ALRC InBrief | June 2020


What are the most pressing areas for law reform in Australia today?

In 2019, the Australian Law Reform Commission undertook research and broad public consultation to address this question.

Join expert panels including judges, legal scholars and industry leaders in a series of online conversations to unpack some of the key areas identified by the ALRC, including: defamation, automated decision making, legal structures for social enterprises and press freedom. View the ALRC Report: The Future of Law Reform: A Suggested Program of Work 2020-25.

These interactive webinars present an opportunity to elicit new perspectives and ideas, enabling individuals with diverse views to contribute to potential law reform.

Register for the Webinar Series

The Future of Law Reform – Defamation

Monday 27 July 2020 | 1.00pm – 2.00pm

co-hosted with

Automated Decision Making and Administrative Law 

Monday 10 August 2020 | 1.00pm – 2.00pm

co-hosted with 

Legal Structures for Social Enterprises

Monday 17 August 2020 | 1.00pm – 2.00pm

co-hosted with

Law Reform Relating to Press Freedom

Monday 24 August 2020 | 1.00pm – 2.30pm

co-hosted with

Review into Australia’s corporate criminal responsibility regime

The ALRC Corporate Criminal Responsibility Final Report was submitted to the Attorney-General of Australia, the Hon Christian Porter MP, on Wednesday 29 April 2020. ALRC reports become public when they are tabled by the Attorney-General in Parliament. Under the legislation establishing the ALRC, the Attorney has 15 parliamentary sitting days to table the report.

The ALRC looks forward to discussing the final report with stakeholders once it is made public.

Religious Exemptions to Anti-discrimination Laws Inquiry

Following amendments to our terms of reference in August 2019, the ALRC continues to monitor the government’s exposure draft Religious Discrimination Bill.

We will announce the next steps in this Inquiry once they are confirmed.


Earlier this year the ALRC made the decision to postpone the Australasian Law Reform Agencies Conference (ALRAC 2020). With the continued uncertainty of implications from coronavirus on events and travel, ALRAC remains postponed, with a new date for 2021 yet to be confirmed.

We are planning a revitalised website for ALRAC, including historic information from past conferences. Please get in touch with the organising team if you have information relating to the program of events, speakers and/or highlights of past ALRAC events.

Any correspondence should be directed to  

Honours students’ projects complement ALRC research

Since 2019, the ALRC has supervised research projects undertaken by students – completing LAWS4114 at the University of Queensland – on topics relevant to the ALRC’s work at the time. The rationale is for the ALRC to provide the students with insight into the work being undertaken by the ALRC, and for the students to assist the ALRC with exploring matters relevant to the ALRC’s work. This engagement with honours students is designed to spark interest in law reform and build an awareness of how law reform contributes to broader policy goals across Government. The ALRC benefits from having sustained research completed on a topic that otherwise would not be possible within the resource constraints of the ALRC.

Greta Sweeney, Sarid Milne, Ryan Thompson and Phoebe Kenafake undertook research projects relating the ALRC’s current review into the framework of religious exemptions in anti-discrimination legislation during semester one of this year. In May, the students presented their chosen topics to the ALRC team for feedback. The students have now submitted their research papers, and we thank them for their valuable contributions to this Inquiry.

ALRC Journal Articles

Criminal responsibility as a distinctive form of corporate regulation

This article, published in the Australian Journal of Corporate Law by ALRC Legal Officer Samuel Walpole, considers the role and influence of incentives on lower-level employees within an organisation and the deleterious consequences that inappropriate remuneration schemes may have on corporate cultural and behaviour.
Samuel Walpole, Criminal responsibility as a distinctive form of corporate regulation (2020) 35 Aust Jnl of Corp Law 235.