Role of the Deputy President

Effective as of 17 June 2021

Queensland Law Society’s Deputy President is an elected member of Council in accordance with rule 29 of the Legal Profession (Society) Rules 2007.


Term

The Deputy President holds office for a term of one calendar year, after which the Deputy President assumes the office of President. The Deputy President supports the President in the discharge of their duties. In the event of a vacancy in the Office of the President during the President’s term, the Deputy President fills the office of the President early pursuant to rule 43 of the Legal Profession (Society) Rules 2007.

The President, Deputy President, Vice President and Immediate Past President are all members of the Council Executive Committee and Finance and Risk Committee.

Purpose and duties

The duties of the Deputy President arise from their position as duly elected office bearer of the Society and is primarily responsible for supporting the President and presiding over official business of Council in circumstances where the President is an apology and unable to attend a meeting or an event. In addition to those committees stated above, the Deputy President may also be a member of or attend meetings of additional QLS committees or working groups. The Deputy President will also chair the Council Executive Committee if the President is absent. In the exercise of their duties, and in support of the President, the Deputy President also applies extensive industry knowledge and advocacy skills in influencing and achieving desirable outcomes for members.

The Deputy President’s role accountabilities are outlined below.

Council and committees

In the event the President is absent and unable to attend a meeting, the Deputy President’s duties include:

  • Chairing Council and Council Executive Committee meetings
  • Facilitating the flow of information and discussion in Council meetings
  • Ensuring Council operates effectively and in accordance with its charter
  • Facilitating the engagement of Councillors in the Council’s business and activities
  • Establishing and maintaining a strong working relationship with Councillors
  • Attending functional and policy committee meetings from time to time
  • Chairing the annual briefing of policy committee chairs on the approved corporate plan
  • Chairing the Society’s Annual General Meeting.

Stakeholder engagement

The Deputy President is expected to support the President in creating rapport with QLS members and various key stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement may take place with the President or on behalf of the President and may include:

  • Engaging, liaising with and reporting to members
  • Promoting the interests of the Society
  • Liaising with district law associations (DLAs), community legal and pro bono organisations, universities and other relevant associations and bodies
  • Liaising with and maintaining an effective working relationship with the Attorney- General and the government, opposition and the Legal Services Commissioner
  • Liaising with and maintaining an effective working relationship with heads of jurisdiction and the judiciary (state and federal)
  • Being conversant with the business of the Society, including Council-approved policy positions.

Representational role

The Deputy President may be asked to act as a spokesperson for the Society in media and in communications with government and stakeholders when required and in accordance with the Society’s written policies. Representation may take place with the President or on behalf of the President and may include:

  • Representing the Society before parliamentary committees and other inquiries, with representatives of the appropriate policy committee
  • Acting as a point of contact for the Society in dealings with the Law Council of Australia
  • Hosting intrastate, interstate, national and international legal delegations to the Society
  • Representing the Society at events such as:
    • Legal Profession Dinner
    • QLS annual Symposium
    • Swearing-in and farewell ceremonies for members of the judiciary
    • Opening of the law year and Christmas greetings
    • Law Week activities
    • Specialist accreditation breakfast
    • High Court judges’ cocktail reception (if High Court sits in Brisbane) 
    • Annual Gold Coast Symposium
    • Central Queensland Law Association Conference
    • Annual QLS North Queensland Regional Symposium
    • Annual North Queensland Law Association Conference
    • Bar Association of Queensland annual dinner
    • Law Council meetings
    • Annual Police Service and Remembrance Vigil
    • Functions at which the Attorney-General is a guest, to which the Society has also been invited
    • Opening and/or closing addresses at QLS conferences or corporate events as required.

The Deputy President will work with the other elected office bearers with these duties and expectations as necessary and will report as to the work undertaken on behalf of the Society during the reporting period.

Deputy President’s time commitment

The role of Deputy President may require a commitment of 2 days per week on average, excluding reading time. Additional time may be required subject to the changing external environment in which the Society operates and the demands of travel.

The Society employs a full-time chief executive officer (CEO) and executive management team who manage the day-to-day business of the Society.

Honorarium

In recognition of the commitment and the demands on the time in this role, the Deputy President is provided with an annual honorarium, which is allocated monthly. The amount of the honorarium is at the discretion of Council and is periodically determined by Council.

Role challenges

The role of Deputy President is challenged by the need to support the President during times of peak activity and provide for the advocacy needs of members. To be effective the role needs to work closely with the President, Vice President and Council to ensure they represent the needs of the members in a consistent and appropriate manner. 

Ensuring collaboration and support of elected council is important to be effective in the role. The role of Deputy President requires a significant collaboration with other office bearer positions to enact the role accountabilities and provide effective support to the President.