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Alteration of terms of reference to the Australian law reform commission

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Μ NEWSRELEASEattorney- GeneralANDMINISTER FOR JUSTICEThe H o n. D aryl Williams a m q c m p4 September 1997 334ALTERATION OF TERMS OF REFERENCE TO THE AUSTRALIAN LAWREFORM COMMISSIONThe valuable work of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) in promoting examination of legal matters is to be refocussed to concentrate on important issues in civil litigation where future reform is likely to deliver significant benefits.The Government’s reform agenda on a range of legal matters necessitates an alteration to the ALRC’s 1995 terms of reference to ensure that the Commission’s work is not overlapping on reforms already underway.Reforms designed to improve the operation of the litigation processes, Commonwealth review tribunals and other dispute resolution mechanisms, especially in family law, are already under way through the Government’s reform agenda.It would not be a worthwhile use of the Commission’s resources to examine areas where reforms have been determined in principle or are being considered and changes are likely to be implemented before the Commission delivers its final report. Of course, the process of necessary and desirable reform can not be left until the Commission completes its work.At the same time, having considered issues raised by the Commission in its Issues Paper IP20 Rethinking the federal civil litigation system, I believe greater emphasis should be given to particular key issues in civil litigation where reform is most likely to deliver reduced costs and delays.I have also extended the reporting date to 30 April 1999, as requested by the Commission.Media contact: Nicholas Harford (06) 277 7300COMMON^ n°. a i.THPARLIAMENT.A -itiRARY