Professional ResponsibilityNew process for review of staff complaint dismissals
The Society’s complaints process is an open and accessible means for the review, processing and investigation of complaints alleging professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming, professional incompetence or incapacity against lawyers by members of the public, the Judiciary and other lawyers. The Director of Professional Responsibility has authority, delegated by the Executive Director, under Part III of the Legal Profession Act and Part 9 of the Regulations to dismiss or resolve such complaints.
The role of the Complaints Review Committee (CRC) is to review the Executive Director’s decisions to dismiss complaints on the request of a complainant. The process is designed to ensure that the review process is perceived by the public to be fair and independent of the Society.
In an effort to make this process as transparent and efficient as possible, the Society has developed a new Request for Review form and Information Sheet for complainants to complete if they wish to have the CRC review the dismissal of their complaint. The Information Sheet provides a clear description of the nature and purpose of the complaint review process. It also ensures that the materials referred to the CRC are complete but limited to those that were reviewed by staff as part of the original investigation.
The changes to this process are part of the Society’s move to a risk-focused and Triple P (proactive, principled and proportionate) approach to the investigation of complaints and protection of the public.