Law Council of Australia
The Law Council of Australia is an association of law societies and bar associations from the states and territories of Australia, and the peak body representing the legal profession in Australia. The Council was formed in 1933 to unite the various state legal associations, in order to represent the profession at a national level and at an international level. The Council is particularly vocal on subjects involving federal law, that is, laws made or considered by the Parliament of Australia. As of 2007[update], the Council represents over 56,000 lawyers across Australia.
The Council consists of representatives from its sixteen constituent bodies, and an executive body elected by the council. The current President is Alexander Ward. Former Presidents include two former Chief Justices of Australia, Sir John Latham and Sir Garfield Barwick, and former High Court Justice Douglas Menzies. A former Attorney-General of Australia, Michael Lavarch, is also a former Secretary-General of the Council. The Council also forms committees on various subjects, such as Indigenous legal issues, national criminal law, and alternative dispute resolution.
In 1986, the Council established a separate Family Law Section, for practitioners specialising in Australian family law. It represents about 2,000 lawyers across Australia. The Council administers a number of awards, including the John Koowarta Reconciliation Law Scholarship, awarded to Indigenous Australians studying law in Australian universities. The award is named for John Koowarta, the plaintiff in the famous Koowarta v Bjelke-Petersen case. The Council sponsors the Human Rights Law Award, awarded by the Australian Human Rights Commission. Recent winners include barrister Julian Burnside.
The Council often comments on the legal policy of the Government of Australia, and on proposed legislation in the Parliament of Australia. It also often gives testimony to parliamentary inquiries. Recent stances adopted by the Council include strong criticism of the Australian Anti-Terrorism Act 2005, and a criticism of profiteering in the insurance industry and weaknesses in personal injury legislation.
- "Submission of the Law Council of Australia". Australian Government Attorney-General's Department. Archived from the original on 21 July 2005. Retrieved 19 January 2006.
- "Law Council Past Presidents". Law Council of Australia. Archived from the original on 13 January 2006. Retrieved 19 January 2006.
- "About the Family Law Section". Family Law Section. Archived from the original on 17 December 2005. Retrieved 19 January 2006.
- "Legal Profession Opposes Anti-Terror Bill". Law Council of Australia. Retrieved 19 January 2006.[dead link]
- "Law Council Vows to Monitor Use of Counter-Terror Laws". Law Council of Australia. Retrieved 19 January 2006.[dead link]
- "LCA Report Reveals Insurer Profits Have Hit a 10-Year High – So Where are the Benefits?". Law Council of Australia. Archived from the original on 13 January 2006. Retrieved 19 January 2006.
- "Record Insurance Industry Profits At The Expense Of Injured Australians". Law Council of Australia. Archived from the original on 13 January 2006. Retrieved 19 January 2006.
- "Law Council's website". Law Council of Australia. Retrieved 19 January 2006.