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The Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules 2012 in Practice: A Commentary for Australian Legal Practitioners are an essential reference tool for practising lawyers. The commentary is the most comprehensive guide to the Australian Lawyers` Rules of Conduct 2012 (ASCR) and aims to help practitioners apply the ASCR through additional advice and information. The rules are accompanied by practical suggestions on how to avoid ethical mistakes. The commentary includes questions that help resolve ethical dilemmas, as well as reference tables for legislation and cases and a comprehensive index. The ASCR was approved by the Directors of the Law Council in June 2011 and adopted as professional rules for lawyers in South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria (and Western Australia for short), Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. CSSAs were adopted in accordance with the processes of different jurisdictions, which are very different. The Northern Territory currently maintains its own code of professional conduct. In March 2020, the Directors of the Law Council approved the recommendations of their Professional Ethics Committee regarding the review. The Legal Board is currently working with the Uniform Law and other state and territorial jurisdictions to implement the revised ASCR in accordance with the processes of those jurisdictions. More information on how the legal profession is regulated in Australia can be found here. One of the issues raised by the 2018-2020 CDSA Comprehensive Review was the need to clarify how existing ethical principles can be applied to avoid conflicts of interest between current or current and former clients of a lawyer or law firm in the provision of short-term legal assistance services.

For more information, see the Law Council`s public consultation document: Public Consultation Paper on Short-Term Assistance Services. For the convenience of practitioners, a version of the ASCR has been prepared with accompanying commentary. The commentary is intended to provide additional information and guidance to understand how certain rules may be applied in certain situations. More detailed advice and support for practitioners should always be sought from their respective state and territorial legal systems. In uniform law jurisdictions, subsection 427(2) of the Uniform Law Council authorizes the Law Council to develop proposed uniform rules for the legal practice, professional development and conduct of the legal professions to the extent that they apply to or relate to lawyers. As a result of the ASCR`s review, further amendments to Rule 42 (Anti-Discrimination and Harassment) were proposed. This further review of Rule 42 is the result of the Law Council`s July 2020 National Roundtable on Sexual Harassment and subsequent consultations informing the Law Council`s National Action Plan to Reduce Sexual Harassment in Australian Advocacy (NAP). The commentary is not intended to be the only source of information on the rules – detailed information is available from the constituent bodies of the Legal Council to understand the application of the ASCR to the diversity of situations in legal practice. The Australian Lawyers` Rules of Conduct (ASCR) have been developed jointly by all state and territorial law firms and other professional associations constituting the Law Council as an agreed set of codes of professional conduct for all lawyers in Australia.

The ASCR is a statement of lawyers` professional and ethical obligations under legislation, common law and fairness. However, they also express the profession`s collective view on the standards of conduct expected of members of the profession. A PDF version of the Code of Conduct can be downloaded at the bottom of the page. A copy of the Legal Council`s consultation paper on the February 1, 2018 revision is available here. In 2018, the Legal Board began the first comprehensive review of the ASCR since its first promulgation in June 2011. This comment is in response to the currently applicable ASCR. The Directors of the Legal Board decided to develop a detailed commentary for the revised ASCR following the implementation of the above reviews. A copy of the ASCR as it is currently in effect can be found here.

The ASCR was established as the Legal Profession Uniform Law Australian Solicitors` Conduct Rules 2015 under the Legal Profession Uniform Law (Uniform Law), which came into force on 1 July 2015 in Victoria and New South Wales. As a result of the above reviews, the Legal Board is now working with unified law, states and territorial jurisdictions to implement the revised rules in accordance with the processes of those jurisdictions. The Legal Board regularly reviews the ASCR in consultation with its constituent bodies, regulatory authorities and other relevant stakeholders. The Professional Ethics Commission of the Legal Council monitors these reviews with the assistance of the Secretariat of the Legal Board. The 2011 Australian Rules of Conduct were updated in March and April 2015. With the exception of the deletion of former section 29.12.5, the minor amendments did not change the content of the regulation.