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Untried lawyers score key positions

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Dear Federal Court of Australia,

In an article in the Australian titled “Untried lawyers score key positions”, which was published on 8 February 2022, the journalists noted that “a legal case manager was offered a position as national registrar in September 2018 – over other experienced solicitors – months before he completed his College of Law legal training course.” The journalists also claim that this legal case manager had only graduated from university in 2017 and that he had not even been “admitted to practice” when offered the role of national registrar, which required the relevant candidate to have litigation and case management experience in Australia’s superior courts of record.

I want to know two things:

a) the name of the person, or the names of the people, responsible for promoting a candidate into an important role, and the reasons for doing so; and
b) whether any action was taken to hold to account those responsible for promoting the legal case manager to the position of registrar.

In respect of a), under the FOI Act I request the following documents:

i. the selection report/s of the person/s responsible for selecting the legal case manager in relation to the national registrar position;
ii. the Public Service Gazette vacancy notification for the national registrar position that the legal case manager was selected to fill;
iii. any file notes (including correspondence) pertaining to the selection process;
iv. all classification assessment documents for the national registrar role.

In relation to the selection report/s, you are welcome to redact the names of candidates, including the “successful” candidate from the report. I have no desire to know who these people are. You are requested not to redact the name/s of the person/s responsible for the selection process, the signature/s applied to any selection reports by the responsible person/s, any date information on the selection report/s or any reasons in support of why the legal case manager was successful in securing the role and why the other candidates were not successful. There is a public interest in accessing the requested documents because of the seriousness of the allegations set out in the article in the Australian.

In respect of b), under the FOI Act I request the following documents:

i. any and all documents, such as code of conduct investigation reports, which set out what action was taken to hold to account those responsible for promoting the legal case manager to national registrar;
ii. any and all documentary correspondence sent or received by Ms Sia Lagos following the outcome of the investigation by the acting assistant commissioner McMullan that relates to the issue of holding the person/s responsible for promoting the legal case manager.

With respect to such things as code of conduct investigations, you are requested not to redact the allegations of wrongdoing / grounds of contravention. You are also requested not to redact the name/s of the person/s investigated. Again, there is a public interest in accessing the requested documents because of the seriousness of the allegations set out in the article in the Australian.

Yours faithfully,

Ashok

External FOI, Federal Court of Australia

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Ashok

Please find attached correspondence from the Federal Court of Australia.

Kind regards
FOI Officer

show quoted sections

External FOI, Federal Court of Australia

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Ashok

Please find attached correspondence from the Federal Court of Australia.

Kind regards

FOI Officer
Federal Court of Australia

show quoted sections

External FOI, Federal Court of Australia

3 Attachments

OFFICIAL
Dear Ashok

Please find attached correspondence from the Federal Court of Australia.

Kind regards

FOI Officer
Federal Court of Australia

show quoted sections

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Ashok please sign in and let everyone know.