About the Register
What is the Register of Disciplinary Action?
The Legal Profession Act 2007 (‘the Act’) requires the Board to keep a register of disciplinary action taken against Australian legal practitioners under the Act, and disciplinary action taken under any other corresponding law against Australian legal practitioners who are or were enrolled or practising in Tasmania when the conduct, which is the subject of the disciplinary action, occurred.
The Board is required to make the register available for inspection on its website.
What information does the register contain?
The Board is only required to keep information on the register in relation to disciplinary action taken after the commencement of the Act. Details relating to earlier disciplinary action may be included on the register. As the Board only came into existence in 2009, information relating to older disciplinary action before the creation of the Board isn’t on the register.
Information about lawyers who have been struck off (ie removed from practice) in Tasmania before 2009 can be found on the Roll of Practitioners maintained by the Supreme Court of Tasmania (hyperlink Roll of Practitioners).
The Act requires the information on the register to include:
- the name of the lawyer;
- their last known business address;
- their home jurisdiction (for example the lawyer may have been admitted outside of Tasmania);
- details about the conduct that was the subject of the complaint and of which disciplinary action was taken;
- details of the disciplinary action taken including reasons for the action;
- any other matters prescribed by the Act.
What information does not appear on the register?
There are some circumstances where a lawyer’s name will not be listed on the register after disciplinary action is taken against them. These include:
- where the lawyer has appealed against the decision and the appeal is not yet finalised;
- where a Court has ordered the decision not be published;
- where the decision to take disciplinary action has been successfully appealed;
- where disciplinary action has been taken against a lawyer because of infirmity, injury or mental or physical illness.
To find out if a lawyer holds a current Australian practising certificate in Tasmania you can search the Law Society’s Register of Legal Practitioners.
Each interstate jurisdiction has a similar register of disciplinary action. These can be accessed below:
Legal Profession Complaints Committee WA via the Legal Practice Board of WA
The Board is legally required to maintain the register of disciplinary action. While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information on the register is correct at the time of publication, we are reliant on information provided by the Courts, Tribunals and interstate authorities. The Board cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage that may result from reliance on the register and any error, omission or defect in the information contained therein. The Board has specific protections from liability under section 500 of the Act.
Any person whose name appears on the register may be entitled to apply to a Court or the Tribunal for a non-publication of the order, and should seek independent legal advice on their rights.
What is disciplinary action?
Disciplinary action is defined in section 496 of the Act. It is –
- the making of an order by a Court or Tribunal for or following a finding of unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct by a lawyer under the Act or a corresponding law;
- the making of a determination by the Board under section 454 or 456 of the Act for or following a finding of unsatisfactory professional conduct by a lawyer under this Act;
- it includes an action to:
- remove the name of a lawyer from an Australian Roll of Practitioners following a finding of unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct;
- the suspension or cancellation of a practising certificate for the lawyer;
- the refusal to grant or renew a practising certificate;
- the appointment of a receiver to all or any of the practitioner’s property or the appointment of a manager to the practitioner’s practice.