The following appointments have been made to the newly formed Legal Services Council:
- Michael Black (Chair), former Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia.
- Steven Stevens, former president of the Law Institute of Victoria.
- Bret Walker SC, former president of the Law Council of Australia and the NSW Bar Association.
- Fiona Bennett, chair of the Victorian Legal Services Board.
- Kim Boettcher, lawyer.
The Legal Services Council will be responsible for the regulation of the legal profession in New South Wales and Victoria under the recently enacted Legal Profession Uniform Law.
Further appointments to the council are expected today.
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The Attorneys General for New South Wales and Victoria have announced the appointment of Dale Boucher as the Commissioner for Uniform Legal Services Regulation and Chief Executive of the Legal Services Council.
Mr Boucher is the former head of the Australian Government Solicitor.
The Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) and Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014 (NSW) were enacted on 20 May 2014 and will be implemented in 2015.
The scheme aims to improve the regulation of legal services across the two states, offering reduced red tape, new remedies and standardised complaints processes.
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ON 4 September 2014, the NSW Court of Appeal delivered Health Care Complaints Commission v Do  NSWCA 307.
Dr Annette Do had been found guilty by the Medical Tribunal of professional misconduct in prescribing her drug-dependent de facto partner with addictive and restricted substances, one of which caused her partner to die from an overdose. Dr Do was not registered at the time of the proceedings but was ordered to undergo a minimum of 12 months counselling as a condition of re-applying for registration. The Tribunal refrained from making an order of disqualification.
The Court of Appeal set aside the Tribunal’s orders and made an order disqualifying the doctor from practising medicine for a period of 18 months from 2 August 2013.
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The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)http://www.ncat.nsw.gov.au/ncat/index.html commenced on 1 January 2014 pursuant to the NSW Civil and Administrative Act 2013 and Civil and Administrative Regulation 2013.
The NCAT takes over the functions of 22 former state tribunals, including:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Tribunal
- Aboriginal Land Councils Pecuniary Interest and Disciplinary Tribunal
- Administrative Decisions Tribunal
- Charity Referees
- Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal
- Dental Tribunal
- Guardianship Tribunal
- Chinese Medicine Tribunal
- Chiropractic Tribunal
- Medical Radiation Practice Tribunal
- Medical Tribunal
- Nursing and Midwifery Tribunal
- Occupational Therapy Tribunal
- Optometry Tribunal
- Osteopathy Tribunal
- Pharmacy Tribunal
- Physiotherapy Tribunal
- Podiatry Tribunal
- Psychology Tribunal
- Local Government Pecuniary Interest and Disciplinary Tribunal
- Local Land Boards
- Victims Compensation Tribunal (transferred into the ADT in June 2013)
- Vocational Training Appeals Panel.
The NCAT is constituted by a President (a Supreme Court judge), Deputy Presidents of each of the four divisions, a Principal Registrars and Members including Principal Member, Senior Members and General Members.
The NCAT has four divisions:
- Administrative and Equal Opportunity, which deals with review of administrative decisions of government agencies and resolution of discrimination matters.
- Consumer and Commercial, which deals with a broad number of disputes about the supply of goods and services, including agent commissions and fees; agricultural tenancies; boarding houses; consumer claims; conveyancing costs; dividing fences; holiday parks (long-term occupancy); home building; motor vehicles; pawnbrokers and second-hand dealers; residential parks; retail leases; retirement villages; social housing; strata and community schemes; tenancy; travel compensation fund appeals.
- Guardianship, which has jurisdiction over people who live in NSW or hold property or financial assets in NSW: to make guardianship orders for the appointment of a private or public guardian; make financial orders for a private or public financial manager; provide consent for medical or dental treatment; review enduring powers of attorney; review an enduring guardianship appointment; approve a clinical trial involving people with decision-making disabilities.
- Occupational, including: administrative review of licensing decisions with respect to transport drivers/operators, security guards, builders, real estate agents, motor dealers and repairers, pawnbrokers and second hand dealers, stock and station agents, business agents, travel agents, valuers and licenced conveyancers; professional discipline of occupations governed by a statutory council, board, panel or authority.
The current President is Justice Robertson Wright SC and the Deputy-Presidents are Magistrate Nancy Hennessy, Mr M D Schyvens, Mr Stuart Westgarth, The Hon. Wayne Haylen QC and Judge Kevin O’Connor AM.
The principal registry is located at Level 9, John Maddison Tower, 86-90 Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW 2000, tel 1300 006 228.
The divisional registries are:
- Administrative and Equal Opportunity: Level 10, John Maddison Tower, 86-90 Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW 2000.
- Consumer and Commercial: Level 12, 175 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW 2000 (also at Liverpool, Hurstville, Newcastle, Penrith, Tamworth and Wollongong).
- Guardianship: Level 3, 2a Rowntree Street Balmain NSW 2041.
- Occupational: Level 10, John Maddison Tower, 86-90 Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW 2000.
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ON 3 NOVEMBER 2000, the NSW Court of Appeal delivered Carson v Legal Services Commissioner & Anor  NSWCA 308 (3 November 2000).
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