Law reform

Legal reform

Law reform or legal reform is the process of examining existing laws, and advocating and implementing change in a legal system, usually with the aim of enhancing justice or efficiency. [Wikipedia]


Let them work: how criminal justice reform can help address Australia’s worker shortage

The authors of this report argue that if Australian governments reformed sentencing so that non-violent low-risk offenders were not detained at taxpayer expense, but rather were put to work in industries which urgently need workers, this could deliver substantial benefits to taxpayers without compromising community...
Position paper

Free and equal: a human rights Act for Australia

Australia has strong sense of human rights and freedoms, but the basic human rights of Australian people are not very well protected in Australian law. The Australian Human Rights Commission has developed a model for what a national Human Rights Act might look like, how...

Inquiry into community safety, support services and job opportunities in the Northern Territory

The Joint Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs has published this report on its inquiry into community safety, support services and job opportunities in the Northern Territory. The report makes several recommendations to the Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments in the wake...
Position paper

Breaking the silence: a proposal for whistleblower protections to enable migrant workers to address exploitation

Led by the Migrant Justice Institute and the Human Rights Law Centre, this document urges the Australian government to establish whistleblower protections that would enable migrant workers to report exploitation without risking their visa.
Briefing paper

Children, Youth and Families Amendment (Raise the Age) Bill 2022: Bill Brief

This paper outlines selected aspects of proposed changes to the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005​​​​​​​, in relation to raising the age of criminal responsibility in Victoria. It provides a jurisdictional comparison on what other Australian jurisdictions have done in this space, and outlines some...
Discussion paper

Voluntary assisted dying: discussion paper

The ACT government recognises that the majority of Australians support voluntary assisted dying with appropriate safeguards in place. This consultation paper seeks the views of the ACT community about how voluntary assisted dying should be implemented in the ACT.
Discussion paper

Religious educational institutions and anti-discrimination laws: consultation paper

The Australian Law Reform Commission is seeking stakeholder submissions on proposals to change the way Commonwealth anti-discrimination law applies to religious schools and other educational institutions.

Australia's emerging incarceration crisis: proposed reforms of the Australian sentencing system

This report examines the gulf between sentencing knowledge and practice, and makes recommendations regarding the measures that need to be undertaken to bridge that gap, so that law-makers can bring sentencing practice in line with current knowledge and make it fairer and more efficient.

Stealthing: legislating for change

Stealthing is a relatively new term given to a form of sexual assault. Stealthing occurs when an individual removes a condom during sexual intercourse without the other person’s knowledge or consent. This report summarises the law reform progress to date in Australian states and territories...
Discussion paper

Reforming sentence deferrals in Victoria: consultation paper

The Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council is seeking submissions on the questions posed in this consultation paper. The Council intends to use submissions, and the results of consultations, to make recommendations about the use of sentence deferral in Victoria.
Briefing paper

"No body, no parole" laws

This briefing paper puts the proposed New South Wales 'no body, no parole' law reforms in context, reviews similar laws in Australia and other jurisdictions, and outlines the reasons for, and criticisms of, the reforms.
Discussion paper

Western Australian government intellectual property policy review: discussion paper

The Western Australian intellectual property (IP) policy review aims to develop an outcomes-focused IP policy that reflects best practice and encourages innovation by the public sector and guide public sector agencies to create beneficial outcomes by developing and commercialising IP. This discussion paper outlines proposed...

Facial recognition technology: towards a model law

This report responds to growing calls for reform around the use of facial recognition technology from leading voices in civil society, the private sector, government and academic experts. It outlines a model law to regulate the development and use of FRT in order to protect...

Firearm regulation in Australia: insights from international experience and research

This report outlines a comparative study of firearm injury prevention initiatives in five countries, including national gun buybacks, amnesties and weapon destruction programmes. The report was commissioned by the Government of Canada Joint Federal/Provincial Commission into the April 2020 Nova Scotia mass casualty.

Review of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA): project 111 final report

The Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA) seeks to ensure that the attitudes and actions of people, organisations and government in key areas of public life support and encourage a fair, functioning, stable Western Australian society. This report makes 163 recommendations in regard to Western Australia’s...
Policy report

Defining democracy down: political judicialisation, judicial politicisation

In this paper, the author examines the issue of judicial independence and judicial politicisation in a comparative perspective. The paper starts with some general observations, then turns to the United States and moves on to the United Kingdom, before distilling some lessons — and perhaps...

Sexual orientation and gender identity conversion practices

In the course of preparing this report, the Tasmania Law Reform Institute received and accepted evidence that conversion practices are happening in Tasmania. The report authors assert that they have caused severe harm to people subjected to them, and that they are a continuing risk...

Raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility: law reform considerations

This advisory report considers the legal implications of raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility in Tasmania from its present statutory prescription of 10 years old (with a 14-year-old presumption of criminal incapacity).

What is coercive control?

This paper provides an overview of coercive control: what it is, why we're talking about it, how common it is and how it's currently addressed in Australia. It also considers where coercive control has been criminalised, what experts and stakeholders think and what effect the...
Discussion paper

Legislative responses to coercive control in Western Australia: discussion paper

The Western Australian government is encouraging the community to get involved in a community debate about the pattern of destructive family violence known as coercive control. This discussion paper outlines matters the community, including victim-survivors of coercive control and experts in the legal and family...
Briefing paper

Age of criminal responsibility

This e-brief provides an overview of the current law regarding the age of criminal responsibility in New South Wales.

Powers of detention in Victorian pandemic legislation

This research highlights how the powers of detention in the Victorian government’s pandemic management legislation could be struck down for being incompatible with the Australian Constitution.

The ‘secret life’ of national uniform legislation and pandemic management

National uniform legislation underpins major national reforms in Australia and harmonisation initiatives are a necessary part of working within a federal system. This article describes the three main ways laws and regulations are harmonised and seeks ways to avoid the mistakes of previous harmonisation efforts.

Voluntary Assisted Dying: Law? Health? Justice?

This publication brings together critical perspectives on voluntary assisted dying itself, and on various practices adjacent to it, including questions of state power, population ageing, the differential treatment of human and non-human animals at the time of death, the management of health care processes through...
Discussion paper

Property Market Review: consultation paper

This review is looking for ways to improve property market laws to support Victorians to have fairer and easier access to the housing market. This paper has been developed by the Review Panel to assist the consultation process. It explains the background for the terms...