Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Legal Professions legislation

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Justice
Media Statement
17 November 2000

Legal Professions legislation

Justice Minister Phil Goff today announced details of a proposed new regulatory regime for lawyers and of a new profession of qualified conveyancers.

"The reforms are intended to promote a more competitive environment for the law and real estate industries, that will allow for a flexible regulatory response in a market that is undergoing rapid change both here and overseas," Mr Goff said.

"Among the changes introduced will be the removal of monopoly rights for lawyers over conveyancing, though all conveyancers will be required to be properly qualified. Lawyers and conveyancers will also be able to compete with the real estate agencies, which currently have a monopoly position in property sales.

"The proposals, which are currently being drafted into a Legal Professions Bill that will be introduced into the House early next year, will balance self regulation with clear and defined protections for consumers.

"Protections will include defined entry criteria for lawyers and conveyancers, and a requirement that individual practitioners be subject to the control of a regulating body.

"The New Zealand Law Society will perform this role for lawyers, and a new regulatory body with the working title of the Society of Conveyancers will regulate non-lawyer conveyancers.

"The New Zealand Law Society and the new Society of Conveyancers will be able to make rules regulating their members. The rules will have to be approved by the Minister of Justice and will subject to the Commerce Act, to ensure that they are in the public interest and do not unnecessarily inhibit competition.

"The legislation will also incorporate consumer protections, such as compulsory indemnity insurance and, for those who handle clients' money, a fidelity fund to protect against theft.

"The new legislation will explicitly set out the work that is reserved to lawyers. Lawyers will retain their exclusive role as advocates in Courts, although lay advocates in Courts such as the Employment Court, will be retained. People will of course continue to have the right to represent themselves. Only lawyers or litigants will be able to draft Court documents, but there is scope for exceptions for documents of a routine nature.

"Conveyancing work will be reserved to licensed conveyancers and lawyers.

"Lawyers and conveyancers will be free to practice in whatever business structure they choose. This will mean the possibility of incorporated practices and multi-disciplinary practices. This will allow lawyers to offer services with other service providers and professionals in the same firm, which provides benefits to consumers and business clients.

"There will be a new complaints system for lawyers and conveyancers that will allow for more independent, transparent, and effective handling of complaints and treatment of disciplinary matters. Clients who are dissatisfied with the way their complaints are handled by the regulating body will be able to complain to an independent Legal Complaints Office.

"A senior person with relevant experience will head the Legal Complaints Office. Practising lawyers, however, will be excluded from appointment. The office will be able to make orders in appropriate cases, or require or initiate proceedings before a national disciplinary tribunal. It will replace the current office of Lay Observer, which has more limited powers.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Supermarket Scam, And On Tunisia’s Scrapping Of Democracy

Are we paying too much for our groceries? Hmm. Is the Pope a Catholic? Given that the two Australian supermarket chains that dominate our grocery industry routinely rack up profits in the order of $22 billion annually, that’s a no-brainer. Yet as with New Zealand’s other socio-economic problems created by our 1980s reforms, the practical solutions seem pretty thin on the ground... More>>


Government: Welcomes Draft Report On The Retail Grocery Sector

The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said... More>>


Child Poverty Action Group: Poverty Burden For Children Increased Due To Government Neglect - New Report

Poverty, inequity, homelessness and food insecurity are among the burdens which increased for tamariki Māori and other children in the first year of Covid-19 - partially due to Government neglect... More>>

Government: Cabinet Accepts Turkish Authorities’ Request For The Managed Return Of Three NZ Citizens

Cabinet has agreed to the managed return of a New Zealand citizen and her two young children from Turkey, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The three have been in immigration detention in Turkey since crossing the border from Syria earlier this year... More>>


NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>

Social Development: Government Initiatives Contribute To Fall In Benefit Numbers

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the release of the June quarter Benefit Statistics which show a continuing fall in the number of people receiving a Main Benefit... More>>




InfoPages News Channels