The Regulatory Framework
Much of the legal system, especially the courts, depends on lawyers to make it work effectively. Public confidence in the competence and integrity of the legal profession is very important. This means that there are strict requirements for entry to the legal profession. There is also strict regulation of the way that lawyers deal with their clients and other lawyers. This is often called ‘professional ethics’. Much of this law is contained in the Legal Profession Act 2007 and the Rules of Practice 1994. The Law Society of Tasmania plays an important role in implementing the Act and Rules of Practice. Their Legal Profession Board can take complaints about a lawyer or practice.
The Law Society is the professional association of lawyers. All practising lawyers belong to it. It has extensive statutory powers to investigate the conduct of lawyers and take action against those who have erred. Any lawyer who wishes to practise must obtain a practising certificate from the Society each year. There are no compulsory continuing legal education requirements on lawyers in Tasmania, however there are voluntary events available through the Law Society to interested lawyers.