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National profession within 12 months: Govt

National profession within 12 months: Govt

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TODAY the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has agreed on a plan to achieve national regulation of the Australian legal profession.

TODAY the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has agreed on a plan to achieve national regulation of the Australian legal profession. 

The news will see the regulation of the legal profession be streamlined, overhauling the currently complex system in which different practices apply in different jurisdictions. 

Under the plans, draft legislation providing uniform laws to regulate the profession will be prepared for consideration by COAG within 12 months. 

Federal Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, will appoint a specialist taskforce to make recommendations and prepare the draft legislation. The taskforce will be advised by a consultative group, also appointed by the Attorney. 

Law Council of Australia secretary-general Bill Grant, as well as NSW Attorney-General's department director-general Laurie Glanfield, Victoria Department of Justice executive director Louise Glanville and Commonwealth Attorney-General's department secretary Roger Wilkins will make up the new taskforce. 

The consultative group will be chaired by Michael Lavarch, Professor of Law at Queensland University of Technology, and will include members from each State and Territory representing peak legal, business and consumer groups. 

The Attorney General will today write to the states and territories and other interest groups, inviting nominations for the consultative group, which will help identify issues, provide advice and develop recommendations on the reform agenda. 

In the current complex system, Australian lawyers operate in different systems depending on where they are practising. Costs disclosure and billing, admissions and practicing certificates and complaints handling, as well as professional discipline, are all run under different state and territory systems and regulations. 

The Attorney-General announced today the new national system will benefit lawyers by allowing them to easily operate across jurisdictions. Law firms will be able to compete more effectively both nationally and globally. 






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