Courts

2015/16 Annual Report

The Courts Committee continues to play an important role as a conduit for two-way feedback, and the dissemination of information to practitioners, between the Law Society, the Federal Court, Supreme Court, Family Court, State Administrative Tribunal, District Court and Magistrates Court. One of the keys to the open dialogue that the Committee enjoys with these Courts and the State Administrative Tribunal is the generous contribution made by District Registrar Martin Jan, Principal Registrar Michael Gething (as he then was), Acting Principal Registrar Simon Dixon, Registrar Danielle Davies, The Hon Justice Simon Moncrieff, Deputy Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Woods, Registrar George Kingsley and Tim Carey of the State Administrative Tribunal. The Committee and the Law Society is very grateful for the engagement of these representatives and the investment that they make in the work of the Committee.

The Committee is also fortunate to have a diversity of practitioners as members which ensures that issues are considered from the perspective of all stakeholders. The Committee also enjoys support from other members of the profession when their special expertise or experience in an area is required and the Committee is grateful to those practitioners for their contributions.

In 2015/16, the Committee has commented upon various reforms and Rule changes needed or proposed by the Federal Court, Supreme Court, District Court, Magistrates Court, State Administrative Tribunal, Law Council of Australia, the Legal Costs Committee and the State Government including:

• advance copies of reasons for decision;
• mortgagee repossession actions;
• legal costs (2016 scale);
• enforcement of judgments;
• security screening of practitioners by the courts;
• percentage contingency fees;
• Magistrate Court procedural reforms;
• Suitors’ Fund Act reform;
• Model Litigant Guidelines for government bodies; and
• fine default imprisonment.

Finally, grateful thanks and recognition must be given to John Fiocco Convenor of the Courts Committee from 2013 to 2015. The Committee is indebted to him for his excellent stewardship.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au