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The Legal Practice Board of Western Australia 
Freedom of Information Statement

1.       This Information Statement is prepared and published pursuant to the requirements of Part 5 of the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA) (FOI Act) and relates to the Legal Practice Board (Board). 

2.       To comply with the FOI Act, the Board’s aim is to make information available promptly and at a minimal cost. The Board will, wherever possible, attempt to provide information to applicants outside of the FOI process. Any prospective applicant is encouraged to contact the Board regarding the information they seek before lodging an FOI application.
3.       The structure of the Board is set out in the Legal Profession Act 2008 (WA) Part 16 – Regulatory authorities.
4.       The functions of the Board affect persons and legal practitioners involved in the provision of legal services and other related purposes, including regulation of the issue of annual practising certificates. The Board has statutory responsibility for the admission and supervision of all legal practitioners in Western Australia. Through the Legal Profession Complaints Committee and the State Administrative Tribunal the Board also administers the discipline of all legal practitioners in Western Australia.
5.       No arrangements exist to enable members of the public to participate in the formulation of the Board’s policy or in the performance of its functions, other than by virtue of the fact that representatives of the community are members of the Legal Profession Complaints Committee, being appointed by the Attorney General.
6.       The types of documents usually held by the Board comprise the following:
(a)  files relating to the registration of articles for articled clerks;
(b)  files containing documents, correspondence and memoranda relating to the admission of legal practitioners, the issue and regulation of practising certificates, and legal practice;
(c)  enquiries from overseas and interstate legal practitioners, and persons, relating to admission in Western Australia;
(d)  files relating to the investigation of unqualified and prohibited legal practice;
(e)  documents relating to meetings of the Board, including agendas, minutes, memoranda and the like;
(f)   documents relating to the management of the Board’s assets and facilities, including documents relating to staff, premises, information technology, and so on; and
(g)  notes dealing with the Board’s procedures relating to an application for admission, an application for and issue of a practising certificate, an application relating to continuing professional development matters and the audit of a practitioner’s trust account for an external auditor.
7.       The FOI Act is the only written law under which any of these types of documents may be inspected.
8.       The notes referred to in paragraph 6(g) above are accessible on the Board’s website found at the following link:  https://www.lpbwa.org.au/General/Downloadable-Forms. Copies of the notes referred to in paragraph 6(g) may also be made available to any person who calls at the office of the Board, or who otherwise contacts the Board with an enquiry concerning the functions of the Board. Otherwise there is no other law or practice under which any of the documents referred to in paragraph 6 can be purchased.
9.       The Board has no procedures for amending personal information in its documents pursuant to Part 3 of the FOI Act. Any application for an amendment is to be dealt with in accordance with Part 3 of the FOI Act.
10.     The Board has no internal manual as defined in section 95 of the FOI Act. None of its functions affect or are likely to affect rights, privileges or other benefits or obligations, penalties or other detriments to which members of the public are or may become entitled, eligible, liable or subject.
11.     An initial enquiry for access to documents under the FOI Act should be made to the Freedom of Information Coordinator at Level 6, 111 St Georges Terrace, Perth, who is the officer at the Board who can deal with that enquiry, and who has been generally directed to coordinate an FOI application. An initial enquiry may be made by telephone on (08) 6211 3600 or by email to general@lpbwa.com.
12.     An access application under the FOI Act may be made to the Board in person at the address in paragraph 10 above, or by letter to PO Box 5270, St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6821, or by facsimile on (08) 6211 3650.
Access Arrangements
13.     Access to documents can be granted by way of inspection, a copy of a document, a copy of an audio or video tape, a computer disk, a transcript of a recorded, shorthand or encoded document from which words can be reproduced.
Notice of Decision
14.     As soon as possible, but in any case within 45 days, an applicant will be provided with a notice of decision which will include the following details –
  • The date which the decision was made;
  • The name and the designation of the officer who made the decision;
  • If the document is an exempt document the reasons for classifying the matter exempt; or the fact that access is given to an edited document; and
  • Information on the right to review and the procedures to be followed to exercise those rights.
Refusal of Access
15.     An applicant who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Board is entitled to ask for an internal review by the Board. An application for an internal review should be made in writing within 30 days of receiving the notice of decision.
16.     An applicant will be notified of the outcome of an review within 15 days.
17.     If an applicant disagrees with the internal review, the applicant can apply to the Information Commissioner for an external review. Details on applying for an external review will be detailed in the internal review.
1 July 2020