Independence and Accountability
The Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner are independent statutory authorities responsible for the regulation of the legal profession in Victoria. The Board and Commissioner are accountable to the Victorian Parliament. The responsible minister is the Attorney-General, The Hon. Martin Pakula MP.
The Attorney-General has issued a Statement of Expectations (SOE) for the Board and Commissioner’s contribution to the Government’s Regulation Reform Program. This initiative aims to reduce red tape for the Victorian community by promoting greater efficiency and effectiveness in the administration and enforcement of regulation. The SOE sets out the Attorney-General’s expectations for improvements to our broader performance as a regulator for the period 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2019.
Four key areas of governance and operational performance targets have been identified where there are opportunities for the Board and Commissioner to make improvements that would reduce cost impacts on businesses, including legal practices, and the wider Victorian community. These key areas are detailed in the 2018-19 SOE below.
The Board and Commissioner are required to publish their response to the SOE for 2018-19.
The following table sets out this response, detailing the strategies and measures for complying with the three mandatory elements and the one recommended element of good regulatory practice.
|IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES||IMPROVEMENT MEASURES/EVIDENCE|
|Improve e-access to information for legal practitioners and consumers of legal services by improving timely access to the VLSB+C website from handheld devices.||By June 2019, improve timely access to information for practitioners by enabling better access to the online portal from hand held devices.|
|Develop a strategy to respond to the independent review of the external examinations function.||By April 2018, the Board will have formally reviewed the findings of the independent review.
By June 2018, developed a response to the review and associated action plan.
|Compliance related assistance and advice|
|Undertake stakeholder consultation on existing guidance and develop new guidance to ensure it is easy to understand and comprehensive.
Produce targeted information to assist legal practitioners in complying with their requirements.
By December 2018, it is proposed that the VLSB+C will have developed and published enhanced supervision guidelines to assist practitioners (both those who supervise and are under supervision) to understand the elements of good supervision.
By June 2019, identify ‘unsuitable qualities’ for supervisors by conducting an analysis to test the potential link between complaints and poor supervision.
|Develop understanding of sole practitioners’ behaviour incentives and disincentives in deciding whether to develop a contingency and succession plan for their practices.||By June 2018, finalise a contingency and succession planning policy which will encourage sole practitioners to put a succession and contingency plan in place.
By June 2019, review the policy and measure the extent of voluntary uptake to examine underlying behaviour and incentives.
Reporting on progress to achieve these expectations will be also included in the Board and Commissioner’s 2018 and 2019 annual reports.
This SOE replaces the previous Statement of Expectations issued to the Board and Commissioner by the Attorney-General on 20 June 2016.
Below you will find links to further information about the Board and Commissioner:
Information about the establishment and responsibilities of the Board.
Information about the establishment and responsibilities of the Commissioner.
Information about the Committees operated by the Board and Commissioner.
An explanation of the regulatory functions of the Board and Commissioner.
A list of the organisations which have one or more responsibilities under the Legal Profession Uniform Law.
Administration of practising certificates and law practice information.
Contact details for the Board and Commissioner.
For comments or complaints about our service.