Commencement of the Legal Profession (Solicitors’ Conduct) Rules 2020 and Rules of Practice Amendment Rules 2020

On 1 October 2020 the Legal Profession (Solicitors’ Conduct) Rules 2020 will commence. Significant amendments to the Rules of Practice 1994 will also begin.

Following below a memorandum from Law Society President Crystal Garwood, information sheets, copies of the rules and a commentary.

All practitioners should familiarise themselves with the new rules and changes to the Rules of Practice.

Rules of Practice 1994

Law Society Annual Awards

Nominations now open

Each year the Society recognises outstanding contribution and excellence by individuals and firms at the opening of the legal year dinner.

If you know a person or firm who has made an outstanding contribution, why not nominate them?

Outstanding Pro Bono Legal Award
Do you know a firm or individual who has made a difference by providing outstanding pro bono services? Help recognise that contribution by nominating that person or firm for an outstanding pro bono legal award. 

Nominations close 20 December 2020

Ceremonial Sitting – Her Honour Judge Barbara Baker

Please see below a link to the ceremonial sitting to farewell her Honour Judge Baker of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.  

The ceremonial sitting will be held from 4:30 p.m. – 5.15 p.m. on Friday 27 November 2020 (AEDT) from Court 1 of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in Hobart at the Edward Braddon Commonwealth Law Courts building.  The number of guests invited to the event has been limited, due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place, to comply with the Court’s COVID-19 work safety building plan.

Please feel free to distribute this link by copying the link and emailing it to your colleagues and members of the profession who may wish to observe the sitting.  Guests viewing the ceremony via this link should kindly please mute their microphones and have their cameras switched off.

Microsoft Teams meeting

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Video Conference ID: 133 444 808 5

Alternate VTC dialing instructions

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+61 2 9161 1229,,788632495#   Australia, Sydney

Phone Conference ID: 788 632 495#

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Expression of interest for appointment as legal adviser to Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights

On behalf of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (the committee), I wish to inform you of an expression of interest process for the appointment of an external legal adviser to the committee.

Expressions of interest for the position, to commence in January/February 2021, are invited from suitably qualified persons.

Please see the attached call for expressions of interest for further information. The closing date for expressions of interest is close of business on 11 December 2020.

I would be grateful if you could forward the committee’s call for expressions of interest to any individuals who you consider might be interested in and suitably qualified for the position.

Potential applicants may contact the Committee Secretariat on 02 6277 3823 for further information.

Saint Judy – Online Movie Fundraiser for Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service

TRLS are hosting an online screening of the film Saint Judy that we recently screened at Village Cinemas as an extension of their fundraising.

The link to purchase tickets can be found here:

Saint Judy – Online Movie Fundraiser for Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service Tickets, Wed 18/11/2020 at 4:00 pm | Eventbrite In this very unique year where gathering together is challenging, we’re running a special movie night at home! We invite you to be inspired by a great movie whilst supporting the Tasmanian Refugee Legal Service, and the work that we do here in Tasmania to support our local refugee and asylum seeker …

Meditation sessions open to legal professionals over four weeks at the Law Society

The Law Society of Tasmania is joining with South Hobart Yoga and Meditation Centre to bring members in person, bite-sized low impact (no sweat!) lunch-time meditation sessions. These will help you take charge of yourself, reduce the impact of stress on your body and mind, learn relaxation techniques, and find ways to live in the present.

In these half hour sessions, access a part of you that is often lost in the turbulence of daily life and become mentally clearer, calmer and more balanced.

The Law Society of Tasmania has currently opened 4 half hour sessions that run FROM 16 November 2020. The sessions are $5 each so why not book a few and reap the benefits of some regular meditation time-out.  Register here.

This is a seated (on a chair) meditation, classroom style in the Law Society’s downstairs training room at 28 Murray Street. No change of clothing is required. The sessions are suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

This class is being trialled for 4 weeks in Hobart. Expressions of interest for classes in the North and North West are welcome,

The Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia are implementing a new form on 31 October 2020 – the Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk

The Family Law (Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk) Rules 2020 and the Federal Circuit Court (Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk) Rules 2020 have been registered , and commenced 31 October 2020.

As a result, the Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk will come into effect as the prescribed form from tomorrow.

The new form must be completed when filing an Initiating Application, Response to Initiating Application or Application for Consent Orders where a parenting order is sought from 31 October 2020 and should be eFiled using the Commonwealth Courts Portal.

Please note that there have been two minor changes to the form since the original email of 20 October: Q11 changed ‘are’ to ‘is’: ‘Identify the kind of abuse or neglect the child has experienced (or is at risk of experiencing).’ Q25 referenced 24 in error.

For more information, see the following links:

Form and kit changes that have arisen as a result of the Family Law (Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk) Rules 2020 and the Federal Circuit Court (Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk) Rules 2020.

Initiating Application kit and form

The instruction pages of the kit were updated to reflect changes to the Notice of child abuse, family violence or risk.

The Notice to Respondent(s) on page 10 was updated to include references to the new Notice and additional details added about attending hearings.

Application for Consent Orders kit and form

The instruction pages of the kit were updated to reflect changes to the Notice of child abuse, family violence or risk.

The note on page 10 at Item 25 was changed to reflect the requirement to file the new Notice when seeking parenting orders.

Annexure to Proposed Consent Parenting Order (Current Case) form

Instructions and note at Part B were amended to reflect change to the Notice of child abuse, family violence or risk.

Response to Initiating Application Kit
Updates were made to the instructions pages of the kit but no changes to the form itself.

All the updated forms and kits are available on the Court websites.

ATO – Tax gap estimates reported in the 2019–20 ATO annual report

The tax gap is an estimate of the difference between the amount the ATO collects and what we would have collected if every taxpayer was fully compliant with tax law. No tax system can eliminate tax gaps. Our goal is to sustainably reduce tax gaps over time.

In 2017–18 the tax gap for the tax and superannuation system was estimated at approximately $31 billion or 6.9%.

This year sees the full release of our tax gap research program for the first time, with the release of five new gap estimates: medium business, fringe benefits, luxury car tax, alcohol, and product stewardship for oil. The previously-released gaps have been refreshed with new figures and insights. Attached a summary of the tax gaps estimates which outlines some high level information. The gaps have been published in line with the Australian Taxation Office 2019-20 Annual report, which is now available for you to view or download at

ATO – Insights into foreign purchases and sales of residential real estate

The first two Insights into foreign purchases and sales of residential real estate reports publishing data from the Register of Foreign Ownership of Residential Land (the Register) are now available on the Foreign Investment Review Board website.
Information was taken from the Register to provide insights into purchases and sales of residential real estate by foreign persons from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 (2017-18) and from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 (2018-19).
The Register has been set up to provide greater transparency about levels of foreign investment in residential real estate in Australia.
Under legislation, foreign persons must apply for Foreign Investment Review Board approval prior to purchasing Australian residential real estate. Once approved, the purchase must be registered using the Land and Water Registration Form no later than 30 days after the date of settlement. There is no cost involved in registering.
Failure to seek foreign investment approval or to register on the Register of Foreign Ownership of Residential Real Estate may result in penalties including heavy fines. Foreign investors also have an obligation to update the register if their situation changes by completing the Land and Water Registration Form available on our website at
Learn more about residential investment on our website

Nomination for Membership of the Legal Profession Board

The Legal Profession Board’s major function is to receive and investigate complaints about the conduct of legal practitioners. The Board has six members, two are nominated by the Society and each must be the holder of a local practising certificate.

The Society is seeking expressions of interest from suitably experienced practitioners who are interested in being one of the Society’s nominees on the Board.

The Board has prepared a Board Member Information Pack which can be found HERE. The pack provides useful information on the Board, its operations and its current members.  Practitioners considering lodging an expression of interest should read this document.

Expressions of Interest

Expressions of interest should include a CV and details of relevant qualifications, training and experience. Expressions of interest should, if possible address the following desirable competencies, skills and attributes:

  1. Considerable experience in private legal practice across a broad range of practice areas;
  1. Sound knowledge of the ethical duties of legal practitioners
  1. A sound understanding of, and or experience in, regulation within a professional context;
  1. An ability to make a contribution in relation to the establishment and maintenance of professional standards;
  1. The ability to reach firm conclusions and to exercise sound judgment;
  1. A demonstrated capacity to act in an impartial manner;
  1. A sound understanding of basic administrative review concepts such as natural justice / procedural fairness;
  1. An ability to understand and interpret legislation;
  1. Demonstrated personal integrity and accountability; and
  1. A desire and ability to work within a board / committee setting.

Expressions of interest may be emailed to For additional information please contact Mr Rheinberger, 6234 4133.

Closing date 16 November 2020