Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Operation of lawyers standards committees clarified

17 April 2018

Operation of lawyers standards committees clarified

Each of New Zealand’s 24 lawyers standards committees is required to make its own decisions based on the particular facts before it and after considering the views of the parties, the New Zealand Law Society says.

Reported comments by an Auckland barrister on her interactions with a standards committee have focused attention on the role and operation of standards committees.

“While the New Zealand Law Society appoints both lawyer and non-lawyer members of each committee and provides administrative and other support, each committee must independently consider and decide every matter before it,” Law Society acting Executive Director Mary Ollivier says.

“That is to ensure fairness and that decisions are made free of any undue influence or external pressure and based strictly on the merits of the information before the committee.”

Mrs Ollivier says during its investigation of a matter a standards committee may make a “no further action” finding at any time, and this often occurs.

“There is a necessary process to be followed and this requires the gathering of evidence, setting down of hearings on the papers and communications to the parties. Many matters which are set down for a hearing end with a finding that no further action is required – which is another way of saying the committee has found the lawyer has not breached their professional obligations.

“Lawyers standards committees are the first stage in what is a multi-tiered system for resolving complaints and other disciplinary matters in the legal profession. All standards committee findings can be appealed to the independent Legal Complaints Review Officer.

“Appeals are also possible to the courts on matters of law and other findings. If a finding was made by a standards committee that the Law Society fundamentally disagreed with, there is a proper legal process which would allow the Law Society to appeal that decision.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Thompson+ Clark, And Russia’s FIFA World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark, which has been employed – time and again - by state agencies over the past decade, to spy on (and provide security against) ordinary New Zealanders engaged in lawful forms of protest. More>>


HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say! Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>


PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in urope for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>


Hit And Run: AG Gives Approval For Inquiry

Attorney-General David Parker has today announced a Government Inquiry will be held into Operation Burnham and related events. The operation undertaken in Tirgiran Valley, Afghanistan, ... More>>


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>


Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>





Featured InfoPages