Past Inquiries


Review of the Proceeds of Crime Act 1987

The fundamental principle of confiscation legislation is that people who engage in unlawful activity should not profit from breaking the laws of society. Money or property gained from such activity should be confiscated, to prevent the reinvestment of that profit into further illegal acts. The ALRC’s review of Australia’s confiscation regime found that groundbreaking proceeds

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Review of the Archives Act 1983

The ALRC began its review of the Archives Act in August 1996 – the first major review of the Archives Act 1983 (Cth), which was drafted at a time when Commonwealth government records were predominantly in paper format. The ALRC found that the quality of recordkeeping by Commonwealth agencies varied widely and was often inadequate.

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Occupiers’ liability

At the time of the inquiry (which commenced in July 1984), the common law on this subject was excessively technical and lacked uniformity. The outcome of a case would depend on the relationship between the occupier and the visitor—for example, whether they were invited onto the property or were trespassing. This process of classification often

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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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Disability services

This reference was received in August 1995. The final report for this inquiry was the third in a series of inquiries into Acts administered by the Department of Health and Family Services.The final report (ALRC Report 79) provides a detailed analysis of the Disability Services Act 1986 (Cth). The Commission identified a number of flaws

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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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Standing in public interest litigation

In 1985 the Australian Law Reform Commission reported on the law of standing – the set of rules that determine whether a person is entitled to commence proceedings. ALRC Report 27 includes discussions on issues of standing in civil proceedings involving both the common law and statutes and discussions on the rules governing private prosecution. ALRC

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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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