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Disciplining Unsatisfactory Professional Conduct

If the Commissioner is satisfied there is evidence of Unsatisfactory Professional Conduct (which must be admissible, reliable and substantial evidence) and that the conduct can be adequately dealt with under Section 77J of the Act, he may decide not to lay a charge before the Tribunal.


Instead the Commissioner can:

  • reprimand the lawyer
  • order the lawyer to apologise to the client
  • order the lawyer to redo the work complained of, either at no cost or for reduced fees
  • order the lawyer to pay the cost of having the work complained of redone
  • order the lawyer to undertake training, education or counselling or be supervised
  • impose a fine not exceeding $5,000
  • impose certain conditions on the lawyer's practising certificate.


The Commissioner can also make any other appropriate order, but only with the lawyer’s consent. If the lawyer consents to the Commissioner doing so, the Commissioner may also:

  • have the lawyer medically examined and undertake any treatment recommended if there is reason to believe that illness or disability has affected the lawyer’s ability to practise law
  • order the lawyer to receive counselling, or to participate in a program of supervised treatment or rehabilitation
  • order the lawyer to enter into a professional mentoring agreement
  • impose a fine not exceeding $10,000
  • require the lawyer to pay a specified amount, or do, or refrain from doing, a specified act in connection with legal practice
  • suspend the lawyer from practising law for a period not exceeding 3 months.