News

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 luke.rheinberger@lst.org.au. For additional information please contact Mr Rheinberger, 6234 4133.

Closing date 16 November 2020

Trevor McKenna Elected as new Law Society of Tasmania President

Media Release

On Saturday, 17 October 2020 the Law Society of Tasmania elected highly respected family lawyer Trevor McKenna as its new President.


Immediate past President, Ms Crystal Garwood said, “The incoming President’s experience, both on Council over the last five years and as a Senior Associate of Ogilvie Jennings, will put him in good stead to effectively achieve the goals and objectives of the Society”.


“Mr McKenna is a family and relationships lawyer and undertakes Court appointments to represent the best interests of children in the child protection jurisdiction”.


“His skills in advocating for justice for the community, his previous leadership roles and the commitment he has shown to the profession will be an asset. I look forward to him moving into the role of President, and aptly leading the Society forward”


Mr McKenna says he is very honoured and excited to be appointed President.


“I look forward to carrying on the legacy of the Law Society and focusing my energy on supporting and representing the interests of our membership and advocating ongoing law reform focused on a just legal system.
“A standout to me practising law in lutruwita / Tasmania is how the profession has continually maintained a position of public trust and is united in its commitment to the community.


“This commitment to community is something I want to emphasise over the next twelve months through ongoing debate on law reform, access to justice issues and especially addressing the challenges faced by some of our most vulnerable citizens.

“I look forward to working with my fellow members and the Tasmanian community in defending the rights of all.” Mr McKenna said.


Mr McKenna was born in Dublin and raised and educated in Tasmania and is a graduate of the University of Tasmania. He has practised law in a number of Australian states but has called the Tasmanian jurisdiction home for in excess of a decade.


The President’s Charity is the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.


For more information or requests for media interviews with Mr McKenna phone 0414 721 696.


17 October 2020

Law Foundation of Tasmania – Application for Grants 2020

Application for Grants 2020


Applications are invited from individuals and organisations who wish to apply for a grant in respect of projects which would further the objects of the Foundation.  Applicants should obtain a copy of the application guidelines before submitting their application from either the Law Society’s website www.lst.org.au or the Secretary of the Law Foundation of Tasmania info@lst.org.au or telephone (03) 6234 4133.

APPLICATIONS CLOSE: Wednesday 28 October 2020

Law Council Media Release – Courts win funding but wider legal sector misses out

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Courts win funding but wider legal sector misses out

The Law Council of Australia applauds the Government’s material injection of $35.7million, over four years, for resourcing and judicial numbers in the Federal Circuit Court, and acknowledges the overall investment of a projected $132.1million, aimed at expediting the handling of family law and other matters over the same period.

This funding follows repeated calls from the Law Council for additional judicial resourcing, to improve outcomes for Australian families and migration applicants.

While the announcement is a step in the right direction, more is required to improve outcomes for Court users, says Law Council President, Ms Pauline Wright.

“The funding announced tonight will alleviate some of the hardship faced by Australian families with matters before the Court,” Ms Wright said.

“However, the budgeted increase in Federal Circuit Court filing fees for migration litigants, is likely to increase social disadvantage to those who can least afford it.”

“It is also disappointing that there has been no additional funding for the legal assistance sector in addition to the funds previously announced following the bushfires and COVID-19.”

“The legal assistance sector has been chronically underfunded for years by successive governments, yet these frontline legal services have stood up to the challenge and worked tirelessly during the aftermath of the bushfires and throughout the pandemic to assist vulnerable Australians with their legal needs,” Ms Wright said.

“A properly funded legal assistance sector, together with adequate funding for Commonwealth courts and tribunals, are essential components to the COVID-19 crisis recovery. The Government’s failure to adequately fund this sector will only hurt our recovery,” Ms Wright said.

Despite these shortcomings, the Law Council endorses other measures including:

  • $5.1m over two years for the Fair Work Commission to meet demand arising from COVID-19;
  • $46.3m over three years from 2019-2020 for the Fair Work Ombudsman to enhance its advice and education services for business and employees about workplace laws, including in the context of COVID-19;
  • $7.7m for upgrades to the Launceston and Rockhampton Federal Circuit Court registries;
  • $35.3m in increased temporary resourcing for the Fair Entitlements Guarantee program;
  • $50 million Women@Work Plan will expand the Women’s Leadership and Development Program grants and establish a Respect@Work Council to address sexual harassment at work;
  • $10.6m over six years for community-based projects to address modern slavery; and
  • The previously acknowledged Digital Business Plan.


Contact:
Dr Fiona Wade:P. 0403 810 865, E. Fiona.Wade@lawcouncil.asn.au

Land Titles Office – Ciruclar No 5/2020

The Land Titles Office (LTO) will be commencing limited counter services on Monday, 5 October 2020. The LTO will meet with clients, by appointment only. If you have a need to discuss a matter in person with a member of the office you will need to make an appointment by emailing appointments.lto@dpipwe.tas.gov.au.


When you email the LTO you will need to provide details of your enquiry including reference to any relevant dealings already lodged. The LTO will confirm within 24 hours the date and time of your appointment.


These appointments should be for enquiries only, and not for lodgment, registration and production services. All routine lodgements are to continue to be dropped in boxes in the lobby of the Lands Building or posted to the Office as advised in the LTO circular dated 25 March 2020.

When attending the Lands Building to meet an LTO staff member by appointment a COVID Induction Sheet (attached) will be required to be completed in accordance with DPIPWE COVID-19 procedures. Access to the building will not be permitted to anyone who does not provide satisfactory answers to the COVID Induction Sheet. Visitors to the building are required to be mindful of social distancing requirements and to follow any directions provided by LTO staff.


The LTO has temporarily re-located within the Lands Building to Level 2.


ROBERT MANNING
Recorder of Titles

ATO – Nomination of legal representative

The ATO recently reviewed the way we engage with legal practitioners who are representing their clients in relation to tax and superannuation matters. As part of this review we consulted with legal practitioners to better understand the role they typically play with respect to taxation and superannuation and their priorities and timelines when dealing with the ATO.

Please find the methods for nomination of legal practitioner with associated timeframes.

Key points

  • Clients can nominate immediately via phone or myGov.
  • Legal practitioner nominations can be processed by close of business the next business day when urgent.
  • If your client cannot notify us of your appointment, you can provide written proof of your appointment on your firm’s letterhead.

Additional information including proof of identity requirements can be found on ato.gov.au.

Family Law Amendment (Powers Delegated to Registrars) Rules 2020 and Federal Circuit Court Amendment (Powers Delegated to Registrars) Rules 2020

The Family Law Amendment (Powers Delegated to Registrars) Rules 2020 and the Federal Circuit Court Amendment (Powers Delegated to Registrars) Rules 2020 have been signed by a majority of judicial officers and were registered today – 25 September 2020.

The Rules will commence on Saturday 26 September 2020.

The amendments delegate additional powers to Registrars and Deputy Registrars of the Family Court of Australia (known respectively in practice as ‘Senior Registrars’ and ‘Registrars’) and Registrars of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

The changes include:

Registrar delegations: The harmonisation of delegations to family law Registrars across the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court, through the delegation of existing Family Court delegated powers to family law Registrars in the Federal Circuit Court.

Senior Registrar delegations: The harmonisation of delegations to family law Senior Registrars across the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court, through the delegation to Federal Circuit Court Registrars those powers held by Senior Registrars of the Family Court, but only to those Federal Circuit Court Registrars who hold concurrently the position of a Senior Registrar in the Family Court.

Additional delegated powers: The delegation of certain limited additional powers to Senior Registrars and, where appropriate, Registrars.

The harmonisation of delegations to family law Registrars across the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court will ensure that Senior Registrars and Registrars have a uniform set of delegated powers across both Courts. It will ensure a consistent approach and facilitate highly skilled and experienced Registrars being able to more effectively and efficiently support Judges across both Courts. It is a critical step towards the Courts’ development of unified family law processes.

Please see following documents, including Explanatory Statements and the marked-up version of the relevant rules.

Commercial and Property Law Practitioners

Commercial and Property Law Practitioners

In Case you Missed It

Media Release – Minister for Building & Construction

Key takeaways:

  • Extension of the emergency period for residential tenancies to 1 December 2020.
  • Extension of the financial hardship period for commercial tenancies to 1 December 2020.
  • Extension of the Rent Relief Fund to 1 December 2020.

Introduction of a new COVID-19 Landlord Support Fund (residential).

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.