The Family Law Property Mediation Trial – Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania

The Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania is running a two-year Mediation Trial that will assist up to 50 separating couples divide property or debt.

The Mediation Trial targets couples with a net property pool of up to $500,000, excluding superannuation. It is for people who can’t afford a lawyer to help them with their property settlement.

Legal Aid may be granted to lawyers to represent clients and support them through the property mediation process. If agreement cannot be reached, lawyers will advise clients about their options and may apply for aid for court.

Most people wanting to participate in the Mediation Trial will be referred to private lawyers who do legal aid work.

Lawyers interested in accepting referrals for the Mediation Trial are requested to register their interest by emailing

The Mediation Trial has its own eligibility criteria and different income and assets tests. The Guidelines and the Work Items and Fee Schedule are available on the Legal Aid website.

Lawyers can apply for aid for a Mediation Trial through Legal Aid’s e-lodge system. A Mediation Trial Checklist also needs to be completed and sent to See Mediation Trial Checklist.

For more details see the guide for lawyers, which can be found on our website.

Queries about the Mediation Trial can be directed to Anthea d’Emden at

High Court Amendment (Electronic Filing and Others Matters) Rules 2019

The High Court Amendment (Electronic Filing and Other Matters) Rules 2019 were registered on 20 December 2020 and are available at

Explanatory Statement

The Amendment Rules amend the High Court Rules 2004 to make provision for the electronic lodgment of documents in cases started on or after 1 January 2020.

The Amendment Rules also increase by 2.1% the amounts allowed in Schedule 2 of the Rules on the taxation of a bill of costs.  The 2.1% increase will apply in respect of all work done and services performed by solicitors after 31 December 2019.

High Court of Australia Digital Lodgment System Portal

In January 2020 the High Court of Australia will introduce a Digital Lodgment System Portal (DLS Portal) to permit parties to start cases, file documents, pay fees, receive notifications from the Court and track the progress of a case without attending the Registry.

The DLS Portal has been designed with the primary focus of the needs of external users of the Court’s services, as identified by external stakeholders in their responses to the Court’s review of its services conducted in late 2018.  It is expected that the DLS Portal will substantially improve access, efficiency and timeliness for the parties as well as reducing their costs of conducting litigation in the Court.  Members of the public will also benefit from electronic access to information about cases filed and, upon payment of the prescribed fees, will be able to obtain copies of documents available for inspection.

Information about the DLS Portal, including the attached overview and an introductory video, is available on the High Court website at  Step-by-step walk through assistance will be available in the DLS Portal from January.

GST at Settlement

Message from the ATO – Settlements occurring 24 Dec 2019 – 2 Jan 2020

This message is to provide key information on the GST at settlement measure.

The ATO is undertaking a major system upgrade over the Christmas and New Year break (break).

Clients (purchasers and their representatives) will be unable to lodge Form 1 or Form 2 from 6:15pm 24 December 2019 until 6:00am 2 January 2020.

Action to take if a property settles over the break:
 Form 1 and Form 2 lodged before the break: make payment during the break to the ATO using the payment reference number (PRN) received from Form 1. You will receive email confirmation after 2 January, but there may be some delays.

– Form 1 lodged before the break: make the payment during the break to the ATO using the PRN received from Form 1. Lodge Form 2 as soon as feasible on or after 2 January. Once the payment and Form 2 are processed you will receive your email confirmation, but there may be some delays.

– No forms lodged: don’t make the payment during the break, lodge both forms as soon as feasible on or after 2 January and make the payment with the PRN received from Form 1.

Note – For clients that will have lodged Form 1 (up until 23 December) and have indicated that they expect their property to settle during the shutdown will receive an email directly from the project team on what to do.

National Sports Tribunal – Candidate Information Tribunal Member

Applications are invited from experienced legal professionals and sports subject matter experts to form a Panel of Tribunal Members for the soon to be established National Sports Tribunal (NST).

The NST will provide sports, athletes and athlete support personnel with a cost-effective, independent forum for the timely prevention or resolution of disputes through private arbitration, mediation, conciliation or case appraisal.

Further background information can be found at:

Law Society Annual Awards

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?

• President’s Award
Young Lawyers’ Award

Nominations close 20 December 2019

Sir John Demetrius Morris Oration – 26 November 2019

Sir John Morris was appointed to the bench as Acting Chief Justice of the Tasmania Supreme Court July 1939. He was formally appointed Chief Justice in April 1940, aged 37. He served as Chief Justice until his death in 1956, aged only 53. His was the first Chief Justice in Australia of Hellenic background.

Chief Justice Alan Blow will be introducing Professor Ober at the Oration.

Cross-Border Insolvency Invitation to Attend UN Day Lecture Series – UNCCA

Federal Court – Court 1 – 39-41 Davey Street Hobart
23 October 2019, 5-6.15pm

This year’s lecture will outline how the Cross-Border Insolvency framework operates, and will examine the contribution made by Australian courts and practitioners to many of the developments in this field over the past quarter-century.

See here for further detail.

Students $6.36 | Non-members $27.46 | Hobart – UNCCA and ARITA Members $Free