Past Inquiries


Censorship procedure

In May 1990 the ALRC was given terms of reference to report on how the laws relating to the censorship and classification of film and printed matter for public exhibition, sale or hire could be simplified and made more uniform and efficient while still giving effect to the policy agreed between the Commonwealth, the States

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Criminal Admiralty Jurisdiction and Prize

In November 1982 the ALRC was directed to report on the Admiralty jurisdiction in Australia.ALRC Report 33 found that the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act 1890 (Imp) had limited civil admiralty jurisdiction to matters that were within the admiralty jurisdiction of England as at 1890. As a result there were many uncertainties about, and unjustified

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Guardianship and management of property

The ALRC was required to inquire into the desirability of new laws and procedures in the ACT to provide for the guardianship and management of property of persons unable, wholly or in part, to manage their affairs or property. A Discussion Paper Guardianship and Management of Property (ALRC DP 39) was released in 1989. The

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Informed decisions in medical procedures

The report was commissioned in response to the growing trend of patients assuming greater involvement in decisions regarding their treatment. If patients’ expectations that they will be adequately informed are not met, legal action against medical practitioners may result. The report concentrated on three main areas: The legal principles determining liability of doctors for failure

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Product liability

The terms of reference required the Commission to focus on a particular area of product liability: situations in which the product itself played a crucial role in causing the injury or loss to the consumer or a member of the community. The reference considered only the liability of manufacturers and suppliers for the quality of

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Enduring Powers of Attorney

The final report for this inquiry, Enduring Powers of Attorney (ALRC Report 47), was tabled on 6 April 1989. It outlines powers of attorney in the context of the management of an infirm person’s property. The report found that the existing law in the Australian Capital Territory was inadequate as a power of attorney lapsed

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Grouped proceedings in the Federal Court

In February 1977 the Attorney-General referred to the ALRC matters relating to the access of citizens to courts.The final report, Grouped Proceedings in the Federal Court (ALRC Report 46), was tabled in federal Parliament in December 1988. ALRC Report 46 reported that the high cost of legal proceedings effectively prevented individuals and businesses who had

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Sentencing of federal offenders (1978-88)

In August 1978, the Attorney-General asked the ALRC to inquire into the ‘laws of the Commonwealth and the Australian Capital Territory relating to the imposition of punishment for offences and any related activity’. In 1979, a series of Research Papers was published as well as a Discussion Paper Sentencing: Reform Options (ALRC DP 10). In

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Matrimonial property

The ALRC received Terms of Reference to review laws relating to matrimonial property on 16 June 1983. The final report (ALRC Report 39) examined Australian community attitudes to questions of matrimonial property law. The emphasis was on assessing the contributions of the spouses to property and welfare of the family, which was impractical and inappropriate,

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Service and Execution of Process

In November 1982 the Commission was directed to review the process by which documents involved in legal proceedings are formally given to another person. Where people involved in legal proceedings are from different States or Territories, it can be difficult to perform tasks that are essential to the case, such as ensuring that all parties

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