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LCA deepens involvement in political process

LCA deepens involvement in political process

Stuart Clark, Law Council of Australia

The Law Council of Australia (LCA) is increasingly communicating directly with politicians to hasten the implementation of new legislation and safeguard the rule of law.

LCA president Stuart Clark (pictured) said the council has been working very hard on increasing its level of engagement with the political process this year.

“All of the Law Council's senior leaders and policy staff now have parliamentary passes,” Mr Clark told Lawyers Weekly.

“Our approach is to spend time every day up in parliament house, walking the corridors, talking to members, talking to senators and talking to the staff. We've always engaged with department staff at the officer level, but now we're engaging directly with the politicians.”

Mr Clark said doing this speeds up the process of implementing new legislation.

“We’re reaching out to say we would actually prefer to come and talk to you now, rather than wait for legislation to come out and then have to make submissions,” he said.

“Many of our submission suggestions are usually taken up in the process, so we think there's advantage to everybody by meeting first and trying to work through the issues.”

This more open communication means members of parliament are utilising the LCA members’ knowledge in a whole lot of areas.

When people are looking to propose senate inquiries they are now approaching the LCA for help with the terms of reference, procedural fairness and rule of law issues, according to Mr Clark.

“We are happy to work with them, not to achieve a political outcome in the sense of party political, but to improve the process,” he said.

“We can help them and we can get in to the process.”

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