Freedoms Inquiry | enews | Issue 5 | Interim Report

Interim report

The Interim Report for this Inquiry, Traditional Rights and Freedoms—Encroachments by Commonwealth Laws (ALRC Interim Report 127), is now available.

This is the second consultation document for this inquiry, in which the ALRC has been asked to review Commonwealth laws that encroach on traditional rights, freedoms and privileges such as freedom of speech, religion, movement and association; and other important rights and privileges such as property rights, client legal privilege, the right to a fair trial, and access to the courts, to name a few. The Terms of Reference list 19 such rights, freedoms and privileges to consider.

In the Interim Report, the ALRC discusses the source and rationale of these important common law rights, freedoms and privileges, and how they have been protected by the Constitution, the Parliament and the courts. The Interim Report also provides an extensive survey of current Commonwealth laws that limit traditional rights, freedoms and privileges and considers how such laws may be justified.

The Interim Report  is available in HTML, PDF, and as an ebook.

Call for submissions

While the Interim Report does not contain proposals for specific changes to the law, it does highlight a number of laws that may unjustifiably interfere with traditional rights and therefore deserve further scrutiny. The ALRC invites submissions addressing whether these laws do indeed deserve further review, and submissions identifying any other Commonwealth laws that should be reviewed. Additionally the ALRC invites feedback on specific chapters.

The closing date for submissions is 21 September 2015

We prefer to receive submissions via the online form on the ALRC website, but also accept submissions by post and email. 

New Part-time Commissioner

The ALRC welcomes the appointment by Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, of Emeritus Professor Anura Surindra (Suri) Ratnapala as a part-time ALRC Commissioner until the conclusion of the Freedoms Inquiry.