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Scrutiny of the legal profession  

Original reference received: ​12 November 1991   

Amended reference received: ​29 January 1992

​Note: ​The remaining portion of this reference, relating to Government legal services, was withdrawn by the Attorney General at the request of the Commission on 28 April 1997​


Report 70: Scrutiny of the Legal Profession: Complaints Against Lawyers [PDF, 787Kb], February 1993

Tabled in parliament: 18 March 1993

Legislative action: Legal Pro​fession Reform Act 1993​

Judicial citation: Spanos Enterprises Pty Ltd v South Sydney City Council [1999] NSWSC 1077 [9]; Barwick v Law Society of New South Wales (2000) 74 ALJR 419; New South Wales Bar Association v Murphy (2002) 55 NSWLR 23 [14]; B (A solicitor) v Victorian Lawyers RPA Ltd (2002) 6 VR 642 [38]; Legal Services Commissioner v Madden (No 2) [2008] QCA 301

Journal article: C Parker, "Justifying the New South Wales legal profession 1976-1997" (1997) Newcastle Law Review 1

Discussion paper

Discussion Paper 26: Scrutiny of the Legal Profession - Complaints Against Lawyers, May 1992

Terms of reference

(i) The Commission should inquire into the necessity for implementing alternative mechanisms to those presently existing to deal with complaints about the delivery of legal services to the public, such as a complaints unit, a Legal Services Ombudsman, or some other mechanism. In so inquiring the Commission will have regard to the need for accountability external to the legal profession in any such mechanism.

(ii) The Commission should inquire into the means of making the offices of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Legal Aid Commission, the Crown Solicitor, and other Government Legal Services more open and accountable. In so inquiring, the Commission will have regard for the need for the impartiality and independence of those offices.

(iii) The Commission should consult fully with peak professional bodies of the legal profession in New South Wales, together with other relevant community organisations and other interested individuals and take into account any proposal of those bodies to reform and strengthen their mechanisms for investigating and adjudicating complaints.

Note: See also Reference 102 Review of Part 10 of the Legal Profession Act 1987 (NSW)