Queensland Law Society

The best for Queenslanders: QLS

Queensland Law Society has released the 2019 Call to Parties Statement ahead of the Federal Election, with a list of priorities on behalf of the solicitors’ branch of the state’s legal profession.

Among the requests include better access to justice for Queenslanders, more resources to the court system, a national plan to combat elder abuse, the advancement of First Nations People and more funding for legal assistance services.

QLS President Bill Potts said that the statement called for 16 priorities to be addressed by the major parties ahead of the election.

“Members of Queensland Law Society and our 26 policy committees have contributed their time and expertise to drafting these priorities on behalf of their peers and Queenslanders,” he said.

“The 16 priorities cover many areas across law reform, access to justice, family law and the justice system.

“It is our goal that the major political parties will come back with strong support of many, if not all, of our priorities.”

The Society releases a Call to Parties Statement prior to each state and federal election, outlining the key areas that require address by the major parties.

Mr Potts said that items such as access to justice and further court resourcing were frequently mentioned in the documents. This was touched on in Tuesday night’s budget (2 APR) but he said that there was always more to be done.

“There are some priorities we highlight on a regular basis which is usually legal assistance funding and more resources to our courts and that is just standard.

“Due to the fact that our justice system is a vital piece of social infrastructure and our population is always growing, these two requests will never become redundant and we continue to see allocation in the budget – whether adequate or not – each year.”

Mr Potts said that other issues highlighted included the Commonwealth law reform processes, strong and sustainable compensation schemes, assistance for businesses and law firms and consumer protection and protection for employees.

“It is important that we highlight a range of issues that assist all parts of our justice system.

“This does not simply include the court system but also the work of solicitors, wider social issues and bringing it down to the foundations of law – legislation.

“We urge the major political parties to take heed, and deliver a strong justice position that benefits all Queenslanders.”

The 16 priorities can be found below.

  1. Make justice more accessible
  2. Resource federal courts, tribunals and commissions
  3. First Nations People advancement
  4. Fairly resolve family law disputes
  5. Consumer protection and protection for employees
  6. Strong and sustainable compensation schemes
  7. Assist businesses, including law firms
  8. Develop our region and our profession
  9. Engage the not-for-profit sector
  10. Royal Commissions of Inquiry
  11. Implement a national plan to combat elder abuse
  12. Maintain the independence of the Australian Law Reform Commission
  13. Commonwealth law reform processes
  14. Review of Corporations Act 2001
  15. Preserving the integrity of our justice system
  16. Preserving privacy