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Key developments

  • Draft Model Participation and Model Operating Rules
  • Contingency Fee Arrangements
  • Development of a Law Council policy position on climate change 
  • Community schemes reforms
  • BAS Services and the Tax Practitioners Board’s Legislative Instrument Power
  • Financial Services Royal Commission: Trustees of Registrable Superannuation Entities should hold no other role or office 
  • Automatic repeal of the Motor Accidents Compensation Regulation 2015
  • Inquiry into support for children of imprisoned parents in New South Wales
  • Modern slavery legal roundtable held in Sydney

Draft Model Participation and Model Operating Rules 

The Property Law Committee contributed to a submission to the Law Council in relation to draft version 6 of the Model Participation Rules (‘MPR’) and the Model Operating Rules (‘MOR’), issued by the Australian Registrars’ National Electronic Conveyancing Council (‘ARNECC’).

The Law Society strongly opposed the fundamental shift in the approach to verification of identity (‘VOI’) in the new MPR 6.5.2. The change effectively reverses the onus on the practitioner, mandating the use of the VOI Standard unless the practitioner is reasonably satisfied that it ‘cannot be applied’. 

The concepts of taking reasonable steps to identify, and the availability of a safe harbour through application of the VOI Standard, have become a daily part of conveyancing practice. In our view, such a fundamental shift, with substantial practical implications, should not occur without a very sound rationale and cost benefit analysis, including as to whether any failure to adequately verify identity has resulted in any loss in an eConveyancing transaction. 

We also made a number of drafting comments in our submission in relation to other parts of the MPR and the MOR.

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