Past Inquiries

2006 - 2010


Family violence and Commonwealth laws

This Inquiry looked at the treatment of family/domestic violence in Commonwealth laws, including child support and family assistance law, immigration law, employment law, social security law, superannuation law and privacy provisions in relation to those experiencing family/domestic violence.

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Discovery of documents in Federal Courts

The ALRC explored options to improve the discovery process in civil litigation to promote the early and proportionate exchange of information and evidence in court proceedings.

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Family violence

This Inquiry looked at the complex interaction between state and territory family and domestic violence and child protection laws and the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). The ALRC was to consider what, if any, improvements could be made to relevant legal frameworks to protect the safety of women and children.

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Royal Commissions and official inquiries

The ALRC considered a number of matters including whether there was any need to develop an alternative form or forms of Commonwealth executive inquiry, with statutory foundations, to provide more flexibility, less formality and greater cost-effectiveness than a Royal Commission.

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Secrecy laws and open government

Secrecy laws that impose obligations of confidentiality on individuals handling government information—and the prosecution of public servants for the unauthorised disclosure of such information—can sit uneasily with the Australian Government’s commitment to open and accountable government. Secrecy laws have also drawn sustained criticism on the basis that they unreasonably interfere with the right to freedom

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Sentencing of federal offenders

In July 2004, the federal Attorney-General, the Hon Philip Ruddock MP, asked the ALRC to examine the laws and practices governing sentencing of federal offenders, that is, people convicted of criminal offences set out in Commonwealth, rather than state and territory, legislation.The terms of reference directed the ALRC to consider whether Part IB of the

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In this Inquiry, the ALRC examined the offence of sedition as amended by federal Parliament in 2005.Historically, sedition law has been used to suppress political dissent, punishing speech that is critical of the established order. Stakeholders, including politicians across party lines, the media, and a Senate inquiry expressed concerns that sedition laws introduced by the

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Client legal privilege in federal investigations

In this Inquiry, the ALRC examined the application of client legal privilege (also known as legal professional privilege) within the context of federal investigations.The Inquiry was announced as part of the Australian Government’s response to the Royal Commission that investigated the conduct of the Australian Wheat Board in relation to the United Nations ‘Oil for

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Privacy law and practice

This 28-month inquiry looked at the extent to which the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and related laws continue to provide an effective framework for the protection of privacy in Australia. It resulted in the Final Report, For Your Information: Australian Privacy Law and Practice (ALRC Report 108).During the ALRC’s extensive consultations around the country, the

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