Queensland Law Society

QLS welcomes signing off on new COVID-19 document witnessing laws

Queensland’s peak legal body has applauded the state government’s passing of laws designed to assist in the managing of legal affairs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Queensland Law Society President Luke Murphy today (Thur April 23) said the COVID-19 Emergency Response Bill 2020 was a much needed legal tool to respond to the challenges presented by the global spread of coronavirus.
Mr Murphy said the emergency legislation created a framework for flexible responses to be made to the many challenges that have arisen since the outbreak, including the virtual signing and witnessing of documents -- such as wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, contracts and court papers.
“The Bill also meets the statutory requirements of signatories to be present or attend a place via the use of technology, provide relaxation for fixed times to meet compliance obligations -- where appropriate -- and keep court and tribunal proceedings going using technology.’’
Mr Murphy said the emergency legislation also enabled the Government’s response to the challenges faced by tenants and landlords in residential tenancies during uncertain times.
“It provides a mechanism to give legal effect to the regime for retail and commercial leases proposed in National Cabinet’s Mandatory Code,’’ he said.
“It also allows for parliament to meet using technology in the same way that business and government is having to conduct its affairs.
“QLS is pleased the Government has listened to our concerns and has responded positively to the legal needs of our community. We have especially appreciated the Attorney-General’s willingness to consult with QLS and are grateful for her leadership on these issues.”

For more information please contact Media Manager Tony Keim on 0421 059 500 or media@qls.com.au.