The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) undertakes research and provides recommendations to reform the law on topics selected by the Attorney-General of Australia. ALRC recommendations do not automatically become law, however over 85 per cent of ALRC reports have been either substantially or partially implemented—making the ALRC one of the most effective and influential agents for legal reform in Australia.

The ALRC makes recommendations that:

  • bring the law into line with current conditions and needs
  • remove defects in the law
  • simplify the law
  • adopt new or more effective methods for administering the law and dispensing justice, and
  • provide improved access to justice.

The ALRC aims to ensure that the proposals and recommendations it makes do not trespass unduly on personal rights and liberties of citizens, or make those rights and liberties unduly dependent on administrative, rather than judicial, decisions and, as far as practicable, are consistent with Australia's international obligations.

The ALRC must also have regard to any effect that its recommendations may have on the costs of access to, and dispensing of, justice.

The ALRC does not offer legal advice or handle complaints. It cannot intervene in individual cases and does not act as a 'watch-dog' for the legal system or the legal profession.

The ALRC is an Australian Government agency within the Attorney-General's portfolio,  operating under the Australian Law Reform Commission Act 1996 (Cth), and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).

Published on 20 May 2010. Last modified on 9 August 2018.