Program 1: Key performance indicators

The ALRC measures the success of Program 1 in delivering its outcome through the following key performance indicators:

  • implementation of ALRC reports by government and other bodies, substantially or partially, over time;
  • the number of court or tribunal decisions that cite ALRC reports;
  • the number of submissions received for each inquiry;
  • the number of visitors to the website;
  • the number of presentations and speaking engagements about ALRC inquiries;
  • the number of media mentions of the ALRC and its work.

Table 4: Key achievements 2012–13

Program 1



Implementation of reports—substantially or partially implemented



Citations in courts or tribunal decisions



Submissions received



Visitors to website



Presentations and speaking engagements



Media mentions



Implementation of reports

The ALRC has no direct role in implementing its recommendations. There is no statutory requirement for the Australian Government to respond formally to ALRC reports. However, the ALRC monitors major developments in relation to issues covered in its past reports, and assesses the level of implementation that those reports have achieved. It is not uncommon for implementation to occur some years after the completion of a report.

The ALRC considers that a report is substantially implemented when the majority of the report’s key recommendations have been implemented by those to whom the recommendations are directed. Partial implementation refers to implementation of at least some recommendations of an ALRC report. The ALRC takes a conservative approach when considering whether a report should be characterised as having been ‘partially’ or ‘substantially’ implemented. The term ‘under consideration’ applies to reports that have received a positive response from those to whom the recommendations are directed, but are still awaiting implementation, and to those that have been completed within the past two years and are yet to receive a formal response.

Legislative and other implementation activity in 2012–13, as described in Appendix F, has altered the levels of implementation of all ALRC reports with the following results:

  • 61% are substantially implemented;
  • 28% are partially implemented;
  • 5% without any implementation are currently under consideration; and
  • 6% are not implemented.

These figures represent an overall implementation rate of ALRC reports of 89%, the same rate reported in 2011–12. The government has yet to respond to a number of recently completed ALRC reports, including Making Inquiries: A New Statutory Framework (ALRC Report 111, 2010) and Secrecy Laws and Open Government (ALRC Report 112, 2010).

Implementation status of ALRC reports as at 30 June 2013


Appendix F provides a detailed update on action in relation to ALRC reports during 2012–13.

Appendix G provides a brief overview of the implementation status of all 82 inquiry-related ALRC reports. For a list of these reports, see Appendix L.

Court citations

Past ALRC reports are cited by Australian courts and tribunals as well as in numerous academic articles and other publications. During 2012–13, there were at least 75 mentions of ALRC reports in the judgments of major Australian courts and tribunals.

These included citations in 3 cases in the High Court of Australia, 12 in the Federal Court of Australia, 3 in the Family Court of Australia and 45 in state and territory Supreme Courts or Courts of Appeal, as well as in the decisions of other major courts and tribunals, such as the Land and Environment Court of NSW and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia.

The total number of citations is similar to the number of judgments from Australian courts and tribunals referring to ALRC reports reported in 2011–12.

One point of interest is that the ALRC report most often cited across the Australian courts continues to be Evidence (Interim) (ALRC Report 26, 1985) as it assists the judiciary by informing them of the background of the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) and state and territory uniform Evidence Acts.

A list of these court and tribunal citations is provided at Appendix H.


The number of submissions received by the ALRC is a measure of public engagement with its work and the extent to which the consultation papers have stimulated debate and discussion. However, the number of submissions received for any inquiry is also influenced by the subject matter—particular inquiries are likely to generate a greater, broader degree of public interest and participation than others.

Table 5: Submissions received 2012–13

Consultation paper

Submissions closing date

Submissions received during reporting period

Copyright and the Digital Economy (IP 42)

16 November 2012


Grey Ares—Age Barriers to Work in Commonwealth Laws (DP 78)

23 November 2012


Copyright and the Digital Economy (DP 79)

31 July 2013

Submissions due outside this reporting period.

Total submissions received



ALRC website

The ALRC website is a pivotal communication tool for the ALRC and a law reform resource for the wider public. The ALRC strives to continually build value into the website, both in terms of providing useful and accessible content relevant to stakeholders and researchers, and utilising its functionality as an online consultation tool.

The National Transition Strategy requires all Australian Government websites to meet success criteria for Level A of the Web Accessibility Initiative Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) by December 2012, and Level AA by December 2014. In 2012, the ALRC commissioned Vision Australia to review the ALRC website against WCAG 2.0. Following the review, the ALRC undertook substantial website accessibility works, and in August 2012 Vision Australia provided a Statement of Accessibility confirming that the ALRC website satisfies all Level AA Success Criteria, well ahead of the 2014 target.

Key website metrics for 2012–13:

  • visits = 784,815
  • unique visitors = 538,077
  • page views = 3,206,452

These metrics represent, compared to the 2011–12 reporting period:

  • 60% increase in visits
  • 66% increase in unique visitors
  • 30% increase in page views

Comparison of website traffic: August–June in 2011–12 and 2012–13


Presentations and speaking engagements

Presenting at public conferences, seminars and parliamentary inquiries ensures that the work of the ALRC is publicly debated and discussed. During 2012–13, ALRC Commissioners and staff made 35 presentations at a range of events around the country. They also contributed five articles to a range of journals and publications. A full list of presentations and articles is at Appendix I.

Media mentions

The ALRC actively promotes public debate on issues raised by its current and past inquiries, and on law reform generally.

During 2012–13, the ALRC identified 402 mentions of its work across a range of online and traditional media. This represents a slight decrease of 4% from the previous reporting period.

In 2012–13, the Copyright Inquiry accounted for close to 50% of ALRC media mentions. This is the first year the ALRC’s work on privacy has not dominated media attention since the ALRC’s Privacy Report, For Your Information, was first published in 2008. However, privacy law reform clearly still rates highly in terms of public interest. Combined, the 2008 Inquiry and the new Invasions of Privacy Inquiry attracted the second largest share of media attention with 25% of media mentions. The Commonwealth Laws and Family Violence Inquiry received 18%, and the Age Barriers to Work Inquiry 10%.

The ALRC conducts its own media monitoring. A media log is provided at Appendix J. Please note that not all media mentions are included in the media log. It includes only those media mentions that are online and are not behind a pay wall.

Media mentions per inquiry 2012–13


Additional performance indicators

Participation in external inquiries

Often through its Inquiry work the ALRC conducts valuable research into areas of law or legal processes that become subject to review by other agencies or parliamentary committees. Where appropriate and relevant, the ALRC provides briefings or written submissions to parliamentary committees, ministers, government departments, and other bodies. In this way, the experience and knowledge the ALRC develops during inquiries is shared for the benefit of the Australian community.

The ALRC is guided by a protocol that outlines when it is appropriate for the ALRC to give a briefing or to make an external submission. The considerations include:

  • the consonance of issues raised in the review or inquiry being undertaken by the external body with issues covered in current or past ALRC Inquiry work;

  • the consonance of issues raised in the external review or inquiry and the expertise and knowledge of current Commissioners and staff members; and

  • the availability of, and impact upon, ALRC resources.

Where appropriate, submissions are published on the ALRC website.

During the reporting period, the ALRC made five written to external inquiries. These are listed in Appendix K.

Mentions in Parliament

During 2012–13, Parliamentary Hansard records that ALRC reports and recommendations were referred to in second reading speeches and other parliamentary proceedings on the following Commonwealth Bills:

  • Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011;
  • Regulatory Powers (Standard Provisions) Bill 2012;
  • Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012;
  • Parliamentary Service Amendment (Freedom of Information) Bill 2013;
  • Telecommunications Amendment (Get a Warrant) Bill 2013; and
  • Privacy Amendment (Privacy Alerts) Bill 2013.

Online Communications


During the reporting period the ALRC published regular e-newsletters for each of its current Inquiries, as well as the ALRC Brief (published 3–4 times a year). E-newsletters are distributed to subscribers who opt in via an online form or by direct request.

Table 6: Distribution of e-newsletters 2012–13




Copyright and the Digital Economy



Age Barriers



Invasions of Privacy



ALRC Brief



Online forums

The ALRC opened an online discussion forum for the Copyright Inquiry on 17 June 2013, following the release of the Discussion Paper. The forum seeks views from individuals, in particular creators and users of copyright material, on what they think is fair and unfair when it comes to using other people’s content and copyright material.


The ALRC’s following on Twitter has grown in the reporting period, from 3,844 to 5,753 followers.

Twitter users are also able to follow conversations about a particular inquiry, without actually following the ALRC, by using the dedicated hashtags, for example, #copyrev (Copyright Inquiry). The #copyrev thread has a very active following.


To increase exposure of the ALRC’s Copyright Inquiry, a Copyright Inquiry Facebook page was created.

The Copyright Inquiry Facebook page keeps followers up to date with different stages of the Inquiry and includes links to