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ALRC Brief

March 2011

In this issue


  1. From the President's desk
  2. The Senate Committee inquiry into the ALRC
  3. New inquiries: Classification and Copyright
  4. Update on current inquiries
  5. Implementation
  6. 2011 Kirby Cup - topic announced
  7. RAP moves
  8. ALRC legal intern program
     

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From the President's desk


Welcome to the inaugural edition of the ALRC Brief. Looking through a history of ALRC work recently, I came across the first ALRC law reform bulletin released in January 1976 and written by the Hon Justice Michael Kirby, first Chair of the ALRC. Justice Kirby described the bulletin as "an entirely informal way to inform readers of developments relevant to the reform of the law … To escape irrelevance law reform must go out to the society it serves". Re-establishing the notion...

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The Senate Committee Inquiry into the ALRC

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On 11 February 2011, the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee held a public hearing for its inquiry into the ALRC. The Inquiry was called to look into the impact of the budget cuts to the ALRC over the last year, and whether these cuts are "putting serious law reform at risk in this country" (Senator Barnett, Chair of the Senate Committee, 23 Nov 10).

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New inquiries: Classification and Copyright

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The Government has made public announcements about two new inquiries intended for the ALRC. The ALRC has yet to receive final Terms of Reference for both these inquiries and until terms are received, the inquiries are only foreshadowed.

The first is a review of classification laws in Australia. Minister for Home Affairs and Justice Brendan O’Connor said current classification categories ...

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Update on current inquiries

The Government has made public announcements about two new inquiries intended for the ALRC. The ALRC has yet to receive final Terms of Reference for both these inquiries and until terms are received, they are only foreshadowed.

The first is a review of classification laws in Australia, announced by the Attorney-General in December last year: the ALRC is yet to receive terms of reference. Minister for Home Affairs and Justice Brendan O’Connor said ...

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Implementation

Since October 2010, there has been implementation of ALRC reccommendations from 5 past inquiries: Family Violence, Secrecy and Open Government, Sedition and Privacy. Also, the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs Inquiry into Gene Patents reported to government on 26 November 2010, recommending that the government make a number of amendments to the Patents Act 1990 in line with recommendations of the 2004 ALRC report, Genes and Ingenuity: Gene patenting and human health (ALRC Report 99).

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2011 Kirby Cup - topic announced

The Kirby Cup
The Kirby Cup Law Reform Competition is a unique opportunity for Australian law students to consider the role of law reform and law reform agencies in Australia. To enter, law students must provide a written paper (between two and four thousand words) on a given topic of law reform.

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RAP moves


In the past few months the ALRC has started to make real headway towards achieving some key RAP objectives, including all-of-staff cultural awareness training, additional efforts to provide feedback to the Indigenous community, and the recruitment of the ALRC’s first Indigenous member of staff.

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ALRC legal intern program

The ALRC welcomed five new interns for the full time summer positions in January and February 2011. Recent interns Lucinda O'Dwyer and Catherine Farell discussed with ALRC President, Rosalind Croucher, their experience as interns and what they feel they gained from it.

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