AML/CTF is a suite of compliance measures, overseen by AUSTRAC, directed at reducing opportunities for the laundering of the proceeds of crime and the financing of terrorism in the financial system. Originally implemented in Australia in 2006, known as ‘Tranche 1’, the AML/CTF regime focused on bullion, gambling, financial and remittance service industries. The extension of the regime to lawyers, accountants, real estate agents and other so called ‘gate keepers’ to the financial system, known as ‘Tranche 2’, has been discussed by Government since 2007.
QLS has maintained a position of significant concern at the imposition of any additional unnecessary regulation and compliance costs on the local legal profession since the inception of the AML/CTF scheme in 2006.
QLS has always sought an effective solution to the problem of managing AML/CTF risks that:
- does not jeopardise the fundamental tenets of the legal profession as officers of the court, or
- make legal practice so unviable that solicitors are driven from its practice, particularly in rural, regional and remote places where access to justice can be the most acute.
QLS and the Law Council of Australia have undertaken advocacy on this issue since 2007.