ALRC talks with practitioners at the 2022 Law Council of Australia’s Corporations Law Workshop

How to simplify the Corporations Act and financial services laws was the focus of the ALRC’s presentation to the  Law Council of Australia’s 2022 Corporations Law. The workshop was held in Katoomba, NSW on the 3-5 June 2022.

The ALRC provided insights into preparations for its next interim report due in September 2022 (Interim Report B). The benefits of better use of the legislative hierarchy to build a model for corporations and financial services laws that is simpler, more navigable and clearer as to the fundamental commercial behaviours expected, was key discussion of the presentation. The ALRC also provided an overview of stakeholder feedback received for Interim Report A.

The presentation covered some of the ALRC’s problem analysis for Interim Report B, including the use of more than 1,200 notional amendments and the proliferation of over 950 powers to make delegated legislation. The ALRC suggested to attendees that the objective of an adaptable and flexible corporations and financial services law can be achieved through better law design that also improves the findability and comprehensibility of the law. The presentation also focused on how offences and penalties can be designed under a new legislative hierarchy. Attendees provided a range of valuable comments and questions, particularly in relation to the design of offences and penalties.

Dr Andrew Godwin, ALRC Special Counsel, also presented to the Workshop on decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) and crypto-assets such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Dr Godwin reflected on the potential role for regulation and better law design in adapting to the emergence of new products, services, and corporate structures. Dr Godwin also received a range of interesting comments and questions from attendees. The issue of whether and how to regulate new products and services was a persistent theme of the Workshop.

The event included senior representatives of regulators, the judiciary, academics, and leading corporate lawyers and counsel. ALRC attendees included the ALRC’s President, Justice S C Derrington, as well as Matt Corrigan, General Counsel, and Dr Andrew Godwin, Special Counsel. Senior Legal Officers Sarah Fulton and Nicholas Simoes da Silva also attended.

Interim Report B of the ALRC Review of Corporations and Financial Services Law is due to the Attorney-General by 30 September 2022. Subscribe to the ALRC newsletter to stay up to date with the Review.

Download the ALRC presentation slides

Download Dr Godwin’s presentation slides