Register of Disciplinary Action
What is the Register of Disciplinary Action (RODA)?
The RODA is a register which lists disciplinary action taken against Australian lawyers under the Legal Profession Uniform Law.
For information on action(s) taken against non-lawyers (disqualified persons), please see the Non-lawyer Disciplinary Action page.
What information does the RODA contain?
The RODA lists Victorian-registered lawyers who have been found guilty of a disciplinary offence or had their practising certificate suspended or cancelled. These decisions are usually made by either a Victorian court or the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The RODA also records decisions made by an equivalent court or tribunal from an interstate jurisdiction where the action is taken against a lawyer who is admitted or practising in Victoria. In addition, lawyers whose names have been struck off the Roll of Legal Practitioners maintained by the Supreme Court of Victoria are listed.
The RODA includes disciplinary action from 1 April 1959 taken against a Victorian registered lawyer under the following legislation:
- the Application Act (the current legislation)
- the Legal Profession Act 2004
- the Legal Practice Act 1996
- the Legal Profession Practice Act 1958 and
- corresponding interstate laws (see below).
Disciplinary action taken under corresponding interstate laws will appear on the RODA only if the lawyer was admitted or practising in Victoria at the time of the conduct.
The RODA lists the following information:
- the name of the lawyer;
- the date they were admitted to practice in Victoria;
- whether or not they hold a current practising certificate;
- their last known address (address for service);
- the body which made the decision;
- the date of the decision; and
- the details of the finding made against the lawyer.
If the finding in an entry is displayed as ‘other’, it indicates that the Board may not have information on that specific order. If it is an interstate disciplinary decision, you may contact the relevant jurisdiction to obtain further information. Links to the interstate registers are provided below.
What information does not appear on the RODA?
There are some circumstances where a lawyer’s name will not be listed on the RODA after disciplinary action is taken against them. These include:
- where the lawyer has appealed against the decision and the appeal result is not yet known;
- where disciplinary action was taken against a lawyer before they were admitted to practise in Victoria;
- where a court has ordered the decision not be published;
- where the action was taken by the Board, the Commissioner or the Victorian Bar (for barristers); or
- where the disciplinary action was taken more than five years ago and the penalty is no longer in effect.
How long are entries displayed?
An entry usually remains on RODA for a period of 5 years. After this time the law requires the entry to be removed, unless the disciplinary sanction had a longer period than 5 years, or was permanent. This includes where a lawyer’s name was struck off.
Receiverships and Management appointments
The RODA will not display all instances where a court has appointed a receiver or the Board has appointed a manager to a law practice. These will only appear on the RODA if they arise from a finding of professional misconduct against a lawyer by a court or tribunal.
If a law practice has been placed in receivership or a manager appointed, this will be listed in the practice’s entry under the Register of Legal Practitioners and Law Practices.
To find out if a lawyer holds a current Australian practicing certificate, you can search the Board’s Register of Legal Practitioners & Law Practices.
Each interstate jurisdiction has a similar register. These can be accessed at the below links:
- Australian Capital Territory – ACT Law Society
- New South Wales – Office of the Legal Services Commissioner
- Northern Territory – Law Society NT
- Queensland – Legal Services Commissioner
- South Australia – Legal Profession Conduct Commissioner
- Tasmania – Legal Profession Board
- Western Australia – Legal Practice Board
We are legally required to maintain the RODA to help protect consumers of legal services. While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information on the RODA is correct at the time of publication, we are reliant on information provided by the courts, tribunals and interstate authorities. We cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage that may result from reliance on the RODA and any error, omission or defect in the information contained therein.
Any person whose name appears on the RODA may be eligible to apply to a court/tribunal for non-publication of the order, and may wish to seek independent legal advice on this matter.