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 to 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 2013–14
Implementation of reports—substantially or partially implemented
Citations in courts or tribunal decisions
Visitors to website
Presentations and speaking engagements
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 term ‘under consideration’ applies to reports that are under active consideration by the Australian Government. ‘Awaiting response’ refers to reports that have been completed within the past ten years, in relation to which the ALRC is yet to receive a formal response from the Government.
The levels of implementation of all ALRC reports are as follows:
- 60% are substantially implemented;
- 28% are partially implemented;
- 2% are under consideration;
- 3% are awaiting response; and
- 7% have not been implemented.
These figures represent an overall implementation rate of ALRC reports of 88%, as compared to 89% reported in 2012–13. 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 2014
Appendix F provides a detailed update on action in relation to ALRC reports during 2013–14.
Appendix G provides a brief overview of the implementation status of all 83 reference-related ALRC reports. For a list of these reports, see Appendix L.
Past ALRC reports are cited by Australian courts and tribunals as well as in numerous academic articles and other publications.
During 2013–14, there were at least 64 mentions of ALRC reports in the judgments of federal, state and territory courts. These included citation in four cases in the High Court of Australia, 10 in the Federal Court of Australia, and 46 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 2012–13. Historically, the ALRC report most often cited in Australian courts has been Evidence(Interim) (ALRC Report 26, 1985). More recently, this has been overtaken by Uniform Evidence Law (ALRC Report 102, 2006). These reports are frequently cited because their text is an important secondary source assisting the judiciary in interpreting provisions of the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) and state and territory uniform Evidence Acts.
Another report of enduring interest to litigants and courts is the Harmer report—General Insolvency Inquiry (ALRC Report 45, 1988), which remains important in interpreting Australian bankruptcy and corporate insolvency law.
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 its subject matter—particular inquiries are likely to generate a greater, broader degree of public interest and participation than others.
Table 5: Submissions received 2013–14
Submissions closing date
Submissions received during reporting period
Copyright and the Digital Economy (DP 79)
31 July 2013
Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era (IP 43)
11 November 2013
Equality, Capacity and Disability in Commonwealth Laws (IP 44)
20 January 2014
Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era (DP 80)
12 May 2014
Review of the Native Title Act 1993 (IP 45)
14 May 2014
Equality, Capacity and Disability in Commonwealth Laws (DP 81)
30 June 2014
Total submissions received
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.
Key website metrics for 2013–14:
- visits = 1,019,916
- page views = 4,047,207
- unique visitors = 731,089
These metrics represent, compared to the 2012–13 reporting period:
- 30% increase in visits
- 26% increase in page views
- 35% increase in unique visitors
ALRC website statistics provide evidence that it is not just in implementation that the ALRC makes a significant contribution to legal frameworks in Australia.
In 2013–14, the top five reports accessed by PDF downloads were the Copyright Issues Paper and Discussion Paper but also included were the 2008 Privacy Report, the Uniform Evidence Report from 2006 and our Customary Laws Report from 1986—illustrating the ongoing interest in the ideas, discussion and research that is contained in these landmark reports.
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 2013–14, ALRC Commissioners and staff made 23 presentations at a range of events around the country. They also contributed six articles to a range of journals and publications. A full list of presentations and articles is at Appendix I.
The ALRC actively promotes public debate on issues raised by its current and past inquiries, and on law reform generally.
During 2013–14, the ALRC identified 426 mentions of its work across a range of media. This represents a slight increase of 6% from the previous reporting period.
In 2013–14 the Copyright Inquiry accounted for just over 50% of ALRC media mentions, dominating media attention for the second year running. Privacy law reform also continues to rate highly in the public interest, with the current Inquiry into Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era attracting 29%, and the ALRC’s 2008 Privacy Inquiry an additional 5% of media attention. The Review of Commonwealth Laws for Consistency with Traditional Rights, Freedoms and Privileges (the Freedoms Inquiry) represented 9%, the Disability Inquiry 7%, and the Native Title Review 4%.
The ALRC conducts its own media monitoring. This 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.