The New Zealand Council of Legal Education has released its annual report for the 2018 calendar year.
The report says the Council is a regulatory body "which is responsible for the regulation, quality and provision of legal training for those wishing to be admitted as barristers and solicitors to the profession in New Zealand."
It says the full Council met twice during the year, in May and in November.
At 31 December 2018 the Council had 17 members, with Justice Simon France Chair. It included two members of the senior courts judiciary, one District Court Judge, five members nominated by the New Zealand Law Society, two nominated by the New Zealand Law Students' Association, and one nominated by the Minister of Justice. The deans of New Zealand's six law schools are ex officio members.
The report says the major tasks of the Council during 2018 were:
- maintaining the work of the Council;
- maintaining the work of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies;
- meeting the requirements of the legal status of the Council;
- securing funding for the general work of the Council;
- maintaining the servicing arrangements for the Council; and
- ensuring the organisation and oversight of practical legal training in New Zealand.
The Council says to carry out its tasks, it "maintained its general liaison with the judiciary, the legal profession, the universities and law students".
The report says the Council may provide advice to the Minister of Justice if required on any matter relating to legal education. It says no advice was required in 2018.
"During the year the Chief Executive's office continued to respond to numerous inquiries related to its areas of operation. The inquiries emanated from a diverse and large group of bodies and individuals. Such bodies ranged from Government departments requesting information, to general student and applicant inquiries."
During the year the Council says it received 1041 completion certificate applications from New Zealand law graduates. "All candidates were issued a completion certificate after stringent verification."
The Council is funded through a levy imposed on all practising certificates issued to lawyers by the New Zealand Law Society.