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
WA lawyer ban no small deal

WA lawyer ban no small deal

FEARS OF a jump in unrepresented litigants are on the rise in the nation’s west because of a controversial plan to prevent lawyers from appearing in civil disputes worth under $7,500.Pursuant to…

FEARS OF a jump in unrepresented litigants are on the rise in the nation’s west because of a controversial plan to prevent lawyers from appearing in civil disputes worth under $7,500.

Pursuant to a restructure of WA’s court system, the State Government will soon roll the Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) into the jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court. At present the tribunal hears cases involving amounts less than $3,000 via mediation without legal representation.

Under the new system, which has raised the ire of the Law Society of WA, the representation threshold will skyrocket 250 per cent to $7,500. The Government believes the changes will make the court process speedier and less expensive, thus boosting access to justice in the long run.

Society president Elizabeth Heenan last week fired off a submission rejecting the idea to Attorney-General Jim McGinty.

She later told Lawyers Weekly that instead of improving access to justice, the proposal would have the reverse effect. The delicate balance of power between individuals and well-resourced corporations would most probably undergo a dangerous shift if more claimants appeared unrepresented, she predicted.

“A number of the small claims come from motor vehicle cases where the other party is an insurer that may not be represented by a lawyer, but rather an experienced and extremely well versed agent in the field of disputes,” Heenan said. “Then there’s the wider problem of having unrepresented litigants appearing before the courts and slowing the process because they do not understand the rules.”

Heenan added the society’s views had the backing of WA’s judicial community. Although the guild rejected the proposal, Heenan said its submission included a “common ground” recommendation that would prevent the Court making costs orders if lawyers were allowed to appear.

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

WA lawyer ban no small deal
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 & ...