Role of the Vice President

Effective as of 17 June 2021

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


Term

The Vice President holds office for a term of two calendar years. In the event of a vacancy:

  • in the Office of the Deputy President in the first year; or
  • in the Office of the President in the second year,

the Vice-President fills the office of Deputy President (in the first year) and President (in the second year) 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 Vice President arise from their position as duly elected office bearer of the Society. The Vice President is primarily responsible for supporting the President and Deputy President and presiding over official business of Council, in circumstances where the President and Deputy President are an apology and unable to attend a meeting or an event.

The Vice President’s role accountabilities are outlined below.

Council and committees

In the event the President and Deputy President are absent and unable to attend a meeting, the Vice 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 Society’s Annual General Meeting.

Stakeholder engagement

The Vice President is expected to support the President and Deputy President in creating rapport with QLS members and various key stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement may take place with the President and Deputy 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 Vice 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 and Deputy 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 Vice 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.

Vice President’s time commitment

The role of Vice President may require a commitment of 2 days per week on average, excluding reading time in the second year of office. During the first year there is an expectation that the Vice President will participate in the work of the Society over and above the participation of Councillor. 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 Vice President is provided with an annual honorarium, which is allocated monthly, in their second year in office. The amount of the honorarium is at the discretion of Council and is periodically determined by Council.

Role challenges

The role of Vice President is challenged by the varying demands for support that may be required by the President and providing for the advocacy needs of the profession. To be effective the role needs to work closely with the 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 Vice President requires a significant collaboration with other office bearer positions to enact the role accountabilities and provide effective support to the President.