Courts

2018/19 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.

In 2018/19, the Courts Committee assisted the Law Society to make submissions on various reforms and rule changes, including submissions to:

  • the Attorney General and the Chief Magistrate regarding proposals for improving the efficiency of court processes in the Magistrates Court;
  • the Federal Circuit Court on delays;
  • the Supreme Court regarding Practice Directions relating to expert evidence and seminars on eTrials;
  • the Attorney General in relation to the process for judicial appointments and the adoption of model litigant guidelines;
  • the Western Australian Bar Association (WABA) on its Best Practice Guide Preparing Witness Statements for Use in Civil Cases;
  • the Legal Practice Board on the use of the term “Special Counsel” and non-practitioners engaging in legal work in the Liquor Commission; and
  • the Law Council of Australia regarding its 2019 Federal Election Call to Parties.

In addition, the Committee has monitored issues and liaised with the Supreme Court and District Court in relation to electronic filing and the eCourts portal as well as amendments  to the Suitor’s Fund Act 1964 and the effectiveness of the administration of the Civil Judgments Enforcement Act 2014.

The Courts Committee was also involved in consultations regarding the ongoing issue of delays in the Family Court and concerns about the provision of bailiff services in Western Australia by Baycorp (WA) Pty Ltd.

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