Queensland Law Society

Government legal officers and practising certificates

Do you think you are a government legal officer? Do you need a practising certificate?

The Legal Profession Act 2007 exempts practitioners from holding a local practising certificate if the person is “authorised to engage in legal practice under a law of the Commonwealth” or is “a government legal officer engaged in government work”. [s23(1)]

A “government legal officer” is defined to include a person “whose employment or appointment in any of the following includes or may include engaging in legal practice:

(a)     a department of this jurisdiction, the commission or any agency prescribed under a regulation;

(b)     a department of government of the Commonwealth”. [s12(1)]

The following are the only agencies prescribed:

  • the Australian Government Solicitor
  • the Board of Architects of Queensland
  • the Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland
  • the Building and Construction Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Authority
  • the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian
  • the Crime and Misconduct Commission
  • each Hospital and Health Service under the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011
  • the Office of the Information Commissioner
  • the Office of the Ombudsman
  • the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel
  • the parliamentary service
  • the Queensland Building Services Authority
  • the Queensland Treasury Corporation
  • the Queensland Water Commission
  • the Residential Tenancies Authority
  • the Workers’ Compensation Regulatory Authority.

If you are a legal practitioner employed by an agency that is not listed and are not employed directly by a department or the Legal Services Commission, you are required to hold a practising certificate.

If you are unsure whether you require a practising certificate, please contact Records and Information Services, Queensland Law Society, 1300 FOR QLS (1300 367 757).