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Peak lawyers group drops religious ceremony

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Canberra’s peak lawyers group has dropped its traditional religious ceremony to mark the beginning of the city’s legal calendar.

Instead, the Law Society of the ACT will host a secular event on Monday, February 4 at the Australian National University with Judges, Magistrates, and senior lawyers in robed procession at the beginning of the ceremony.

“This secular ceremony will be a new expression of a traditional event, reflecting the diverse backgrounds of members of the legal profession,” according to the Society.

“The ceremony will provide an opportunity for the legal community to re-dedicate themselves to the principles of the profession, and to reflect on their roles in the justice system.”

The news comes as a row continues to rage over the proposal for a religious service to mark the beginning of the territory’s political calendar.

Organised by Legislative Assembly Speaker and Canberra Liberal Vicki Dunne, the ceremony is set to be held at St Paul's Anglican Church in Manuka on February 10 and would be the first of its kind in the Assembly's history.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher made it clear she would not attend ''as a matter of principle'' and her seven Labor colleagues all backed their leader, refusing to go.

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