Making a submission
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Any public contribution to an inquiry is called a submission and these are actively sought by the ALRC from a broad cross section of the community, as well as those with a special interest in the inquiry. These submissions are crucial in assisting the ALRC to develop its proposals for law reform.
There is no set format for submissions, and they need not be formal documents. Submissions in electronic format are preferred.
It is helpful if comments address specific questions or paragraphs in a particular consultation paper. For each inquiry, once a consultation paper has been released, the ALRC develops an online submission form designed to help stakeholders address the specific questions or topics. We strongly encourage people to use this form.
The ALRC also encourages informal submissions via its various blogs and forums.
How the ALRC uses, and provides access to, submissions
In the interests of informed public debate, the ALRC is committed to transparency in its processes and open access to information. As submissions provide the evidence base for law reform proposals, it is common for the ALRC to draw upon the contents of submissions and quote from them or refer to them in publications.
Public submissions may be published on the ALRC website. Private addresses and contact details will be removed from submissions before they are made public. The ALRC will not publish submissions that breach applicable laws, promote a product or a service, contain offensive language, express sentiments that are likely to offend or vilify sections of the community, or which do not substantively comment on the issues relevant to the particular Inquiry.
The ALRC also accepts submissions made in confidence. Confidential submissions may include personal experiences where there is a wish to retain privacy, or other sensitive information (such as commercial-in-confidence material). Any request for access to a confidential submission is determined in accordance with the federal Freedom of Information Act 1982, which has provisions designed to protect sensitive information given in confidence.
In the absence of a clear indication that a submission is intended to be confidential, the ALRC will treat the submission as public.
Online and written submissions
The ALRC strongly encourages use of the online submission form provided for each inquiry, but will also accept submissions in other formats (Word or text files are preferred). These should be directed to:
The Executive Director
Australian Law Reform Commission
GPO Box 3708
SYDNEY NSW 2001
Phone: (02) 8238 6333
Fax: (02) 8238 6363
N.B The ALRC will email an acknowledgment of a submission within 48hrs of receipt. If you do not receive this confirmation, please contact the ALRC to ensure the submission has been received.
To make a verbal submission, phone the ALRC on 02 82386366. A legal officer will take notes while the person is speaking and these notes will be treated as a submission. However, the ALRC will not publish the verbal submissions on the website and will not quote from a verbal submission in any of its constulation papers or reports unless permission is explicitly given by the submitter.