Role of the Immediate Past President

Effective as of 17 June 2021

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


Term

The President holds office for a term of one calendar year. The Immediate Past President remains a Councillor for one calendar year after ceasing to hold the office of President.

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 primary purpose of the Immediate Past President is to support and facilitate a smooth transition for the incoming President in relation to the work of the Society and the role of the President during this transitional period. The Immediate Past President may, at the request of the President, also provide ongoing support and act as a mentor to the incoming President.

The Immediate Past President’s role accountabilities are outlined below.

Stakeholder engagement

The Immediate Past 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 elected office bearers of other jurisdiction and the judiciary (state and federal)
  • Being conversant with the business of the Society, including Council-approved policy positions.

Succession planning, mentoring and skill sets

In the President's discretion:

  • The role imposes a responsibility for knowledge management, sharing of information, introductions and handing on relations and facilitating induction
  • Assisting new Councillors in understanding their role and responsibilities
  • Mentoring the Deputy President in the first year and the Vice President and sharing the knowledge and business of the Society.

Representational role

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

Immediate Past President’s time commitment

The role of the Immediate Past President requires a time commitment that allows for appropriate handover of matters, including introductions to key stakeholders and updates on progress of a variety of projects at the time. The amount of time required during this initial transitional period will vary as requested by the President from time to time.

Role challenges

The role of the Immediate Past President is challenged by the need to support the President during a transitional period, which is largely determined by the specific needs of the incoming President. The Immediate Past President works closely with the President, Vice President, Deputy 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 Immediate Past President requires a significant collaboration with other office bearer positions to enact the role accountabilities and provide effective support to the President.