find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
North to halt govt limits on our rights

North to halt govt limits on our rights

THE MASS of legislation that rules our daily lives must be halted and reversed by a strong and independent legal profession, according to the new president of the peak body representing the…

THE MASS of legislation that rules our daily lives must be halted and reversed by a strong and independent legal profession, according to the new president of the peak body representing the national legal profession.

John North this week replaces outgoing Law Council of Australia president Stephen Southwood, whose time as president was cut short after he was elevated to Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory on Monday.

In an interview with Lawyers Weekly, North said he would try and continue matters that were being progressed by Southwood. Most important, however, is the need to maintain a strong legal profession “in the face of global terrorism and the consequential expansion of the powers of executive government”.

“The Law Council of Australia must try and ensure that necessary checks and balances are maintained,” North said.

Emphasising he was “not being political” in his aims, North said his focus looked not only to the federal government, but to the states as well. “Governments use times of duress and pressure to limit our rights,” he said. “This applies to state and federal governments.”

North said that as a lawyer he has always campaigned that there are too many laws that restrict us. “Our daily life is full of laws — going to the beach, driving a car, paying tax, there seems to be no room left for common sense any more.” He said he hoped that a strong legal profession can “try and halt and eventually reverse this [over legislation]”.

“Rarely has Australian society so needed a strong, united and independent legal profession to fight for human rights and freedoms at all levels, both within Australia and the world at large,” North said.

The Law Council is also interested in the legal profession and its connection with Asia. And it is also seeking to complete the national model laws project. As well, North said he hopes to advance in his own right the rule of law issues such as human rights and “even the need for a Bill of Rights”.

Former president Stephen Southwood handed the presidency to Sydney and Dubbo-based solicitor North, who has been the Law Council’s president-elect since September and was president of the NSW Law Society in 2000. North said of his new position that he had “big shoes to fill at short notice”. He said he hopes to continue Southwood’s work in the areas of access to justice, the national profession and international law.

Like this story? Read more:

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

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

North to halt govt limits on our rights
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
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 & ...