End to dual regulation of migration lawyers, necessary and timely

The passing of the Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents) Bill 2019 and Migration Agents Registration Application Charge Amendment (Rates of Charge) Bill 2019 to remove the dual regulation of migration lawyers and reduce costs for consumers is a necessary and timely move, says the Law Council of Australia.

Law Council of Australia President, Pauline Wright, believes that the removal of the dual regulation eliminates any confusion over the differences between immigration lawyers and migration agents.

“The issue of dual regulation of lawyers who provide migration assistance has been long-debated and the Law Council has worked tirelessly for this bill to be passed. It is long overdue,” Ms Wright said.

“The discontinuation of dual regulation is in accordance with multiple major recommendations spanning a number of years.”

“The legal profession in Australia is well regulated and offers effective consumer protection mechanisms, including for vulnerable people in need of migration assistance,” Ms Wright said.

“Lawyers must already demonstrate qualifications, fitness to practise and maintenance of professional standards in order to maintain a practising certificate.

“Removal of expensive and inefficient dual regulation of migration lawyers will improve access to justice by reducing costs for consumers and allow more lawyers to provide immigration assistance, including on a pro bono basis,” Ms Wright said.