Law Society’s Recent Activities

The Law Society is the peak representative body of the legal profession in Tasmania (read more here).

Below are some of things we’ve been up to:

Date Activity
21/8/2019 TLRI media launch held at the Law Society for the launch of Issues Paper No. 30 Social Media, Jurors and the Right of an Accused to a Fair Trial
20/8/2019 EDI meeting held
16/8/2019 Law Foundation meeting held
12/8/2019 Executive Director attended a meeting of the Tasmanian Law Library committee.
11/8/2019 Southern Cross News story in relation to St Giles.
11/8/2019 Examiner article in relation to the Launceston Family Court.
10/8/2019 ABC News story in relation to the Launceston Family Court.
10/8/2019 Council meeting held in Launceston.
9/8/2019 Examiner article in relation to NDIS.
9/8/2019 Northern Legal Profession Dinner.
9/8/2019 Launceston President Drinks.
9/8/2019 Lawyer X – Lessons for Every Practitioner CPD session in Launceston by Arthur Moses SC.
9/8/2019 President of Law Council, President, Executive Director and Marcus Priest visited St Giles.
9/8/2019 President of Law Council, President, Executive Director and Marcus Priest met with Nicky Snare of the Launceston Community Legal Centre.
9/8/2019 President of Law Council, President, Executive Director and Marcus Priest received a Family Court tour in Launceston.
8/8/2019 Examiner article in relation to the State’s Legal Assistance Cuts.
8/8/2019 President of Law Council, President, Executive Director and Marcus Priest met with Bridget Archer, member for Bass.
8/8/2019 President of Law Council, President, Executive Director and Marcus Priest met with Senator Jackie Lambie.
8/8/2019 President & Executive Director met with Gavin Pearce, member for Braddon.
6/8/2019 Litigation Committee meeting held.
5/8/2019 Property & Commercial Law Committee meeting held.
2/8/2019 President attended the Law Society of South Australian Legal Awards Dinner.
2/8/2019 Submissions to Department of Justice on Justice Legislation (Organisational Liability for Child Abuse) Amendment Bill.
1/8/2019 Family Law Committee meeting.
1/8/2019 WIN News – TV interview on the crime of Persistent Family Violence – opposition of new laws as unnecessary. Made sensible by DPP’s guidelines. Existing law more than adequate.
31/7/2019 Supervised legal practice working group meeting.
31/7/2019 ABC News – TV interview on Tas rape laws with ref to other states and the ALRC report into the definition of intercourse
29/7/2019 Examiner Newspaper re Society’s position on pill testing. See it as health issue rather than rule of law and declined to comment.
26/7/2019 Family Law CPD seminar.
26/7/2019 Further interview with ABC as per above, recorded for podcasting.
26/7/2019 Interview with ABC online in relation to animal welfare legislation.
25/7/2019 Executive Committee meeting held.
24/7/2019 President spoke to year 11 and 12 students at the Newham Campus of the Law School.
24/7/2019 President met with the Northern Young Lawyers to look at the improvements to the functionality of Staffordshire House.
23/7/2019 President and Executive Director met with the review panel at the University for the external review of the LLB.
23/7/2019 President, Will Justo and Executive Director met with Dean of law Prof Tim McCormack to discuss collaborative CPD and future potential scholarship.
23/7/2019 President, Will Justo and Executive Director met with the panel reviewing the UTAS bachelor of laws degree.
23/7/2019 President and Executive Director met with the Director of Public Prosecutions in regard to criminal listings.
22/7/2019 Executive Director attended Supreme Court for Cosenza admission application.
22/7/2019 Employment, Diversity and Inclusion committee meeting.
19/7/2019 President met with a consultant engaged by the DPP to investigate the use of electronic forms of documents in court.
19/7/2019 President and Executive Director attended a celebration of the Law School level 1 re-opening.
17/7/2019 Media Release – Law Society welcomes New Recorder of Titles, Robert Manning.
16/7/2019 President, Deputy Executive Director and PCL committee representatives met with representatives of Treasury in regards FIDS law reform.
16/7/2019 President and Executive Director met with Tas Police in relation to disclosure of evidence in criminal matters..
16/7/2019 Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director attended meetings regarding cybersecurity insurance for the profession/member benefit.
12/7/2019 Memo from the President sent to all practitioners in regards to Cybersecurity.
10/7/2019 FLPAT meeting.
10/7/2019 President met with senior members of the profession.
10/7/2019 FIDS working group met to finalise submissions to Treasury.
8/7/2019 President wrote to the Attorney-General in regards to regulation of legal practice and people unlawfully engaging in legal work.
4/7/2019 President met with the President of the Family Law Practitioners Association.
4/7/2019 Practising Certificate renewal process complete.
4/7/2019 Southern Young Lawyers Lecture Series on legal aid applications.
4/7/2019 Family Law Committee meeting.
3/7/2019 Southern Young Lawyers meeting.
2/7/2019 President met with the Director of Prisons, Legal Aid, Supreme Court Registrar and Magistrates Court Administration.
2/7/2019 President met with Bendigo Bank in regards to changes to settlement procedures.
2/7/2019 President & Executive Director met with the Chair of the Family Law Committee in relation to the ALRC report on the Family Court.
2/7/2019 President & Deputy Executive Director held a meeting with property law experts prior to the quarterly meeting with SRO.
1/7/2019 Executive meeting.
1/7/2019 Property & Commercial Law Committee meeting.
1/7/2019 Requistions on title sub-committee meeting.
28/6/2019 President met with representatives of police, courts, prosecution and the Launceston Reception Prison to discuss operational issues and improve access to prisoners.
27/6/2019 President, Vice-President and Treasurer met to discuss operational finance matters.
27/6/2019 Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director met with the CEO of Law Cover.
27/6/2019 Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director met with the CEO of Law Cover.
26/6/2019 Pro Bono committee meeting.
25/6/2019 Criminal Law Committee meeting.
25/6/2019 President met with members of the Executive (M Verney and T McKenna) to discuss issues relevant to family lawyers and towards Mr Moses SC’s visit.
25/6/2019 President, Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director met in relation to title insurance.
25/6/2019 President and Vice-President met to discuss current issues and future strategy.
25/6/2019 TLRI media launch held at the Law Society.
24/6/2019 Rohan Foon appointed to the Finance and Risk Committee of the Law Council of Australia.
24/6/2019 Council meeting.
22/6/2019 President and Executive Director met with the LCA President, Arthur Moses.
22/6/2019 President, Executive Director and LCA Director attended meetings of the President’s, CEO’s, the Conference of Law Societies and the LCA quarterly Directors meeting in Darwin.
21/6/2019 Elder & Succession Law Conference.
19/6/2019 President met with the President of the Law Society of Western Australia.
14/6/2019 Meeting with the Land Titles Office regarding systems, processes and resources including the need for an electronic Land Titles manual, requisitions, consistency, an update on e-conveyancing, and other matters.
13/6/2019 President and Executive Director met with the CEO and Manager Operations of the Legal Profession Board.
13/6/2019 President and Executive Director met with the President of the Tasmanian Bar.
13/6/2019 President and Executive Director met with the Chair and new Director of the Legal Aid Commission.
13/6/2019 President and Executive Director attended the Magistrates Court Criminal and General Bill workshop.
11/6/2019 Property & Commercial Law Committee met with Ron Jorgensen in regards to FIDS Law Reform.
11/6/2019 President interviewed by the Examiner in regards to legal aid sector at ‘crisis’ point due to federal underfunding.
7/6/2019 Executive Director attended the Tasmanian Legal Assistance Forum.
3/6/2019 Submissions were made in relation to the Notional Estate Laws TLRI Issues Paper No 28.
6/6/2019 The President sent a memo to the profession in relation to access to prisoners at the Launceston Reception Prison and Requests for Information in Relation to time spent in custody.
4/6/2019 The President met with the Property & Commercial Law sub-committee to work through submissions on FIDS reform etc.
4/6/2019 The President attended a function hosted by the Northern Young Lawyers to introduce and welcome law students.
4/6/2019 President wrote to Kate Mooney and Paul Turner to congratulate them on their appointments as SC.
30/5/2019 President and Executive Director met with Attorney-General.
27/5/2019 President and Executive Director met with the shadow Attorney-General.
24/5/2019 President interviewed by the Advocate in relation to the Budget. We welcome 7th judge, new magistrate, funding for CLC’s, Justice Connect and the Burnie Court. We welcome an increase in funding for Legal Aid and the DPP but there is still a need for further funding in these areas. We would like the 7th judge to have started sooner. More detail given on the Burnie Court redevelopment and our understanding of the reason for delay.
24/5/2019 President interviewed by the Examiner in relation to the Budget. We welcome 7th judge, new magistrate, funding for CLC’s, Justice Connect and the Burnie Court. We welcome an increase in funding for Legal Aid and the DPP but there is still a need for further funding in these areas. We would like the 7th judge to have started sooner. More detail given on the merits of Justice Connect.
24/5/2019 President interviewed by WIN News in relation to the Budget. We welcome 7th judge, new magistrate, funding for CLC’s, Justice Connect and the Burnie Court. We welcome an increase in funding for Legal Aid and the DPP but there is still a need for further funding in these areas. We would like the 7th judge to have started sooner.
24/5/2019 President interviewed by 7 Tasmania News in relation to the Budget. We welcome 7th judge, new magistrate, funding for CLC’s, Justice Connect and the Burnie Court. We welcome an increase in funding for Legal Aid and the DPP but there is still a need for further funding in these areas. We would like the 7th judge to have started sooner.
22/5/2019 President spoke to ABC in relation to arrangements between the court and the media for the release of information-referred to the courts.
 22/5/2019  Mercury article on Society’s submissions to government on the Magistrates Court (Criminal and General) Bill.
 15/5/2019 President interview with the Mercury – Magistrates Court (Criminal and General) Bill. We are very unhappy with the consultation process. It is rushed and we see several fundamental problems with the Bill.
 15/5/2019 President radio interview Leon Compton – Magistrates Court (Criminal and General) Bill. We are very unhappy with the consultation process. It is rushed and we see several fundamental problems with the bill.
 15/5/2019 President interviewed by the Examiner on the Magistrates Court (Criminal and General) Bill. We are very unhappy with the consultation process. It is rushed and we see several fundamental problems with the bill.
 14/5/2019 President on line interview with ABC – S194k of the Evidence Act. We support reform but are concerned that the right balance is struck between the competing tensions in the act. We have made a number of recommendations.
 17/5/2019  Held the President’s North-West Dinner and CPD event.
10/5/2019 Submissions on section 194 of the Evidence Act.
7/5/2019 President – ABC on-line interview with Ellen Coulter re 194K of the Evidence Act. The Society welcomes law reform opportunities and community and stakeholder engagement is important. The proposed changes clarify the law and the process of dealing with applications under the Evidence Act. The Act is designed to protect the identity of the complainant and the fact defendants are not identified is to ensure complainants are not identified by inference.
6/5/2019 Submissions on review of section 87 of the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act.
1/5/2019 A Magistrates Court Act briefing was held with DOJ.
30/4/2019 President was interviewed by ABC TV News re Labor’s policy on sentencing of sex offenders. The society is vehemently opposed to mandatory sentencing and notes that the Sentencing Advisory Council and the Law Council of Australia are also opposed to it. Increasing maximum penalties is a legitimate way of informing courts of parliaments view of the objective seriousness of a crime. Life imprisonment is not the current penalty for these particular crimes. There is already an upward trend in sentencing for these crimes as noted by the Sentencing Advisory Council report from November 2018 so the need for any change is questionable.
22/4/2019 Amanda Thompson attended the “Safety is Everything” campaign launch.
18/4/2019 President was interviewed by ABC news TV re crime statistics in Launceston. The Society cautions against drawing conclusions from a single month’s statistics as there are fluctuations over time. Difficult to say if there is an increase in the courts because the courts are already extremely busy. Lawyers make a significant difference to the efficiency of the courts and assist in rehabilitation of offenders by putting them in touch with services.
12/4/2019 Attorney-General re establishing bulk payments for Neighbourhood Disputes About Plants Act Searches.
11/4/2019 Executive Director attended the Magistrates Court users group meeting.
10/4/2019 President and Executive Director attended the ceremonial sitting for Leanne Topfer.
8/4/209 President wrote to outgoing President and incoming President of the Tas Bar.
8/4/2019 Executive Director met with Graham Vasileff and Alison Clues in regards to PII.
4/4/2019 Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director met with Adrian Patch in regard to Chair Training.
4/4/2019 Attorney-General re sunset clauses in residential off the plan sale contracts.
4/4/2019 President and Executive Director met with LACT in regard to direct access issues for barristers.
28/3/2019 Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director met with TLRI.
21/3/2019 Presdient, ED and LCA Director attended the LCA meeting in Sydney.
14/3/2019 President spoke to ABC re last chance appeal laws. Query re last chance appeal laws and whether they are truly “last chance”. The society declined to comment on the Sue Neil Fraser case however the Criminal Code does not exclude a subsequent appeal in the light of fresh and compelling evidence. It may be difficult to secure leave for a third appeal etc given the requirements of the act however.
12/3/2019 President spok to ABC Radio with Leon Compton re power of citizen’s arrest. Best to leave arrest to the police who are professionally trained. While there is a power to arrest under sec 55 of the code any one utilising it places themselves at physical risk and risk of being charged themselves.
11/3/2019 President spoke to the Examiner. interview in relation to non-publication orders and the global media. The law is local but the media landscape is global. To change the laws would require a unified approach across jurisdictions. Non-publication orders are still a very important tool despite on-line publication.
8/3/2019 President spoke to Edith Bevin ABC News re Susan Neil Fraser appeal. He declined to comment.
8/3/2019 President spoke to Damien McIntyre ABC News on Purchasers obtaining tests to see if the property has been used for methamphetamine production. Said would be governed by the terms of the contract whether purchaser has a remedy. These issues highlight why lawyers should be used in conveyancing as experts in the law. Many complexities can arise and when they do lawyers are best placed to deal with those issues.
7/3/2019 President spoke to ABC News on Susan Neil Fraser appeal. He declined to comment.
7/3/2019 President spoke to ABC News also on one punch laws. Same position as above.
7/3/2019 President spoke to Fairfax re proposed one punch laws and re-affirmed our opposition to the introduction of a new law. There is no need for a new crime as existing laws and sentencing powers adequately cover these cases. We are opposed to any mandatory sentencing measure as they create unjust outcomes. The laws in NSW involved a series of measures including lock-out laws and liquor restrictions so the effectiveness of the one punch laws in NSW is difficult to assess.
26/2/2019 President was contacted by the Advocate and discussed the following Northern Prison: Confirmed our support for a northern prison including access to prisoner and opportunity to keep prisoners connected in to their families. The location is not of particular concern to us.
Lawyer X – Lawyers in Tas hold themselves to very high standards and clients can be confident of the professionalism and confidentiality of lawyers in this state.Law Reform Institute review of fitness and psych defences.
We look forward to being involved in this review. We see a need to consider whether the act are functioning as intended.
20/2/2019 Media Release from the President in regards to Lawyers as Police Informants.
20/2/2019 President wrote to all practitioners in regards to Lawyers as Police Informants.
12/2/2019 The President was interviewed by the Examiner in regards to under-granting of legal aid. He put forward the effects of under-granting and the effect on lawyers engaging in this work. Explained the policy shift and what it means for us.
Pointed to the chronic underfunding at federal level and invited her to contact Arthur Moses SC re this issue on funding generally.
12/2/2019 The President wrote to all legal practitioners and LACT commissioners in regards to undergranting.
6/2/2019 Wrote to the DOJ in relation to Criminal Code Amendment (Bullying) Bill 2018.
6/2/2019 Wrote to the Legislative Council in regards to Sentencing for Serious Sex Offences Against Children.
1/2/2019 The President and Chris Gunson SC met with the President of the Tasmanian Bar.
1/2/2019 The President met with the senior practitioners list.
1/2/2019 The President and Vice-President met with Murdoch Clarke.
1/2/2019 The President hosted the Opening of the Legal Year dinner on 1.2.19.
1/2/2019 The President participated at the Opening of the Legal Year Church Service on 1.2.19.
28/1/2019 President spoke to the Examiner. Issue: backlog Supreme Court
Comment: Support re-appointment of temporary judges however need for more broad reaching reforms. Will work with Govt on that. We see the funding issue as crucial to delay issue and feds are part of the problem. Pointed them to the LCA and justice project. Gave detailed comment on effect, cause and answer with respect to delay.
28/1/2019 President spoke to ABC News (TV) Issue: Workplaces (protection from protesters) Amendment Bill.
Comment: that original act was flawed and we said that at the time of its introduction. The HC held a number of sections to be inconsistent with the constitution in the decision of Brown v Tas. The amendments seek to address that but they are sweeping. Hard to say of still unconstitutional yet. We say should not be indictable, note that penalties have been significantly reduced. Will be part of consultation process and we welcome the opportunity.
17/1/2019 The Examiner quoted the President in its article in regards to Governor Kate Warner.
16/1/2019 The President met with his chosen charity StGiles.
15/1/2019 The President issued a media release in regards to Governor Kate Warner on her current health.

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