AS the legal profession today started the massive task of assessing the consultation package about legal professional reform, the Law Council stuck its neck out about the apparent benefits for Australia’s competitiveness in the global legal services market.
The Council of Australian Government’s (COAG’s) National Legal Profession Reform Taskforce Consultation Package, released today for public consultation, includes a draft Bill, accompanying National Rules, a Consultation Report from the Legal Profession Reform Taskforce, a Regulation Impact Statement, and independent economic analysis conducted by ACIL Tasman.
The Law Council of Australia has already weighed in on how the reform will boost Australia’s ability to compete in foreign legal services markets. Law Council present Glenn Ferguson said reform would help break down barriers across jurisdictions.
Ferguson said national legal profession reforms aim to create a single national market for legal services and to simplify and increase the effectiveness of
regulation of the legal profession.
“Disparate regulation of the profession creates a significant impediment to foreign lawyers working in Australia and impedes Australian lawyers’ competitiveness in the international legal services market,” he said.
“We are pleased with the proposals to provide a more transparent and flexible approach to the way overseas qualified and experienced lawyers are treated when applying for admission to the Australian legal profession.
“This should help improve Australia’s ability to attract high quality specialist lawyers, as well as enhance our ability to negotiate overseas for greater access for our lawyers to the international legal services market,” he said.
Ferguson said the country’s lawyers are pleased the Government is engaging in a proactive three-month consultation period on the reform package.
The Law Council will conduct its own consultation with its constituent bodies to study the details of the COAG package, with the first of these sessions to be held in June.