1. In December 2010, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) made a preliminary submission to the inquiry into the ALRC by the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee with the purpose of providing background information that would assist both the Committee and other interested stakeholders at the early stage of the inquiry. The ALRC indicated, at that time, that it would make a second, more comprehensive submission after the close of public submissions on 28 January 2011 and that this subsequent submission would address and identify the ALRC’s policy position on all matters within the Committee’s Terms of Reference and take into account views expressed in other submissions.

2. The Terms of Reference of the inquiry ask the Committee to inquire into the ALRC with particular reference to:

  1. its role, governance arrangements and statutory responsibilities;
  2. the adequacy of its staffing and resources to meet its objectives;
  3. best practice examples of like organisations interstate and overseas;
  4. the appropriate allocation of functions between the ALRC and other statutory agencies; and
  5. other related matters.

3. It is not our intention here to repeat the information that was included in the ALRC’s preliminary submission, but to both present additional information, clarification and some focused comment on the key issues that have emerged to date.