Attorney-General Robert McClelland has reintroduced seven bills into Parliament today (30 September), including the Civil Dispute Resolution Bill 2010, aimed at encouraging litigants to resolve their disputes outside of court.
A key component of the Civil Dispute Resolution Bill is the requirement of applicants when filing a court matter to provide a "genuine steps" statement, outlining the steps they have taken to resolve a dispute.
This means lawyers would need to advise clients of the requirement to fill out this statement and to assist their clients to comply.
In first introducing the Bill on 16 June last year, the Attorney-General said that the Bill would not force clients to settle or abandon legal claims.
The Attorney-General also reintroduced bills relating national security legislation, the construction of land in Indigenous areas, the establishment of Australia's Human Rights Framework and The Telecommunications Interception and Intelligence Legislation Amendment Bill 2010.