Terms of Reference

Review of Part IB of the Crimes Act 1914

I, PHILIP RUDDOCK, Attorney-General of Australia, HAVING REGARD TO:

  • a decade of operation of Part IB of the Crimes Act 1914
  • concerns raised about the operation of Part IB of the Crimes Act 1914
  • the relatively small number of federal offenders compared with the number of State and Territory offenders, and
  • the Commission’s previous reports on sentencing,

REFER to the Australian Law Reform Commission for inquiry and report under the Australian Law Reform Commission Act 1996, whether Part IB of the Crimes Act 1914 is an appropriate, effective and efficient mechanism for the sentencing, imprisonment, administration and release of federal offenders, and what, if any, changes are desirable.

1. In carrying out its review of Part IB of the Crimes Act 1914, the Commission will have particular regard to:

  1. the changing nature, scope and extent of Commonwealth offences
  2. whether parity in sentencing of federal offenders should be maintained between federal offenders serving sentences in different States and Territories, or between offenders within the same State and Territory, regardless of whether they are State, Territory or federal offenders
  3. the characteristics of an efficient, effective and appropriate regime for the administration of federal offenders, and whether this could or should vary according to the place of trial or detention
  4. whether there are effective sentencing and administrative regimes in Australia or overseas, including alternative sentencing options, that would be appropriate for adoption or adaptation by the Commonwealth, and
  5. any related matter.

2. In carrying out its review, the Commission is to consult widely with the key stakeholders, including the relevant Australian Government, State and Territory authorities.

3. The Commission is to report no later than 31 January 2006.*

Dated: 12th July 2004

Philip Ruddock

* In a letter dated 19 December 2005, the Attorney-General agreed to extend the reporting date for the Inquiry to 28 April 2006.