find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
ACT tribunals merger likely

ACT tribunals merger likely

A MERGER of the various ACT tribunals would improve their efficiency said Peter Quinton, director of the civil law group at the ACT’s Department of Justice and Community Safety. “One of…

A MERGER of the various ACT tribunals would improve their efficiency said Peter Quinton, director of the civil law group at the ACT’s Department of Justice and Community Safety.

“One of our big problems here is we are such a small place and some of our tribunals have not sat in living memory so we have members of our tribunals who have never had any experience and so I think what will happen will probably be in part dictated by the size of the place that we are,” he said.

“Generally the staff associated with those sorts of inactive or rarely active tribunals also undertake other work, but there is that real inefficiency when they have to drop their normal work and take up the work of the tribunal. It’s not just the tribunal members trying to work out what they do but also the registry staff trying to invent their job without the benefit of the corporate knowledge that larger tribunals have.”

Submissions in response to the Department of Justice and Community Safety discussion paper on reform of the tribunals were due this week. The discussion paper put forward six options for reform ranging from consolidation of the registries, through to setting up a super tribunal similar to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Quinton said that consolidating registries was a sensible option. “Where you have a tribunal that only has one staff member or two staff members — which is more common than not in the ACT — the loss temporarily or permanently of that staff member can be a pretty savage blow to the jurisdiction, and they take some time to recover. We’ve seen that on numerous occasions in the ACT.

“So, consolidating registries to establish sensible cultures and support for registry staff [is important]. Because registry staff are very, very important in relation to tribunals — they tend to be overlooked and a little bit underestimated but like the rest of civil processes they are pretty important,” he said.

Greg Walker, president of the Law Society of the ACT, agreed that some sort of consolidation could lead to improved efficiencies but said cost-saving measures should not be behind any merger of the tribunals.

“It’s probably fair to say that the law society would take the view that the saving of money ought not to be the purpose of this amalgamation. There are other benefits and efficiencies that may well flow from it — but if it’s merely done as a money saving exercise it will probably reduce the quality of the justice that is dispensed. But I think the department sees it as something that will be revenue-neutral and will provide some efficiencies and hopefully some greater effectiveness of the tribunals,” Walker said.

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

ACT tribunals merger likely
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
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'...
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...
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 & ...