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Our Partner Christine Smyth spoke with ABC discussing the issues raised by the sad decision of Re Nichol; Nichol v Nichol & Anor [2017] QSC 220.

Unsent text on mobile counts as a will, Queensland court finds

Queensland Law Society president and succession law specialist Christine Smyth said the law was changed in 2008 to allow for less formal types of documents to be accepted as wills.

"It used to be the case that if you did not strictly comply with the legislation as to the drawing of a will, it would not be considered a will," she said.

Ms Smyth said while it was accepted in this case, writing a will in a text message was "absolutely not" recommended.

"As you read through this case, you get a sense of the amount of evidence that has to be produced to satisfy a court," she said.

"If a person hasn't drawn a formal will, there are some significant hurdles which must be overcome to establish that the document that looks like a will, is in fact, a will."

Queensland’s tow-truck licence applicants face more criminal checks

TOW TRUCK CRIMINALS: "CRIMINAL history checks on tow-truck drivers will be expanded to take in even low-level offences, under a crackdown on shady operators in the traditionally rough-and-tumble industry."

Our Partner President of QLS Christine Smyth wrote in a submission to Parliament opposing entry powers saying they were "far broader than police powers of entry, without evidence of the overriding privacy concerns".

"There is the potential for this power to be abused by investigating officers,"

Family Law Review

After the Federal Attorney-General George Brandis announced the Australian Family Law system would undergo it’s first review since the Act was introduced in 1976, Ben spoke to Qld Law Society President, Christine Smyth about the struggling system

Queensland gyms face extra scrutiny after tragic death of Ben Shaw

Trim, Taut, & Terrifying - Over the weekend a young boy lost his life. He went to the gym and instead of coming home healthier for it, he suffered a catastrophic injury. My thoughts go to his family and friends at this difficult time.

THE Queensland Law Society has labelled the death of a teenager in a Brisbane gym “extremely preventable” and has called for a coronial inquest to determine whether the state’s gyms are following correct procedures.

Good Enough for Bikies but not Builders

Christine Smyth Partner expresses concerns over the stripping away of fundamental legal rights such as presumption of innocence.

QLS welcomes move to remove 17-year-olds from adult prisons

Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth today (Monday September 18) welcomed the state government’s announcement that it will begin removing 17-year-old offenders from the adult criminal justice system.

“Queensland Law Society has advocated strongly for this reform, and called for the major parties to commit to it in the lead-up to the last election,” Ms Smyth said.

“The then opposition Labour party committed to this reform, and it is pleasing to see that they are honouring the promise they made to the Society; adult prison is no place for a child.”

President Smyth said that the damage done to juvenile offenders when exposed to hardened criminals is hard to reverse and often leads to a greater chance of re-offending.

“Juvenile offenders have a great chance of rehabilitation if given the opportunity, but being forced to survive in the harsh word of adult offenders reduces those chances markedly,” she said.

QLS says more CLC funding necessary to ensure access to justice

Tens of thousands of needy Queenslanders will be denied access to justice in wake of the limited renewed funding grants announced by the state government this week, according to Queensland Law Society.

Society President Christine Smyth on Friday (Sept 15) said the allocation of almost $4.8 million in funding by the Queensland Government to community legal centres was a welcome step, but much more funding was required to ensure access to justice for the state’s most vulnerable people.

“Queensland’s CLCs are in a state of crisis and are already severely underfunded,’’ Ms Smyth said.

“Funding granted to 10 organisations over the next three years will go a long way to helping some communities, but just as many needy and deserving communities received no funding and will be forced to slash services of simply close up shop.

“Reports from our members tell us CLC’s stretching from the Sunshine Coast to Mackay received absolutely no funding at all – meaning justice will be denied to tens of thousands of people each year.’’

Partner & QLS President Christine Smyth comments on Electronic Conveyancing

Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth said the main barriers reported to the society were costs charged by PEXA for the service.

“These costs would have to be passed on to clients and Queensland practitioners are reluctant,” Ms Smyth said.

“My understanding is that practitioners in some other Australian States are able to charge significantly more for a conveyance to clients as they become involved in the process much earlier.

“This means that they have the margin to absorb the cost. With some conveyancing services in Queensland charging smaller amounts, it is much harder to add the cost of PEXA to the final bill.”


Queensland property buyers baulk at charges for digital settlements

Partner & QLS President Christine Smyth speaks about the use of electronic conveyancing.

Robbins Watson Solicitors was one of the first Qld law firms to provide e-conveyancing to clients as an option. While many of our clients love the efficiency and security of the system, others are reluctant to pay the added charge imposed by Pexa to provide the service.


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