New Commissioners appointed to the ALRC

The Australian Law Reform Commission welcomes the appointment of three new Commissioners by the Federal Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP.

Professor Barbara McDonald has been appointed for a period of one year to lead the ALRC’s Inquiry into Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era. Professor McDonald is a Professor of Law at the University of Sydney with experience in tort law, equity, remedies and media law, and has published widely in these areas.  Speaking of her appointment to the ALRC, Professor McDonald stated, ” I am very honoured to be appointed to the Australian Law Reform Commission to work on this interesting, important and rapidly developing area of the law. I am fortunate that much work has already been done in Australia and overseas in the last few years, and that many people have commented on how the law should develop. There is clearly a community desire for legal protection of personal privacy, but any greater protection must co-exist with other aspects of our society that we value highly: freedom of speech, freedom of the press in its modern forms, effective and proper governance, national security and the openness of social communication that the digital age has allowed. Finding the right balance between these often competing values will be the primary task of the ALRC in formulating greater protection of privacy.”

Professor Lee Godden has been appointed for a period of eighteen months to lead the ALRC’s Inquiry into the Native Title Act. Professor Godden joins the ALRC from the Melbourne Law School, where she is Director of the Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law.  Professor Godden has had a distinguished university teaching and research career spanning more than twenty years. She is a member of the Academic Advisory Group, Section on Energy, Environment, Resources and Infrastructure Law, of the International Bar Association.  Most recently, she has held a number of Australian Research Council Discovery and Linkage Grants, including being part of the team of investigators for the Agreements, Treaties and Negotiated Settlements (ATNS) project at the University of Melbourne. This project, in its tenth year, has examined agreement making with Indigenous peoples in Australia and internationally. She has published widely in the areas of Environmental Law, Property and Indigenous people.

Graeme Innes AM has been appointed as a part-time Commissioner for the duration of the ALRC’s Inquiry into Reducing Legal Barriers for People with Disability. Commissioner Innes has been Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner since December 2005. During that time he has also served as Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner for three and a half years and as Race Discrimination Commissioner for two years. Commissioner Innes has been leading the work of the Australian Human Rights Commission on access to justice for people with disability. He stated, “I am keen to share my knowledge with the ALRC and my work on the development of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disability, which Australia has ratified, will inform our discussions.”

ALRC President Professor Rosalind Croucher stated, “We are delighted to welcome our new Commissioners. They each bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in their fields and will greatly enhance the ALRC’s capacity at a time when it is taking on a number of very challenging and complex inquiries.  I am looking forward to working closely with each new Commissioner on these important inquiries. These new appointments provide the ALRC with a formidable team to tackle these important areas of law reform.”

Further information about the ALRC’s inquiry work can be found at Information about how to subscribe to the ALRC Brief or any inquiry specific e-news can be found on the ALRC website