The reform process

1.90       The release of this Interim Report is the second major step in this Inquiry. It builds upon the Issues Paper, which was released in December 2014. A Final Report will be presented to the Attorney-General in December 2015.

1.91       In the Issues Paper, two questions were asked about each right, freedom or principle listed in the Terms of Reference. The first was directed at general principles or criteria that might be applied to help determine whether a law that encroaches on the right is justified. The second question invited people to identify specific Commonwealth laws that unjustifiably encroached on the relevant right or freedom, and to explain why these laws are not justified. The ALRC received 76 public submissions. These are published on the ALRC website.

1.92       The ALRC has consulted with a broad range of people and organisations, and will meet with others after the release of this Interim Report. The names of the people and organisations the ALRC meets with will be published in the Final Report.

1.93       The ALRC also convened an Advisory Committee of experts, which has met once and will meet again later in the year. The committee has 13 members, and their names appear at the beginning of this report. Professor Barbara McDonald also provided crucial assistance, particularly in the preparation of the Issues Paper.

1.94       In this Inquiry the ALRC was also able to call upon the expertise and experience, as part-time Commissioners, of the Hon Justice John Middleton of the Federal Court of Australia and, from 9 July 2015, Emeritus Professor Suri Ratnapala. Invaluable input was also provided by five expert readers who commented on certain chapters of the report. Their names also appear at the beginning of this report.

1.95       Further information about the ALRC consultation and submission processes, including information about how the ALRC uses submissions in its work, is available on the ALRC website, along with how to subscribe to the Inquiry enews.

Call for further submissions

1.96       The ALRC invites submissions in response to this Interim Report. Although the paper does not contain proposals for specific changes to the law, it does highlight a number of laws that may unjustifiably interfere with traditional rights and therefore deserve further scrutiny. The ALRC invites submissions addressing whether these laws do indeed deserve further review, and submissions identifying any other Commonwealth laws that should be reviewed.

1.97       Generally, submissions will be published on the ALRC website, unless they are marked confidential. Confidential submissions may still be the subject of a request for access under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth). In the absence of a clear indication that a submission is intended to be confidential, the ALRC will treat the submission as public. However, the ALRC does not publish anonymous submissions.

To make a submission, please use the ALRC’s online form, available at <>. Otherwise, submissions may be sent to or ALRC, GPO Box 3708, Sydney 2000. The deadline for submissions is Monday 21 September 2015. Submissions, other than those marked confidential, will be published on the ALRC website.