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Law Society congratulates new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW

The President of the Law Society of NSW today paid tribute to Tom Bathurst QC and congratulates him on his appointment as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW.

Tom Bathurst was admitted as a solicitor in 1972 and went to the bar in 1977. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1987. He was elected president of the New South Wales Bar Association in November 2009.

‘Mr Bathurst is an excellent lawyer and he will make an exceptional contribution to the Courts in NSW and we look forward to working with him in the years to come,’ said Stuart Westgarth, President of the Law Society of NSW.

Source: www.lawsociety.com.au/about/news/451288


New key priorities for the Law Society under a Coalition government

The Law Society of NSW today congratulated Greg Smith SC on his appointment as the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, and welcomed the opportunity to engage with the newly elected Coalition government.

Mr Smith, the Member for Epping, was sworn in as the new Attorney General and the Minister for Justice at Government House on the weekend.

Law Society President, Stuart Westgarth said he was looking forward to working proactively with the new Attorney General, on behalf of the state’s 24,000 solicitors, on a range of law and justice issues.

"We've worked hard to generate constructive debate about law and justice policy in the lead-up to the election, we congratulate all parties on their participation in the discussion and we are looking forward to engaging with the Coalition government to progress their commitments," he said.

"The Law Society has developed a very good professional relationship with Mr Smith during the last year, and we are hopeful that legislative change will be preceded by meaningful consultation."

"Mr Smith is well qualified to take on the role of Attorney General and we look forward to a new era of legal reform in NSW."

The Law Society's main priorities include:

- A review of court funding and staffing levels across NSW, (particularly in rural and regional areas) and, where necessary the re-opening of Courthouses.

- Addressing the growing backlog of DNA cases in NSW with increased and sustainable funding to improve DNA testing times and facilities.

- An assessment of funding of the Children’s Court Clinic and the appointment of specialist Children’s Court Magistrates to the Children's Court rather than the general Local Court.

- A comprehensive and consultative review of the Bail Act 1978, including its impact on juveniles.

- A review of the issue of legal representation at tribunals under the Consumer, Trader & Tenancy Tribunal Act 2001 and Guardianship Act 1987 and as part of a wider overhaul of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

- Repealing the Torrens Assurance Levy (currently payable on properties where the purchase price is $500,000 or more).

Mr Westgarth said the Society would be pursuing a number of other key reforms with the Coalition, including:

- Continuing to lobby for a rationalised legal model for personal injury compensation claims.

- Calling for the introduction of a clear framework for human rights in the form of a charter of human rights and responsibilities in NSW.

Source: www.lawsociety.com.au/about/news/NewsMediaArchive/441395

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