National Profile of Solicitors Report

The fifth iteration of the National Profile of Solicitors report was published on Wednesday and can be viewed here.

The Law Society of NSW on behalf of the Conference of Law Societies commissioned the report. This edition highlights the Tasmanian profession has grown considerably in size since the first report, with the private profession increasing by 43% between 2011 and 2020.

As at October 2020, women make up 53 per cent of Australia’s legal profession, with men accounting for the balance. In an interview with Lawyers Weekly and speaking about Tasmania I said:

“The sector has responded well to consumer demand in the face of threat and disruption caused COVID-19. Women practitioners clearly outnumber males overall, however that is not the case in the private profession yet. This is in part due to the significantly greater number of women working in the community, corporate and government sectors.” 

 The report also highlights something the Law Society has been concerned with for some time namely the loss of early career lawyers. As I said to Lawyers Weekly, the report demonstrates that the Society must continue with its efforts to attract and retain early career practitioners, with one to five PAE practitioners making up 25 per cent of the profession, but the six to 10 PAE cohort making up only 10 per cent of the profession.

The Law Society intends conducting a comprehensive survey of one-to-five-year PAE lawyers to gain a better insight into their experiences within the profession and what can be done to retain them into the future.


Supreme Court and Magistrates Court Appointments

On the 30th of July, the Profession will celebrate the career of Magistrate Glenn Hay and bid him farewell at a ceremonial sitting. In anticipation of his impending departure, the Law Society has been informed the Department of Justice will advertise a replacement Magistrate’s role within the very near future.

As is the usual practice, the President of the Law Society is invited to nominate a member of the profession to sit on the interview panel. When nominations are invited, we nominate a female and male practitioner and from those nominations one member will be appointed.

You can read the Protocol for Judicial Appointments here.


Raising the Age of Criminal Responsibility

In the recent June parliamentary sitting, Independent Member for Nelson the Hon Meg Webb MLC tabled a Motion in the Legislative Council calling on the Tasmanian Government to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14 years of age. You can read the motion that will be debated in October 2021 here.

The Law Society of Tasmania will brief the Legislative Council prior to the October debate. The Law Society resolved in 2020 to support any move by government (whether State or Commonwealth) to raise the age of Criminal Responsibility.

The Law Society of Tasmania position is that the age of criminal responsibility should be raised from ten to at least 14 years old. The current age of criminal responsibility sits at odds with medical evidence, human rights law and international standards. As members would be aware the median age of criminal responsibility around the world is 14 years old.


Southern Remand Centre (SRC)

The SRC Commissioning Project Team have commenced producing a Bulletin relating to the new SRC and intends circulating it to stakeholders every three weeks (or thereabouts). As a relevant stakeholder, the Law Society has received the bulletin. Copies of the bulletin can be read here: Edition 1 and Edition 2.

We have been told the SRC welcomes all feedback on the bulletin and on what you might like to hear more about, so don’t hesitate to contact the SRC team via


Trevor McKenna

14 July 2021