On 15 August 2017 the Senate referred the following matter to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee (the committee) for inquiry and report by 25 November 2017:
(a) the recommendations of the 1987 Australian Law Reform Commission report on contempt and, in particular, the recommendation that the common law principles of contempt be abolished and replaced by statutory provisions;
(b) the recommendations of the 2003 New South Wales Law Reform Commission on contempt by publication and the need to achieve clarity and precision in the operation of the law on sub-judice contempt;
(c) the development and operation of statutory provisions in Australia and overseas that codify common law principles of contempt;
(d) the importance of balancing principles, including freedom of speech and expression, the right of fair trial by an impartial tribunal, public scrutiny of the operations of the court system and the protection of the authority, reputation and due process of the courts; and
(e) any other related matters.