Financial Services Legislation | ENews February 2022

Submissions closing

Submissions in response to Interim Report A close on 25 February 2022.

The Australian Law Reform Commission seeks feedback on 16 proposals and 8 questions in relation to the reform of corporations and financial services legislation.

The ALRC’s first Interim Report – as part of a three-year review of complexity in Commonwealth legislation regulating corporations and financial services – focuses in particular on the use and design of definitions in legislation.

Submissions, together with further consultations, surveys, workshops, and seminars, will form part of the evidence base for subsequent Interim Reports and the Final Report. 


The laws regulating corporations and financial services are uniquely and unnecessarily complex. Interim Report A includes innovative research into the extent and nature of complexity in legislation, using empirical data and computational analysis to demonstrate the ballooning volume of law.


Recent Publications

Tidying our house of law: bringing the Marie Kondo philosophy to the Commonwealth statute book

The Commonwealth statute book has become a sprawling manor house. It has its charms and its beauty. But a house of this age needs constant care, lest lawyers, judges, policymakers, or litigants be crushed beneath a poorly maintained colonnade.
In a new piece on The Australian Public Blog, ALRC Senior Legal Officers Dr William Isdale and Nicholas Simoes da Silva consider how we can make the Commonwealth statute book ‘more liveable’ – in particular, by removing ‘dead law’ and ‘dark law’.


Fighting the System: New Approaches to Addressing Systematic Corporate Misconduct

Does a system of conduct offences have the potential to enhance corporate criminal law’s effectiveness?

Read Matt Corrigan and Samuel Walpole’s article in the University of Sydney Law Review Volume 43(4) to explore alternatives to traditional approaches to corporate criminal liability.

Building on the recommendations of the Australian Law Reform Commission in its Corporate Criminal Responsibility Report, this article considers a novel type of offence — one that criminalises systems of conduct or patterns of behaviour by corporations.


Cutting back the thicket of corporations and financial services law

In this Queensland Law Society’s Proctor article, Dr William Isdale and Christopher Ash explore why complexity is a problem in Australia’s corporations and financial services legislation.

“Complex legislation is difficult to understand. It is harder for consumers to know their rights; for practitioners to advise their clients; and for regulated entities to comply. Complexity also gives rise to rule of law concerns.
We all bear the consequences, including through increased costs for financial products and services, and in public funding paid for courts and regulators who must wade through the legislative thicket.”


Think you know the Corporations Act?

Compare your knowledge of the Corporations Act with our LinkedIn audience, where after 651 votes only 11% chose correctly.

What is the most frequently defined term in the Corporations Act?
a. ‘relevant interest’
b. ‘agreement’
c. ‘property’
d. ‘financial product’

Scroll down to see the answer.

Follow us on LinkedIn to participate in our next poll.

Identifying complexity in financial services legislation

In 2022, the ALRC is undertaking a number of projects to identify aspects of complexity in corporations and financial services legislation. These projects will provide legislators with a reform menu and allow complexity to be appropriately managed over time.

The projects focus on themes of redundancylegislative hierarchy, and duplication and build on the ALRC’s use of computational analysis in Interim Report A and research in Background Paper FSL2.


Upcoming Webinar

Regulating Digital and Crypto-finance: A Conversation Across Borders

22 March 2022 12:00pm-1:30pm (GMT London)
Hosted by the University College London, this panel brings together a number of experts to discuss the different reform agendas that may be pursued in different jurisdictions relating to crypto-finance and digital finance innovations more broadly. The panel



Webinar Recordings now online

(Re)viewing Twin Peaks in Australia and Abroad

This free webinar examines the Twin Peaks model of financial regulation in Australia and internationally. The webinar features a panel of prominent speakers, including former Chairs of APRA and ASIC, who discuss the evolution and impact of the Twin Peaks model in Australia and abroad.



Reducing Complexity: Why? Where? How?

Discover key insights about financial regulation and opportunities for simplification of the law – join a panel from the ALRC to delve deeper into the topics covered in the Financial Services Legislation Inquiry: Interim Report A.



ANSWER: c. ‘property’.
The general definition is ‘affected by’ 10 different provisions in relation to 10 different parts of the Act, and another 16 provisions contain different definitions of ‘property’ that apply to specified provisions. In addition, five other defined terms in s9 contain the word ‘property’. In contrast, ‘property’ has only one meaning in the ASIC Act, and ‘property’ is not defined at all in some other key financial legislation.
View the poll results