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Modernising Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime

The submission to the Attorney-General's Department in response to the consultation, Modernising Australia's anti-monehy laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime, was prepared by the Financial Services Committee of the Business Law Section and the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Working Group of Law Council of Australia.

The Law Council supports the elimination of money laundering and terrorism financing, and is committed to engaging with the Australian Government to implement a cost-effective, risk-based and proportionate response by the profession to the task.

The Law Council has commissioned an independent vulnerabilities analysis of the national legal profession. This is expected to identify any areas of significant residual risk. The findings are expected to inform the second phase of the consultation and the nature of any additional obligations that may be found to be required. The Law Council is now working to raise awareness of risk, and will publish nationally consistent guidance for the profession in the second half of 2023.

A key concern of the Law Council is that sole practitioners and small practices, particularly those in regional and remote areas, are not burdened with excessive obligations and are properly supported to effect any necessary augmentation of their existing risk management practices.

The Law Council considers proportionality, effectiveness and a risk-based foundation for policy to be critical principles to guide reform.

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