If you are a lawyer holding a current practising certificate in New Zealand and seek to practise in the ACT you must follow a two-step process under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 (‘the Act’).
The first step is to apply for registration as a legal practitioner to the ACT Supreme Court.
The second step to apply for a practicing certificate from the Law Society of the ACT.
First step: Admission in the ACT Supreme Court
For up-to-date information on registration with the Supreme Court, please visit this link.
Under Supreme Court guidelines, notice for registration under s 18 of the Act can be completed in accordance with a form the Court provides.
Other documentation that must accompany this notice includes a certificate (original or certified copy) by the proper officer of the High Court of New Zealand (not the Law Society or Bar Association) in respect of which the person's entitlement to registration derives which evidences the person's existing registration. The certificate must be recent and must not predate the notice by more than one month. Applications with 'stale' certificates may be rejected.
These forms must be verified by statutory declaration and lodged personally (by agent or post). Two copies of the notice and certificate must also be lodged at the time of lodgement of the original documents. Please note that lodgement entails a fee.
The Registrar will notify you as to the outcome of your application for registration within one month. If accepted, you will be requested to attend before the Registrar in Canberra or a nominated officer of the High Court of New Zealand for the purpose of taking the requisite oath or making the requisite affirmation and to sign the Roll of Legal Practitioners.
When you have signed the Roll, the Registrar will issue a Certificate of Registration and inform the ACT Law Society of the registration.
Second step: Application for a Practicing Certificate
After you have been issued a Certificate of Registration, you can apply to the Law Society for a practicing certificate.
The process of application is the same as for a domestic applicant. More information can be found here.
For all membership and practising certificate enquiries contact the Society's Executive Secretary on 02 6274 0300.