Past Inquiries

05.07.2006

Sedition

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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05.07.2006

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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25.06.2006

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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06.02.2006

Uniform Evidence Law

In July 2004, the Attorney-General of Australia asked the ALRC to examine the operation of the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth).The legislation is based on a uniform Evidence Act scheme, which was the product of a previous ALRC inquiry. At the time of the commencement of this latest Evidence inquiry, the Commonwealth, New South Wales, Tasmania,

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30.09.2004

Gene patenting

In December 2002, the federal Attorney-General asked the ALRC to examine the laws and practices governing intellectual property rights over genetic materials and related technologies, with a particular focus on human health issues.Given the diversity of interests and concerns encompassed by these three areas, the ALRC’s task was a complex and delicate one. For example,

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06.06.2004

Protection of Classified and Security Sensitive Information

This inquiry, which began in April 2003, examined measures to safeguard classified and security sensitive information during court or tribunal proceedings, or in the course of other investigations—including those relating to criminal prosecutions, civil suits, immigration matters or freedom of information applications.Cases involving espionage, terrorism and the leaking or misuse of national security inform­ation have

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06.05.2003

Protection of human genetic information

The terms of reference directed the ALRC and the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) to consider, with respect to human genetic information and the samples from which such information is derived, how best to:protect privacy;protect against unfair discrimination; andensure the highest ethical standards in research and practice.The experience of the inquiry, mirrored overseas, is that

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30.03.2003

Federal civil and administrative penalties

In January 2000, the federal Attorney-General asked the ALRC to review Commonwealth laws and arrangements relating to the imposition of administrative and civil penalties with a view to identifying clear and consistent principles, and ensuring there is a fair, effective and practical system of decision making and enforcement.Within every government regulatory scheme is a system

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07.10.2001

Review of the Judiciary Act 1903

The terms of reference required the ALRC to review the Judiciary Act and related legislation, taking into account, among other things, whether these Acts provide for the efficient administration of law and justice in the exercise of federal jurisdiction.The ALRC was specifically asked to consider such matters as the source, scope and exercise of federal

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07.05.2001

Review of the Marine Insurance Act 1909

The Terms of Reference for this inquiry required the Commission to review the Marine Insurance Act 1909 (Cth) (MIA), taking into account, among other things, the desirability of having a regime consistent with international practice in the marine insurance industry, and whether any change might result in a competitive disadvantage for the Australian insurance industry.Four

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