On 31 December Mr McConnel will hand over the role to incoming president Stuart Clark, who is a Sydney-based partner at Clayton Utz and has been a director of the LCA since 2011.
Mr McConnel is a Northern Territory barrister who became the Law Society NT representative at the LCA in 2008 and was elected as a member of the Law Council Executive in 2009.
Throughout his term, Mr McConnel has focused his efforts on reducing indigenous imprisonment, elevating the issue of legal aid funding and advocating for the creation of a national legal profession.
Law Society NT president Tass Liveris said Mr McConnel’s presidency was a “significant and historic opportunity for the Territory”.
“His great success in bringing issues that have a major impact in the Territory onto the national and international stage is what has made his presidency so remarkable,” he said.
According to Mr Liveris, Mr McConnel was instrumental in reversing some of the cuts to legal aid funding during 2015.
“Mr McConnel’s knowledge of the impact these cuts would have on Territorians in the courts no doubt fuelled efforts to see them reversed,” he said.
“Whilst legal assistance still remains seriously under-funded, Mr McConnel’s ability to speak on behalf of Territorians and all Australians about this essential service that underpins justice in our community has kept the issue on the table.”
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