Allocation of functions between the ALRC and other agencies

65. The Inquiry asked the question as to the relationship of the ALRC with other agencies. While law reform agencies such as the ALRC are not the only bodies responsible for developing legal policy, the ALRC considers that there are key differentials that distinguish the ALRC from these agencies and organisations and demonstrate why the ALRC is a vital contributor to the health and growth of Australian law. These features answer the question ‘why law reform commissions?’ and include the ALRC’s:

  • independence and arm’s length from government;

  • broad generalist legal expertise;

  • authority and capacity to leverage relationships with key stakeholders;

  • distinguished consultative and research strategies;

  • dedicated experience in best practice law reform processes.

  • engagement with the international legal community.

66. Submissions to the inquiry, including that of the Attorney-General’s Department, supported the role of the ALRC as distinct from other statutory agencies. The ALRC considers that the distinct role it plays contributes to achieving a fair, equitable and accessible system of federal justice that in turn contributes to a just and secure society. The functions of the ALRC, as set out in the ALRC Act, are not being duplicated by other statutory agencies and remain best delivered by an independent, properly resourced and constituted law reform body.