The Commonwealth Government will provide nearly $1.7 million to establish two legal regulators as part of national reforms to the legal profession.
Announced today (10 December) by Attorney-General Robert McClelland, the funds will cover the start-up costs for the new National Legal Services Board and the National Legal Services Commissioner.
The two national bodies constitute a cornerstone of the new national regulatory framework and will be a key topic for discussion in today's Standing Committee of Attorneys-General in Canberra.
"Today's commitment by the Attorney-General sends a clear message to the legal profession that the Government is committed to delivering the national reform agenda," said Law Council of Australia (LCA) president Glenn Ferguson, labelling the announcement a great step forward in the reform process.
"[However], while we are encouraged by today's announcement, there are still a number of outstanding issues relating to funding of the new national regulatory system which the Law Council will continue to work with the Government to address."
The LCA considers it essential that any new regulatory scheme for the legal profession should be supported by all states and territories and has been consulting with its constituent bodies to ensure the reforms effectively address the requirements of the profession.
"Over the coming months as the reform process commences finalisation, the Law Council will ensure the profession continues to work effectively together so as to achieve positive outcomes and a truly seamless and national profession," Ferguson said.