Queensland Law Society

Publication scheme

The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board’s ("the Board") publication scheme has been developed to:

  • set out the kinds of information routinely available from the Board;
  • allow easy and simple access to routinely published information;
  • ensure the community has greater access to information;
  • provide details as to how information and particularly personal information held by the Board can be accessed;
  • provide details of the Board’s complaints management system;
  • respond to the government’s review of right to information laws to achieve proactive disclosure; and
  • release information routinely made available to the public.

The information provided through the publication scheme replaces the Board’s Statement of Affairs published under s. 18 of the Freedom of Information Act 1992.

Information in the publication scheme has been grouped into the following classes to facilitate access to routinely published information:

About Us (Who We Are and What We Do)

Vision and goals

The Board aims to support the judiciary, the legal profession, and the public interest by ensuring the integrity of those entering the legal profession, and safeguarding the educational and practical legal training standards of the legal profession.

Who we are – constitution of the board

The Board is a statutory body established under Chapter 7, part 7.5 of the Legal Profession Act 2007 (the Act).

The Board comprises 8 members including:

  1. 2 solicitors and 2 barristers;
  2. 1 solicitor nominated by the Queensland Law Society ("the Law Society");
  3. 1 barrister nominated by the Bar Association of Queensland;
  4. the Brisbane Registrar of the Supreme Court; and
  5. a person nominated by the Minister.

A person cannot become a Board member if the person is an insolvent under administration, has been convicted of a serious offence, or has been convicted of an offence against the Act.

The Honourable Chief Justice of Queensland appoints the members of the Board, other than the Brisbane registrar and the Minister’s nominee. The members appointed by the Chief Justice must be Australian lawyers of at least 5 years standing. One member is appointed as chairperson of the Board. Members appoint another member as deputy chairperson. Members are appointed for 1 year and may be reappointed.

The Board is accountable to the Honourable Chief Justice of Queensland and the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, The Honourable Ms Yvette D'Ath MP. Its current members are:

  • Mr Greg Moroney (Chair)
  • Mr Alan MacSporran QC
  • Mr Liam Kelly SC (Deputy Chair)
  • Ms Jennifer Rosengren (1 July 2017 - to 11 September 2017)
  • Ms Jennifer Sheean (appointed 15 September 2017)
  • Mr Noel Jensen
  • Ms Suzanne Cleary
  • Ms Philippa Mott, Attorney-General’s nominee
  • Ms Julie Steel, Brisbane Supreme Court Registrar (appointed 1 July 2011)

A quorum for the Board is 4 members.

Statutory obligations

The Board is a statutory body for the Financial Accountability Act 2009, the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009, and the Statutory Bodies Financial Arrangements Act 1982. The Board is also public authority for the purposes of the Right to Information Act 2009, the Information Privacy Act 2009, chapter 3, and the Ombudsman Act 2001.

The Board’s annual reports can be obtained from the Board, at the Law Society website or at the Qld Parliamentary Library.

What we do – role, responsibilities and powers

Section 39 of the the Act provides that the role of the Board is to help the Supreme Court by making a recommendation about each application for admission.

The Board must consider each application for admission and, in particular, whether or not —

  1. the application is made under the admission rules;
  2. the applicant is eligible for admission under this Act as a legal practitioner;
  3. the applicant is suitable for admission under this Act as a legal practitioner; and
  4. there are other matters the Supreme Court may consider relevant.

The Board may, by notice to an applicant for admission, require the applicant to provide stated documents and/or information and/or to cooperate with its inquiries. The Board may apply to the Supreme Court for a direction about a matter concerning an application.

A person can apply for a declaration by the Board (or the Supreme Court) about whether a matter relating to the person, including a suitability matter, may affect a current or future application for admission.

The Board, by a member of the Board or by an Australian legal practitioner acting for the Board, is entitled to appear before and be heard by the Supreme Court at a hearing about any application made under the part.

The Board must charge the fee prescribed under a regulation for matters under the part or for matters dealt with in the admission rules.

The Board has the functions provided for under the Act and the Supreme Court (Admission) Rules 2004 (‘the Rules’). The Board has all the powers necessary or convenient for performing its function. The Board may conduct its business in the way it considers appropriate, and it must keep minutes of its meetings and a record of its resolutions approved at a meeting.

The Board has additional functions under the rules; these functions including:

  • the approval, in conjunction with the Chief Justice, of academic qualifications and practical legal training requirements as ‘approved academic qualifications’ and ‘approved practical legal training requirements’;
  • the approval of academic qualifications attained in a foreign country as ‘approved academic qualifications’ and practical legal training completed in a foreign country as ‘approved practical legal training requirements’;
  • the receipt of specified documentation in support of an application for admission as a lawyer;
  • the receipt and consideration of objections to admission;
  • the administration of the supervised traineeship schemes;

Strategic and operational plans

The Board has a four year strategic plan for 2015/2019 and a one year operational plan for 2016/2017. These documents form the basis upon which operational business plans and key performance indicators are formulated and monitored.

Establishment of internal audit committee

In accordance with its legislative discretion under the Act, the Board has resolved not to establish an internal audit committee under the provisions of the Financial Accountability Act 2009 and the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009.

Stakeholders

The Board has a range of stakeholders including:

  • the Queensland judiciary;
  • the Queensland Government and other Government agencies;
  • the Queensland and Australian legal profession;
  • the public;
  • Queensland and Australian legal profession regulatory bodies; and
  • legal educators and training providers.

The Board is routinely consulted by its stakeholders in relation to a number of issues.

The Board is consulted on a range of issues being considered by the Law Admissions Consultative Committee (‘the LACC’). More information can be obtained from http://www.lawcouncil.asn.au/LACC/.

Bodies established to advise the board

The Board is assisted in its work by the LACC.

The Board reports to the Attorney General and Minister for Justice who consults regularly with members of the community.

Staffing

The Law Society provides administrative support to the Board, including secretariat support. The Board pays the Law Society from fees received by the Board.

The Law Society provides four staff including the Board’s Secretary and Solicitor, a solicitor and two administrative staff, three of which are part time.  Relevant Law Society staff are accountable to the Board and the Law Society.

Upcoming board meetings and admission dates

There are eight admission ceremonies in Brisbane as well as various admission ceremonies in the regional centres of Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton.

Each admission date in Brisbane is preceded by a Board meeting.

The admission dates in Brisbane can be found on the Supreme Court of Queensland website here.

Dates of admission ceremonies in the regional centres should be obtained from the Registrar of the Supreme Court in the relevant centre. Relevant contact details are as follows:

Cairns Supreme Court Registry
Telephone 07 4039 8885
Email CairnsHCRegistry@justice.qld.gov.au
Web

http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/contact-us/courthouses

Townsville Supreme Court Registry
Telephone 07 4799 7261 or 07 4799 7498
Email TownsvilleHCRegistry@justice.qld.gov.au
Web

http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/contact-us/courthouses

Rockhampton Supreme Court Registry
Telephone 07 4938 4568
Email

Rockhampton.HCRegistry@Justice.qld.gov.au

Web

http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/contact-us/courthouses

Forms, information kits, and publications

The Board publishes information regarding a variety of matters. This information is available from the Law Society website via the following links:

‘Approved academic qualifications’ and ‘approved practical legal training’
Admission:
  1. Admission kits for supervised trainees and practical legal training students
  2. Separate Admission forms for all categories of applicants
  3. Disclosure Guidelines prepared by the LACC
The Supervised Trainee Scheme:
  1. Kits to register as a supervised trainee
  2. Separate Supervised Trainee forms for Notice of Traineeship, Supervisor’s Statement, Former master’s Statement
  3. A Summary of the Supervised Traineeship Scheme
  4. Supervised Traineeship Diary
  5. Supervised Traineeship Plan
Interstate legal practitioners
  1. A Fact sheet 'How Interstate and New Zealand Lawyers register in Queensland'
  2. A Fact sheet 'Mutual Recognition Guidelines'
  3. Contact Details Form
Overseas law graduates and legal practitioners:
  1. A Fact sheet 'How Interstate and New Zealand Lawyers register in Queensland'
  2. A Fact sheet 'Mutual Recognition Guidelines'
  3. Contact Details Form
  4. Information and application forms for overseas graduates and practitioners wishing assessment of their overseas academic qualifications and practical legal training

Corporate documents:
  1. Annual reports
  2. Privacy Statement of Commitment
  3. Disclosure log
  4. Complaints Management Procedure
  5. Administrative Access and Amending Personal Information Schemes
  6. Strategic Plans

The Board's Privacy Statement of Commitment can be accessed here.

The Board's disclosure log can be accessed here.

The Board’s Strategic Plans and Annual Reports can be obtained from the Board, at the Law Society website. The Annual Reports can also be found at the Qld Parliamentary Library.

The Board also publishes a list of Frequently Asked Questions which can be obtained here

Our Services (The Services We Offer)

The Board provides a variety of services as follows:

Applicants for admission

Applicants for admission generally include three classes of persons as follows:

  1. Local or interstate law graduates who have completed the required practical legal training;
  2. Practitioners who are admitted in an Australian jurisdiction;
  3. Overseas law graduates and practitioners who are admitted in an overseas jurisdiction.
Local and interstate law graduates who have completed the required practical legal training

The Board assists persons seeking to obtain admission as a lawyer in Queensland. All persons seeking admission must make an application to the Supreme Court of Queensland. The role of the Board is to help the Supreme Court by making a recommendation about each application.

The Board must consider each application and, in particular, whether or not —

  1. the application is made under the admission rules;
  2. the applicant is eligible for admission under this Act as a legal practitioner;
  3. the applicant is suitable for admission under this Act as a legal practitioner; and
  4. there are other matters the Supreme Court may consider relevant.

The Board may, by notice to an applicant for admission, require the applicant to provide stated documents and/or information and/or to cooperate with its inquiries. The Board may apply to the Supreme Court for a direction about a matter concerning an application.

Practitioners who are admitted in an Australian jurisdiction

Since Queensland has been part of the national legal profession since July 2004, there is no longer a need for practitioners admitted in an Australian jurisdiction to apply for admission to the roll of lawyers in Queensland. These practitioners are able to apply for a practicing certificate as a solicitor or barrister based on their interstate admission.

However, in some instances, an interstate practitioner may still wish to seek admission in Queensland. An interstate practitioner is able to do so under the national Mutual Recognition Scheme which is governed by the Mutual Recognition (Qld) Act 1992. The application is made to the Registrar of the Supreme Court and is forwarded to the Board for consideration.

Overseas law graduates and practitioners

The Board also assesses academic qualifications, and practical legal training and experience in practice attained or completed in a foreign country. In doing so, the Board may require an applicant with overseas law qualifications to complete additional academic qualifications prior to approving their overall qualifications as ‘approved academic qualifications’. The Board may also require an applicant to complete further practical legal training before approving overseas practical legal training and experience in practice as ‘approved practical legal training requirements’.

Legal practitioners who are admitted in New Zealand are able to seek admission in Queensland under the provisions of the Trans-tasman Mutual Recognition (Qld) Act 2003. As with applications under the Mutual Recognition Scheme, the application is made to the Registrar of the Supreme Court and is forwarded to the Board for consideration.

For more information, click the following links:

  1. Local or interstate law graduates who have completed the required practical legal
  2. Practitioners who are admitted in an Australian jurisdiction
  3. Law graduates from overseas and practitioners who are admitted in an overseas jurisdiction

Persons considering entering the legal profession and/or law graduates

The Board assists persons who are considering entering the legal profession and/or law graduates. Such a person can obtain general guidance from the Board. If the person has concerns relating to a suitability matter, they are also able to access the LACC’s Disclosure Guidelines and/or apply to the Board for a declaration about whether the matter could affect a future application for admission.

For more information, click here.

The Board also gives permission to law students who wish to commence their practical legal training early, i.e. prior to completing their law program. Any such permission can only be granted in circumstances where the law graduate has completed all of the academic requirements for admission and has two academic subjects outstanding from their tertiary or law program.

Law graduates intending to complete practical legal training under the supervised trainee scheme

The Board administers the supervised trainee scheme and assists law graduates intending to complete a supervised traineeship.

More information on traineeships

The legal profession

The Board provides guidance, information and resources to legal practitioners and firms intending to employ law graduates who may be undertaking a supervised traineeship. It also guides legal practitioners in relation to admission requirements.

More information on traineeships

Universities and practical legal training providers

In conjunction with the Honourable Chief Justice, the Board approves academic qualifications and practical legal training requirements as ‘approved academic qualifications’ and ‘approved practical legal training requirements’. In doing so, the Board scrutinises all law and practical legal training courses offered by tertiary institutions and practical legal training providers in Queensland.

For more information, click the following links:

The community

The Board assists the wider community by providing information about eligibility for admission (‘approved academic qualifications’ and ‘approved practical legal training’), suitability matters, and applications for admission in general. In addition, it assists the community giving guidance in relation to, and receiving and considering, objections to an application for admission.

Other stakeholders

The Board is consulted on a range of issues being considered by a variety of stakeholders such as the Judiciary, the Department of Justice, the LACC, Queensland universities, etc.

Information pertaining to the LACC can be obtained from http://www.lawcouncil.asn.au/LACC/

Our Finances (What We Spend and How We Spend It)

The Board is a statutory body for the Financial Accountability Act 2009, the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009, and the Statutory Bodies Financial Arrangements Act 1982.

The Board is audited on an annual basis by the Queensland Audit Office.

As a consequence of section 662 of the LPA, the Board adopts many of the Law Society policies relevant to its finance such as the Financial Management Practice Manual, Cash Float Guidelines, Taxi Guidelines, Travel Policy, Entertainment Policy, Procurement, Gifts, etc.

Information pertaining to these policies can be obtained from here.

Annual report and financial statements

The Board’s financial statements are included in its Annual Report for 2015/2016. The annual reports can be obtained from the Board, at the Law Society website or at the Qld Parliamentary Library.

They are also available on the Law Society website here.

Gift register

To date, the Board has not received any reportable gifts.

Our Priorities (What Our Priorities Are and How We Are Doing)

The Board is committed to supporting the Judiciary, the legal profession, and the public interest by ensuring the integrity of those entering the legal profession, and safeguarding the educational and practical legal training standards of the legal profession.

Strategic and operational plans

The Board has a four year strategic plan for 2015/2019 and a one year operational plan for 2017/2018.  These documents form the basis upon which operational business plans and key performance indicators are formulated and monitored.

Our Decisions (How We Make Decisions)

Under section 661 of the Act, the Board has all the powers necessary or convenient for performing its functions, and may conduct its business in the way it considers appropriate.

Board meetings are generally held every six to seven weeks at times and places decided by the Chairperson. Where the Chairperson is absent, the Deputy Chairperson has the power to decide when and where Board meetings are held.

The Chairperson, or Deputy Chairperson when the Chairperson is absent, presides at all meetings. Decisions of the Board are made by a majority of votes. Each member present at a meeting has one vote and, if the numbers of votes are equal, the presiding member holds the casting vote. A decision of the Board is valid if notice of the resolution is given under procedures approved by the Board and the majority of Board members give written agreement to the resolution.

Where a Board member has a direct or indirect interest in a matter being considered and that interest could conflict the proper performance of the members duties about consideration of the issue, the member must disclose the nature of their interest at a Board meeting. Unless the Board otherwise directs, the interested Board member must not be present when the Board considers the issue or take part in a decision of the Board about the issue.

A quorum of the Board is four Board members. However, where a Board member leaves a meeting because of their interest in a particular matter, the remaining members present at the meeting form a quorum for the purposes of determining the issue.

The Board is required to maintain minutes of its meetings and a record of any resolutions made by it. If a Board member votes against the passing of a resolution, or records his/her interest in a particular issue for consideration, this must be recorded in the Board’s minutes.

Our Policies (Our Policies and Procedures)

Operational support and finance

Under section 662 of the Act, the Law Society provides and is paid for administrative support given to the Board, including secretariat support. The Board pays the Law Society from fees received by the Board.

As a consequence of section 662, the Board does not have policies and procedures relating to many administrative functions such as Human Resources, Workplace Health and Safety, Information Technology, Facilities, Complaints, etc., as support for these services are provided by the Law Society. Information relating to the Law Society's policies can be found here.

Internal Audit Committee

The Board has resolved not to establish an internal audit committee under the provisions of the Financial Accountability Act 2009 and the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009.

Record retention and disposal

The Board adopts the QDAN249 General Retention and Disposal Schedule for Administrative Records published by the Queensland State Archives. A copy of the document is available here.

Our lists (our lists and registers)

Being subject to the Right to Information Act 2009 (‘the RTI Act’), the Board is required to maintain a Disclosure Log which is publicly available here.

At the present time, the Board has not released any information under the RTI/IP Act.

Location and Contacts

Telephone Call us on 07 3842 5985 between 8.30 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. Monday to Friday from anywhere in Australia or overseas.
If you call outside these hours, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.
If you’re calling from outside Australia, call +61 7 3842 5985
Email admissions@qls.com.au
Media enquiries For all media enquiries, please call 1300 362 128 and ask to speak with the Communications Department.
In person Level 2 Law Society House
179 Ann Street
Brisbane Qld 4000
Mail Legal Practitioners Admissions Board
GPO Box 1785
Brisbane Qld 4001