A fair, equitable and accessible system of federal justice that contributes to a just and secure society.
Government outcomes are the intended results, impacts or consequences of actions by the government on the Australian community. The ALRC’s outcome is:
Informed Government decisions about the development, reform and harmonisation of Australian laws and related processes through research, analysis, reports and community consultation and education.
The strategy that the ALRC will use to achieve its intended outcome is to undertake inquiries into areas of law reform referred to it by the Attorney-General. In conducting its inquiries, the ALRC will consult with relevant government, industry and community stakeholders and experts interested in the area under review and comprehensively research and analyse the legal policy issues raised during the course of this research. As part of the inquiry process, the ALRC will produce a number of consultation papers that present issues, ask questions and raise proposals for reform and will call on the community to respond through both formal submission processes and more informal mechanisms, including through online communication strategies, where appropriate. These external contributions and the ALRC’s own research and analysis will inform the preparation of a Final Report with recommendations for the Government’s consideration for each inquiry undertaken. The ALRC has one program to achieve its outcome.
Program 1: Conducting Inquiries into Aspects of Australian Law and Related Processes for the Purpose of Law Reform
In 2011–2013 the ALRC is expecting to conduct at least two inquiries at any one time. As part of the inquiry process, the ALRC will produce a number of consultation papers that present issues, ask questions and raise proposals for reform and will call on the community to respond through both formal submission processes and consultations and more informal feedback mechanisms, including online discussion forums, phone-ins and focus groups, where appropriate. These external contributions and the ALRC’s own research will inform the preparation of a Final Report with recommendations for the Government’s consideration for each inquiry undertaken. The ALRC will usually constitute an expert Advisory Committee for each inquiry to assist in the analysis and formulation of key recommendations and proposals for reform.
The ALRC will further develop online resources and communication strategies to maximise access to its processes by the Australian community, to ensure that the community’s highly valued contribution to law reform continues to be facilitated, for example through web-based discussion forums, blogs, e-newsletters and online submission processes.
As required by its Act, the ALRC will also have regard to relevant international obligations; the potential impact of its recommendations on the costs of getting access to and dispensing justice; and personal rights and liberties, ensuring that citizens are not unduly dependent on administrative rather than judicial decisions.
Staff of the ALRC will speak at conferences, seminars and meetings of professional and community groups about the work of the ALRC and law reform processes generally and will engage in other consultative and educational activities relating to the ALRC’s current and past inquiries.
As the ALRC’s recommendations must represent international best practice, the ALRC will also engage with other law reform and expert bodies internationally to share information and ideas and to benchmark ALRC practices and procedures.
Where the ALRC has made relevant recommendations or has acquired special expertise or experience, it will also make submissions to inquiries undertaken by other bodies, especially parliamentary committees, on the law reform issues raised in those inquiries.
Program 1—Conducting inquiries
The ALRC will conduct inquiries as referred by the government and will:
- undertake community consultation nationally with stakeholders and experts relevant to each area of law under review and report on the consultation process;
- constitute an expert advisory committee for each inquiry, as required;
- produce consultation documents, as appropriate, to each inquiry;
- provide web-based consultation and communication strategies to effectively and efficiently broaden access to the ALRC’s activities by the community;
- produce a final report containing recommendations for law reform for each inquiry;
- present at public conferences, seminars and parliamentary inquiries, ensuring that the work of the ALRC is publicly debated and discussed and contributes to the community’s knowledge about the government’s law reform agenda; and
- track and report on implementation of its recommendations.
External factors that may affect the ALRC’s abilities to achieve its outcome include the government’s reform agenda and timelines, which influence both the number and scope of inquiries that are referred to the ALRC. The ALRC’s work is highly dependent on a wide range of public and private stakeholders and the quality and timeliness of their contributions.
Our Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Program 1—Conducting inquiries
The ALRC will measure the success of Program 1 in delivering its objective through the following key performance indicators:
- the level of implementation of ALRC reports by government and other bodies, either substantially or partially, over time;
- the number of citations or references to ALRC reports and recommendations in parliamentary debates, in court citations and decisions, and in academic publications and other publications;
- the number of submissions received for each inquiry;
- the number of visitors to the ALRC website;
- the number of presentations and speaking engagements; and
- the number of media mentions.
The logic behind using implementation rates as an indicator of the effectiveness of the ALRC in achieving its objective is that the rate of implementation of ALRC recommendations provides some evidence of the ALRC’s relative success in facilitating informed decision making by government that leads to development, reform and harmonisation of Australian laws and related processes—notwithstanding that implementation lies with Government and not the ALRC.
Using the number of citations of ALRC reports provides an indication of the success of ALRC strategies in achieving legal and academic expert engagement.
Using the number of submissions received is one indicator of the breadth of the evidence base that underpins ALRC recommendations.
The number of media mentions provides an indicator of community engagement and contributes to the community’s knowledge about the government’s law reform agenda.
The number of visitors to the ALRC website is an indicator of the community’s engagement with the work (past and present) of the ALRC. This engagement underpins informed government decision making.
Presenting at public conferences, seminars and parliamentary inquiries ensures that the work of the ALRC is publicly debated and discussed.
It should be noted that these indicators are also affected, from year to year, by the subject matter of a particular inquiry, the prescribed timeframe and the resources available to the ALRC.