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Changing of the guard chance for reform: LIV

Changing of the guard chance for reform: LIV

The resignation of Victoria's Legal Services Commissioner, Victoria Marles, has prompted calls for reform of the state's legal regulation. State Attorney-General Rob Hulls announced the…

The resignation of Victoria's Legal Services Commissioner, Victoria Marles, has prompted calls for reform of the state's legal regulation.

State Attorney-General Rob Hulls announced the resignation of Marles, the state's first Legal Services Commissioner and CEO of the Legal Services Board, on 4 September.

Law Institute of Victoria CEO Michael Brett Young said the new appointee would be instrumental in developing a national model for the legal profession, and that the changing of the guard provided an opportunity for the Government to fine tune the regulatory regime.

"We've got a national agenda we're approaching, and the person put into this role ought to be given right from the start the tools to make sure that the Legal Services Commission and the Legal Services Board work effectively," he told Lawyers Weekly.

"There have been three years roughly - coming closer to four years - of this legislation. We now know where there are some jams in the system, we now know where there are some of the areas where you could make some amendments to make it work more smoothly."

Despite Marles' resignation just three years into her five-year term, Young said the length of the appointment was appropriate. "Five-year appointments are five-year appointments, she was offered a position that she'll really enjoy," he said.

"We've had a very consultative time with Victoria Marles, we've found her very approachable and easy to deal with, and we've had a very good working relationship with her."

Marles is leaving to take up the position of CEO of Trust for Nature, an independent, not-for-profit organisation established under the Victorian Conservation Trust Act 1972 to protect and conserve native bush land in Victoria.

The Legal Services Commissioner vacancy has been advertised in The Age and The Australian, and will appear in the The Australian Financial Review on 11 September, with a closing date of Friday, 2 October.

-Laura MacIntyre

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