Update to the Profession – 17 January 2024

  • Happy New Year 2024. I hope you have had a wonderful and restful Christmas/New Year.
  • 2024 is going to be a busy year for the Law Society.

Work

  • I have been contacted by the Examiner for comment on the delays in Launceston in relation to disclosure of information for matters listed in the Magistrates Court and the impact this is having on cases. The feedback from practitioners here in the North is that this is a serious issue which results in practitioners receiving disclosure days before a hearing and not being able to take proper instructions and/or matters being adjourned. For clients in custody that is not acceptable. Representatives from TALS and LACT have organised a meeting next week with Northern Police Prosecution so if you have input or comment I would welcome that so I can pass the information onto them.
  • On 17 January, Mr Luke Rheinberger, Ms Francesca Beattie, Ms Kimberley Martin, Mr Victor – David Murray and myself will be attending a meeting with the office of the Economic Regulator for the purpose of discussing the terms of reference circulated in relation to review of the Public Trustee fee structure. This is an important meeting and issue because the current review relates to those client’s who have no option but to engage the services of the Public Trustee.
  • The Executive Director and I will be looking to focus on preparation of submissions for members of the Legislative Council in relation to the draft Sentencing Amendment (Presumption of Mandatory Sentencing) Bill 2023 over the next couple of weeks.
  • We have received some feedback from practitioners in relation to the Annual Legal Profession Board Report and will be addressing that feedback. I am grateful to those practitioners who take the time to provide such feedback to the Law Society.

Opening of the Legal Year.

  • The RSVP date for the Opening of the Legal Year Dinner is closing soon, I urge you to book you ticket as it is going to be fun night! – book here.
  • I want to acknowledge the hard work of the Law Society staff in organising the annual dinner.

Charity

  • You will recall that my President’s charity is St Vincent de Paul (“Vinnies”). I met with the CEO last week to learn more about their work this year. Vinnies have launched the School Essentials Appeal. Attached is the media release: https://www.vinnies.org.au/tas/media-releases/affording-school-essentials-getting-harder-for-tasmanian-families
  • The Law Society will be supporting St Vincent de Paul with this appeal. We will be supporting this appeal two ways. First, cash donations, a specific QR Code on the below poster and will be available at the dinner on 2 February. This QR code will be specific for the Law Society of Tasmania. Second, we are having a “Lunchbox Donation Drive”. The objective is for the Law Society to collect forty (new) lunchboxes to donate to St Vincent de Paul. Collections can be made in Launceston at Bishops and in Hobart at the Law Society. A member of St Vincent de Paul will be attending the Opening of the Legal Year Dinner and it will be fantastic to have met our target by that time. We have already collected three lunchboxes here in the North of the state.

Vinnies Tasmania’s School Essentials Appeal Poster