find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Warning shot to NSW election campaigners

Warning shot to NSW election campaigners

THE NSW Law Society is gearing up to promote issues of concern to lawyers in an effort to shape the result of the upcoming State election.Speaking at the Law Term dinner last week, Law Society…

THE NSW Law Society is gearing up to promote issues of concern to lawyers in an effort to shape the result of the upcoming State election.

Speaking at the Law Term dinner last week, Law Society president Geoff Dunlevy made it plain that he seeks to engage both government and the media to promote the views of lawyers and temper debate of legal issues.

“The Law Society has a professional and public responsibility to use the knowledge and experience of its members in the interests of promoting public debate around legal issues and reforming legal processes to achieve greater justice and fairness,” Dunlevy said.

Lawyers in general — and the Law Council of Australia (LCA) more specifically — were criticised last year by Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock for unnecessarily straying into political debate.

Speaking at the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association, Ruddock said that although every citizen has the right to contribute to “the political conversation that shapes our nation’s laws”, this should be made in the individual’s personal capacity only.

“Such contributions must be made by lawyers in a personal capacity not a professional one. Our professional bodies have helped to blur this distinction,” he said in November 2006.

As Lawyers Weekly reported, LCA president Tim Bugg immediately replied with the message that the nation’s chief law body was duty-bound to comment on all issues that involved principles of law. And now Dunlevy has offered the same message to the NSW Government.

“As guardians of civil and political rights of the community and of the rule of law, we have a duty to remind governments of the values that underpin a civil society and of the dangers associated with intrusive laws that attack our rights and freedoms,” he said.

Expecting law and order to be one battleground during the campaign trail, the Law Society president pledged to bring sanity back into the debate.

“The Law Society will take a leading role in monitoring the law and order debate during the election campaign, to inject an independent voice of reason,” Dunlevy said.

“The criminal justice debate should be rational and responsible. Issues relating to access to justice, recognition of the importance of the independence of the judiciary and the primacy of the rule of law must be at the heart of this debate.

“These issues are far too important to be sidelined or even sacrificed for the sake of political expediency.”

Giving a preview of the Law Society’s “election policy statement”, to be released later in the month, Dunlevy highlighted reform of tort law and the structure of the LCA as major issues for public discussion. In fact, he predicted that “the first quarter of the year will be one of great activity for the Law Society with a heavy public policy focus”.

In aid of the continuing struggle to form a truly national profession, Dunlevy said the future structure of the LCA should incorporate the wishes of the Major Law Firm Group.

And although Law Institute of Victoria president Geoff Provis told Lawyers Weekly last month that he predicted state and territory bodies will one day be absorbed by a national body and become “state chapters”, Dunlevy foresaw a strong, ongoing membership for the Law Society.

“We will continue to be a member-focused professional association that positions itself as the premier law and law reform lobbyist in NSW,” he said.

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Warning shot to NSW election campaigners
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Dec 18 2017
Summer in the city
Across Australia, a number of law students have kicked off their commercial law aspirations with the...
microscope
Dec 18 2017
‘Exorbitant legal fees’ under government microscope
With the growing number of class action proceedings in Australia, the government is looking at how ...
Funds, money, cash
Dec 18 2017
Law Access WA receives welcome funding
Law Access Western Australia has received a grant from the state government to fund its pro bono leg...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...