The Law Society welcomes the State Solicitor’s Office as an independent sub-department
Thursday, 8 July 2021
The Law Society of Western Australia welcomes today’s announcement by the State Attorney General, the Hon John Quigley MLA, that the State Solicitor’s Office (SSO) will now be an independent sub-department of the Department of Justice.
The SSO provides legal advice to the Government on matters of high risk. As it is the principal legal advisor to Cabinet and Government, its integrity is of the utmost importance.
According to the Attorney General, this is an important move that further cements the independence and autonomy of the 183-year-old institution, and is considered legal best practice.
In 2019, the Law Society reviewed the draft Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Bill and responded to the Attorney General suggesting a more independent SSO and asked that consideration be given to establishing a government legal department for all government lawyers, similar to the way in which the Government Legal Department operates in the United Kingdom.
Law Society President Jocelyne Boujos said: “The Law Society supports the announcement. While not all the recommendations which the Law Society called for in 2019 have been implemented, the establishment of the SSO as an independent Office is a step in the right direction. The move brings the SSO into line with other jurisdictions and, as a separate office, will enhance the transparency and accountability and therefore the continued integrity of the SSO in the public administration of law and justice.”
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The Law Society of Western Australia is the peak professional association for lawyers in the State. The Society is a not-for-profit association dedicated to the representation of its more than 4,000 members. The Society enhances the legal profession through its position as a respected leader and contributor on law reform, access to justice and the rule of law. The Society is widely acknowledged by the legal profession, government and the community as the voice of the legal profession in Western Australia.