Past Inquiries



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 This reference was received in August 1992.ALRC Report 72 identifies problems with the outdated and complicated legislation dealing with aged care services, in particular the National Health Act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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Child Care Act 1972

ALRC Report 70 deals specifically with the Child Care Act 1972 (Cth) and the operation of child care outside this legislation through the Children’s Services Program, such as occasional care and family day care. The report’s main findings centre on the need for new legislation not only to encompass the variety of child care operations

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Compliance with the Trade Practices Act 1974

The inquiry into compliance with the Trade Practices Act began with terms of reference dated 17 December 1992.The final report (ALRC Report 68) reviewed the sanctions, penalties, remedies and other provisions in the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA) relating to compliance with Part V, having regard to the need for effective compliance, difficulties that had

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Collective investments

The inquiry into collective investments was conducted jointly with the Companies and Securities Advisory Committee (CSAC). Its aim was to review the regulatory framework for prescribed interests and similar collective investments schemes. Consultation papers published as part of the Collective Investments inquiry were: an issues paper—Collective Investments (ALRC IP 10); and two discussion papers—Collective Investment

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Children’s Evidence: Closed Circuit TV

In 1988, at the suggestion of the then Australian Capital Territory Chief Magistrate, Mr Ron Cahill, the federal Attorney-General agreed that the Australian Law Reform Commission and the ACT Magistrates Court should examine the use of closed circuit television for children who give evidence in court. The evaluation study aimed to assess: whether closed circuit

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Personal property securities

This inquiry begain in June 1990, when the method of dealing with personal property securities was both complex and inefficient. A complicated and often overlapping range of laws applied depending on the nature of the security, the type of property the security was taken out over and the class of debtor.These laws were a mixture

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Customs and excise

In November 1987 the ALRC was asked to review the Customs Act 1901 and the Excise Act 1901. Both Acts were outdated. Approximately 68 Acts amending the two pieces of legislation had been passed between 1901 and 1989, causing uncertainty as to the state of the law.The final report (ALRC Report 60) aimed to simplify

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