The Role Australian Law Society Plays
Law societies play a vital role in the growth and promotion of impartial law practises in legal profession without any prejudices. With respect to solicitors and barristers, the societies regulate solicitors and the bar council regulates barristers. Australia currently have about 29 Law Societys (regional) that ensures the work carried out by the society’s are reachable to practitioners and are relevant irrespective of the place or region where they practise in.
Legal System in Australia
Australia has a general law system that is similar to United Kingdom. Each state in Australia has separate legal jurisdictions with their own courts, powers, and professional bodies. Law profession is also split in every state in Australia between solicitor and barrister; but not as pronounced as in the UK. Solicitors, being regulated by Law Societys at state level, must belong to a state professional body for practising. As per 2011 statistics, there are about 60,000 solicitors and 5,000 barristers in Australian law community.
This profession in Australia is controlled under territory and state laws. There is a co-regulation system that are actively involved in government and in lawyers profession. Since the year 2009, authorities in Australia are exploring how this profession could be taken forward towards a much more national model with the reform processes kept underway.
Law Societies are mostly formed by legislation that plays very important roles directly in the licencing, training and disciplining of lawyers. The disagreements or roles with regards to being a regulator and to be a trade association is seen by several societies that give rise to recent moves to sponsored regulators as formed by government. Law Societys role is to play as an element of the fair dealing system, and concern themselves with right of entry to justice. As a consequence, they may provide unpaid and paid legal assistance to target audiences or public, and then get involved historically in legal aids and development.
All responsibilities and duties are carried out upholding the guiding principles. The initiatives are mainly focused on enhancing profession’s voice by acting as voice of the law profession, encouraging debates, actively driving issues in law reforms via policy submissions and dialogue with courts, parliamentary bodies, governments and department of Attorney General; regulating the profession by enforcing the professional standards, investigate complaints, administer discipline, license the solicitors for practising; guiding and uniting the profession; and finally by supporting the members. The most important duty is to connect community and the profession.
Organisation and structure
Because of the regulatory and dual representative functions of legal society, the structure of this organisation is such that it maintains authoritative presence and also foster collaboration and consultation between and with law makers, profession and public community. The Law Societies structure are specially set out in their Articles and Memorandum of Association. These documents rules to govern the operation of society and also defines powers and responsibilities between all the stakeholders like committees, law council of society, members and regional legal societies and the officer bearers. As the solicitors’ professional association, there are counterparts in every state and territory of Australia, with whom each Australian law society closely works. You could also direct your attention to the Aussie Lawyer Directories to find some more information on law society in Australia.
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