Productivity Commission investigation into legal education and the legal profession

The Australian Productivity Commission is currently undertaking an investigation in Access to Justice arrangements in Australia.  As with many of these investigations, it is only when the interim report is released that the focus or scope becomes clear.

The draft report contained the following draft recommendation:

Draft Recommendation 7.1

The Commonwealth Government, in consultation with state and territory governments, jurisdictional legal authorities, universities and the profession, should conduct a holistic review of the current status of the three stages of legal education (university, practical legal training and obtaining a practising certificate). The review should consider:

  • the appropriate role of, and overall balance between, each of the three stages of legal education and training
  • the ongoing need for the ‘Priestley 11’ core subjects in law degrees
  • the best way to incorporate the full range of legal dispute resolution options, including non‑adversarial and non‑court (such as tribunal) options, and the ability to match the most appropriate resolution option to the dispute type and characteristics, into one (or more) of the stages of legal education
  • the relative merits of increased clinical legal education at the university or practical training stages of education
  • the nature of tasks that could appropriately be conducted by individuals who have been admitted to practise but do not hold practising certificates.

Unsurprising this recommendation has generated an number of responses, including ones from:

I’m particularly proud of the last one – a 26 page submission by our student law society (the only student input into the process).

Alex Steel

(PS the UNSW Law School submission also attaches the ‘as yet not publicly launched’ curriculum review report)

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