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Key developments

  • The Right to Representation before the Fair Work Commission
  • National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces
  • Reforms to combat illegal phoenix activity – draft legislation
  • Kaldas review of decision-making in the planning system
  • Draft Charter of Aged Care Rights Consultation Paper
  • Resources from the Elder Law, Capacity and Succession Committee
  • Inquiry into the Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Penalties and Other Sanctions) Bill 2018
  • Guidance for District Court Litigation
  • Lifetime Care and Support Guidelines
  • ACCC consultation on the Consumer Data Right Framework
  • Protecting the human rights of people born with variations in sex characteristics in the context of medical interventions
  • Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders compliance checks
  • Consultation on Human Rights and Technology

The Right to Representation before the Fair Work Commission

The Employment Law Committee contributed to letters to the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations and the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, regarding the right to representation before the Fair Work Commission. This is an issue that the Law Society has been vocal on in the past, as has the Law Council of Australia.

Currently, s 596 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) requires parties appearing before the Fair Work Commission to seek permission to be represented by a legal representative. In our correspondence, the Law Society submitted that, rather than promoting the efficient resolution of matters, denying parties the automatic right to legal representation can have the opposite effect. This reflects the experience of our members, who advise that denial of representation can lead to delays, difficulties in advancing settlement discussions, increased anxiety and increased costs.

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