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Show cause events
‘Show cause events’ involve serious offences that may affect whether you are fit and proper to practise law. They can happen to you in Victoria or in any other Australian jurisdiction.
If you hold a current practising certificate, or a foreign lawyer registration certificate, you must tell us of any show cause events that have occurred to you.
If you are applying for a new practising certificate or registration certificate, you also must tell us of any show cause events that have happened to you at any time before you applied. There are two kinds of show cause events; automatic and designated.
Automatic show cause events
- becoming a bankrupt; or
- being found guilty of a criminal offence (whether under Australian or foreign law); or
- being charged with or convicted of a tax offence.
If you hold a current certificate, you must notify us within 7 days of one of these events occurring.
Please note: It does not matter if you were practising law at the time the offence occurred or not. It does not matter if the law prohibits any other persons from disclosing your identity. It is still a show cause event.
Designated show cause events
- practising outside your practising certificate conditions;
- engaging in legal practice when not eligible; and
- not holding professional indemnity insurance cover when required.
If we send you a notice about any of these, we may ask you to explain to us why we should not vary, suspend or cancel your certificate. You will have 28 days to provide us with your response
What to do about a show cause event
Please notify us using the Notice of show cause event form. If you are a solicitor, please send the completed form to us directly. If you are a barrister, please send the completed form to the Victorian Bar
Within 28 days, you must also tell us in writing why you believe you are still a fit and proper person to hold a practising certificate, despite the show cause event.
Either we or the Victorian Bar will consider whether you are a fit and proper person. Our fit and proper person policy provides guidance on issues we may consider when deciding whether you are a fit and proper person to hold a practising certificate.
If you fail to tell us of a show cause event, we may refuse to grant or renew your application for a practising certificate or registration certificate, or we may vary, suspend or cancel your existing certificate.