National Legal Profession Reform:
This page contains documents and papers of the National Legal Profession Reform project. Select a link below for that document suite. For the current version of the Legal Profession National Law, please visit the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Legal Profession Reform webpage.
Document formats: The documents on this page are available to view and/or download in PDF (.pdf) and MS Word (.doc) formats. PDF documents may be viewed with Adobe Reader. Download Adobe Reader from the Adobe website.
Draft Legal Profession National Law and National Rules – December 2010
In December 2010, the National Legal Profession Reform Taskforce presented COAG with its proposals on national regulation of the legal profession. At its 10 December 2010 meeting, the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General noted the final draft of the Legal Profession National Law which had been presented to COAG, along with the draft National Rules, final Regulation Impact Statement and draft inter-governmental agreement.
On meeting COAG’s request, the Taskforce was discontinued. The draft legislation prepared by the Taskforce is provided for information as follows:
Interim report on key issues and funding
On 14 May 2010, the National Legal Profession Reform Taskforce released its draft National Law and National Rules for a three-month consultation period. During the public consultation period the Taskforce received 162 submissions; consulted widely with a range of stakeholders through briefings in each jurisdiction, and meetings with the profession, regulators, most Attorneys-General and Chief Justices; and engaged a consultant to undertake an intensive consumer consultation process.
Following the consultation, the Taskforce released an interim report setting out decisions made by the Taskforce in light of submissions made on a number of key issues.
During the three-month public consultation on the proposed reforms, targeted consumer consultation was also undertaken. The consultation, designed by the Taskforce (in collaboration with consumer representatives, including representatives sitting on the National Legal Profession Reform Consultative Group) comprised panel discussions with consumers and consumer representatives, an online survey, telephone interviews and a follow up consumer panel meeting. This information was used to create a Consumer Report, which was provided to the Taskforce on 20 August 2010.
On 19 April 2010, draft uniform legal profession legislation developed by the National Legal Profession Reform Taskforce was presented to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). COAG agreed to the release of this draft legislation as part of a Consultation Package.
The Consultation Package was released on 14 May 2010. Consultation closed on 13 August 2010.
The consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) defined the issues being addressed through the reforms, considered the options for addressing those issues and assessed the relative costs and benefits of those options.
The Consultation Report explained some of the key proposals made by the Taskforce and posed questions about proposals on which submissions were particularly sought.
Prior to the end of the consultation period, submissions were also accepted on the Legal Profession National Rules – Solicitors’ Rules 2010 and Legal Profession National Rules – Barristers’ Rules 2010. These Solicitors’ Rules and Barristers’ Rules were developed by the Law Council of Australia and the Australian Bar Association respectively, not the Taskforce. Submissions received in relation to the Solicitors’ Rules and Barristers’ Rules were forwarded to the Law Council of Australia or Australian Bar Association for consideration.
Supplementary consultation paper
The model for the composition and appointment of the National Legal Services Board contained in the draft National Law attracted very high levels of interest during the public consultation period, which ran from 14 May to 13 August 2010. In response, the Taskforce issued a paper on the National Legal Services Board on which the Taskforce sought views during the public consultation period.
Further detail on national body costings
These tables provide high level estimates of the start up and annual operating costs of the National Legal Services Board (including the National Legal Services Commissioner and Admissions Committee).
Prior to the public consultation period, the Taskforce issued a number of papers for comment:
To see submissions received on the Taskforce papers please visit the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department website:
The Taskforce also issued two background papers on the national legal profession reform: