caldicott represented the Society at a meeting of the Courts’ Criminal Justice Management Forum. Matters discussed included present trial outcomes; and major indictable reform. Please note: the Society’s advocacy work is reported to Members via the Advocacy Notes e-newsletter. B

THE LAW SOCIETY: WORKING FOR YOU Harnessing the Power of the Collective STEPHEN HODDER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE The purpose of this edition of the Bulletin is to provide an overview of what the Society does for the profession. Most Members will at least have some awareness of the ethical and professional support we provide, our statutory and regulatory role, our continuing professional development program, our professional standards scheme, our various risk management activities, as well as our range of support services for lawyers who may need some extra assistance, be they new to legal practice, experiencing health issues, seeking counselling, or requiring some professional support with their practice. Of course, the Society encourages all legal practitioners in SA to become members, but I do not wish to focus on the financial incentives of being a member of the Society (although membership does pay for itself through discounts, commercial benefits and additional services offered). Instead, in this article I want to talk about the power of being part of an association that stands up for the legal profession. All income generated by the Society Scores of lawyers attend the Law Society’s legal aid rally goes back to the profession. Naturally, higher membership allows the Society to improve its services to Members. But more than that, it amplifies the voice of the profession. It strengthens our advocacy on behalf of all practitioners. The Society, through its staff, governing council and committees, consistently and tirelessly advocates for the interests of the profession and for the promotion and preservation of the rule of law. We regularly consult with the courts on court rules, fees and costs; we make numerous submissions on proposed legislation and legal inquiries; we make representations to politicians on matters that directly affect legal practice; we appear at parliamentary inquiries into key legal reforms; we lobby for a stronger justice system via budget and other submissions, and much more (you can read more about our advocacy work on page 22). We are always working to make life better for practitioners. As an example, last year the Society initiated a review into easing the regulatory burden on the profession. Internally, the Society has developed a range of new initiatives to lighten the administrative load, but we are also investigating the profession’s compliance responsibilities and obligations with the ultimate objective of removing the unnecessary red tape that hinders practitioners. We have always promoted and protected the reputation of lawyers and, through submissions, media and administrative services, encouraged members of public to engage the expertise of lawyers. On 26 March, the Society launched its “See a Lawyer” campaign to encourage members of the public to engage a lawyer for any legal matters or disputes. In this edition we have a summary of the most recent Member Satisfaction Survey. It indicates that while the Society is performing well, there is of course room for improvement. We are using the feedback from the survey to help shape new services, improve existing ones and ensure everything we do is of relevance to Members. We welcome feedback and we encourage all Members to have their say on issues affecting the profession. If there’s anything you want to change, if you want your voice to be influential, I encourage you to become actively involved in the Society. One of the best ways of doing this is to join one of our many special interest committees. Our committees are regularly consulted on issues and the majority of our submissions and positions are informed by consultation and collaboration with committees. Another way to get involved is to nominate for a position on the Council later in the year. The Society has a proud history of supporting and standing up for the legal profession since 1879. We will continue to represent the profession with vigour, and we encourage practitioners to maximise the power of our collective voice by being actively involved and having your say. B April 2018 THE BULLETIN 7