04 October 2012

Queensland ditches national lawyer scheme

Queensland has walked away from plans for a national regulation scheme for Australia's legal profession amid concerns over increased costs and bureaucracy.

By James Barnes

Regulation's a beach

The government of the ‘sunshine state’ said that the National Legal Profession Reforms were ‘unnecessary’, while Queensland Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie added that ‘the cost of setting up this board is also vague and would be passed on to the participating states.’ The move follows statements only several weeks ago from the local law society that the state's lawyers would not stand in the way of the proposals.
But Australian news network NineMSN reported Mr Bleijie, who is also the Justice Minister, as saying: ‘Approximately 85 per cent of Queensland solicitors are sole practitioners and they have nothing to gain from these reforms other than increased costs.’

Leading judge dies

Meanwhile, Western Australia’s longest serving sitting family court judge, Justice Carolyn Martin, has died aged 59 following a battle with cancer.
The West Australian newspaper reports that Justice Martin was the state's first female stipendiary magistrate when appointed in 1985 and the first woman to be appointed a judge of the state’s family court bench in 1996.
WA Family Court Chief Judge Stephen Thackray said Justice Martin was an astute judge with ‘a quick mind and ready wit’, who would be greatly missed.
The Law Society of Western Australia said Justice Martin was greatly respected for her legal skills and tireless work ethic, reports Big Pond News. WA Law Society president Christopher Kendall said: ‘This is an enormous loss to the court and to the legal profession as a whole.’

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