The table below provides an overview of the implementation status of all ALRC reports. More information about implementation in relation to a particular Final Report can be found on the related Inquiry page.
The ALRC considers that a report is substantially implemented when the majority of the report’s key recommendations have been implemented by those to whom the recommendations are directed. Partial implementation refers to implementation of at least some recommendations of an ALRC report.
The term ‘awaiting response’ refers to reports that have been completed within the past ten years, in relation to which the ALRC is yet to receive a formal response from the Government.
On 29 September the Australian Government formally welcomed the report and expressed its support for the three recommendations directed to the Government for consideration. The Government:
- Agreed in principle to Recommendation 5 to establish a federal judicial commission and committed to conducting consultations on the establishment of such a commission;
- Agreed to Recommendation 7 to develop a more transparent process for appointing federal judicial officers on merit, involving: publication of criteria for appointment; public calls for expressions of interest; and a commitment to promoting diversity in the judiciary; and
- Agreed to Recommendation 8 that the Attorney-General (Cth) should collect, and report annually on, statistics regarding the diversity of the federal judiciary.
The Government also noted the 11 recommendations directed at the federal courts, Council of Chief Justices of Australia and New Zealand and the Law Council of Australia, and committed to undertaking broad consultations to support relevant entities to consider and implement the recommendations where appropriate to do so. It acknowledged that the implementation of some recommendations may have financial, resourcing, or other operational impacts for the courts and committed to engaging with the courts in relation to these impacts.
Joint Practice Direction 1 of 2020 – Core Principles in the Case Management of Family Law Matters
In January 2020 the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court adopted a Joint Practice Direction, implementing Rec. 34. The Joint Practice Direction applies to all family law applications filed in the Family Courts of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, and where applicable, to appeals in family law. This Practice Direction sets out the ten core principles that underpin the exercise of the family law jurisdiction of the Courts.
In 2019–20 the Government also introduced a Bill that would (among other things) implement Rec 51, concerning the requisite knowledge, skills, experience and aptitude of future federal judicial officers exercising family law jurisdiction. As at 6 November 2020 the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2019 (Cth) was before the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee.
A Protocol for Communication and Cooperation between Supreme Court of Victoria and Federal Court of Australia in Class Action Proceedings was adopted in June 2019, partially implementing Rec. 6.
Fines, Penalties and Infringement Notices Enforcement Amendment Bill 2019 (WA); Police Force Amendment Regulations 2019 (WA); Closing the Gap Targets; Northern Territory Draft Aboriginal Justice Agreement
Through the Police Force Regulations Amendment 2019 (WA), which commenced on 2 October 2019, the Western Australian government introduced a custody notification scheme (implementing Rec 14–3). This requires Western Australian police to phone the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia Custody Notification Service every time an Aboriginal person (child or adult) is detained in a police facility in the state. The Western Australian government also passed the Fines, Penalties and Infringement Notices Amendment Act 2020 (WA) in June 2020, which abolished imprisonment for fine default (implementing Rec 12–1). In July 2020 a new National Agreement on Closing the Gap was agreed. This sets, for the first time, targets to reduce the rate of incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to reduce violence and abuse against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children, substantially implementing Rec 16–1. In 2020 the Northern Territory government also put a draft Aboriginal Justice Agreement out for consultation (Rec 16–2), with the consultation period ending on 31 July 2020.
National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (Elder Abuse) 2019-2023; Quality of Care Amendment (Minimising the Use of Restraints) Principles 2019; Quality of Care Amendment (Reviewing Restraints Principles) Principles 2019; Community Visitors Scheme National Guidelines; Guide: You Decide Who Decides (OPA/AGAC); Best Practice Guide for Legal Practitioners in Relation to Elder Financial Abuse, September 2020; Maximising the Participation of the Person in Guardianship Proceedings: Guidelines for Australian Tribunals; Office for the Ageing (Adult Safeguarding) Amendment Act 2018 (SA); Ageing (Adult Safeguarding) Amendment Act 2018 (SA); Ageing and Disability Commissioner Act 2019 (NSW)
On 19 March 2019, the Attorney-General launched the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians (Elder Abuse) 2019-2023 (the ‘National Plan’). This implements Recommendation 3-1 . In particular, the National Plan sets out a framework for ongoing cooperation, action, and monitoring against five key priority areas, including enhancing understanding, improving community awareness and access to information, strengthening service responses, planning for future decision-making, and strengthening safeguards for vulnerable older adults.
In 2019 the Government commenced a national prevalence study of elder abuse (implementing Rec 3–5), introduced further amendments to the Quality of Care Principles 2014 to further regulate the use of restrictive practices (Recs 4–10 to 4–11), and announced the establishment of a Serious Incident Response Scheme for residential aged care to begin in July 2021 (which will partly implement Recs 4–1 to 4–3 and 4–5 to 4–6). Funding has also been allocated to conduct a prevalence and feasibility study to inform future Government decisions on the potential introduction of a Serious Incident Response Scheme in home and community aged care (which would fully implement Recs 4–1 to 4–6). The Government also conducted a consultation on developing an ‘Aged Care Worker Regulation Scheme’ (which would implement Rec 4–9), and this closed on 29 June 2020. The Department of Health has also produced Community Visitors Scheme National Guidelines (Rec 4-14).
The Commonwealth and state and territory governments have also been engaged in steps to implement Recs 5–1 to 5–3 concerning enduring documents. On 29 November 2019, the Council of Attorneys-General (CAG) agreed to pursue a staged approach to enduring power of attorney reform for financial decisions, first focusing on law reforms to support the establishment of a mandatory national register of enduring power of attorney instruments, followed by further consideration of reforms to enhance safeguarding provisions and enhance access to justice arrangements. At their meeting on 27 July 2020, participants agreed in-principle to the proposed broad policy design for a national register of enduring documents, and tasked the Commonwealth to present a final proposal on the possible implementation and costing of the scheme, including resolution of outstanding issues, before the end of 2020. New South Wales and South Australia have enacted Adult Safeguarding laws (Recs 14-1, 14-4, 14-5, 14-6, 14-7).
The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department also funded production of a guide on financial enduring powers of attorney, published by the Office of the Public Advocate of Victoria and the Australian Guardianship and Administration Council in October 2019 (Rec 5-1). The Adult Guardianship and Administration Council has produced guidelines for Australian Tribunals for Maximising the Participation of the Person in Guardianship Proceedings (Rec 10-2), and the Law Council has published Best Practice Guide for Legal Practitioners in Relation to Elder Financial Abuse (Rec 8-1).
Native Title Legislation Amendment Bill 2019
The Native Title Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 (Cth) (which remains before the House of Representatives as at 6 November 2020), would specifically implement Recs 10–5 to 10–9, concerning authorisation of native title applicants by claim groups.
Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Amendment Act 2017(Vic); National Standards of Public Guardianship, Third Edition (2016); Health Legislation Amendment (eHealth) Act 2015 (Cth)
On 22 March 2017, the Civil Law and Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 was introduced in the Senate. At 30 June 2018 the Bill was still before Parliament. This Bill would amend provisions about mental capacity to consent to marriage in line with recommendation 3-1 about national decision-making principles.
Copyright Amendment (Disability Access and Other Measures) Act 2017 (Cth)
Fair Work Commission, Statement  FWC 8583; Fair Work Amendment Act 2013 (Cth)
Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (Classification Tools and Other Measures) Act 2014 (Cth)
Fair Work Amendment Act 2013 (Cth); Guide to Social Security Law; Migration Legislation Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 5) (Cth)
Access to Justice (Federal Jurisdiction) Amendment Act 2012 (Cth); Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth); Federal Court Practice Notes CM 5 and 6
Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2011 (Cth)
The Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2018 was introduced in the Senate on 6 December 2017 and would implement recommendation 16-5 (amendments to section 68T of the Family Law Act) and recommendation 17-4 (criminalisation of breaches of injunctions for personal protection made under the Family Law Act).
The National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Act 2018 received the royal assent on 29 June 2018. A number of amendments in this Act are informed by recommendations of the Australian Law Reform Commission, in particular, the definition of ‘cause harm’ to Australia’s interests, and the definition of ‘international relations’ (recommendations 5-1 and 5-2).
Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth); Combating the Financing of People Smuggling and Other Measures Act 2011 (Cth); Healthcare Identifiers Act 2010 (Cth)
National Security Legislation Amendment Act 2010 (Cth)
Crimes Legislation Amendment (Torture Prohibition and Death Penalty Abolition) Act 2010 (Cth); federal sentencing database
Evidence Act 2011 (ACT); Evidence (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011(NT); Evidence Amendment Act 2008 (Cth); Evidence Act 2008 (Vic); Statutes Amendment (Evidence and Procedure) Act 2008 (SA); Evidence Amendment (Journalists’ Privilege) Act 2007 (Cth); Evidence Amendment Act 2007 (NSW)
Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act 2012 (Cth); House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Review of Technological Protection Measures Exceptions (2006)
National Security Information Legislation Amendment Act 2005 (Cth); National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act 2004 (Cth)
The definition of ‘national security’ in the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Act 2018 was informed by the ALRC report.
Disability Discrimination and Other Human Rights Legislation Amendment Act 2009 (Cth); National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines on the provision of genetic information to relatives (2009); Section 95AA Guidelines For National Privacy Principles About Genetic Information; National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council, Classification of Human Genetic Testing 2007 Edition (2007); National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research(2007); Privacy Legislation Amendment Act 2006 (Cth); Human Genetics Advisory Committee established (2006); IFSA Standards Genetic Information and Family Medical History (2005); Family Law Regulations 2004 (Cth); Crimes Legislation Enhancement Act 2003 (Cth)
A Guide To Framing Commonwealth Offences, Civil Penalties And Enforcement Powers (2004)
Family Law Amendment Act 2005 (Cth); High Court Rules 2004; Jurisdiction of Courts Legislation Amendment Act 2002 (Cth); Supreme Court Amendment Act 2001 (ACT)
Financial Services Reform (Consequential Provisions) Act 2001 (Cth)
Judicial Misbehaviour and Incapacity (Parliamentary Commissions) Act 2012(Cth); Federal Justice System Amendment (Efficiency Measures) Act (No 1) 2009 (Cth); Access to Justice (Civil Litigation Reforms) Amendment Act 2009(Cth); Australian Academy of Law established (2005); Administrative Appeals Tribunal Amendment Act 2005 (Cth); Family Law Rules 2004 (Cth); Jurisdiction of Courts Legislation Amendment Act 2002 (Cth); National Pro Bono Resource Centre established (2002); Council of Australian Tribunals established (2002); National Judicial College established (2002); Launch of Australian Law Online (2001); FLC review of social science literature proposal (2001); AUTC law discipline review (2001–02); changes to case management in Family Court of Australia and the Federal Court of Australia; Family Law Amendment Act 2000(Cth)
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth)
Archives Amendment Act 2008 (Cth); Census Information Legislation Amendment Act 2000 (Cth); E-Permanence Strategy
Evidence Amendment Act 2008 (Cth); Measures to Combat Serious and Organised Crime Act 2001 (Cth); NSW Law Society, Representation Principles for Children’s Lawyers (2000); increase of age of criminal responsibility to 10—Children and Young People Act 1999 (ACT); Justice Act 1997 (Tas)
Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006 (Cth); Law Enforcement (AFP Professional Standards and Related Measures) Act 2006 (Cth)
Cross Border Insolvency Act 2008 (Cth); Electronic Transactions Act 2000(Cth)—complementary legislation in all states and territories.
Disability Services Amendment (Improved Quality Assurance) Act 2002 (Cth)
Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 (Cth); Freedom of Information Amendment (Reform) Act 2010 (Cth); Freedom of Information (Removal of Conclusive Certificates and Other Measures) Act 2009 (Cth)
Migration Litigation Reform Act 2005 (Cth)
Family Law Reform Act 1995 (Cth)
Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth)
Child Care Legislation Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
Sex Discrimination Amendment Act 1995 (Cth); Family Law Reform Act 1995(Cth); Domestic Violence Act 1995 (Norfolk Is)
Sex Discrimination Amendment Act 1995 (Cth); Family Law Reform Act 1995(Cth); Domestic Violence Act 1995 (Norfolk Is)
Trade Practices Amendment (No 1) Act 2001 (Cth)
see ALRC 69
Managed Investments Act 1998 (Cth)
Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth)
Crimes Amendment (Children’s Evidence) Act 1996 (NSW); Evidence (Closed-Circuit Television) (Amendment) Act 1994 (ACT)
Customs Amendment Act (No 1) 1997 (Cth); Customs Excise and Bounty Amendment Act 1995 (Cth)
Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth); Superannuation Resolution of Complaints Act 1993 (Cth)
Choice of Law (Limitation Periods) Act 1994 (WA); Choice of Law (Limitation Periods) Act 1994 (NT); Choice of Law (Limitation Periods) Act 1993 (NSW); Choice of Law (Limitation Periods) Act 1993 (Vic)
Evidence Act 1995 (Cth); Evidence Act 1995 (NSW); Racial Hatred Act 1995(Cth); Family Law Reform Act 1995 (Cth); Crimes and Other Legislation Amendment Act 1994 (Cth)
See also: Consumer Credit Code; Insurance Council of Australia, Insurance Code of Practice
Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Cth)—complementary legislation in each state and territory
Guardianship and Management of Property Act 1991 (ACT)
Alternative option implemented by Trade Practices Amendment Act 1992 (Cth)
National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines on the provision of information to patients
Criminal Code Amendment (Slavery and Sexual Servitude) Act 1999 (Cth); Crimes Legislation Amendment Act 1992 (Cth); Crimes (Ships and Platforms) Act 1992 (Cth)
Property Law Amendment Act 1990 (Qld); Powers of Attorney (Amendment) Act 1989 (ACT)
Federal Court (Amendment) Act 1991 (Cth)
Bankruptcy Legislation Amendment Act 1996 (Cth); Insolvency (Tax Priorities) Legislation Amendment Act 1993 (Cth); Corporate Law Reform Act 1992 (Cth)
Periodic Detention Act 1995 (ACT); Crimes Legislation Act (No 2) 1993 (ACT); Crimes Legislation Amendment Act (No 2) 1989 (Cth)
Interim report—see ALRC 44
Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act 1991 (ACT)
Service and Execution of Process Act 1992 (Cth); Service and Execution of Process Act 1991 (Cth)
Family Law Reform Act 1995 (Cth)
Evidence Act 1995 (Cth); Evidence Act 1995 (NSW)
Crimes Legislation Amendment Act 1989 (Cth); Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Regulations (Cth)
Bankruptcy Legislation Amendment Act 1996 (Cth); Magistrates Court (Enforcement of Judgments) Act 1994 (ACT); Insolvency (Tax Priorities) Legislation Amendment Act 1993 (Cth)
Admiralty Act 1988 (Cth)
Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act (No 2) 1991 (ACT)
Evidence Act 1995 (Cth);Crimes and Other Legislation Amendment Act 1994(Cth); Native Title Act 1993 (Cth); Safety and Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth) s 4; Adoption legislation in NSW, NT, SA, Vic; De Facto Relationships Act 1984 (NSW); Administration and Probate Act 1979 (NT); Family Provision Act 1970 (NT); Child Placement Principle–see child welfare laws in each state and territory
Domestic Violence Amendment Act 1991 (ACT); Domestic Violence Act 1986(ACT)
Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act 1991 (ACT); Compensation (Fatal Injuries) (Amendment) Act 1991 (ACT)
See ALRC 78
See ALRC 38
Foreign States Immunities Act 1985 (Cth)
Privacy Act 1988 (Cth); Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Act 1987 (Cth)
Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth)
Children’s Services Act 1988 (ACT)
Insurance (Agents and Brokers) Act 1984 (Cth)
Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1983 (ACT); Crimes Amendment Act 1982(Cth); Crimes Compensation Act 1982 (NT); Crimes Legislation Amendment Act (No 2) 1989 (Cth)
Lands Acquisition Act 1989 (Cth); Lands Acquisition Act 1978 (NT)
Census and Statistics Amendment Act 1981 (Cth)
See ALRC 1
Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1978 (ACT); legislation based on the report has been enacted in all states and territories
Bankruptcy Amendment Act 1996 (Cth); Bankruptcy Amendment Act 1980(Cth)
Motor Traffic (Alcohol and Drugs) Act 1977 (ACT)
Crimes Amendment (Forensic Procedures) Act 1998 (Cth); Crimes (Investigation of Commonwealth Offences) Act 1991 (Cth); Defence Force (Discipline) Act 1984 (Cth)
See also Police Administration Act 1978 (NT)
Complaints (Australian Federal Police) Act 1981 (Cth)
See also Police Administration Act 1978 (NT); Police (Allegations of Misconduct) Act 1977 (NSW)