Published on 11 April 2019.

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New Terms of Reference


On 10 April 2019, the Attorney-General of Australia, the Hon Christian Porter MP, released the Terms of Reference for two new ALRC inquiries.


Religious Freedoms Inquiry


The ALRC has been asked to conduct an inquiry into the framework of religious exemptions in Commonwealth, State and Territory anti-discrimination legislation. This Inquiry has been referred to the ALRC as part of the Government’s response to the Review of Religious Freedom conducted by the Expert Panel led by the Hon. Phillip Ruddock (the ‘Ruddock Review’).


The ALRC is due to report on its findings on 10 April 2020.


Corporate Crime Inquiry
The ALRC has also been tasked with conducting a review into Australia’s corporate criminal responsibility regime. The ALRC has been asked to review Part 2.5 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, and consider options for reforming this regime or other relevant legislation to strengthen and simplify the Commonwealth corporate criminal responsibility regime. This Inquiry will consider, in part, the findings of the 2019 Report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.


The ALRC is due to report on its findings on 30 April 2020.


Conduct of Inquiries
Both inquiries will be led by ALRC President, the Hon Justice S C Derrington. The Hon Justice R Bromwich has been appointed as a part-time commissioner for the Corporate Criminal Responsibility Inquiry. The ALRC will consult widely during the course of each Inquiry.


In accordance with the ALRC’s usual process, a Discussion Paper for each Inquiry will be released at an interim stage and interested stakeholders will be invited to make formal submissions in response to the Discussion Paper. These submissions will inform the final report provided to the Attorney-General of Australia.


The ALRC has opened the Terms of Reference for both Inquiries to public comment until 10 May 2019. Please refer to the Corporate Crime and Religious Freedoms inquiry pages on the ALRC website. The ALRC will use comments on the Terms of Reference to inform the scope of its review.


The ALRC will now undertake the process of setting up these two inquiries and will commence consultations with stakeholders in these areas in a few months’ time.