News

Representing Witnesses before the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of People with Disability

Expression of Interest:

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of People with Disability will accept submissions and conduct hearings until 2022. Your Story Disability Legal Support (Your Story) provides legal advice, ancillary civil assistance, and facilitated referrals to people engaging with the Royal Commission.

The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department funds a Legal Financial Assistance Scheme which pays for legal practitioners to assist people called by the Royal Commission to appear as a witness, attend an interview, or provide information to it. 

Your Story is inviting Tasmanian practitioners, law firms, and legal services providers to express interest in being included on its Referral List for Witness Representation. 

When a person doesn’t have a preferred lawyer to represent them, Your Story will refer them to the Referral List. Referrals may also be made by the Office of the Solicitor Assisting the Royal Commission.


Practitioners expressing interest for inclusion on Your Story’s Witness Referral List must meet the following criteria:

  • Evidence of trauma informed practice training/CPD (minimum 4 hours)
  • Experience providing services to clients with disability or clients who have experienced trauma
  • Capacity to mobilise quickly
  • Ability to provide face to face legal service in Tasmania where appropriate

Expressions of interest should be sent to yourstory@legalaid.tas.gov.au Please indicate in your expression of interest how you meet the above criteria and in what areas you can provide a service. Please also note if you can provided services outside of Tasmania as well. Please provide your expression of interest by 30 October 2020.

Aid will not be granted or administered by Tasmanian Legal Aid. All assessments and administration will be managed by the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Office. More information is available here.

Please direct any enquiries to yourstory@legalaid.tas.gov.au or call 03 6236 3800 and ask for David Cocker.

Your Story Disability Legal Support – Personal Injury Referral List

Expression of Interest

Your Story Disability Legal Support (YSDLS) is a free, independent legal service established to provide legal advice and support to people who want to share their experience with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (Disability Royal Commission).

It is expected that some clients seeking advice from YSDLS on engaging with the Disability Royal Commission will have potential civil claims arising from their experiences. These clients will require specialist legal advice and representation in relation to personal injury claims.

YSDLS is seeking expressions of interest from personal injury firms to join a referral list to enable YSDLS to warmly refer clients from YSDLS to private practitioners with relevant expertise.

Expressions of interest for inclusion on the referral list are due by COB 30 October 2020.

Read more about the referral list, criteria for assessment and how to express interest here. Note that the period for submitting an EOI is extended to 30 October 2020.

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.

Commissioner for Children and Young People Tasmania – Developing Resources for Children and Young People

  The National Office of Child Safety has engaged the Western Australian Commissioner for Children and Young People to develop resources for children and young people explaining their right to speak up when they feel uncomfortable, unsafe or marginalised, and outlining the steps they can take to raise their concerns or make complaints within organisations.   These resources are being designed for use by organisations in all Australian states and territories. As part of this project, the Western Australian Commissioner is also developing a resource to help adults to talk about the resources with children and young people in their lives, communities and organisations.

The content and design of the resources is being developed in consultation with children and young people as well as parents, carers or other significant adults, from a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences across Australia.

The Western Australian Commissioner’s office is currently consulting children and young people, organisations and individuals across Australia including through online surveys for children and young people (10-17 years) and adults, and online drop-in sessions.

The surveys will be live until COB Monday 7 September 2020: Adult – https://ccypwa.syd1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_29KSq9PNfd91uT3

Children and young people – https://ccypwa.syd1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1QYKkKvNioDtK73


Visit the Western Australian Commissioner for Children and Young People website for more information about the project.  

Leanne McLean
Commissioner for Children and Young People Tasmania

State Revenue Office – The point at which interest is applied to duties transactions.

At a recent meeting between the Law Society of Tasmania and the State Revenue Office (SRO), the SRO clarified how interest is applied to unpaid duties transactions.

Section 15 of the Duties Act 2001 states that a tax default does not occur for the purposes of the Taxation Administration Act 1997 if duty is paid within 3 months after the liability to pay the duty arises.

In developing Client View and the associated upgrade of TRO, the SRO was aware that its previous practice of issuing an assessment notice (and providing 14 days to pay the assessment before interest was charged), had produced an inequitable situation when the 14-day period exceeded the three-month period after the dutiable transaction.

There was evidence that some transactions were not being submitted for assessment to the SRO until around day 89 after the dutiable transaction had occurred. As a result, the taxpayer was effectively gaining a further minimum two-week interest-free period before payment of duty was required to be made.

To ensure consistency and equity for all taxpayers, and in compliance with the legislation, the upgraded SRO systems now charge interest on any unpaid assessment from day 91 onwards, irrespective of when the transaction was lodged for assessment.

Where a TRO Agent wishes to limit or remove any interest that may be applicable, they are able to make an interim payment of estimated duty when lodging the transaction.

This payment of duty can be made using TRO, and the SRO has published TRO User Factsheet series No 19 setting out how to make those payments.

28 August 2020

High Court (2021 Sittings) Rules 2020

Rule of Court appointing the High Court sittings for 2021. The Rule of Court appoints the Full Court sittings to be held in Canberra throughout the year and the days on which special leave applications will be heard. Sittings of the Court will continue to be held in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart and Perth as required. Additional sittings may also be held on other days as required, for example in matters requiring expedition. These sittings will be appointed by the Chief Justice pursuant to Rule 6.04.2 of the High Court Rules 2004.

Sentencing Advisory Council – Release of Guide to Sentencing in Tasmania

A Guide to Sentencing in Tasmania provides an accessible source of information for Tasmanians on all aspects of sentencing in the Tasmanian Courts.  It describes who is responsible for sentencing, in which courts sentencing happens (the Supreme Court, the Magistrates Court), the process leading to sentence, the range of sentences that can be imposed and how the courts decide which sentence to impose. It also describes the parole system and how a sentence can be changed on appeal by either the defence or prosecution.

The Guide is intended for use by people involved, or interested in, the criminal justice system such as victims, offenders or providers of advice to those affected by crime. It will be of use to teachers, students, journalists and members of the public who wish to gain a better understanding of a complex and often misunderstood part of the law.

The Guide is free and is available on the Council’s website at www.sentencingcouncil.tas.gov.au .

Review of the Expungement of Historical Offences Act 2017: Call for written submissions (Closing Monday 31 August 2020)

Section 32 of the Expungement of Historical Offences Act 2017 (the Act) requires the Minister to cause an independent review of the operation of the Act to be completed within 6 months after the second anniversary of the Act’s commencement. The Act commenced on 9 April 2018. See public notice here.

In accordance with section 32 of the Expungement of Historical Offences Act 2017 (the Act), the Minister for Justice, the Honourable Elise Archer MP, has commissioned an independent review of the operation of the above Act. See letter to stakeholders here.