Section 17(1)(c) of the Legal Profession Uniform Law ("the Law") requires the Victorian Legal Admissions Board ("the Board") to determine whether an applicant is a fit and proper person to be admitted with regards to Rule 10 of the Legal Profession Uniform Admission Rules 2015 ("the Rules") and any other matter the Board considers relevant.
An applicant must provide a statutory declaration disclosing details of any matters which may have bearing on his or her fitness and propriety.
The disclosure will be reviewed by the Victorian Legal Admissions Committee ("the Committee") with the following outcome:
- no further consideration is required;
- further and better particulars are required;
- you will be invited to attend a meeting with the Chairman and CEO who will ask questions about the matters that have been disclosed; to clarify them and examine the applicant's insight into why the Board may have concerns about anything disclosed. The discussion is intended to be frank and honest, though informal;
- the application will be referred to a full meeting of the Committee; or
- the application will be referred to a special hearing.
At the Chairman/CEO meeting, the applicant will be advised: (a) no further consideration is required; (b) further material to be provided having regard to the discussions in the meeting. In this case, a decision cannot be made until after the further material is provided; (c) the application will be referred to a full meeting of the Committee; or (iv) the application will be referred to a special hearing.
Full meetings of the Committee are held approximately two weeks prior to each admission date. From time to time additional meetings may be held as the need arises.
Applicants appearing before the Committee often attend with counsel and/or with their employer, supervisor or support person.
Special hearings are held in the Supreme Court. A transcript of the hearing is made. The Committee engages counsel to assist it. The role of counsel assisting the Committee is to question the applicant and make submissions to the Committee. Witnesses give sworn evidence.