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AGLS Board Communiqués

The AGLS Board will meet every 1-2 months to progress AGLS initiatives and will provide an update on work in progress.

2021 AGLS Board communiqués

The AGLS Board met on 11 March 2021. All members attended.

Summary of decisions

AGLS Strategic Plan

Board members participated in a strategic planning workshop in February 2021. At the meeting, members discussed a draft AGLS strategic plan, prepared following the workshop, setting out the vision for the AGLS and actions linked to overarching themes of governance, engagement or personal development. The plan will be published on the AGLS website after it is finalised by the board.

AGLS virtual launch

The board noted plans are being finalised for the virtual launch of the AGLS, expected to occur shortly and involve a series updates to the AGLS website – www.governmentlawyers.gov.au.

AGLS Legal Risk Committee

The board discussed establishing the new AGLS Legal Risk Committee, including its proposed functions and membership. The committee will be a representative group of senior legal services practice leaders from the Commonwealth public sector (e.g. General Counsel, Chief Lawyer, Chief Legal Officer, Special Counsel). The committee will provide a forum to identify, analyse and provide input on issues of whole-of-government legal risk and assist in managing Commonwealth legal risk in a coordinated manner. The board agreed to progress terms of reference for the committee.

2021 AGLS Conference

The board discussed proposed themes and dates for the 2021 AGLS Conference. Further details will be made available on the AGLS website.

Statement of roles and responsibilities for government lawyers

The board discussed a draft statement of roles and responsibilities for government lawyers, a key recommendation from the Secretary’s Review, which is intended to complement the General Counsel Charter. The board agreed to consult the Professional Development Committee about the draft.

2020 AGLS Board communiqués

The AGLS Board met for the first time on 10 December 2020. All members expressed their eagerness to participate in the AGLS’s work and initiatives and promote its key values.

Summary of decisions

AGLS Board members

In accordance with the board’s Terms of Reference, board members are drawn from a representative mix of senior legal advisers and heads of legal in small and mid-size agencies and include representatives from non‑Canberra based agencies. A list of AGLS Board members is available on the AGLS website.

AGLS Board Chair

Board members elected Sarah Godden (General Counsel – Communications & Arts at the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications) as board chair for the calendar year.

Strategic Plan

The board discussed developing an AGLS strategic plan as a key priority for early 2021.

AGLS Conference

The board discussed holding an AGLS conference in the second half of 2021 and agreed to nominate possible chairs and members for a Conference Committee to progress this work.

Statement of Roles and Responsibilities of Government Lawyers

The board agreed to develop a statement of roles and responsibilities of government lawyers, who are the members of the AGLS. The statement will emphasise the AGLS’s key messages, with reference to the AGLS strategic plan and the General Counsel Charter

National Engagement Strategy

The board discussed the importance of engaging with government lawyers across Australia, particularly those not based in Canberra, and agreed to develop a National Engagement Strategy.

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