Opening of 2024 Legal Year


The annual Opening of the Legal Year ceremony was today marked with an Ecumenical Service at St David’s Cathedral.

Legal practitioners across Australia come together at the start of each year to reaffirm their commitment to the ethical and social responsibilities of the legal profession, and the important role in upholding the rule of law.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Guy Barnett, together with Judges, Magistrates, Legal Practitioners and others involved in the sector, attended today’s service, preceded by the usual procession along Macquarie Street to the Cathedral. The Church service was followed by the traditional breakfast, hosted by the Judges at the Supreme Court of Tasmania.

The Attorney-General stated: “I am incredibly honoured to be here today celebrating the official Opening of the Legal Year, a tradition that underscores the importance of justice and legal governance in our society.

“This annual event dates back to the 17th Century during the reign of King Charles II, and symbolizes the commencement of legal proceedings, the renewal of legal commitments, and the pursuit of justice. It serves as a momentous occasion for legal professionals to reflect on their responsibilities and dedication to upholding the rule of law.

“The opening of the legal year coincides with the start of the 2024 Legal Practice Course in Tasmania, which starts today. The postgraduate professional legal training program is delivered by the Centre for Legal Studies and the University of Tasmania, which results in a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice and eligibility for admittance to the legal profession.

“As the only Tasmanian-based legal practice course, graduates have access to support from the legal profession, judiciary and magistracy for practical skills training, including weekly sessions at the Supreme Court or Magistrates Court.

“Welcome to all of the graduates undertaking their Legal Practice Course to the start of their legal career, if they choose to pursue such a path. This challenging course provides invaluable skills they will take with them through life, whether they intend to use them practicing law or in another professional role.

“This year we are supporting Tasmania’s legal profession by offering a specialist graduate career pathway for talented and motivated law graduates. The new dedicated legal graduate program will help build experience and develop the next generation of legal professionals in Tasmania.

“Law graduates, who have not yet been admitted, will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by working on a broad range of legal work and gain exposure to Government policies and programs while undertaking the Tasmanian Legal Practice Course.

“It is incredibly pleasing to see the high level of interest received in this new innovative law graduate program, with approximately half of this year’s participants in the Legal Practice Course applying. Successful applicants will be notified in the coming weeks and will have the opportunity to work in the Department of Justice as a Graduate Legal Officer for a period of 10 months,” Attorney General Barnett said.

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