Past Inquiries


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 Both Acts were outdated.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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Choice of law

ALRC Report 58, released in May 1992, examined existing rules governing choice of law and procedure in federal and territory courts and considered whether reform was necessary to make these rules adequate and appropriate to modern circumstances. ALRC Report 58 outlined constitutional restraints, cross vesting rules, inappropriateness of forum law rules, uncertainty issues and the

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Multiculturalism and the law

During the course of the inquiry, several consultation papers were released:An issues paper—Multiculturalism and the Law (ALRC IP 9) in 1990; andThree discussion papers in 1991—Multiculturalism: Family Law (ALRC DP 46); Multiculturalism: Criminal Law (ALRC DP 48); and Multiculturalism: Consumer Contracts (ALRC DP 49).The final report (ALRC Report 57) examined the principles underlying Australian family

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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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