Past Inquiries

1991 - 1995


Review of the federal civil justice system

The Australian Law Reform Commission’s review of the federal civil justice system was instigated in November 1995 after concerns that Australian legal proceedings were becoming excessively adversarial and that this was having a damaging effect on the delivery of justice.Managing justice: A review of the federal civil justice system (ALRC Report 89) represents the culmination

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Children in the legal process

This inquiry into the way children and young people are treated by the legal system and legal processes began on 28 August 1995. This was a joint inquiry conducted by the ALRC in conjunction with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC).Seen and heard: priority for children in the legal process (ALRC Report 84)

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Complaints against the Australian Federal Police and National Crime Authority

The Australian Law Reform Commission initially received a reference in March 1995 to inquire into and report on the Complaints (Australian Federal Police) Act 1981 (Cth) and the complaints and disciplinary system of the Australian Federal Police (AFP). In July 1995 the reference was extended to inquire into and report on the complaints and disciplinary

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Cross border civil remedies

This reference began on 19 July 1995, arising out of concerns about the effectiveness of the legal remedies available when commercial transactions cross international borders. In particular, insolvencies relating to Australian corporate identities Alan Bond and the late Christopher Skase, and the late British media magnate Robert Maxwell, had highlighted problems. Disputes that involve the

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Freedom of Information Act 1982 – open government

The ALRC began its review of the FOI Act in July 1994. The Inquiry was conducted jointly with the Administrative Review Council. The principal purpose of the review was to determine whether the FOI Act had achieved the purposes and objectives it was designed to achieve and, if it had not, to recommend changes to

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Costs shifting

This inquiry into the impact on the litigation system of the costs allocation rules began in June 1994. It arose from a recommendation in the Access to Justice Advisory Committee 1995 report Access to Justice: An Action Plan. The report reviews the impact on the litigation system of the costs allocation rules. ALRC Report 75

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The ALRC review (commencing in August 1992) of Australia’s industrial design laws was prompted by concerns that designs laws, which had been in place since 1906, did not strike an adequate balance between protecting design rights and encouraging innovation.Two consultation papers, both carrying the title Designs, were released during the course of the inquiry –

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Contact cases and the Family Court

The ALRC was asked by the Family Law Council to join it in researching legal aid costs and related issues in repetitive access applications coming before the Family Court. The ALRC officially received a reference on the issue in May 1993.One of the purposes of the reference was to determine and assess the disproportionate use

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Aged Care Legislation for the Commonwealth

ALRC Report 72 was the second of three reports, which resulted from a series of inquiries into Acts administered by the Department of Health and Family Services. This reference was received in August 1992.ALRC Report 72 identifies problems with the outdated and complicated legislation dealing with aged care services, in particular the National Health Act

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Equality before the law

The ALRC took the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as its starting point.The ALRC inquiry found the legal system failed women in five key areas by:leaving them in the dark—women often have difficulty finding relevant information;brutalising the victim—even when women are aware of their rights, they often find

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