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States deliver draft laws on national legal profession

States deliver draft laws on national legal profession

Draft legislation for the development of the national legal profession has been released following talks between state and federal attorneys general.

DRAFT legislation for the development of the national legal profession has been released following talks between state and federal attorneys general. 


Federal Attorney General Robert McClelland today released the draft legislation after a meeting Tuesday with counterparts from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Northern Territory. 


Some jurisdictions committed to the scheme while others identified points for clarification, the A-G said. 


"There are some final decisions we need to make to reach agreement, relating to transitional costs and selection of a host jurisdiction," McClelland said. 


The Attorneys have committed to resolve the outstanding matters before October 1, he said, so legislation can be presented in the host jurisdiction's parliament as soon as possible. 


About 85 per cent of Australia's lawyers practice in the four states involved in Tuesdays meetings. 


"We are hopeful that other states and territories will sign once they can see the benefit of the reforms in practice," McClelland said. 


"I still believe very strongly that we can no longer justify the disparate regulation that exists for such an important profession that generates around $13 billion in economic activity each year," he said. 


"These reforms will serve the interests of consumers and the legal profession alike," he said. 


"The reforms that these parties are close to agreement on achieve this by enhancing consumer protection, protecting the independence of the legal profession and ensuring access to justice.”

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