Sydney, recent centre of World Rugby
Well, how quickly 2003 came and went.
This brief newsletter contains comments on:-
Commonwealth Law Conference 2005
New CAPSL Chair and Treasurer
Automated Administrative Decision making
Developments about Guidance on
Ethical Issues for Government Solicitor's
From my perspective, in Australia, it has been an unusual year for
public sector lawyers. The "war on terrorism" and the fallout from
the war in Iraq has given rise to legislation being introduced in a
number of jurisdictions to do with terrorism and antiterrorism.
Public Sector lawyers might be involved in the drafting of the
legislation, its implementation and or its enforcement.
All such roles involve a delicate balancing of the public/security
interest on the rights of individuals affected by the legislation. In
dealing with that balance Public Sector lawyers have a special role.
The American Bar Association's Government and Public Sector Lawyers
Division's Public Lawyer (Vol. 11, no.2) Summer 2003, contains a most
interesting article entitled Homeland Security: Organizing the New
Department and Facing Challenges.
The manner in which prisoners incarcerated
in Guantanamo Bay are intended to be tried by the government of the
United States of America has generated much debate. An article on
that topic prepared by the Lawyers Reform Association can be found at
CAPSL Chair and Treasurer
Negotiations have been finalised in late December 2003 for the
appointment of a new Chair of CAPSL.
Subject to certain formalities with the Commonwealth Law Association
being finalised, our new Chair will soon take over from James Syme. I
take the opportunity to thank
for all his hard work as Chair.
of West Sussex County Council, and the Immediate Past President of the
Association of Council Secretaries and
(ACSeS) is CAPSL's new Chair.
He is West Sussex County Councilís
Monitoring Officer and is responsible for delivery of the County
Councilís programme for complying with the Freedom of
He was formerly Director of Corporate
Services at Portsmouth City Council, and previously held positions
with Nottinghamshire County Council and the City of
I hope to have some comments from Mike for our next edition.
The recently appointed Treasurer of
of the University of Western Sydney. Michael is also a member of the
Lawyers Reform Association. Details of the association can be
Commonwealth Law Conference 2005
As I presently understand it, final
dates for the above conference look like being 12-15 September 2005.
I have recently had some discussion with
the Secretary of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association,
Graeme Mew, as to CAPSLís possible role at the 2005 conference. Those
discussions will continue.
At this early stage negotiations
continue as to whether the contribution of
will be part of the mainstream conference or whether it will have
separate satellite meeting, as has been the case in the past.
Given the importance of public sector
legal issues in all countries in the Commonwealth, it is my view that,
CAPSL should be part of the mainstream conference.
At this stage, it is too early to
CAPSL can provide enough speakers on Public Sector Legal issues
sufficient for a whole day or whether an afternoon one morning session
is more appropriate.
As public sector and private sector mesh more and more, I believe it
would be in the interests of all lawyers for sessions to be held which
can be attended by both public and private sector legal
Often, in my opinion, private sector lawyers do not understand the
needs of the public sector. Similarly, some public sector lawyers
might benefit from being able to discuss matters of mutual interest
with private sector lawyers, especially where issues involve both
Administrative Decision making
Australian Administrative Review Council has recently called for
submissions in respect of the use of computer equipment and programs
in automated Administrative Decision Making.
concept, involving as it does the prospect of decisions affecting the
rights and obligations of individuals being made in a manner in which
the decision maker is a machine not a human being, raises a
multiplicity of legal and computer issues.
Administrative Review Council convened a forum in Melbourne in
November 2003 to discuss the issues.
upon how successful that forum is, the Administrative Review Council
may also hold the forum in other locations.
Guidance on Ethical Issues for Government Solicitor's
The New South Wales Law Society recently formally released the above
discussion paper. It is an update of the draft referred to in the
previous edition of this newsletter. The document is available online
paper was released at the recent NSW Law Society Government
Solicitor's Continuing Legal Education seminar held at Parliament
House, Sydney, NSW.
The comments contained in this newsletter
are not intended to be and are not to be taken as advice to any
person in respect of the matters noted. Any duty of care is
expressly excluded. Similarly, the content of any articles
referred to or hyperlinked are not endorsed as the opinion of
CAPSL or the writer.