In the interests of greater transparency and communication, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has committed to publishing on its website the submissions received as part of its current Inquiry into Discovery of Documents in Federal Courts.
This is a new step for the ALRC as previously the ALRC has not published submissions it has received, but has only made public a list of these submissions, providing access to them on request at the completion of a particular inquiry.
ALRC President Professor Rosalind Croucher said “Publishing the submissions that we receive as part of our extensive consultation, is one way of increasing the transparency of our processes in formulating proposals for law reform. It will also generate a greater understanding of the various viewpoints on the matters under review here in the community. We believe that the community now expects this sort of access—as part of a more open and accountable government process, and I am pleased that the ALRC has been able to organise this in time for our current Discovery Inquiry.”
The ALRC will not publish submissions that are made confidentially, or where they are provided in a format that is not readily uploadable to a website.
The Discovery Consultation Paper raised a number of issues and proposals on which the ALRC sought feedback. Submissions to this inquiry have now closed.
The ALRC now has a couple of months to consider the submissions received before making its Final Report to the Attorney-General on 31 March 2011.
The ALRC is also conducting an online discussion blog around the Consultation Paper and encourages people to participate at http://talk.www.alrc.gov.au.