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
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Senior family lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Family Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Outstanding national firm · High-calibre family law team
View details
Lawyers quiz Bowen on reforms

Lawyers quiz Bowen on reforms

Reforms to employer sponsored migration and skills programs, announced on 9 March, have been met with a barrage of questions from lawyers.

 

Announcing the reforms at the 6th annual CPD Immigration Law Conference in Sydney this morning, immigration minister Chris Bowen said SkillSelect, a new points test coming into effect from 1 July 2012, would benefit applicants through online lodgement of expressions of interest (EOI) and give them greater confidence in a positive outcome when they pay their application fees.

A “strengthening and simplification” of the Permanent Employer Sponsored Program will allow employers throughout Australia to sponsor foreign workers for permanent residence to fill job vacancies in their businesses, he said.

“These visas are highly responsive to labour market demands,” Bowen told lawyers gathered at the Royal Automobile Club of Australia.

Chair of the Immigration Lawyers Association of Australasia Maria Jockel commended the Department of Immigration for its “innovation” in trying to balance economic, social and humanitarian obligations and polices in Australia, but said it was lawyers who were “subject to the worst aspects of that innovation”.

“It’s called constant change,” said Jockel, adding that the clash of law and policy was a topical and vexed issue in immigration given that there are 3,000 pages of law and 16,000 pages of policy.

Following Bowen’s keynote address, many lawyers had questions for the minister related to funding, processing and waiting periods that their clients face and the issue of mandatory detention.
Accredited Sydney immigration lawyer Michael Jones asked Bowen if there was “any chance” the backlog of skilled migration workers will be taken care of soon.

“I know it creates a lot of discord for people who are waiting … That backlog is one of the reasons for a lot of these reforms, SkillsSelect in particular ... I see substantial progress being made in that area in the next 12 months,” Bowen replied.

Late last year, Jones told Lawyers Weekly he believed SkillsSelect in 2012 would be a “disaster” because it would force people to spend a large amount of money doing extra skills assessments, extra English language tests and possibly translation tests to get points for their language.

“The best people are the people with the most options. If they look at Australia and see they’ve got to do all this, spend thousands of dollars and have no idea whether they’ll be accepted or not, they will not try and we’ll miss out on the best,” said Jones.

The minister was also asked to find “some way” to further fund migration review tribunals which have a mounting caseload and “extensive delays”, and whether he would look to close detention centres this year.

“I was about to close a number of detention centres just before the High Court decision which ruled out offshore processing, because we’d seen a substantial reduction in the number of boat arrivals … but the number of boat arrivals since then increased and we’ve had to keep them open,” Bowen said.

With a theme of "Current challenges-future trends", the conference aims to provide lawyers with CPD points, highlight and discuss the latest immigration law issues, and provide participants with a forum to exchange experiences.

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

Lawyers quiz Bowen on reforms
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
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 & ...