Proposed changes to the compulsory third party system for persons injured in motor vehicle accidents has been nominated as a major concern by the incoming heads of Canberra's two peak legal bodies.
Steven Whybrow, ACT Bar Association, and Chris Donohue, ACT Law Society, were recently elected president of the organisations representing the territory's legal fraternity.
Mr Whybrow replaces outgoing president Ken Archer, who was the ACT Bar's longest serving president.
Mr Whybrow was called to the Bar in 2002 and has appeared across diverse areas of law for plaintiffs and defendants, private litigants and corporations.
He has appeared in a wide range of courts and tribunals ranging from the High Court to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal and everything in between.
Prior to coming to the Bar, Mr Whybrow was a prosecutor with the ACT Office of public prosecutions.
Mr Whybrow urged politicians to consult with the Bar on legislative proposals that affect the rights of ACT citizens, including concerns a revised compulsory third party system would create unfairness and inequity.
"Which the current proposed changes unfortunately would," he said.
Mr Whybrow also said it was an exciting time for the organisation, with an influx of fresh talent coming to the Bar.
"The ACT Bar ... is undergoing something of a generational refresh with a lot of younger members and in particular a number of exceptional women joining the Bar.
"Personally I want to do everything I can to support our younger barristers to pursue a successful and fulfilling career at the Bar."
Chris Donohue, of Donohue & Co, was elected president of the Law Society in late September.
Mr Donohue replaced Sarah Avery in the position.
Mr Donohue also nominated changes to the traffic victim compensation scheme as a concern.
"The year ahead will see the society continuing its advocacy for maintenance of the rule of law, and for access to justice. Society committees will continue to review and comment on government legislation," he said.
"Of particular concern are the government’s plans to severely reduce compensation to road traffic victims, a topic that lawyers are uniquely qualified to comment on."
Mr Donohue also said the introduction of electronic conveyancing would present a challenge to ensure the protection of buyers and sellers.