Law Reform Commission of Western Australia
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Contribute to Law Reform

Contribute to Law Reform

The people of Western Australia are the Commission’s primary clients or customers. To be meaningful and effective the law reform process must make every effort to be inclusive and fair. With each reference, the Commission identifies the relevant interest groups and strives to communicate with the general public and relevant stakeholders concerned with particular projects.

The Law Reform Process

eALERTSThe Law Reform Commission of Western Australia (the Commission) makes recommendations to the Western Australian Government for law reform to keep the law up-to-date and relevant to the needs of the Western Australian community.

This is achieved via the following stages:

  1. The Commission reviews selected legislation or areas of law at the request of the Attorney General. While references may result from proposals submitted by the Commission, suggestions made by the public or topics of interest to the Attorney General, the Commission may only conduct its work on receipt of terms of reference from the Attorney General.
  2. The Commission may engage a consultant for research, writing and editing purposes.
  3. The Commission notifies the general public that it has commenced work on terms of reference received from the Attorney by listing the reference under Current Projects.
  4. The Commission may engage interested stakeholders to inform the Discussion Paper.
  5. The Commission completes a preliminary consideration of the terms of reference and produces a Discussion Paper to facilitate meaningful consultation with the Western Australian community, and to assist members of the general public and interested stakeholders in understanding the subject matter and the Commission’s preliminary views on reform.
  6. The Commission invites the general public to make submissions in response to its Discussion Paper and may also undertake further consultations with stakeholders. The Discussion Paper will outline a timeframe in which submissions are to be made and will also offer guidance as to the format of those submissions.
  7. Although submissions from the general public will be considered if made prior to publication of the Discussion Paper, it is preferable that the public await publication of the Discussion Paper before responding to the terms of reference.
  8. The Commission reviews all submissions it receives very carefully to inform the recommendations it makes to Government in the Final Report.
  9. The Attorney General is obliged to table the Final Report in both Houses of Parliament. The Final Report is also published on the Commission's website.
  10. The Government decides whether to implement the recommendations (in whole or in part) through legislation.

Note: Release dates for the Discussion Paper and Final Report will not be reported on the website given these are dependent on matters that arise in the course of the reference.

Submissions

The Law Reform Commission of Western Australia welcomes submissions on topics being investigated in its current inquiries. The Commission seeks submissions from a broad cross-section of the community, as well as from those with a special interest or expertise in the area of law under investigation.

How to make a submission

A submission may be made in writing or by phone via the details on the Contact Us page. You may choose to comment on all aspects of a project or only on those issues in which you have a particular interest or expertise. There is no particular form or format you need to follow however it would assist the Commission if you addressed your comments to the specific proposals or questions canvassed in the relevant Discussion Paper. The Discussion Paper will offer guidance in the form of identifying particular areas for consideration in regards to the terms of reference.

Confidentiality

Submissions are considered an important source of evidence to the Commission’s inquiries. The Commission may therefore quote from or refer to submissions in its publications. If you want your submission to remain confidential you must clearly advise whether:

  • you permit your submission to be quoted from or discussed but do not permit your name to be disclosed; or
  • you do not permit your submission to be quoted or discussed in a Commission publication.

Suggest Areas for Reform

Members of the community and organisations are often best placed to make suggestions for law reform and are encouraged to do so by contacting the Commission directly: you do not have to wait for the Commission or Attorney General to come up with an idea first.

If you have an idea for law reform, the Commission can:

  • suggest to the Attorney General that the matter be referred to the Commission for research and community consultation or
  • research and make recommendations to the government if the law reform idea involves minor changes.

The Commission generally does not consider suggestions that are:

  • too complex for the resources available
  • already being reviewed by the Department of Justice or some other government department or agency
  • likely to involve contentious policy issues, or a range of economic, social or other matters outside the range of law reform
  • otherwise unsuitable; for example, where the matter falls within an area of Commonwealth responsibility.

Last updated: 21-Sep-2018

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