The ALRC has, since the 1970s, played an important educative role in the processes of law reform internationally. This engagement contributes to regional goodwill and to Australia’s leadership role in democratic institution-building, particularly within Australasia.
In recent years, ALRC engagement with overseas law reform has, for budgetary reasons, become more constrained. However, the ALRC still offers assistance to developing law reform bodies, which often require training in the processes of policy development and law reform, as well as in consultation strategies and managing stakeholder engagement, particularly of government and parliamentary stakeholders.
In June 2011, the ALRC welcomed Kaisarina Salesa, Senior Legal Analyst, with the Samoa Law Reform Commission, for a two-week secondment. During this time Ms Salesa was able to shadow senior legal and corporate staff in their daily work, as well as to participate in formal learning sessions on policy development, online communication, consultation strategies, research and writing, and corporate governance. ALRC staff were also able to learn from Ms Salesa about the challenges of law reform in Samoa.
Photo: Kaisarina Salesa, Senior Legal Analyst, Samoa Law Reform Commission with ALRC President, Professor Rosalind Croucher.
In 2011–12 the ALRC received delegations from the Nigerian Law Reform Commission and from Malawi—keen to learn about and discuss Australia’s approach to law reform, including:
- the relationship between independent law reform and parliamentary processes and drafting;
- working relationships with legal professionals and law reformers;
- functions of the ALRC and relationships with other human rights organisations; and
- the development of law to take account of changing social economic, technological and political circumstances.
These delegations provide a further opportunity for Australia’s independent system of law to be better understood by our neighbours.
Delegation from the Nigerian Law Reform Commission with Professor Rosalind Croucher (centre) and to her left, Chairman of the NLRC, the Hon Justice Kalgo.