Solicitors' swan song?: A statistical update on lawyer discipline in Queensland

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Haller, Linda
Green, Heather
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2007
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This article reports on an empirical investigation of disciplinary hearings involving lawyers in Queensland, Australia over the 75 year period 1930-2005. It looks at changes over time in relation to the types of charges and types of lawyers prosecuted, and orders made by tribunals. It examines statistical evidence of historical changes in the self-regulating legal profession's attitude to discipline, and in particular, evidence as to whether prosecuting bodies and tribunals were embracing a consumer protection focus emerging in legislation from the late 1980s, even though this represented a shift from discipline's traditional emphasis on questions of character. The article looks particularly at cases prosecuted by the Queensland Law Society - the body representing solicitors in that State - during the period 2000-2005, a period when the society was under serious threat of losing many of its regulatory powers. Although in 2004 the society was to go on and lose its powers to receive complaints from consumers of legal services and to prosecute discipline, the article concludes that, in its 'swan song' years, the society demonstrated a greater willingness to follow the legislature's intent and prosecute more vigorously, including in relation to quality of service matters.

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Bond Law Review

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19

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1

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© 2007 Bond Law Review. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.

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