Australians desperately need legal disciplinary bodies that are genuinely unbiased to deal with complaints about lawyer misconduct. The current disciplinary processes are often structured to protect abusers rather than consumers, and there is a desperate need to institute reforms that streamline the disciplinary process, impose meaningful punishments and protect the rights of consumers. When a Legal Services Commission or other lawyer disciplinary body in Australia does impose disciplinary measures, more often than not it takes the form of a minor, secretly dispensed reprimand. And on the rare occasion when a hearing regarding a lawyer's ethical violations does occur, the judge and jury consist of fellow lawyers rather than judges or lay persons, and the resultant institutional bias renders the system ineffective.
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