Supreme Court of Western Australia

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Court Procedure

Mutual Recognition

Is an interstate lawyer required to gain admission in Western Australia?

No, pursuant to the Legal Profession Act 2008(WA):

  1. A person who has been admitted interstate but does not hold a current Australian practising certificate can apply direct to the Legal Practice Board for a Western Australian practising certificate. An application for a practising certificate can be downloaded from the Legal Practice Board's website: www.lpbwa.org.au.
  2. A person holding a current Australian practising certificate can rely on their interstate practising certificate to practise in Western Australia, provided they comply with the requirements of Pt 5, Legal Profession Act 2008 (WA). In most cases you will then be required to apply for a Western Australian practising certificate on the expiration of your current interstate Australian practising certificate.
  3. Notwithstanding that Western Australian admission is not a formal requirement, any Australian lawyer is entitled, pursuant to the Mutual Recognition (WA) Act 2010, to be formally 'admitted' in Western Australia by lodging a Notice of Application for Admission.

How may a lawyer from New Zealand gain admission in Western Australia?

The Trans – Tasman Mutual Recognition (Western Australia) Act 2007 allows for a simplified process for a legal practitioner from New Zealand to obtain admission in this State.

Is it necessary to travel to Western Australia?

Under the Mutual Recognition (Western Australia) Act 2010 and the Trans – Tasman Mutual Recognition (Western Australia) Act 2007 it is not necessary to travel to Western Australia and appear before the Supreme Court to seek admission. You may elect to have the application dealt with on the papers without an appearance. You make this election in your Notice of Application for Admission.

What process is be followed? (see also Practice Direction 10.1.3)

You must file a Notice of Application for Admission. A precedent for the Notice is attached to Consolidated Practice Direction 10.1.3. The Notice is in the form of a statutory declaration. Practice Direction No 5 of 2008 outlines who has authority to take or receive such a declaration. The Notice must also give a postal address for service within Australia. A copy of the Notice filed must be provided forthwith to the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia.

How do I file the Notice of Application for Admission?

The Notice of Application for Admission may be filed over the counter at the Court’s Central Office. However, it may also be faxed or posted to the Court. Consolidated Practice Direction 1.2.3 - Postal Lodgement, and Consolidated Practice Direction 1.2.2 - Filing of Documents by Facsimile and using the Court's Website, set out the Court's requirements in relation to facsimile and postal filing.

Does it cost anything to file the Notice of Application for Admission?

A fee is payable on filing the Notice. From 4 July 2016, the fee is $339.00. The fee is amended from time to time. You may pay by cash, cheque, EFTPOS or credit card. If you are filing the notice by fax or post you will need to make arrangements to pay this fee at the time the Notice is filed. The Notice will not be processed unless the fee has been paid.

How do I prove that I am admitted interstate?

You must annex to the Notice a certificate certifying that your name remains on the Roll for the State, Territory or New Zealand where your principal place of business is located, as follows:

  1. Queensland, Victorian, Northern Territory, Tasmanian and ACT applicants obtain a certificate (commonly known as a 'Certificate of Good Standing') from the Registrar (or other proper officer) of the Supreme Court of the State or Territory;
  2. New South Wales applicants obtain a certificate from the Executive Officer of the Legal Profession Admissions Board; and
  3. New Zealand and South Australian applicants obtain a certificate from the relevant Law Society.

The certificate must have been issued not more than one month before the day of filing of the Notice. Alternatively, you may annex a copy of the certificate to the Notice so long as you certify that the annexed copy is a complete and accurate copy of the original certificate. Please note: an original or copy of your Admission Certificate will not be accepted as confirmation that your name remains on the Roll for a State, Territory or New Zealand.

Am I able to appear at an admission ceremony?

You may appear before the Court at an admission ceremony. You make this election in your Notice of Application for Admission. However, if you elect to appear before the Court, you are required in your Notice to waive s 21(1) and s 21(4) of the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Cth) or s 20(1) and s 20(4) of the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 (Cth) Act. That is because of the difficulties the Court has in listing applications for hearing within 28 days of the date of the filing of the Notice. If you do not wish to waive these provisions you should elect to have the application dealt with on the papers.

How will I know when the admission ceremony will take place?

The Court will advise you in writing of the date of the admission ceremony where you wish to appear before the Court or where the Court considers that for some reason your application should not be dealt with on the papers.

Will I need to arrange counsel for the admission ceremony?

Where you are to appear before the Court at an admission ceremony, you will need to make arrangements for your admission to be moved by counsel.

How do I take the oath/affirmation if I do not appear at an admission ceremony?

If you are admitted at an admission ceremony, you will take the oath/affirmation and sign the roll at that time. If you are admitted on the papers, you will be advised in writing of your admission and as to how and when the oath/affirmation must be taken and the roll signed.

How do I obtain a practice certificate once admitted?

You should contact the Legal Practice Board regarding practice certificates.

What happens if there is a problem with my application?

The Court will contact you about the problem and if necessary the further assessment of your application may be postponed.

Last updated: 4-Jul-2016

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