The Migration Institution of Australia (MIA) stands in the way of a better and more cost effective Migration system: this hurts refugees & migrants .

The MIA (Migration Institution of Australia), by opposing the bill that aims to end dual regulation of Immigration Lawyers, hurts no one more than it does asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.

As readers of this post will know – although I first joined the MIA in 2003 – I have over the years become increasingly disillusioned by the MIA broken business model that is based on self interest and Sydney cronyism.

This “fight” has been won several times over the last few years but the MIA like some zombie from a second rate horror movies continues to staggers onward refusing to die. The first “death” dual regulation was at the hands of the Productivity Commission 2015. Then there was the next really real death by the Kendall Report. Then that was picked up by the Turnbull Government in 2016 (and the forces of darkness again prevailed and the MIA survived) and now this time. Yet in all those attempts the MIA stood in the way, putting their “bottom line” before the best interests of their clients: Refugees and Migrants… and that makes me “…as mad as hell – and I am not going to take it anymore” (sic)

We hope this bill will be a silver bullet (I know werewolves) or a stake through the heart (yes vampires) of the self serving creature that is the MIA.

This is a transcript of the VISA. Victorian Immigration Solicitors’ Alliance submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee in which we urge the committee to pass the relevant bills.

Please read it and feel free to copy and paste it and send it to your local member.

To Committee Secretary.

Re: Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents) Bill 2019 and Migration Agents Registration Application Charge Amendment (Rates of Charge) Bill 2019

VISA (The Victorian Immigration Solicitors’ Alliance (Pty Ltd) is a professional alliance of Australian Immigration Solicitors & Barristers, “Migration Lawyers” and Legal and Associated Practitioners dedicated to advocacy, community awareness and continuing professional development of Australian Immigration Law.

We are a community of Migration, Legal and Ancillary Professionals who share a common set of goals; including the fostering of a greater appreciation within the wider society and Government of the valuable role that Legal Practitioners: Solicitors, Barristers – “Immigration Lawyers”, more than any other group, bring to the administration of justice, the rule of law as it relates to the Australian Migration System.

VISA: The Victorian Immigration Solicitors’ Alliance (Pty Ltd) welcomes the opportunity to make this submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

A powerful motivation and central purpose behind the formation of VISA: The Victorian Immigration Solicitors’ Alliance (Pty Ltd) is the notion that the provision of legal support is essential for the rule of law and to ensure that Australian Courts and Tribunals make the correct determination in migration and refugee matters.

VISA: The Victorian Immigration Solicitors’ Alliance (Pty Ltd) understands that without sound legal advice, there are concerns that people seeking asylum, refugees and migrants will not be able to adequately express their claims or fight their cases. This is clearly not only detrimental to the applicant but may also pose a risk to the entire Australian legal process.

VISA: The Victorian Immigration Solicitors’ Alliance (Pty Ltd) strongly supports removing dual regulation of lawyers when practising migration law. VISA: The Victorian Immigration Solicitors’ Alliance (Pty Ltd) has consistently advocated against dual regulation of the legal profession and views this as an unnecessary and costly regulatory burden for legal practitioners, and a source of confusion and uncertainty for their clients.

VISA: The Victorian Immigration Solicitors’ Alliance (Pty Ltd) further believes that “Lawyers” are already tightly regulated: they are required to maintain registration and uphold their ethical duties under their own state-based legal profession regulatory framework. VISA: The Victorian Immigration Solicitors’ Alliance (Pty Ltd) believes this system is sufficient to ensure lawyers provide sound advice and adhere to their ethical obligations. Indeed, VISA: The Victorian Immigration Solicitors’ Alliance (Pty Ltd) agrees with The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) in saying the legal profession regulatory framework in some ways provides more comprehensive requirements for lawyers than the Migration Agent’s Code of Conduct. Further, the complaints mechanism within each state-based legal profession is also sufficient to provide a satisfactory process in which to make complaints against lawyers. Likewise, the legal professions complaint’s mechanism can often be a more rigorous process for people to have their complaints remedied.

Consequently VISA: The Victorian Immigration Solicitors’ Alliance (Pty Ltd) recommends these Bills should be passed.

Who is VISA: The Victorian Immigration Solicitors’ Alliance (Pty Ltd) and what do we seek? VISA: The Victorian Immigration Solicitors’ Alliance (Pty Ltd) wishes to:

a) Promote the leadership role of Immigration Solicitors/Lawyers in the ongoing development of a more ethical and competent migration advice profession in Australia -to end so called “dual regulation”;

b) Foster the continuing education and professional development of Members;

c) Contribute to increased levels of professionalism, including increasing the level of knowledge and understanding of migration law and practice in the migration advice profession;

d) Provide a forum for liaison with governments, government agencies, the media, industry, business and other organisations;

e) Provide a medium by which members can effectively communicate with each other;

f) Undertake research relevant to the field of migration including the posting of relevant papers.

In these uncertain times of ever changing laws you can depend on us! AR LAW SERVICES. The Smarter, Tougher, Better Immigration Lawyers.  We will fight for you.

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